Magic circle firm Allen & Overy has set a host of new diversity targets after finding that black lawyers leave the firm almost two and a half years earlier than their white counterparts.

The firm aims to have 15% ethnic minority partners by 2025; 25% ethnic minority lawyers and support staff by 2025; and 35% ethnic minority trainees, including 10% black trainees, each year. It also wants to equalise retention rates for trainees, with particular focus on retaining more black associates.

According to ‘stay gap’ analysis, which looks at differences in the average tenure of employees who have left the firm in the last 5 years, black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers leave Allen & Overy seven months earlier than their white colleagues. Meanwhile, black lawyers leave two years and five months earlier than their white counterparts.

The firm has committed to publishing its updated ethnicity stay gap every year.

Allen & Overy's UK diversity and inclusion partner Ian Field said: ‘We must all play our part in creating a truly inclusive workplace and for us that starts with accountability. The stay gap figure is an uncomfortable truth for us and the legal industry but it gives us an objective way to measure the success of our efforts in this area. We want to be clear that we recognise the problems within our own firm and are committed to tackling them head on.’

Earlier this month, 17 City firms agreed to conduct a data-drive to find out where black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers are falling behind their white peer group.


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