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BSN City newsletter – May 2015

Dear Colleague,

At BSN City Group we remain committed to providing network support to, and facilitating developmental opportunities for, fellow City lawyers. Thank you to our colleagues and City firms that have supported and sponsored our initiatives throughout 2014 – notable highlights include:

The launch of our Creating Pathways through Mentoring and Sponsorship programme, an initiative spearheaded by two of our board members, Akima Paul Lambert (Debevoise) and Pamela Dusu (DLA Piper). The Programme, initially covering a one year period, aims to support aspiring BME City lawyers of 2-5 PQE in developing and progressing their careers. A number of applicants to the Programme have been successfully paired with senior City lawyers as mentors, who have been providing tailored mentoring and career coaching to their mentees. Progress against planned objectives is evaluated periodically during the Programme term. Through this Programme, we hope to accelerate positive change in the progression of BME lawyers in the City.

We continue to partner with Linklaters on the Inspired to Succeed series and, last July, were delighted to host a presentation by René Carayol MBE, one of the world’s leading business gurus specialising in leadership and culture, on “Flexibility” and a having a flexible mind-set in navigating one’s career. This followed a seminar on the same topic presented by Baroness Young of Hornsey earlier in the year, who discussed how to recognise opportunities as they arise and sharing the tools to seize them. The aim of the 2014 series was to explore the importance of having a flexible mind and skillset in an ever-changing business environment.

Black History Month was celebrated at an event hosted by Linklaters and moderated by award winning journalist and broadcaster, Samira Ahmed, who interviewed Diane Abbott MP and entrepreneur Piers Linney about their varied and professional journeys. An exciting and inspirational evening was enjoyed by a capacity audience.

BSN’s UK Diversity Legal Awards – November 2014 – an inaugural event which successfully merged the BSN anniversary ball with its Diversity League Table award ceremony. A glittering black-tie event was hosted by highly respected BBC journalist and presenter, Zeinab Badawi, and attended by over 200 guests from the legal profession. Our congratulations again to the talented and commendable award winners – click here and here to see who came out on top.

Current Affairs

Save the date – 2015 UK Diversity Legal Awards – Tuesday 24 November. The UK Diversity Legal Awards are the only industry awards which focus solely on recognising and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, across the legal profession. This year’s ceremony is particularly special as it will mark BSN’s 20th anniversary since its inception. The event will be held at the five-star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London. More details will follow soon, including the opportunity to make submissions and nominate firms, chambers and candidates across the 2015 DLA categories.

BSN has for a number of years held a seat on the Council of The Law Society (TLS), which seat is occupied by a member of BSN’s board. Through BSN’s Council membership, it is able to contribute to, and observe, the work of TLS on behalf of its members. In this capacity, we recently received The Law Society’s latest Annual Statistics Report (ASR), which provides an authoritative record of the numbers of solicitors and the types of organisations they work for. A key finding in the ASR is that the representation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups among practising solicitors stood at 15 per cent, more than doubling since 2000. Whilst this shows progress over 15 years, there remains a stark ethnicity gap in senior positions. The executive summary is available here.

Finally, we would like to share with you a recent interview with Elizabeth Uwaifo, Principal Solicitor, Radix Legal & Consulting Limited, shown on Radix You Tube channel. Elizabeth is an accomplished finance lawyer of 25 years standing and partner with City firms. She is winner of the Women4Africa Judges’ Choice of Recognition Award (2014) and was recognised by IFLR as an EMEA Leading Lawyer within Capital Markets (2014). Click on the following link to view her interview:

We will keep you posted on upcoming BSN City events and news of specific interest to City lawyers.

Please do let us know if you have any feedback, suggestions or information (including job opportunities) that you wish to share with us and/or fellow City lawyers.

Best wishes

Paulette Mastin
BSN City Group – Chair

BSN City Group board: Paulette Mastin, Trevor James, Sharon Thomas, Bayo Odubeko, Samallie Kiyingi, Akima Paul, Nana Darko and Pamela Dusu.

Contact us at: BSN City Group email
For further information about BSN City Group, visit: BSN City Group web site