British Retail Consortium partners with RPC to promote D&I in retail recruitment

Partnership to see RPC become BRC’s exclusive resident advisor in employment law
LONDON, UK - 20TH NOV 2021: Views along Regent Street in London at Christmas showing the decorations and outside of shops. People can be seen outside.

London's Regent Street mikecphoto; Shutterstock

Top 40 UK firm RPC has joined forces with The British Retail Consortium (BRC) to further the organisation’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives related to retail staff recruitment. 

The partnership will see RPC become the BRC’s exclusive resident advisor in employment law with the aim to bolster the organisation’s D&I charter on issues including recruitment, progression and inclusivity. As part of the partnership, the BRC and its members will gain access to RPC's retail practice, which boasts around 70 lawyers and includes members of the firm's employment, engamgenent and equality practice. 

Launched in March, the BRC’s D&I charter has 60 signatories, including several UK household names including Sainsbury’s, Boots and Argos, among others. 

The BRC, which describes itself as the ‘go-to’ trade association for UK retailers, will benefit from a series of D&I roundtables for its human resources community covering data and reporting, employment practices, audit practices and promoting inclusive culture and values as a way of helping retailers to address inequality and barriers to progression, RPC said. 

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, characterised the partnership as the next step in the organisation’s journey to “make retail a diversity and inclusion leader”, adding that although the sector has managed to make progress it still has “a long way to go”. 

Kelly Thomson, a partner in RPC’s employment, engagement and equality practice, commented: “The retail sector is in the privileged position of being able to contribute to greater equality both through the consumer lens and within its own workforces. It has perhaps never been more important for retailers to continue to build inclusive cultures and doing this will put them in a great position to harness the benefits of diversity. This will be essential to foster the innovation needed to meet the challenges of the future.”

Thomson said the firm looks forward to directly engaging with the BRC’s D&I charter signatories and “support turning their pledges into real-life actions and success stories for the collective benefit of a more equal retail sector”.

RPC’s employment, engagement and equality practice, led by partner Patrick Brodie, currently counts 10 partners and 12 lawyers working across the firm’s offices London, Bristol, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

The City player counted its work in the retail sector among the reasons for its blistering financial performance in FY21, which included a 23% increase in total revenue to £136m across its four offices while profit-per-equity-partner jumped to £634k, an increase of 49% on FY20 (£424k). 

It also furthered its environmental, social and governance agenda last month when it launched RPC Tectonic, a tech incubator scheme that could see ESG-focused startups receive up to £100,000 worth of legal advice upon admission to the 12-month programme. 


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