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Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has become the latest corporate to place tough diversity demands on outside counsel. It’s good news, but is it enough? Sarah Morgan reports.
In mid-February, Novartis released its 2020 preferred panel of global and US law firms, all of which had agreed to strict staffing requirements aimed at improving diversity in the legal profession.
Each of the 22 firms will ensure that a minimum of 30% of billable associate time and 20% of partner time will be provided by women, or members of ethnic minority or LGBT communities. Firms that fail to meet these commitments for diverse staffing on a particular matter will see their fees cut, with Novartis withholding 15% of the total amount billed over the life of that specific matter.
Getting the message across
Novartis, diversity and inclusion, Arnold & Porter, Kirkland & Ellis, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, MCCA, Intel,