Thirty-two US law firms and five UK firms have been awarded 2022 Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (www.wilef.com).
WILEF grants Gold Standard status to major firms that meet objective criteria concerning the number of women among equity partners, in firm leadership positions, and in the ranks of their most highly compensated partners. The firms certified as of July 18, 2022, are listed below. This is the twelfth year of the US Gold Standard.
“We had 29 US firms at this time last year and 11 UK firms,” said Elizabeth “Betiayn” Tursi, WILEF’s Global Chair. “We are up three US firms, but down five UK firms. It is obvious that the new mandatory UK criteria made the difference.”
“As we emerge from two years of Covid, firms continue to make substantial progress in meeting WILEF’s goals,” said Nancy Bertoglio, Chair of the WILEF Certification Committee. “This year, firms continue to make strides in meeting all the criteria even as the thresholds increase.”
For 2022 US Gold Standard Certification, a meaningful percentage means that the firm satisfies both the following two mandatory criteria that:
· 25% of equity partners or, alternatively, 40% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women
· 10% of women equity partners are women of color, or 4% of women equity partners are LGBTQ
and at least two of the following four criteria:
· 20% of firm and US branch office heads are women
· 25% of the firm’s primary governance committee are women
· 25% of the firm’s compensation committee or its equivalent are women
· 20% of the top half of the firm’s equity partners in terms of compensation are women
The following US firms qualified for 2022 US Certification by meeting the two mandatory criteria plus an additional two criteria:
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Arent Fox Schiff
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Covington & Burling
Eversheds Sutherland (US)
Foley & Lardner
Fragomen, DelRey, Bernsen & Loewy
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US
Hogan Lovells US
Holland & Hart
Jenner & Block
Latham & Watkins
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
O’Melveny & Myers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Nineteen of these firms met all six criteria: Ballard Spahr, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Covington & Burling, Eversheds Sutherland (US), Freshfields, Holland & Hart, Jenner & Block, Littler, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Morrison Foerster, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Reed Smith, Seyfarth Shaw, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Sidley Austin, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Stoel Rives, and Wilmer Hale.
Six of the firms have been awarded Gold Standard Certification every year since WILEF began the award in 2011: Ballard Spahr, Holland & Hart, Littler, Morrison & Foerster, Shook, Hardy & Bacon and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Two firms are new to the list: Fragomen, DelRey, Bernsen & Loewy and Wilson Elser.
For the WILEF UK Gold Standard, firms needed to meet the mandatory criteria:
· 20% of equity partners or, alternatively, 33% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women and at least two of the following four criteria:
· 20% of the firm’s primary governance committee are women
· 20% of the firm’s compensation committee or its equivalent are women
· 15% of the top half of the firm’s equity partners in terms of compensation are women
· 7% of women equity partners are non-white or 3.5% of women equity partners are LGBT
The following firms qualified for 2022 UK Certification:
Covington & Burling
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Watson Farley & Williams
All of the above firms met all five criteria.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is new to the list.
Finally, four firms have met both the US and UK Gold Standard—Covington & Burling, Hogan Lovells, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Reed Smith.
Firms with 300 or more lawyers in the US and 100 or more attorneys in the UK may submit applications for 2022 Gold Standard Certification until December 16. Application forms may be obtained from Ms. Tursi.
All certified firms will be named on the WILEF website and will receive a 2022 US and/or UK seal.