Diversity and inclusion

Diversity is a core part of our identity. We are a global law firm with more than 2,300 people located in more than 20 countries. We have offices in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and the United Kingdom, which means Kennedys is incredibly diverse by nature.

We are proud that Kennedys is made up of individuals who come from all over the world and bring with them their own cultures, languages, backgrounds and experiences. We embrace, value and celebrate difference because we understand that diverse perspectives and experiences help us solve the toughest challenges and make us a better law firm.

Our vision

We view diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a key priority. We understand that it is important to represent the diversity of our people, our clients and our communities, and to create an inclusive culture in which everyone, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance, can be themselves and thrive at work. Building a diverse and inclusive firm is essential for our future success. It will help us to attract and retain the best talent, drive innovation, and deliver the best experience for our people and clients.

In line with our core values of being approachable, straightforward, supportive and distinctive, we strive to celebrate diversity, empower our people and ensure everyone can bring their authentic selves to work.

Our commitment

We are committed to increasing the representation of women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities across the firm, in senior management positions and at partnership level. In 2020 we achieved our 30% female partnership goal and have further set a goal of 40% female partnership by 2030.

In 2020 we made a commitment to focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals - find out more about this on our corporate social responsibility webpage. Our D&I initiatives are aligned with goals 3. Good health and wellbeing, 4. Quality education, and 10. Reduced inequalities.

  • 3_Good Health & Well Being_tile.png

  • 4_Quality Education_tile.png

  • 10_Reduced Inequalities_tile.png

In 2021 we signed up to the Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification process in the US and became one of the first law firms to pilot the Mansfield Rule 1.0 in the UK. The Mansfield Rule is a 12-month certification process which aims to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership.

As a firm, we are proud of what we have achieved so far but also recognise that more needs to be done and our D&I journey is not complete. This is why we have elaborated a Global D&I Strategy (2022-2025) to help achieve our goals.

 

D&I Advisory Groups

In 2020, we created five regional D&I Advisory Groups (Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and the United Kingdom) where members are empowered to share their ideas and advise on areas of priority, as well as turn intention into tangible action. We also created a global D&I Advisory Group which comprises members from each regional group and meets on a quarterly basis. The global D&I Advisory Group is chaired by our Managing Partner, Suzanne Liversidge, who ensures the board remains informed, accountable and fully committed to our diversity and inclusion agenda.

Meet some of our D&I champions around the world below.

Programmes and initiatives

We have developed programmes and initiatives to foster an inclusive work environment, encourage open discussion and raise awareness on diversity issues.

Let's start the conversation

In June 2020 we launched our Let’s start the conversation series, a global initiative to raise awareness and educate on a broad range of topics (such as Asperger syndrome, Black History Month, Mental Health, LBGTQ+ inclusion). Guest speakers discuss and share their experiences while encouraging an open and safe space for individuals to ask questions.

Social mobility and widening access to the legal profession

We work with external organisations and continue to develop a range of opportunities to widen access to the profession, allowing for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to pursue a legal career at Kennedys. For example:

  • We were the first law firm in the UK to set up an apprentice scheme. So far we have recruited 90 legal apprentices across our UK offices and currently have 56 UK apprentices.
  • Kennedys launched its first virtual work experience programme in 2020. To date over 10,000 individuals from all over the world have accessed our online work experience programme. In 2021 we hosted our first virtual insight day for students to learn more about opportunities at Kennedys.
  • In September 2021, Kennedys welcomes its first cohort of trainees via the newly introduced SQE route in the UK. We were one of the first law firms to offer both the traditional trainee route and the SQE route.
  • We started using the RARE recruitment tool in our UK trainee application screening process to ensure socially mobile candidates do not get overlooked.
  • We partnered with the Careers & Enterprise Company and UpReach in the UK to inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to work in the legal sector. Throughout 2021 we worked to help deliver career support for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Ten Kennedys representatives became upReach mentors.
  • In March 2022 we signed a partnership with Aspiring Solicitors, a diversity organisation which works to increase diversity in the legal profession by providing enhanced assistance to underrepresented groups, including black and minority ethnic candidates, candidates with disabilities, LGBT+ candidates and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
  • We are part of the Government commissioned socio-economic taskforce which aims to boost socio-economic diversity in UK financial and professional services.
  • In 2020 we created a scholarship programme in the US in partnership with St. John’s University to boost diversity in the insurance industry.
  • In Australia we work with CareerTrackers to offer internships for Indigenous university students. In November 2021, we welcomed our first intern for a 12 week internship.
  • In Singapore we work with polytechnics to offer 12-week internships in business services to students.

