Global law firm Baker McKenzie announced today that Colin Murray, CEO of the Firm's North America Region, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2021 ABA Litigation Section’s Diversity Leadership Award. The award honors those who have made outstanding commitments to promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession through the encouragement and inclusion of women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and/or persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities.
As the CEO of the North America Region at Baker McKenzie for nearly four years, Colin Murray leads all 16 office locations in the US, Canada and Mexico. His uncompromising commitment and passion for inclusion & diversity has directly resulted in meaningful and enduring culture change and progress across the Firm and has enabled Baker McKenzie to set a ground-breaking example of inclusion in the legal industry.
During the Pandemic, Colin has continued to implement policies and programs to increase inclusivity and equity and ensure that the Firm was actively taking an anti-racist stance in hiring processes, work allocation systems, partner promotions and other long-standing practices. This has been especially important due to the global pandemic's disproportionate impact on women and ethnic/racial minorities and the series of widely publicized racial injustices in 2020.
Global Chair, Milton Cheng, said, “Cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment is foundational to our culture and our strategy. All of us are proud of Colin who has done so much to further our progress and commitment to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Firm.”
Susan Eandi, member of Baker McKenzie’s North America Regional Management Committee and Head of the Global Employment and Labor Law practice, said, “In our work together on the North America Regional Management Committee, I see Colin as a persistent and determined champion of inclusion and equity for all of our people. He prioritizes these values in leadership decisions, which is one of the reasons we have been able to accomplish so much since he began his tenure almost four years ago as CEO of the region.”
“This is a great honor for our Firm, and I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient,” said Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Anna Brown. “Colin is an exceptional and fierce ally and upstander to inclusion, and he places diversity, equity, belonging and engagement at the center of his work as an inclusive leader. He also actively seeks opportunities to keep I&D top of mind for all members of the Firm. Since Colin started his term as CEO, significant progress has been made with regard to gender and ethnic diversity among Firm leadership, the implementation of a billable hour policy for I&D work, as well as recognition of the Juneteenth holiday, among many others.”
“I am so humbled and honored to receive this award. I owe so much to the amazing Inclusion & Diversity team here at the Firm. I view my role as a series of opportunities to help and serve the partners and all of our people at the Firm, as well as our clients, who are equally committed to inclusion and who want diverse teams representing them,” said Colin about the role he plays in advancing I&D across the Firm. “Through collective focus and teamwork, we are in fact driving positive change at Baker McKenzie and making a real difference. We have much more work to do, but we are definitely on the right path.”
In addition to serving as the Firm’s North America CEO, Colin is a seasoned trial lawyer who represents global and local clients in complex, fact-intensive business disputes. Colin has tried over 50 cases through final jury verdict, as well as a substantial number of bench trials and private domestic and international arbitration proceedings. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Colin served as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego (1993-2000).
About Baker McKenzie
Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 70 years, enables our 13,000 people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instill confidence in our clients. (www.bakermckenzie.com)