NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- DLA Piper is pleased to announce it was named by the Financial Times as the top law firm for Innovation in the Business of Law: Diversity and Inclusion as part of the Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers 2019 awards.
In a special section in the December 10 edition of the Financial Times, the firm was noted for "…exploring and challenging accepted wisdom on the reasons for lack of diversity in the profession and devising new training in response." This was part of a collaboration with the New York University School of Law's Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging that has featured actor-led workshops and a focus on "authenticity, allyship and agility" that "…help reset people's perceptions of gender and potential biases," according to Financial Times.
"We had to take an approach to diversity and inclusion that was innovative and disruptive because it was unfathomable to stand by and be content with the status quo. For us, this is a moral and business imperative," said Roger Meltzer, global co-chair and co-chair of the Americas at DLA Piper. "We are proud to be recognized for being at the cutting edge of the drive for social change."
"There is a battle for talent and market share. We have to be focused on building and strengthening a firmwide community that is inspired and propelled by the values, skills and experiences of our people, and we must understand their needs as individuals and professionals," said Fenimore Fisher, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for DLA Piper. "Our work with Professor Yoshino helps us to create a workplace environment that respects people for who they are and what they bring."
"DLA Piper has been the kind of partner any research institution would be lucky to have. There are no easy solutions in the diversity and inclusion space, only hints to solutions. It has been a joy to piece those clues together with an organization with this degree of moral commitment, sustained engagement and intellectual rigor," said Kenji Yoshino, the director of the NYU Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law.
In addition to DLA Piper's firmwide Diversity and Inclusion award, Meltzer was named one of the top ten Legal Innovators of the Year for helping to develop "new practices and organizational culture" around D&I, including the firm's collaboration with NYU and its adoption of the Mansfield Rule, an initiative through which participating law firms consider at least 30 percent diverse lawyers for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions.
The firm was also commended as an innovator in Litigation and Disputes for its defense of technology company Finisar in a class action over a claim that it had misrepresented its stock price to the public. DLA Piper argued this was not the case and that inflated stock prices were a result of later statements by analysts.
The Financial Times received more than 450 submissions and conducted more than 600 hundred interviews to determine the final rankings.
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