Magic circle firm Allen & Overy has appointed worldwide 'diversity partners' in what it says is a drive to improve the accountability of different offices around the world. 

The firm’s board has elected five diversity and inclusion (D&I) partners across its global network: Ian Field (UK), Hendrik Jan Biemond (Europe), Fiona Cumming (Asia Pacific), Elizabeth Leckie (Americas) and Kathleen Wong (Africa and the Middle East). Their job will be to develop ‘diverse talent pipelines’ and to drive more local engagement and accountability, alongside their existing practices.

Field, UK D&I partner and head of global restructuring, said there would be greater focus on race under his leadership. He said: ‘For the UK, there will be more focus on race and ethnicity, building on the work that we have already done in this area. That doesn’t mean leaving the other facets of diversity, we will still continue those of course, but race and ethnicity will be getting a lot of our attention.’

UK head of D&I Jo Dooley added: ‘While we have global goals and aspirations, the issues and challenges for D&I are not the same all over the world. It’s important that we have representatives who understand specific cultural contexts and who can work with their local partners, people, networks, clients and other external stakeholders to drive change in the most effective way for their region.’