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Norton Rose Fulbright sets BAME trainee recruitment target of 25%

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Follows similar ethnicity goals by Links, A&O and HSF

Norton Rose Fulbright’s London office

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has become the latest global law firm to announce a series of diversity targets.

The firm says it aims to have 25% black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) trainees in the UK, including 10% black trainees, annually. Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows NRF recruits around 45 rookies each year.

NRF has also introduced ethnicity targets for partners and staff. By 2025, the firm wants 15% of partners and 25% of its workforce to be BAME. These figures currently stand at 8% and 19% respectively.

Peter Scott, managing partner, Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA), commented: “Change is needed in the legal sector and we aim to be at the forefront of this movement. Whilst we have made progress, we know that more needs to be done in our business to attract, retain, develop, and engage colleagues who are black, Asian and of minority ethnic backgrounds. Our strategy and action plan sets out how we will address systemic barriers to create a truly inclusive workplace.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The move comes just days after Linklaters unveiled a series of “aspirational” diversity targets of its own. ​Starting from the 2020/21 recruitment cycle, the magic circle player aims to have 35% ethnic minority trainees in the UK, including 10% black trainees, each year. The goal is slightly higher in the US — 50% minority ethnic first years, of whom 10% will be black.

Other firms to set unveil similar rookie recruitment objectives in recent weeks include Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills. The former is targeting 35% minority ethnic trainees, including 10% black trainees, each year, while the latter pledged the proportion of minority ethnic trainees retained as newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers will be at least the same as the proportion of minority ethnic trainees in each intake.

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