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 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 target and have further set a target 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.

In 2021 we signed up to the Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification process in the US and will be 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.

And that’s a wrap: Dive In Festival 2021

The Dive In Festival has finished for another year, with Kennedys’ presence and participation stronger than ever and right across our global network. We were very pleased to once again continue our support of this fantastic initiative, as a global festival partner, and we’re looking forward to (UK) National Inclusion Week next week.

Read more

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 Lives Matter, LBGTQ+ inclusion). Guest speakers discuss and share their experiences while encouraging an open and safe space for individuals to ask questions.

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 over 70 legal apprentices across our UK offices and currently have 55 UK apprentices.
  • Kennedys launched its first virtual work experience programme in 2020. To date many thousands of individuals from all over the world have accessed our online work experience programme.
  • In 2020 we created a scholarship programme in the US in partnership with St. John’s University to boost diversity in the insurance industry.
  • 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.

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 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.

Marianne Blattès

Marianne Blattès

Marianne joined Kennedys in 2021 as our 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.

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson

Caroline is the global HR Director at Kennedys.

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.

Kelsey Evans

Kelsey Evans

Kelsey works in our Dubai office and joined Kennedys in 2010. She is a member of both our Asia Pacific and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Tom Gummer

Tom Gummer

Tom works at Kennedys IQ in Mexico, and is a member of both our Latin America and the Caribbean, and our Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Michael McNaughton

Michael McNaughton

Michael joined our Chicago office in 2019, 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.

Jacqueline Perez Garcia

Jacqueline Perez Garcia

Jacqueline joined our Buenos Aires office in 2019, and is a member of both our Latin America and the Caribbean, and Global D&I Advisory Groups.

Medea Plesner Petersen

Medea Plesner Petersen

Medea joined our Copenhagen office in 2016, and is a member of both our Europe, Middle East and Africa, 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.

Neil Warfield

Neil Warfield

Neil works in our Dublin office, and is a member of both our Europe, Middle East and Africa, 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.

Trevor Davies

Trevor Davies

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

Rupert Skrine

Rupert Skrine

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.

Dive In Festival 2021 videos