Hewlett Packard Company (HP) has challenged its outside law firms to increase diversity in their staff or face a 10% reduction in legal fees paid to the firms.
Kim Rivera, general counsel for HP, recently sent a letter to the company’s outside law firms in the US saying it was adopting new diversity standards. The standards require American law firms with 10 or more lawyers that work with HP to have at least one “diverse firm relationship partner.” That person must manage at least 10 percent of HP’s billable matters.
This means requiring one or more racially or ethnically diverse attorney, or one female who may or may not be racially or ethnically diverse to meet the minimum standard. HP is giving the firms a year to comply before it begins reducing its fees with these firms.