U.K.: Linkslaters Lawyer Awarded BSN Honor

Linklaters capital markets lawyer Paulette Mastin was named Diversity Champion 2011 at the Black Solicitors Network’s (BSN) UK Diversity Legal Awards.


Chair of the BSN’s City Group since 2008, Mastin also co-runs Linklaters’ internal diversity initiative – the Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network – that aims to encourage the recruitment, ­retention and promotion of such people at all levels within the firm. Linklaters recently teamed up with the BSN City Group and a leading banking client to hold a panel event on global capital ­markets specifically designed for black City lawyers.


In her ­experiences as a black lawyer it is clear that Mastin sees the value of ­internal and external networks that support diversity. Mastin believes that law firms should be as diverse as their client base.


Asked how the BSN engages and ­promotion of recruitment with City firms to promote the interests, its members, Mastin ­outlines a number of agendas the organisation is pursuing.


“The BSN Diversity League Table [DLT] is particularly instrumental in this regard, in that it provides a comprehensive analysis of the demographics of many ­leading law firms and chambers,” she explains. “Through this ­publication law firms, including ­Linklaters, are encouraged to share best practice and are able to gauge their progress in the area of recruitment of BAME lawyers.”


This results, ­published in November, show that 16 per cent of all DLT year’s trainees are from ethnic minority backgrounds, ­representing a year-on-year increase since 2007. The proportion of ethnic minority associates increased from 10 per cent to 11 per cent over the same period, while the figure for partners rose slightly to 5 per cent.  In total, 44 firms volunteered to participate in the survey. This figure includes 13 international firms, 26 UK top 100 firms and six of the City’s finest.


Despite the slow trickle of those from BAME backgrounds over the years, Mastin remains positive but stresses that more still needs to be done.


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