Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May and several other top law firms have decided to work together to tackle the underrepresentation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the U.K. legal industry. The group, which also comprises Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macfarlanes and Norton Rose Fulbright, launches on Wednesday after senior business development staff within some of the firms arranged to discuss deep diversity issues within the sector in 2020. 

A number of U.K. law firms have introduced targets for the ethnicity make up of their lawyer and partner ranks in recent years. But International research in 2020 revealed that despite some progress at top firms, over half of the top 25 outfits with the highest proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic partners had less than 10% of BAME partners.