Browne Jacobson’s commitment to equality and diversity has been recognised by the British Chamber of Commerce after the firm’s Welsh based team were named ‘Regional Winner of the Equality Trailblazer, Diversity and Inclusion Award’ 2023.
The UK & Ireland law firm which opened its Cardiff office in July was presented with the award which recognises the achievements of those organisations that actively champion diversity and promote inclusion in their workforce and with their clients and customers, and also puts a spotlight on any community outreach work they do.
Partner Tim Edds who heads up the firm’s Cardiff office and Partner Laura Hughes who is Executive Lead for Wales at Browne Jacobson jointly commented on the win: “We are incredibly proud that Browne Jacobson Wales has been named regional winner of this significant award, underpinning our dedication to being at the forefront of society’s biggest issues and reinforcing our commitment to O Shaped where we want to support the mission to drive positive change in the legal sector.
“Although we only officially moved into the Welsh market in July, we have as a firm been very active in promoting equality and diversity through our work with our Welsh based clients for a number of years. Browne Jacobson has firmly established a national reputation for its commitment to promoting social mobility in the legal profession, evident through a series of ground-breaking and award-winning initiatives we have implemented over the last few years, so it is great to see that we are also being recognised for that commitment in the local communities we operate in.”
Browne Jacobson Managing Partner Richard Medd added: “This is a fantastic win for our newly formed Cardiff team, and we are delighted to be recognised as a regional champion for our continuous work in this really important area.
“Equality, diversity and inclusion is bedded into our firm strategy and values and has been a key driver over the last few years, and we have seen the transformative and positive effect it has had on our business, our clients, our people and the excellent talent we attract and nurture. It is a journey that all of our people across our seven regional offices are committed to and passionate about getting right and we are always looking at new innovative ways we can improve and ensure it is kept it at the forefront of what we do, and this award endorses that.”
Paul Butterworth who is CEO of Chambers Wales added “To be recognised nationally through the Chambers network is a significant achievement and Browne Jacobson should be thrilled to be the Regional Winner representing Wales. This is a huge testament to the innovation and dedication in being one of the leading companies in Wales and we are proud to support the firm.”
Since 2016, Browne Jacobson has implemented various trailblazing initiatives including revolutionising its trainee recruitment processes by removing academic barriers, anonymising applications and focusing its outreach work on social mobility ‘cold spots’.
In 2021, the firm launched FAIRE (Fairer Access into Real Experience) – a unique programme offering work experience opportunities to candidates specifically from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Its annual FAIRE events have now attracted 23,500+ students from 2000+ schools, and its virtual insight event in 2022 was the largest legal virtual work experience event in the UK, with 3300+ attendees taking part.
The firm also launched a dedicated mentoring scheme for aspiring Black lawyers, partnered with Forage to launch an interactive online work experience programme to broaden access for aspiring young lawyers and was chosen to be one of only 13 UK businesses who will form the Social Mobility Commission’s (SMC) new Employer Advisory Group.
In recognition of its work, the firm has been named the UK’s leading employer in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index for the last two years.
Browne Jacobson’s Cardiff team works across the firm’s government and corporate sectors, and specialise in public law, regeneration, risk and inquiries, planning, environment and construction. The firm’s move to Cardiff in July 2023 demonstrated its commitment to the Welsh market, having delivered legal advice to clients in Wales for over 25 years which includes Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Local Government Association Wales, Sodexo, Qualifications Wales, the Independent Monitoring Authority for Citizens Rights, and various other Welsh Local Authorities and Local Health Boards.