Firms need to work together to achieve ‘true change’ in the legal profession’s approach to diversity, according to the co-chairs of a new inter-firm initiative that launches this week.

NOTICED has been set up by eight City firms to help make the profession more accessible and culturally aware.

The founding firms are: Hogan Lovells, Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Eversheds, Herbert Smith Freehills, Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown. It is hoped that others will join.

The initiative seeks to collaborate with and build on member firms’ existing diversity networks and programmes to create an industry-wide approach to encourage engagement on multiculturalism and diversity in the profession.

It will also provide networking opportunities and events to discuss issues about culture, initiate action for change and celebrate success.

Co-chairs Hogan Lovells associate Rashida Abdulai and Herbert Smith Freehills associate Bhavesh Patel said: ‘Individually, member firms are already running active campaigns, but for true change to occur we all need to work together to this end.’

Abdulai said: ‘There is increasing recognition that to increase diversity, you have to begin early – in schools – and continue through all stages to attract, recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds.’

NOTICED launches at the Law Society on Wednesday.