The Regulatory Framework
One of the regulatory objectives under the Legal Services Act 2007 is…..“encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession”. The Legal Services Board has set the regulatory framework for all legal regulators in relation to our work involving issues around diversity and social mobility and inclusion and its policy:
In autumn 2016, the LSB consulted on its proposals to revise the statutory guidance framework and the IPReg response (30/11/2016) can be found here: LSB Diversity Consultation – IPReg response.
In February 2017 the LSB issued its revised guidance and the guidance confirms that it expects all regulators to deliver the following outcomes:
The regulator continues to build a clear and thorough understanding of the diversity profile of its regulated community (beginning at entry), how this changes over time and where greater diversity in the workforce needs to be encouraged;
The regulator uses data, evidence and intelligence about the diversity of the workforce to inform development of, and evaluate the effectiveness of, its regulatory arrangements, operational processes and other activities;
The regulator collaborates with others to encourage a diverse workforce, including sharing good practice, data collection, and other relevant activities;
The regulator accounts to its stakeholders for its understanding, its achievements and plans to encourage a diverse workforce.
We have been collecting statistics in relation to the profession via IPReg Pro. Statistics will only be published at the levels of patent attorney/trade mark attorney and in order to ensure confidentiality for individual attorneys.
We have had over 2,000 responses (these include “Prefer Not to Say” when given as a response to a particular question).
IPReg Fund to support Diversity Initiatives
In 2015 we established a fund to support diversity initiatives.
We have made a grant to Generating Genius sponsoring two “STEM in Action” Days which works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are talented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Along with other legal regulators, IPReg sponsored a logo on a 2018 London Pride parade bus and the Board was represented in the parade itself.
IPReg will specifically identify the key diversity issues that each funding request addresses and put in place appropriate arrangements for the monitoring of the grant and publish any relevant data. Future diversity initiatives subject to funding by IPReg will be reviewed against the outcomes specified in the LSB Encouraging A Diverse Workforce Guidance.
Research and Reports
IP Inclusive is an initiative set up by CIPA, CITMA, FICPI-UK, the IP Federation and the UK Intellectual Property Office, devoted to promoting quality, diversity and inclusivity throughout the IP professions. Find out more here.