By: 17 September 2019
Pinsent Masons to spark diverse decision-making

Pinsent Masons has launched a ‘spark board’ to bring new perspectives to strategic decision-making at the law firm, with Leeds-based responsible business executive Sania Khan appointed as a member.

The newly formed spark board will share its views on advisory projects at the law firm, in a bid to give its leadership an outside perspective.

As a result, the composition of the spark board is designed to ensure that viewpoints from different generations, geographies and job roles are represented when the Pinsent Masons leadership considers different propositions.

Joining Leeds-based Khan—who manages the firm’s diversity and inclusion and community investment initiatives across its offices—from the UK are solicitor David Bryden in Edinburgh, smart delivery manager Andrew Kane in Birmingham, and forensic accountant Hinesh Shah and solicitor Philippa Ward, who are both in London.

Associates Alexandra Aikman in Dubai and Julian Grant in Melbourne, as well as attorney Valentine Morand in Paris, have also joined the new spark board at Pinsent Masons.

To form the spark board, Pinsent Masons invited applications from across its global business for positions over the summer, and received 130 applications from across its network of offices.

A shortlist of candidates was selected for interview, and the eight individuals have now been appointed for two-year terms.

Ward, a solicitor in the Pinsent Masons London corporate team, first raised the idea with the firm’s management. She said: “The average age of the members of the firm’s two primary leadership committees, the board and ops-com, is 20-30 years older than the most common age group of the people in our firm. The spark board was born from a recognition that, whether you are a lawyer, a fee earner in another discipline or a specialist in an area of business operations, you can offer a different way of thinking and alternative expertise on the big issues.”

“There is a recognition around our business that no single person or committee has the monopoly on good ideas, and that’s where the spark board has a role to play. We can better use, and benefit from, the diversity of all our people.”

Senior partner Richard Foley commented: “As we continue to transition our business, we know our decision-making needs to be informed by the widest possible range of talents within our business. If we want our business to work better we have to be prepared to push a few boundaries and that includes around key decision making.  I am really excited about the contribution the spark board will make to that and I’m looking forward to working with the team.”