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Nominations for UK Diversity Legal Awards now open

BIG NIGHT: BSN Chair Paulette Mastin with the host of last year’s event, BBC journalist and presenter Reeta Chakrabarti

NOMINATIONS ARE open for this year’s UK Diversity Legal Awards.

The event, organised by the Black Solicitors Network (BSN), recognises and celebrates diversity and diversity champions in the UK legal industry. The ceremony will be held at the five-star Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London and marks its tenth year this year.

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According to BSN Chair, Paulette Mastin, the significance and importance of these awards acknowledging the contribution to the industry of diverse lawyers and, in particular, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) lawyers, cannot be overstated.

Recent figures found that just under seven per cent of partners in the largest 12 UK firms identify as BAME – and, when isolated for African Caribbean partners only, that figure may be as low as one per cent

This is in sharp contrast to the increasing numbers of BAME students entering the profession, reportedly up to 48 per cent of some of the most recent trainee intakes.

This compares to the BAME population of the UK as a whole of 14 per cent and 40 per cent in London where many of the country’s top legal firms have their headquarters.

Mastin said the industry still had a lot of work to do in helping BAME lawyers progress further in their careers.

She said: “The profession needs to see the ‘change’ that it can be – that’s why these awards are so important in showcasing leadership and best practice in diversity and inclusion in the legal sector, particularly as regards underrepresented groups.”

Speaking at last year’s awards ceremony, President of The Law Society of England and Wales Christina Blacklaws reminded the audience that even though progress has been made in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion, “there is absolutely no room for complacency. There is much more to be done”.

In celebration of its 10th year and in recognition of the changing face of the profession, the awards categories have expanded to include new awards for the BSN Sole Practitioner/Small Law Firm of the year and for Mental Health and Wellbeing in addition to each of the following original categories:

– Recruiting Diverse Talent
– Managing Diverse Talent
– Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year
– BSN Rising Star
– BSN Lawyer of the Year
– Access to Justice
– Diversity Champion
– Outstanding Multi-cultural/ BAME Employee Network

Nominations for the 10th anniversary awards may be submitted via diversitylegalawards.org/award-categories/

The nominations window closes on July 31. Tickets for the prestigious event may also be purchased via the awards website at diversitylegalawards.org/ the-event/.

An early bird discount of 10 per cent will apply to bookings made before September 6.

For more information, visitdiversitylegalawards.org or email enquiries@diversitylegalawards.org

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