International law firm Pinsent Masons has launched an equality law specialism to support businesses in managing the cultural and legal aspects of discrimination and inclusion issues.

It aims to identify and tackle the root cause when equality issues arise for organisations, as well as solving the legal matter.

The practice will be jointly led by legal directors Susannah Donaldson and Kate Dodd, based in Edinburgh and Manchester respectively, and will support Pinsent Masons' 500 Scottish staff in its Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

Pinsent Masons remains the only law firm with a dedicated diversity and inclusion consultancy, Brook Graham. The firm believes that drivers of structural inequality and unconscious bias are highly complex and can be impacted by a range of internal and external factors, which make positive change difficult to achieve. Businesses which seek to mitigate the likelihood of future problems can avoid a lasting impact on their culture.

Ms Donaldson commented: "Diverse and inclusive businesses are more profitable, more innovative, and better placed to engage with their shareholders, clients, and incoming talent.

"Boardrooms are no longer discussing whether a change is needed, but how that change is achieved. As a professional services firm with law at the core, our new practice bridges a crucial gap in the process and helps organisations to become an employer of choice."

Ms Dodd added: "Dealing with equality or discrimination matters in isolation fails to get to the root of the issue and left unmanaged, is highly damaging to culture."