At Euromoney's European Women in Business Law Awards ceremony, held in London on Wednesday evening, Bird & Bird partner Catherine Erkelens received the "Best in Aviation" title, while our practices in Belgium, France and the Netherlands also won awards. Four other Bird & Bird partners were nominated, making the firm one of the most recognised at this prestigious event.
The awards honour firms that have set the standard in terms of female-friendly work practices and celebrate the achievements of women in the legal sector across Europe.
Individual winners were judged on their professional accomplishments as well as advocacy and influence within their field over the last year. Firm and country winners were judged on their ability to support the development of women in the legal profession and provide work/life programmes to enable women to pursue legal careers. Criteria included the ratio of female-to-male lawyers and the retention of women associates to partner level.
Winning 'Best in Aviation', Catherine Erkelens, co-head of Bird & Bird's International Aviation & Defence Group, said: "I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award and delighted that our efforts to provide high-quality, seamless legal advice have been recognised. This award reflects the hard work and dedication of our whole Aviation team to whom I am very grateful."
In addition, Bird & Bird's Belgian, Dutch and French offices were also named 'Best in Country' in recognition of their strong position in their markets and their ambitious diversity initiatives. In total, more than 90% of Bird & Bird's European offices were shortlisted as country nominees in the European Women in Business Law Awards.
Picking up the awards for their countries, Pauline Kuipers, Co-head of Bird & Bird in the Netherlands and Anne Federle, Co-head of Bird & Bird's Brussels office, said: "Few firms have as many female partners in influential positions -as country heads, practice heads, sectors heads or members of key management committees - as Bird & Bird. This award is a clear acknowledgment of our success in encouraging women to pursue ambitious legal careers. It also reflects our ongoing efforts to nurture female talent across the firm and to provide them with exciting career opportunities."