For more information about our apprentice scheme, virtual work experience or the different routes into Kennedys please visit our early careers page.

Dive In Festival

We continue to be a global partner of the Dive In Festival – a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures. Its mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case and promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms.

Other activities

We host Women in Business series events. We run internal diversity campaigns to raise awareness. We offer tailored support to our people, for example, our Buddy Scheme aims to support those going on or returning from parental leave. We conduct focus groups, interviews and surveys across all our offices globally to ensure we understand our people’s experiences and the barriers they face. To learn more about what we are doing to advance D&I at Kennedys, please download our Sustainability Report from our corporate social responsibility webpage.

Kennedys Philadelphia office held a successful food drive at the beginning of November last year, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Philabundance, Philadelphia's largest nonprofit food bank, distributes food to 350 agencies in and around the city each year through partnerships including churches, children's programmes, homeless shelters, and neighbourhood groups.   Holiday staples were donated by colleagues. Kennedys Philadelphia “was thrilled to help Philabundance in its mission to improve the lives and make a difference to Philadelphians in need”.

In June, members in our Chicago office participated in the 27th Race Judicata. Race Judicata, a 5k mile run/walk benefits the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) Foundation whose mission is to ensure that the law works for everyone. The CVLS mobilizes Chicago’s legal community to deliver traditional representation and innovative legal solutions to people working or living in poverty. Participants took the scenic route, which looped from Grant Park along the iconic lakeshore running path, up to the Chicago yacht club and back.

Marianne Blattès

Marianne Blattès

Marianne joined Kennedys in 2021 as our Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and manages our D&I programmes and initiatives around the world.

Suzanne Liversidge

Suzanne Liversidge

Suzanne is the global Managing Partner of Kennedys, and chairs our Global D&I Advisory Group.

Daniel Clarke

Daniel Clarke

Daniel joined our Singapore office in 2019, and is a member of both our Asia Pacific and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Anand Dash

Anand Dash

Anand works in our Basking Ridge office, and is a member of both our North America and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Karishma Paroha

Karishma Paroha

Karishma joined our London office in 2005, and is a member of both our UK and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Roshan Sidhu

Roshan Sidhu

Roshan works in our London office, and is a member of both our UK and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Arnaud Attias

Arnaud Attias

Arnaud works in our Paris office and is a member of both our Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Danielle Benjamin

Danielle Benjamin

Danielle works in our Miami office and is a member of both our Latin America and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Catalina Botero

Catalina Botero

Catalina works in our Bogotá office and is a member of both our Latin America and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Meg F Catalano

Meg F Catalano

Meg is the D&I Partner ambassador for our North America Advisory Group.

Ingrid Hobbs

Ingrid Hobbs

Ingrid is a D&I Partner ambassador for our UK Advisory Group.

Christopher Malla

Christopher Malla

Christopher is a D&I Partner ambassador for our UK Advisory Group.

Andrew McGahey

Andrew McGahey

Andrew is a D&I Partner ambassador for our Europe, Middle East and Africa Advisory Group.

柯瑞柏

柯瑞柏

Rupert is the D&I Partner ambassador for our Asia Pacific Advisory Group.

Anna Weiss

Anna Weiss

Anna is the D&I Partner ambassador for our Latin America and the Caribbean Advisory Group.

Diversity and Inclusion 2021-2022 videos