LONDON – Global law firm Reed Smith has been named winner of ‘Racial Equality Initiative of the Year’ at the Women Diversity in Law Awards 2024 for its Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP), designed to enhance the retention and progress of Reed Smith’s personnel from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Related Professionals: Becca Naylor

In the wake of several deaths of unarmed Black Americans, which served as a stark reminder of generations of systemic racial injustice, Reed Smith established the REAP in 2020, spearheaded by a Racial Equity Task Force with the aim of holistically re-imagining business practices and habits to promote racial equity. The REAP aims to improve rates for hiring, retaining and promoting Black lawyers, for client engagement opportunities and to advance pro bono initiatives impacting the Black community.

Reed Smith counsel and head of pro bono EMEA, Becca Naylor, was also shortlisted for the ‘Woman of the Year’ category. Naylor is a counsel in Reed Smith’s pro bono team and head of its pro bono practice for EMEA, which she helped triple the size of over the past seven years. In her role she oversees more than 350 active cases a year, advising individuals, charities and non-profit organisations.

The Women and Diversity in Law Awards, sponsored by UK legal publication Global Legal Post, is in their second year, and showcases people working within the UK legal sector who are dedicating their professional careers to moving the diversity, equity and inclusion needle or using their positions of influence to help facilitate change.

Winners were announced at a ceremony on March 13 in London.