Law firm Pinsent Masons buys diversity consultancy Brook Graham

17 July 2017 4 min. read
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International law firm Pinsent Masons has acquired diversity and inclusion consulting firm Brook Graham, as they ramp up efforts to support businesses across the globe improve workplace diversity.

Diversity has become an increasingly pressing topic for across the globe, from various standpoints. Recent studies indicate the current lack of variety in the workforce is costing the global economy up to $12 trillion in lost revenues. Companies too are facing challenges from a range of factors, from losing out on revenues to talent.

Governments and civil society too have becoming increasingly active, focused on changing the situation for women, those from a background of hardship as well as various minority standings. The consulting sector in the UK, and globally, has subsequently focused increasingly on transforming their own operations, as well as supporting their clients to better understand the core of the issue as a whole. Now other professional services segments are following suit.

Pinsent Masons is one such firm; it is one of the world’s larger, and older (founded in 1769), law firms, based in London. The firm, which operates internationally, is largely focused on client cases in sectors such as, energy, infrastructure, financial services and real estate. The firm prides itself on its ethical and diversity directed efforts, focused on creating a strong brand, as well as a strong cultural sphere aimed at inclusivity.

Law firm Pinsent Masons buys diversity consultancy Brook Graham

In terms of diversity, the firm has focused on upping the number of women partners at the firm, and expects to hit its 25% target a year earlier than its planned 2018 deadline. Last year, 22% of the firm’s partners were women. The firm has also engaged with a wide variety of internal, as well as external, initiatives to bridge the implicit biases and structural barriers people face in the business world – these include unconscious bias training for management, mentoring programmes, flexible work options, various networking opportunities, and becoming signatory of the Think Act Report. The law firm has won various prestigious awards and ranking positions, including being top-ranked professional services firm in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index and is on The Times' Top 50 Employers for Women.

While the firm has focused on improving the lot of women and those from minority backgrounds within the firm, interest from clients globally towards improving their performance in the segment have prompted the firm to acquired Brook Graham, a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) consulting firm. The combined entities aim to provide a strong diversity and inclusion focused skillset combined with legal prowess, in order to meet the growing global demands of clients looking to tap in to a wealth of talent that historical hiring practices exclude.

The merger also boosts Pinsent Masons’ ability to offer clients a more ‘holistic’ package for diversity programmes, in terms of both commercial viability and legal sustainability – whereby the firm is better position to support the creation of business cultures that are diverse and inclusive. For Brook Graham, the deal improves its reach, whereby its staff are better able to support business in a cross-section of the business world become more diverse and inclusive.

Richard Foley, Pinsent Masons’ Senior Partner said about the acquisition, "We take a holistic view of the challenges that our clients face and have a successful track record of investing in businesses that have the potential to help our clients overcome these. Brook Graham is a scalable business with a strong reputation and an impressive client base to match. D&I is high on the agenda for organisations and combined with our own international network, legal expertise and dedication to D&I, I'm confident that clients will reap the benefits of this valuable combined offering."

Commenting on the deal, Lesley Brook, co-founder of Brook Graham said, "Pinsent Masons is a leading international law firm with more PLC clients than almost any other law firm and a genuine commitment to D&I, making it the perfect cultural fit for Brook Graham. The firm provides a stronger operational platform from which to grow the business and be able to provide current and future clients with holistic D&I services and solutions which make a sustainable difference. We are delighted to be joining forces with Pinsent Masons to make this happen."