Two City practices are in the first group of panel law firms used by telecoms giant Nokia to undergo a new assessment of their progress on equality, inclusion and diversity.
The Nokia legal and compliance team’s ‘E, I&D Scorecard’ will be used to ensure the law firms it chooses to work with share these “core values” on a quarterly and annual basis.
City firms Eversheds Sutherland and Bird & Bird are in the first group to take part, alongside Finnish-founded Nordic firm Roschier and US firms Quinn Emanuel, McKool Smith and Alston & Bird.
Quantitative and qualitative assessments will score the firms based on several criteria, such as recruitment policies – including working towards having a minimum of 30% diverse candidates for senior and leadership roles – equality of pay, the availability of mentoring and pro bono initiatives, the percentage of billable work carried out by employees from different backgrounds, engagement with diversity and inclusion organisations, and the presence of a dedicated E, I&D team.
The in-house department will also provide updates of its own progress “to create a network where the legal team and the law firms hold each other accountable to progress equity, inclusion, and diversity representation”.
The quarterly score will involve Nokia providing mentorship and sharing “challenges and best practice” with the firms.
As part of the annual end-of-year assessment, Nokia will “recognise” law firms that have effective initiatives in place or that have substantially improved their approach.
Chief legal officer Nassib Abou-Khalil said: “Creating an inclusive and diverse organisation is a top priority for Nokia. We’ve taken significant steps in the recent years to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive at Nokia regardless of gender, race, sexuality, disability, or age.
“We have an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity and work towards progress with the law firms we choose to work with.
“While many companies have taken a similar approach before, we feel that our approach is unique in focusing on collaboration, partnership and support across the industry to influence positive change and progress in the legal profession.”
The scorecard will expand progressively to include all law firms.”