News

Seven law firm partners named on 2017 ‘ethnic minority role model’ power list

By on
26

Lawyers at Freshfields, Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance and BLP all make the cut

A new power list celebrating the achievements of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) business leaders features seven top law firm partners.

Produce by EMpower, in partnership with the Financial Times, the annual top 100 list ranks BAME business leaders from across the world based on four key criteria.

The judging panel — which included Barclays’ chief executive officer Ashok Vaswani and University of Oxford economics lecturer Linda Yueh — assessed each candidate on their seniority and influence, what they do to make their business more welcoming to BAME employees, what they do outside of work to help BAME people and their recent business achievements.

This year’s list, published earlier today, includes partners from seven of the world’s top law firms.

Finishing in 11th place, the accolade for highest ranking lawyer goes to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Timothy Wilkins. A specialist in cross-border mergers, Wilkins — who co-chairs the magic circle giant’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee — is based at the firm’s New York office.

Next up is Linklaters’ US partner Tom Shropshire. Securing 20th position on the 2017 list, Shropshire is co-chair of the magic circle firm’s BAME Network and operates out of its London office. He specialises in complex mergers and acquisitions.

Landing 28th place is the first of two Slaughter and May lawyers to make this year’s rankings. Having joined the elite firm in 1993, Sarah Lee has experience in all aspects of major litigation and arbitration. One place below Lee in 29th is Clifford Chance’s international financial markets partner Habib Motani.

Further down, in 66th place is Slaughter and May’s Nilufer von Bismarck. Head of the firm’s equity capital markets practice, von Bismarck joined Slaughters in 1990 before making partnership four years later. Eleven places below her is Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) Segun Osuntokun. Head of the outfit’s energy disputes group, Osuntokun is described as “immensely charming” on his BLP profile.

Last, but by know means least, is Freshfields’ Annette Byron. Securing 92nd place, Byron co-leads the firm’s global Black Affinity Network and specialises in real estate law.

Away from the legal sector, this year’s top spot went to the president of Carnival Corporation, Arnold Donald. Specialising in luxury cruises, the business has over 120,000 members of staff across 60 countries.

2017 Top Ethnic Minority Leaders (lawyers only)

Overall ranking Name Firm
11 Timothy Wilkins Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
20 Tom Shropshire Linklaters
28 Sarah Lee Slaughter and May
29 Habib Motani Clifford Chance
66 Nilufer von Bismarck Slaughter and May
77 Segun Osuntokun Berwin Leighton Paisner
92 Annette Byron Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.

26 Comments

Alan P

Only when we get the first black vegan transsexual non-binary Muslim partner can we say that Diversity has succeeded.

(18)(12)

Anonymous

I didn’t know that Diversity had branched out from street dance to fighting for legal equality?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

HAHAHA ok I’ll allow these two funny comments

(2)(2)

Alan P

How dare you be so flippant! One of the reasons for terrorism in this country is that we don’t have enough BME partners, which makes people feel alienated.

(6)(12)

Anonymous

Your jokes are so poor I can’t tell if this is one or not.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

How can this so called Legal Cheek encourage and allow comments like this? !!!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This obsession with diversity in business service firms is pretty unhealthy.

(4)(16)

Anonymous

The underrepresentation of BAME candidates at such firms is very unhealthy

(23)(6)

I also went black and never went back

Once you go BAME you’ll have no more shame

(1)(4)

BAME!

🎼 I wanna live for-ever🎶

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This response shows how important this list is when fools leave negative comments to belittle it.

(3)(0)

Tim

Yeah, the highly original side-splitting ‘horse’s laugh’ argument. A logical fallacy and super-puerile to boot; its lacking in rebuttal value is the proof of the importance of diversity.

Quotas. Aggressive positive discrimination. Attitude adjustment training. All urgently needed.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(8)(3)

Lord Harley

As a Bangladeshi I assume I am top of this list?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Suburban Reflections

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(4)(6)

Anonymous

You were doing well until the last sentence.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Annette Byron hasn’t practiced any law for about a decade and her sole role is diversity/recruitment

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Sorry, just checked properly, it’s about 5 years

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This article is wrong as there are in house lawyers too not just law firms.

(0)(0)

zn

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Latvka Da Blitz

Er how come LC hasn’t deleted all the comments here like it usually does?

(1)(1)

Jones Day Partner (of course)

I once had sexual liaisons with a black person. Do I make the diversity list?

(1)(5)

Anonymous

Disgraceful. If this is a representation of the some of the minds in law then bring on the BAMEs!!

(3)(0)

BAME!

🎶I wanna live for-ever🎶

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.