Equality and Diversity
At Wedlake Bell we are committed to a culture of fairness and equal opportunities. This culture underpins our recruitment practice and guides the firm's policy in relation to the development and retention of all those who work at the firm.
We are signatories to the Law Society's Diversity & Inclusion Charter (click here to view the Diversity & Inclusion charter) and we strive to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from difference. We have always emphasised that our firm is a true "meritocracy", with opportunities accessible to all.
Our Equality and Diversity Committee which includes Partners, legal and support staff from across the business meets on a regular basis to review all matters relating to diversity and to help us provide an inclusive and supportive place to work. The Committee reports direct to the firm's board.
Our current diversity statistics are available here. Within the firm's leadership, Kim Lalli was elected as the firm's first female Senior Partner, beginning a four year term in January 2017. Three of our eight board members are women. We were prize-winners in the City Wealth Awards 2016 for "Women in Leadership" and were ranked ninth in the Top 100 Law Firm table 2016 compiled by The Lawyer in terms of the percentage of equity partners who are female.
Apprenticeships: Wedlake Bell is an advocate of apprenticeships. We currently have two apprentices who sit in our IT Department, as fully integrated members of the firm. The firm has sponsored the apprentices to undertake IT qualifications, in addition to the practical experience gained working within the firm.
Law Society Diversity Access Scheme: We support promising entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who face exceptional obstacles to qualification by offering work experience placements in various departments across the firm. This provides hands on experience working within a law firm, together with support from our HR Department on careers, help with CVs, and interview guidance.
Links with colleges: We provide both work experience and employment opportunities to secretarial college students. A number of our secretaries started their careers with us through this initiative and we have ongoing links with the colleges to continue such arrangements.
Inspire! Education Business Partnership We work with secondary schools in the Hackney and Camden areas to provide work experience to GCSE and A-level students. This is part of our commitment to widen access to opportunities and provide young people with relevant work-related skills helping them to develop an understanding of the world of work.
London Law Fair: We are attending the London Law Fair, which is specifically designed to encourage a more diverse range of entrants into the legal sector. This will give entrants the opportunity to discuss careers at Wedlake Bell and gain career advice.
Reading with Children: We have volunteers from across the business who read with children from a local primary school. We also offer visits to our offices and talk to the students about the working environment.
Networking: We are associated with and support several business development networking organisations including Young Entrepreneurs in Property, Women in Property, TECSA_10s, and Chicks with Bricks. We also host our own annual "Wedlake Bell - Future Business Leaders" networking event for junior clients and contacts.