Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and RSHC named winners of McDonald’s diversity award

Award recognises fast food chain's legal suppliers for their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

McDonald’s global legal department has named Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila (RSHC) and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) as the winners of the fast food chain’s 2022 Empower award.

The award is part of McDonald’s inaugural diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) report and recognises the firms for their commitment to DEI by staffing matters with diverse attorneys; allocating origination credit for matters among diverse attorneys; innovative thinking for hiring, retaining and promoting diverse talent; and demonstrating actions that align with McDonald’s core values.

In a statement, McDonald’s said: “Through their work to embed and operationalise the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion into how they manage their organisations, these two firms have gone above and beyond to create and drive meaningful change.”

BCLP has taken a number of steps to improve its diversity credentials. Last year, for instance, it named Daisy Reeves as the firm’s first global inclusion and diversity client relationship partner, whose role involves collaborating with clients and communities on best and next practice on advancing DEI causes. That appointment followed the introduction in 2020 of a series of diversity and inclusion aspirational targets, including a goal for 4% of US partners to be from the LGBTQ community by 2026, a 35% global female partner goal by 2026 and 50% diversity in aggregate of all partners by 2030.

Reeves said: “BCLP places a high priority on DEI – it is a core value of BCLP. It enriches the quality and fabric of our firm, our people and our clients.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programme of the Year is one of the categories in the inaugural Women and Diversity in Law Awards, which are hosted by The Global Legal Post. Click here for more details about the awards and information on how to make a nomination

RSHC, meantime, said DEI work plays a critical role within the firm, with DEI contributing directly to performance evaluations and bonus considerations. RSHC has a compensation model that eschews billing and origination credit in favour of lawyers collaborating with peers to better serve clients.

The Chicago-based firm’s engagement and culture committee hosts mandatory workshops aimed at encouraging conversations around DEI, while the firm also prioritises minority vendors and supports the Just The Beginning organisation – a non-profit that encourages non-white students to pursue legal careers. That is in addition to its own pipeline programme that gives diverse high school and college students an introduction to the legal profession.

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