Going Public: Diversity Disclosures by Large U. K. Law Firms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has been the parent regulator of legal
services in England and Wales since 2009. Born of the wide-ranging
reforms introduced by the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA), the LSB is
tasked with promoting the regulatory objectives contained within the LSA,
including “encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal
profession.”1 In July 2011, the LSB introduced a rule requiring the
collection of data on workforce diversity and the publication of that data by
the legal profession. This was the first—and indeed, is the only—direct
regulatory intervention taken with regard to diversity in the legal
profession.2 The LSB’s reporting rule forms the heart of this Article.
Three arguments are put forward in this Article. The first is that the
LSB’s rule was not necessary, as the majority of large law firms in the
United Kingdom were already disclosing, without regulatory intervention
into the market, some diversity data. The second is that, even if there were
good grounds for the LSB’s rule, it was likely to face significant challenges.The third argument in this Article is that the operationalization of the
LSB’s reporting rule has left much to be desired.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2301-2324
Number of pages24
JournalFordham Law Review
Volume83
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • diversity, legal profession, CSR