Success for IP Inclusive at Bristol Law Society Awards

Organisation receives acknowledgment for work to encourage diversity and inclusion.

The South West chapter of IP Inclusive has received recognition for its work in diversity, inclusion and wellbeing by the Bristol Law Society.

Guests gathered at The Marriott City Centre Hotel in Bristol in 14 October for the Bristol Law Society Awards 2021 which showcase the expertise and recognise the excellence of the local legal profession in 15 categories.

IP Inclusive - a volunteer-led community of intellectual property (IP) professionals working towards more equality, diversity and inclusivity in the sector – received the honour after emerging from a shortlist which also included law firms Foot Anstey and Womble Bond Dickinson.

Formed in May 2019, the South West chapter of IP Inclusive supports members including patent and trade mark attorneys, barristers and solicitors.

The chapter’s key focus is on overcoming challenges faced by ethnic minority professionals, IP professionals with a disability (visible or otherwise) addressing LGBT+ issues, and tackling matters predominantly affecting female IP professionals. The most recent community to join IP Inclusive is the IP Non-Traditional Family Network.

More than 130 organisations are signatories of IP Inclusive’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Charter, including Thrings, IP departments of government organisations and major employers IBM, Airbus and Dyson. The South West chapter is co-chaired by partner Megan Jefferies, who leads Thrings’ IP practice. She is supported by fellow committee members Andrew Mears from Mewburn Ellis, Fiona McBride from Withers & Rogers, Jim Pearson from Abel & Imray, and Caroline Day and Susan Antoine from Haseltine Lake Kempner.

Megan said: “IP Inclusive is thrilled to have won the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing award at the Bristol Law Society Awards. It has been a real team effort this year, and my heartfelt thanks go to members of the South West committee for their belief that wellbeing and inclusivity matter.

“Hundreds of IP professionals operate in the South West, with a significant proportion of these being women, ethnic minorities, those with a disability, LGBT+ or a combination of these. We’re

delighted to be bringing these communities and their allies together, making the profession more inclusive and providing a rewarding career path for our members.”

Simon Holdsworth, managing partner of Things, added: “Many congratulations to Megan and her fellow IP Inclusive committee members for securing this well-deserved award which recognises the important work they are doing.

The Bristol Law Society is the oldest local law society in the country. Founded in 1770, it provides a range of services to approximately 4,500 members who include solicitors, barristers, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and CILEx members. For more information about the South West chapter of IP Inclusive, please contact Megan Jefferies.

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