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Diversity and Inclusion highlights Chambers High Net Worth 2021

Find out how we are continuing to further diversity and inclusion in the legal market and the work conducted to ensure diversity within the rankings for the 2021 edition of Chambers High Net Worth.

Published on 22 July 2021
Written by Luke Vincett
Luke Vincett

High Net Worth D&I Statement

The 2021 edition of Chambers High Net Worth is our most comprehensive guide yet. As our research process continuously evolves with the latest technology, sector developments, client needs and emerging markets, we are delighted to now include more in-depth coverage of ranked firms and individuals than ever before.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted markets across the world, there are now 493 new  billionaires and the ultra high net worth population is predicted to grow over the next five years, creating significant opportunities for lawyers working in the private and family wealth law practice, as well as adjacent practice areas.

As this market grows and our research and rankings continue to reflect this expansion, it is vital that we assess the impact of diversity on the high net worth market. Indeed, firms have been doubling down on commitments to diversity and inclusion, while corporate and private clients continue to drive change with increasingly strong measures.

Accordingly, the Chambers High Net Worth team set a soft target of interviewing a gender balanced split of lawyers in markets where we felt it was possible without limiting the research. We are currently working on a system of tracking exactly how many male and female lawyers our researchers invite for interview and how many they end up interviewing. We hope to be able to show you a breakdown of this data next year.

These adaptations to our research have been carried out in conjunction with all research teams receiving D&I training and addressing the impact of gendered language in editorial. This is part of an ongoing initiative to enhance our research processes and ensure they are free from unconscious bias.

Gender balance in the Chambers High Net Worth rankings

As a consequence of this positive action taken by our editorial, D&I and leadership teams, the gender balance of our rankings has improved year-on-year over the last six guides. From women making up 30% of all rankings 2016, that figure now stands at 38%. In the USA, our largest market, women make up 36% of all individual rankings, while the figure stands at 49% for solicitors in England and Wales.

Drilling down into these jurisdictions makes for very interesting analysis. North and South Carolina make for interesting examples as, in the North, women currently make up 54% of the rankings while there are no ranked women in South Carolina. While there are numerous reasons for why this could be, by looking at previous years we can see that North Carolina has historically had something close to gender balance in the rankings while, in South Carolina, women have been absent. This suggests that, not only is precedent important, but casting a wide net for research subjects can lead to a more accurate reflection of the breadth of diversity in the profession. This vindicates our methodology in asking for a gender balanced lawyer and client interview list.   

Collaborating to collect and track D&I data is essential to making progress in this respect, and particularly for our rankings to reflect the breadth of talent in the legal profession across the globe. By working together on this vital movement, together we can achieve this goal.

This data was collected on Chambers Business Intelligence, utilising data collected through our research. Chambers BI provides actionable insights and intelligence to support decision making, allowing firms to easily identify market trends, risks and new opportunities.  

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