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Skadden lawyer to lead City social mobility charity

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Elizabeth Robertson succeeds Hogan Lovells’ Nicholas Cheffings as executive chair of PRIME

A partner in the London office of US law firm Skadden has taken over the reins at social mobility charity PRIME.

The appointment of Elizabeth Robertson to the role of executive chair follows the departure of Hogan Lovells lawyer Nicholas Cheffings, who held the role since 2016.

Robertson, a government enforcement and white collar crime specialist, was state school and polytechnic educated, and has been a member of the PRIME board since 2020.

Founded in 2011, PRIME is an alliance of over 60 member law firms from across the UK and Ireland, which aims to improve access to, and socio-economic diversity within, the legal profession. It looks to achieve this by providing, among other things, legal work experience to underprivileged state school children aged 14-18.

Commenting on her new role, Robertson said:

“We have seen a much-needed push for greater diversity in the legal profession in recent years. A diverse workforce is a strong one, and this includes representation of people from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. Nicholas has been a tremendous leader and advocate for PRIME over the past six years. I’m excited to build on his legacy and to work with PRIME members in looking for ways to extend the opportunities in the law that are available to talented young people from all kinds of backgrounds.”

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Robertson’s appointment follows research which found that more than half of City law firm partners attended a fee-paying school, with specialisms including finance and global regulatory boasting the highest proportion with 50% and 57%, respectively.

Cheffings added: “A lot of progress has been made over the past few years, with social mobility programmes now established as part of most firms’ recruitment strategies. The success of PRIME has been based on the contributions of our members, who consistently demonstrate the power of collaboration in sharing best practice, in holding each other accountable, and in moving the entire sector forward.”

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