Novartis is reimagining how it collaborates with law firms and legal services providers alike with the bold ambition to redefine shared value in its collaborations while at the same time driving more diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. “We recognize that corporate legal departments have an incredibly important role to play in ensuring that the legal profession accelerates its efforts to make meaningful progress when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” said Shannon Thyme Klinger, Group General Counsel of Novartis. “Building on our company’s public pledge to achieve pay equity and transparency by 2023, and supporting the UN’s Human Rights global LGBTI business standards, the third iteration of our Preferred Firm Program prioritized in its selection process firms with a demonstrably strong commitment to D&I and who were willing to stand by this commitment from a financial perspective as to all Novartis matters.”
As part of the new program, Novartis preferred firms will make specific diverse staffing commitments for each engagement (and in any event commit that not less than 30% of billable associate time and 20% of partner time will be provided by females, racially/ethnically diverse professionals, or members of the LGBTQ+ community, with an expectation that such commitments will move to parity over the next several years). If a firm does not meet its agreed-upon diverse staffing commitment for a particular matter, Novartis will withhold 15% of the total amount billed over the life of that specific matter.
In addition, as a digitally-enabled medicines company, Novartis will further leverage technology and data analytics to simplify firm selection and engagement within the Preferred Firm Panel and also to design fee models that replace time-based billing with financial remuneration tied to the value that the Novartis legal team jointly creates with its law firms.
With gratitude to each member of the new Preferred Firm Program for the shared commitment to diversity and inclusion and innovative value creation, Novartis is pleased to announce its new Preferred Firm Panel of Global and U.S. law firms: