Legal giant Clifford Chance calls in Elizabeth Broderick for review into workplace culture

Simone Grogan
The Nightly
Former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.
Former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick. Credit: SUPPLIED/PR IMAGE

The former Sex Discrimination commissioner brought in to helm landmark reviews of workplace culture at Rio Tinto and Big Four accountant EY has been called in by global law firm Clifford Chance.

A spokeswoman on behalf of Clifford Chance confirmed a review by Elizabeth Broderick & Co was underway when approached by The West Australian. She would not be drawn on why the law firm had decided to commission the review.

“We can confirm we have engaged the specialist consultancy firm Elizabeth Broderick & Co in Australia,” she said.

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“EB&Co provides high-level strategic analysis, assessment, advice, and planning to organisations wishing to strengthen their workplace culture.”

The review has been commissioned for Clifford Chance’s offices in Australia only. The top-shelf firm recently shifted to a new office on St Georges Terrace in Perth in 2022. Clifford Chance’s other base is in Sydney’s CBD.

Clifford Chance has more than 30 offices across Europe, Asia and the US and is considered part of the so-called ‘magic circle’, a term given to the world’s top five legal outfits.

The internal review commissioned by the firm was outed on the Elizabeth Broderick & Co website on Thursday by human error, it’s understood, causing the page to appear on a Google search when it was not ready to be made public.

Professional industries on the whole have had to reconcile with a younger workforce that is putting a bigger priority on work-life balance, a lifestyle not typically associated with the demanding world of legal work.

Ms Broderick’s landmark review of Rio Tinto’s workplace culture was handed down in 2022, and another report into the mining giant’s progress on this front is expected later this year.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), or Sexual Assault Counselling Australia on 1800 211 028, the WA Sexual Assault Resource Centre on 6458 1828 or 1800 199 888 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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