We are a firm that is committed to diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints and where all our people, regardless of their background, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation feel they belong.

Diversity & inclusion is high on the agenda for Mewburn Ellis. It’s part of our business plan and is being driven by our management board. We already have strong gender diversity across the firm as a whole with 35% men and 65% women (as at end April 2021) and are focussed on being a more inclusive firm. We want to lead in the area of diversity and inclusion. This is important to our business, our people and our clients, and we are working to embed it into our culture. To achieve this we are working with external D&I specialist consultants Brook Graham, and recently undertook an audit of our existing culture, processes and practices to help us establish a dedicated D&I strategy for the firm.

Journey so far

We have already run an awareness building programme, staff survey and focus groups to explore key themes. We have shared the results of this work with all our people. Our aim has been to make inclusivity a whole firm project.

Strategic D&I framework

From our research and with Brook Graham's expertise, we have started to develop a strategic D&I framework that explores four key areas. Inclusivity for us is about the people we hire, the careers we nurture, the culture we build and the relationships we have with our clients. 


D&I 4 Pillars


We are using these key areas as the foundations on which to build a firmwide approach to diversity and inclusion that benefits our people, our clients and our business as a whole. We are committed to making sure that Mewburn Ellis is a place where equality and diversity are celebrated, where we have diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints and that our people, regardless of their background, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation feel they belong and can bring their 'true self' to work. 


A personal commitment to inclusivity

All members of our Management Board have personally signed up to the IP Inclusive Senior Leader's Pledge.

We are all committed to making real change. We're already well on our way, but we recognise that this is a journey that will take time and our own personal effort.

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Kate O












We each commit to:

Providing visible and proactive leadership to improve D&I in our organisation, by:
  • Putting our names to this public statement as evidence of our commitment to improve D&I in Mewburn Ellis

  • Demonstrating a personal and collective accountability for leading and delivering a D&I culture
Taking D&I seriously at the
highest level, by:
  • Ensuring that D&I is fully integrated with our firm’s strategic priorities

  • Including D&I as a standing agenda item in our Management Board meetings, Partner meetings and our all firm Town Halls

  • Establishing, monitoring, and sharing our progress with a D&I Dashboard
Embedding and valuing D&I throughout the organisational
culture, by:
  • Helping our leaders to develop the skills and behaviours required to be an inclusive leader, and hard coding those skills and behaviours into our ways of working

  • Building awareness and commitment to D&I in all parts of our business, ensuring an active commitment in every office, team and role

  • Empowering a representative group to support the delivery of our D&I strategy, to provide governance and to track our progress
Building trust and safe spaces throughout the organisation, by:
  • Sharing my own identity and experiences to encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and speak openly about their identities

  • Acting as an ally and trusted advisor to colleagues from under-represented groups
Educating ourselves and our colleagues about D&I issues, by:
  • Self-assessing our own behaviours, seeking feedback from others, and contributing actively to all D&I training and learning opportunities

  • Providing unconscious bias awareness and mitigation training for everyone
Sharing our privileges, by:
  • Continuing to invest in young people in challenging circumstances and helping them develop a love of sciences through our national sponsorship of the CREST awards

  • Continuing to help reduce homelessness and support initiatives such as Help Bristol Homeless and Shelter from the Storm to help get people off the streets

Insisting on equity, by:

  • Committing to meaningful conversations that actively embrace the diversity of our people when collaborating on D&I plans and communications, D&I engagement, and to gather ongoing feedback

  • Creating a talent management strategy, supported by a learning & development programme, that enables inclusive careers for everyone

Working closely with HR and management colleagues to
achieve this, by:

  • Creating a pipeline for diverse talent to join our business in all roles by improving how we attract and recruit new talent



Other D&I Activity at the firm

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Read our diversity & inclusion blogs


Gender Pay Gap: Updated for 2020/21


We have taken the decision to be open about our Gender Pay Gap figures, even though as a partnership with fewer than 250 employees we are not yet required to report on these statistics. We have been tracking them for the last four years and have produced them for both our staff and our partnership.

In summary for 2020/21 our median pay gap was 26.5%. This is an increase from the 2019 figure of 22.3%. In terms of our bonus gap, there is still no median gap as men and women are paid the same.

The gender split of our teams remains biased towards women at 65% and men at 35%, This is a change from 59% women and 41% men in 2019/20.  We still have significantly more women at 60% in upper middle positions than men at 40%. At the upper level, the split has changed from 45% men and 55% women in 2019/20 to 49% men and 51% women in 2020/21.

We currently have 48 partners in total. 73% of our partners are male and 27% are female. In our lower and middle quartiles our partnership remains 58% men and 42% women. We are making strong improvements in these partnership quartiles and are committed to having a diverse partnership. 

We are not evenly split in our upper quartiles. We want to change this, but evolving the make-up of our partnership will take time. Upper quartile partners have been at the firm for 25-30 years and at the time they joined the firm, there were far fewer women studying STEM qualifications. It is important to note that our partnership continually expands, rather than specific spaces being allocated or a 'one in one out' system being in place; this also affects the rate gender balance can change. 

Talk to us about Diversity & Inclusion

Richard Clegg

Managing Partner, European Patent Attorney

Lillian Cunliffe

Head of HR

Sean Harvey

Chief Financial & Operating Officer

Maria Hall

Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer

Forward Magazines Overalpping

Mewburn Ellis


Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. We run regular columns in the magazine on inclusivity and many of our articles have a focus on sustainability.

Our magazine is printed on paper that has been sourced from sustainably managed forests which adhere to environmentally approved standards. This paper has less carbon footprint than recycled paper. The full magazine, including the cover, can be recycled and the wrapper that is used to protect the magazine is made from starch-based biopolymers, meaning it is compostable.