Global firm Dentons has explicitly cited this year's Black Lives Matter protests as a reason for setting an ambitious diversity target for its UK, Ireland and Middle East partnership. Under an 'Accelerating Race Strategy Action Plan' announced today 'in response to the Black Lives Matter protests and Dentons' inclusion and diversity strategy’ a fifth of the firm's partnership should be black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME), disabled or LGBT by 2025.

To achieve the target, the firm said it will review its lateral hiring process; launch a BAME student scholarship programme; include race on all team meeting agendas; and publish the ethnicity pay gap, among other measures. 

Jeremy Cohen, UK, Ireland and Middle East chief executive, said: ‘This is a watershed moment and now is the time for dialogue, awareness and action from businesses and their leaders. We must tackle racial injustice if we are to become the most inclusive firm we aspire to be. This is a priority for our firm, and it is my personal priority to work with our Black Professionals Network and Asian Professionals Network to create the type of firm where everyone can thrive.’

Last week, magic circle firm Linklaters announced a 'race action plan', acknowledging it had too few black lawyers in senior positions. 

To strengthen partnership diversity, it has three ‘aspirational’ targets: 15% black and underrepresented minority ethnic partners by 2025; 15% underrepresented minority ethnic partners in new partner elections annually; and five times as many black partners globally by 2027.