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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

An update on our Call to Action for Racial Equality


In June 2020 we published a global call to action on racial equality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the United States and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We committed to considering and implementing what concrete actions we can take in response, using the avenues and expertise available to us to see how best we can help and support people and to actively challenge discrimination.

Since then, we have consulted widely with people in our firm and with others outside the firm to help guide our actions in line with our inclusion strategy of change the rules, change the culture, change the lived experience.

Change the rules

  • Launched ethnicity targets for partners, senior associates and management in the UK and US
  • Public reporting of promotion rates in the UK and the US
  • Ethnicity pay gap reporting in the UK
  • Founding signatories to the Race Fairness Commitment, pledging to report on ethnicity recruitment, retention and promotion figures publicly in the UK
  • Created an internal Task Force for Black and Afro-Latino legal community, focusing on the recruitment, retention and advancement of Black and Afro-Latino attorneys in the Americas
  • An independent inclusion-focused review of our partnership selection process
  • Inclusion riders in supplier contracts
  • Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program in the US focused on minority high school and recent grad students
  • Developing a talent and career development programme for ethnically diverse colleagues in the UK

Change the culture

  • Founding board members of Law Firm Antiracism Alliance in the US
  • Active inclusion training rolled out globally
  • Closure of our US offices on Juneteenth to provide employees time to celebrate the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in the US and reflect on further changes still to be made to achieve racial equality
  • Launched the Clifford Chance Reconciliation Action Plan in Australia which will assist us to create a workplace culture that understands and respects the histories and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to society
  • Launch of our international Racial Justice Award. This year's recipients are Columbia Law School's Center for Institutional and Social Change, who received 500 hours of pro bono legal support and £50,000
  • Campaigns and events organised globally to raise the profile of discussions around race, ethnicity, equality and celebrating heritage including World Cultural Day for Diversity, National Reconciliation Week, Black History Months and Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month
  • Collated a Racial Justice Resource pack to guide allies on educational resources to listen and learn from different experiences of Black and ethnic minority people globally in society

Change the lived experience

  • Development of our award-winning global ethnicity reverse mentoring program
  • Funding of the Equal Justice Initiative in the US
  • Launch of REACH (Race Equality and Celebrating Heritage) network across our offices in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Australia
  • Black & Latino subcommittee engagement survey and focus groups in the UK to explore the experience of Black and ethnic minority colleagues at Clifford Chance
  • Signed the Halo Code in the UK which will protect Black colleagues who come to work with natural and protective Afro-hairstyles
  • Partnered with Reclaim Our Vote and Election Protection to empower underrepresented voters and challenge voter suppression
  • Major pro-bono and community outreach initiatives focused on dismantling legal barriers to racial justice

Webinar - A call to action for racial equality, one year on

A year on from our call to action for racial equality, we looked at the work taking place at Clifford Chance to further race equality, supporting our Black members of staff and educating those who are wanting to become better allies. The panel covered the work we are doing in the firm, with our clients and in the world including pro bono work, research into the experiences of ethnic minority people at the firm, the expansion of the REACH (Race Equality and Celebrating Heritage) networks globally, focus groups, leadership strategy and communications.

This event was an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made, and where we hope to continue our efforts, and is available online to watch now.


Becoming ambassadors for change

Inclusion is for all of us. If it isn’t then it isn’t inclusion at all.

Our 2021 Inclusion Report celebrates some of the amazing people in our firm who have been demonstrating their values through campaigning for inclusion.

Enjoy reading their stories.


Our insights

The latest points of view from our people on our responsible business activities

Find out more

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