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Major success for law firm at The Women and Diversity in Law Awards 2023

23 March 2023

UK & Ireland law firm Browne Jacobson’s work in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace was recognised at The Women and Diversity in Law Awards

The firm won the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programme of the Year award for its ground breaking FAIRE initiative with the judges commenting It’s so refreshing to see a national law firm not just pay lip service – they are trying to help the whole legal profession and not just themselves’.

In addition, practice assistant Grace Woolford was Highly Commended in the DE&I Champion of the Year in a Legal Role category.

Browne Jacobson’s FAIRE (Fairer Access Into Real Experience) was launched in 2021 and is a unique programme offering work experience opportunities to candidates specifically from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Under FAIRE, the firm has staged three of the UKs largest virtual legal careers events with over 15,000 young people taking part in total. In recognition of its work, the firm was named the UK's leading employer in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index in 2021 and 2022.

Grace Woolford, a member of the firm’s D&I Committee and co-chair of the Gender Equality Working Group, was recognised for her contribution to the success of the firm’s Courageous Conversations initiative. Launched in 2021, the initiative enables people from all parts of the firm to share personal stories around diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues and learn from each other’s experiences of gender bias, ableism, homophobia and transphobia, anti-racism and social mobility. In 2022, Grace also led a successful campaign for Fat Liberation Month, which is believed to be the first of its kind in a UK law firm, to tackle fatphobia and size bias in the workplace.

Senior Partner, Caroline Green, who also leads on diversity, inclusion and well-being at Browne Jacobson, said:

“We are delighted to be one of the very first winners of the awards for our work in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. 

“As a firm we want to be at the forefront of society’s biggest issues so our commitment to DE&I lies at the heart of everything we do. 

“It’s also important that we all create platforms that give individuals a voice and the opportunity to drive positive change and influence DE&I in the workplace, so we are so pleased that Grace’s work in the success of our Courageous Conversations initiative was also recognised by the judges.”

The inaugural Women and Diversity in Law Awards, hosted by Global Legal Post, recognise and celebrate the work of firms and individuals who are dedicated to ‘moving the DE&I needle or using their positions of influence to help facilitate change’.

The awards were judged by a 25-strong panel including Julia Chain, chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Dignity Trust; Lesley Wan, general counsel and whistleblowing officer at FBN Bank and founder of the Through the Looking Glass charity and Professor Sara Chandler, Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Law Society of England & Wales.

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