California firm noted for diversity record hires first female managing partner

Hanson Bridgett chooses Kristina Lawson to replace longstanding managing partner Andrew Giacomini

San Francisco-based law firm Hanson Bridgett, which has won plaudits for its high representation of women lawyers, has appointed its first-ever female managing partner. Kristina Lawson (pictured) takes over from Andrew Giacomini, who has been in the role for 20 years and is credited by the firm for spearheading its diversity drive.

Forty per cent of partners at the 175-lawyer top 250 US firm are women. This compares with the average representation of 23%, according to research collated by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The gender pay gap for partners in favour of men is just .53%; in the UK, where gender pay gap reporting has been made compulsory, the figure can be as large as 50%. The global gender pay gap for law firm partners is 27%, according to the ABA report.

Lawson, an environmental law specialist, takes on the role after less than three years at the firm, having joined from Manatt Phelps & Phillips in April 2017.

She is a former mayor of Walnut Creek and serves on the Medical Board of California. She said the Hanson Bridgett’s approach to diversity was a key reason she joined the firm.

Further reading:

Latest gender pay gap figures reveal extent of diversity challenge facing top UK law firms

Law firms excel in diversity rankings across the US, the UK and Australia

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