Shaunée James, an associate in the structured finance team within the Financial Industry Group in London, has been named a ‘Rising Star’ at the Black Solicitors’ Network (BSN) UK Diversity Legal Awards.

The UK Diversity Legal Awards highlight the achievements of individuals, law firms and chambers in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Shaunée, who joined the firm in 2012, has been active in the firm’s existing diversity initiatives, such as the Women’s Initiative Network (WINRS), social mobility volunteering in the local community, and working with organisations such as the BLD Foundation and the 30% Club.

In addition, this year she launched Reed Smith’s Multi-Cultural Committee as a sub-group of the wider Diversity Committee, with the aim of providing a support network to help staff from multi-cultural backgrounds progress in their careers and fulfil their true potential in the firm.

It also supports the diversity strategy of the firm by championing diversity initiatives, raising awareness of volunteering opportunities and supporting recruitment from multi-cultural backgrounds.

Sakil Suleman, partner and chair of Reed Smith’s UK Diversity Committee said, “A key objective for Reed Smith is for diversity and inclusion to be pervasive through every part of the firm in everything we do. This requires constant effort. The work Shaunée has done in setting up the Multi-Cultural Network been instrumental in broadening the diversity agenda within the firm and getting so many more people engaged. Her passion, enthusiasm, energy and hard work are totally infectious – all the more amazing given her PQE. She’s an invaluable member of the team and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of such an award.”

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Note to editors:

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm, with more than 1,800 lawyers in 26 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are central to Reed Smith’s business. The talent pool is changing rapidly and the firm is determined to attract candidates from the widest pool possible, to continue to be competitive and to ensure the very best service for its clients. The firm sees differences as a strength and works hard to ensure a fair and inclusive environment for all, where the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of individuals are valued.
Reed Smith runs a number of programmes focused on all aspects of diversity and inclusion, including: race and ethnicity, disability, social mobility, gender equality and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and the transgender community. The firm’s inclusion wheel summarises the key inclusion initiatives being undertaken both internally and externally.

For further information, please contact Andrew Darby (senior corporate communications executive EME) on +44 (0)20 3116 3795.