Gold Standard News

WILEF Announces 2020 Gold Standard Certification Firms

Jun 24, 2020, By WILEF

Forty-eight US law firms and eight UK firms have been awarded the 2020 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 June 19, 2020, are listed below.  This is the tenth year of the US Gold Standard.

“Given the lockdown, we are so happy to see that the number of US firms increased by three from last year at this time. Eight UK firms met the Gold Standard—only one down from last year,” said Elizabeth “Betiayn” Tursi, WILEF’s Global Chair. “I am pleased to see eight firms return to the list, and two new firms appear on the UK list.”

“As the number of women equity partners in the Gold Standard firms continue to increase, the data confirm that these partners are increasingly present on firm governance committees advancing the guiding principles of WILEF,” said Nancy Bertoglio, Chair of the WILEF Certification Committee.

For 2020, US Gold Standard Certification, a meaningful percentage means that the firm satisfies both the mandatory criterion that:

  • 20% of equity partners or 33% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women and at least three of the following five criteria:
  • 15% of the firm and US branch office heads are women
  • 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
  • 10% of women equity partners are women of color, or 4% of women equity partners are LGBT

The following firms qualified for 2020 US Certification by meeting the mandatory first criterion plus an additional three criteria:

                       Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

                        Ballard Spahr

                        Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

                        Cooley

                        Covington & Burling

                        Davis Wright Tremaine

                        Dorsey & Whitney

                        Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

                        Foley & Lardner

                        Fredrikson & Byron

                        Frost Brown Todd

                        Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

                        Goodwin

                        Haynes and Boone

                        Hogan Lovells US

                       Holland & Hart

                       Hughes Hubbard & Reed

                       Ice Miller

                       Jackson Lewis

                       Jenner & Block

                       K&L Gates

                        Kutak Rock

                        Latham & Watkins

                        Littler

                        Manatt. Phelps & Phillips

                        Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo

                        Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

                        Morrison & Foerster

                        Norton Rose Fulbright

                        Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

                        O’Melveny & Myers

                        Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

                        Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

                        Perkins Coie

                        Pillsbury

                        Polsinelli

                        Quarles & Brady

                        Reed Smith

                        Shook, Hardy & Bacon

                        Sidley Austin

                        Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

                        Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

                        Steptoe & Johnson LLP

                        Stinson

                        Stoel Rives

                        Thompson Coburn

                        Vorys

                        Womble Bond Dickinson US

 

Twenty-three of these firms met all six criteria:  Ballard Spahr; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; Cooley; Covington & Burling; Foley & Lardner; Jenner & Block; Hughes Hubbard & Reed; K&L Gates; Kutak Rock; Littler; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Pillsbury; Polsinelli; Reed Smith; Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Sidley Austin; Stinson; Stoel Rives; and Thompson Coburn.

Twelve of the firms have been awarded Gold Standard Certification every year since WILEF began the award in 2011: Ballard Spahr; Davis Wright Tremaine; Holland & Hart; Hughes Hubbard & Reed; Littler; Morrison & Foerster; Quarles & Brady; Reed Smith; Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Stinson; and Stoel Rives.

One firm has met the Gold Standard and met all the criteria each year:  Reed Smith.

Eight firms return to the list, having been Gold Standard firms in previous years: Covington & Burling; Foley & Lardner; Goodwin; Haynes and Boone; Latham & Watkins; Perkins Coie; Polsinelli; and Womble Bond Dickinson US.

Among the certified firms:

  • 6% met the criterion of 20% women among US equity partners
  • the average was 30 % of women as US branch heads
  • women constituted 30.9% of the members of the firms’ governance committees
  • women constituted 32.6% of their compensation committees
  • 16% of women were in the top half of equity partners, in terms of compensation

Concerning the criterion for diversity among US women equity partners, added in 2017, 12.4% of certified firms met or exceeded the 10% threshold for women of color, and 3.8% met or exceeded the 4% threshold for LGBT women.

For the WILEF UK Gold Standard, firms needed to meet three of the five following criteria:

  • 20% of equity partners or 33% of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past twelve months are women
  • 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
  • 10% of women equity partners are non-white, or 4% of women equity partners are LGBT

The following firms qualified for 2020 UK Certification:

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Covington & Burling

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins

Mayer Brown

Reed Smith

Sidley Austin

Watson Farley & Williams

Two of these firms met all five criteria:  Covington & Burling and Watson Farley & Williams.

Six of these firms met the UK Gold Standard last year:  Hogan Lovells; Latham & Watkins; Mayer Brown; Reed Smith; Sidley Austin; and Waston Farley & Williams.

Among the certified firms:

  • 9% met the criterion of 20% women among UK equity partners
  • women constituted 30% of the members of the firms’ governance committees
  • women constituted 25.8% of their compensation committees
  • 5% of firms met the criterion of 15% women in the top half of equity partners, in terms of compensation
  • 9% of certified firms met or exceeded the 10% threshold for women of color, and 0.5% met or exceeded the 4% threshold for LGBT women.

Finally, five firms have met both the US and UK Gold Standard: Covington & Burling; Hogan Lovells US/International; Latham & Watkins; Reed Smith; and Sidley Austin.

Firms with 300 or more lawyers in the US and 100 or more attorneys in the UK may submit applications for 2020 Gold Standard Certification until December 18. Application forms may be obtained from Ms. Tursi.

All certified firms will be named on the WILEF website and will receive a 2020 US and/or UK seal.  This year for those firms who qualified, they will receive the Ten Year Gold Standard seal for use in their communication material.

A separate announcement will be made on the results of the Pay Parity Questionnaire.