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Diversity pays off for both in-house and private practice legal teams

Posted by: Laurence Simons 01/06/16
The topic of diversity is a pervasive one in many legal circles and the benefits of a more diverse workforce are certainly being felt in some of the larger firms, which are implementing strategies to shift towards greater inclusivity. However, according to research from the consultancy Acritas' report, in-house teams can benefit from diverse private practice teams as well.

The report highlighted the difference in buying criteria for male and female in-house General Counsels. While quality and specialised knowledge top the list for both genders, senior male in-house counsel base their preferences for legal support more on results, reputation, relationships whereas senior female in-house counsel are more attracted to firms who display responsiveness, business understanding, commerciality.

However, according to the research ‘very diverse’ teams provide a superior performance to their clients across all key performance areas including key attributes including responsiveness, strength of relationship, commerciality and efficiency and are therefore more likely to meet the demands of both male and female GCs.

According to Acritas CEO, Hart Shepherd, ‘When clients feel they are working with very diverse teams, they are significantly more likely to promote the law firm they are working with to others – which all firms are working towards as it is the ultimate signal of a strong client relationship.’

For in-house teams the benefits of working with a diverse firm include improved overall performance, better value, improved efficiency and improved efficiency, while for law firms it means 25% higher share of wallet. So it would seem that diversity benefits not only law firms, but also their in-house counterparts.
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