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Law firm Hogan Lovells has introduced a diversity & inclusion (D&I) billable hour credit for US lawyers.
According to the announcement on January 19, US counsel and associates in the law firm can count up to 50 hours of approved D&I activity as billable. These hours will also be taken into account when bonuses are calculated, the firm has confirmed.
The move follows the firm's recent introduction of two new global diversity goals: 15% minority partners and 4% LGBT+ partners by 2025. The firm's existing goal of 30% women partners globally by 2022 remains.
The D&I activities eligible for billable credit include: leading or organising D&I events or diversity network initiatives; recruiting underrepresented professionals; mentoring or sponsoring underrepresented professionals; and participating in D&I programmes that extend beyond education, and in client-related D&I activity.
Additional activities will be approved on a case-by-case basis. The roll-out of D&I billable credit is expected to be complete by early February. The 50 hours may also count towards achieving the firm’s existing 1,850 threshold for pro-bono work.
The initiative follows the appointment of Susan Bright to the newly-created role of global managing partner for diversity and inclusion and responsible business in July last year. The firm’s diversity team is now a separate global function that reports directly to the CEO.
Bright said: “The introduction of D&I billable hour credit is part of our global strategy to create and maintain a D&I working environment throughout our firm, and at the highest ranks. It also enables us to achieve our global minority and LGBT+ goals, and measure engagement at a substantive level. We recognise that diversity of all kinds creates better teams, and better serves our clients."
Carine Stoick, the firm’s head of the aerospace and defence M&A group and Americas professional development and diversity partner, said: “Part of our strategy to recognise, retain and advance talent at all levels is to create a culture whereby our people can be part of the journey and dialogue surrounding D&I.”
Hogan Lovell’s global head of D&I, Bendita Cynthia Malakia, said: “The rationale behind establishing billable D&I credit is twofold: to ensure our underrepresented colleagues are credited for disproportionately undertaking D&I activities, and to incentivise all our people to undertake activities that enhance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the firm.”
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