DAC Beachcroft

DAC Beachcroft

Organisation Details

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Internal Diversity Networks:

These icons refer to the respective internal networks or groups we have established, click one to view more information.

Lorraine Ekong

Lorraine Ekong

I was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when I was 11 years old. I am the first member of my immediate family to pursue a career in law and I had no previous insight into the legal profession, especially what it takes to work in a large international firm. I joined DAC Beachcroft as a paralegal and during my time at the firm I have progressed from paralegal to trainee to newly qualified solicitor. My career development has been actively encouraged and I have felt supported every step of the way by the firm and my colleagues. It is genuinely an inclusive environment and recognises the positive impact that diversity has to play in continuing to foster that culture. Like most major law firms there is room for improvement to reflect the diverse representation of our society, and DAC Beachcroft is committed to achieving this aim by recruiting and developing talents from all walks of life and providing the supportive environment for them to achieve their full potential.

Diversity at DAC Beachcroft:

Women + network 
Our Women + network exists to support and encourage women in the firm to succeed with their chosen career path. Its focus is on personal growth and career development, internal and external networking and on generating fresh ideas to help shape and influence the firm in relation to issues affecting women’s careers and wellbeing. Amongst the firm’s published Diversity Commitments is the intention to have greater diversity within the senior leadership of the firm. The Women + network plays a part in this by bringing people together to share experiences and to help inspire women through access to role models inside and outside the firm, as well as hearing from external speakers and learning from other networks. Our senior partner, Virginia Clegg – the firm’s first female senior partner in its 250-year history – is closely involved with and supportive of the network, as are other senior people in the business, male and female. We value the power of mentoring and coaching – Women + provides the opportunity for informal mentoring and coaching relationships to develop, alongside more formal arrangements which exist across the firm. We host some events with clients, we work closely with other networks in the firm – such as Spectrum, our LBGT+ network, and our Parents & Carers Forum – and across the networks we work hard to get to know each other better, recognising that good relationships and trust lie at the heart of a supportive and fulfilling working environment.

Spectrum is the voice of the firm’s LGBT+ colleagues. The network is chaired by David Aird, our Group IT Director, and run by LGBT+ colleagues and allies – colleagues who do not identify as LGBT + but belong to the network to show support and learn more about LGBT + issues. The network exists to raise awareness and promote an inclusive and supportive work environment, offering support and advice to our LGBT+ colleagues and parents or other relatives of LGBT +children. Spectrum events are open to all colleagues who are interested in LGBT+ issues and who want to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (+) people within the firm and the communities in which we work. We work with clients on LBGT+ related activities and support external organisations such as Stonewall – the firm is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. As with all our networks, Spectrum acts as a sounding board and advises the firm on matters such as policies, good practice and internal education. For more information or to speak to a Spectrum member please contact Dean Parrett (dparrett@dacbeachcroft.com), senior associate and a Spectrum mentor who says, “At University and whilst growing up I was told by many that it would be difficult to have a successful career in the law whilst being openly gay. Fortunately, those people have been proven wrong. It is important that we all work together to encourage a culture of openness, respect and tolerance no matter who or what we are. I truly believe that enhancing this culture will benefit us all. I have always been “out” at DACB and find everyone I work with accepting and tolerant of who I am.”

Parents & Carers
This forum emerged in response to the desire voiced by many people to share the benefit of their experiences as a parent, carer or both, in support of colleagues in similar situations or facing comparable issues. So often people say: “I wish someone had told me that,” or “I wish I’d known then what I know now.” So this forum is a means of connecting people in the firm with others who can tap into their experience and offer some practical advice or encouragement. Through the forum, colleagues can locate others, confidentially, with lived experiences similar to their own through the “People Who Can Help” directory or pose a question on the online message board. The forum also arranges talks and training sessions on a range of topics which offer practical advice, moral support, signposts for access to information and inspiration at times when it can be most needed. As with our other networks, the forum also acts as a sounding board for the firm and it informs and influences in respect of issues affecting working parents or carers, helping to shape policies and share good practice. For more information about the forum, or to speak to a member of it, please contact Toby Vallance (tvallance@dacbeachcroft.com) or Katharine Barker (kabarker@dacbeachcroft.com).

Sue Jenkins

Talent Partner

Firm Quote On Diversity:

We want to create an environment where talented people chose to work and where different talents are valued and respected. We believe that diversity of perspective, background and cultural experience is critical to our ability to create sustainable value for our colleagues and our clients because we know that difference of views drives fresh thinking. This is why Diversity & Inclusion is one of the five pillars of our People Strategy – it is a fundamental part of being a responsible business.