There is a trend in industry toward retaining legal counsel that is committed to inclusion and diversity. I recently wrote about how Facebook now requires its outside legal representatives to include women and minorities in 33 percent of their legal teams. Facebook isn’t alone in this—HP and MetLife have created similar rules. Perhaps legal powerhouse Norton Rose Fullbright should take this into consideration before acquiring the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke. Kerrie L. Campbell, the single remaining female partner at Chadbourne & Parke has just been voted out of the firm, which she says in retaliation for her lawsuit alleging that female partners are paid less and given fewer opportunities.
It certainly seems curious that of the five female partners from among 70, two have left the firm and the two remaining female partners have joined Campbell’s law suit. In my opinion, this is a red flag for Norton Rose Fullbright who should have done their due diligence before the merger.
In order to advance the cause of equality, workplace equity activists could take a lesson from the advertisers who left The O’Reilly Factor. By reaching out to clients like Facebook and HP and asking them to make their position on gender discrimination and pay inequity known to both firms, they may be able to hold the law firms accountable for fair practice.
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