We want a firm that has 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 41% men and 59% women (as at end April 2020) and are looking at how we can be a more inclusive firm. We want to lead in the area of diversity and inclusion. This is important to our firm, our people and our clients, and we intend to embed it into our culture. To achieve this we are working with external D&I specialist consultants Brook Graham, to undertake an audit of our existing culture, processes and practices in order to design a dedicated D&I strategy for the firm. This will consist of an awareness building programme, staff survey and focus groups to explore key themes and from this we will build a robust plan that we believe will benefit our people, our clients and our business as a whole. We will make sure that equality and diversity are celebrated, that we have a firm that has diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints. We want all our people, regardless of their background, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation to feel they belong and where they can bring their 'true self' to work.

We are also focussed on developing more women as attorneys and encouraging more girls and students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study STEM subjects. 50% of our 32 technical trainees in 2020 are women (national average of women graduating in STEM subjects in 2019 according to UCAS was 26%). We are also currently in discussions with the British Science Association to become a national sponsor of their CREST Awards and a corporate partner for British Science Week 2021 which focus on encouraging more girls and students from disdvantaged backgrounds into STEM.

In addition to our future plans we already have a number of initiatives running. We are also reviewing our approach to recruitment and how we implement wellness initiatives. We have recently launched a mental health programme, free lunchtime yoga in our office and various other initiatives by office such as lunchtime walks, colouring books and jigsaws in our kitchens. We are a member of IP Inclusive, supporting Women in IP through AIPLA and regular inclusivity columns in our magazine Forward, as well as many more planned. We also monitor our gender pay gap figures, even though we aren't legally required to do this yet. Read more about our inclusivity initiatives and a summary of our gender pay gap figures below.


Diversity & Inclusion is a top priority for Mewburn Ellis

  • We are a member of IP Inclusive
  • 50% of our current trainees are women
  • We are working with British Science Association as a National Sponsor of their CREST Awards to help 1000 children study science and schools in disadvantaged areas access science materials
  • We support AIPLA Women in IP and hold events for them
  • Partner Sarah Kostiuk-Smith is an active member of the AIPLA Women in IP Law Executive Committee, co-chair of its Global Networking Event, and co-chair of its Presence and Branding sub-committee. She is also a member of the IP Inclusive Women in IP committee.
  • We have a regular thought leader column in Forward Magazine 
  • We have recently improved our staff parental leave policy, which is now market leading
  • We’ve recently introduced our IP Director role that allows for flexible and home working
  • We have recently launched a Mental Health programme and committee
  • We actively support UK Youth, a charity empowering you people regardless of their backgrounds
  • We have various initiatives running in each office such as lunchtime group walks, jigsaws and colouring books in our kitchens
  • We provide free lunchtime yoga sessions in our offices

Read our diversity & inclusion blogs


Gender Pay Gap Figures 2019


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 three years and have produced them for both our staff and our partnership.

In summary for 2019 our median pay gap was 22.3%. This is a slight increase from 2018 figures at 21.2%. 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 59% and men at 41%, This is a reduction from 65% women and 35% men in 2018 and is due to the 59 hires we made in 2019.  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 52% men and 48% women in 2018 to 45% men and 55% women in 2019.

We currently have 47 partners in total. 74% of our partners are male and 26% are female. In our lower and middle quartiles our partnership is 58% men and 42% women. We are making strong improvements in these partnership quartiles and are committed to having a diverse partnership. In the last two years 50% of our newly made-up junior partners have been male and 50% female.

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. In the last two years two women and one man have been promoted to full member partnership status.

Talk to us about Diversity & Inclusion

Lillian Cunliffe

Head of HR

Sean Harvey

Chief Financial & Operating Officer

Maria Hall

Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer


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.