Independent Examination of Workplace Culture at Clifford Chance

Elizabeth Broderick & Co (EB&Co) is conducting an Independent Examination of workplace culture at Clifford Chance (the Review).

The Review will focus on experiences of harmful behaviours in the workplace and barriers to speaking up with a view to cultivating a workplace culture that champions diversity, inclusivity, respect and psychological safety for all people. 

The Review will identify what is working well, areas for improvement, and actions that Clifford Chance can take to continue to champion diversity, psychological safety, and inclusivity for all staff members.

The Review will not examine individual complaints, review past investigation outcomes or make determinations about complaints

Details on participation and the range of avenues to contribute to the Review are detailed below.

The Review will conclude at the end of September when EB&Co will share its final report with the Clifford Chance leadership.

Have your say

EB&Co encourages staff working at Clifford Chance to share their experiences with the Review through a confidential 1:1 interview, a small group listening session, a written contribution and via an online survey.

EB&Co will not be investigating individual complaints, reviewing past investigation outcomes or making determinations about complaints as part of the Review.

All information provided to the Review will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be securely stored.

Participating in the Review

Who will be able to participate in this Review?

EB&Co is seeking input from all current staff.

How can I contribute?

There are different ways Clifford Chance staff can participate in the Review.

  • Participating in a confidential 1:1 interview with a member of the Review team.
  • Participating in a small group listening session facilitated by the Review team. These will take place online.
  • Providing a written contribution via our confidential email address [email protected]
  • Completing a confidential online survey. The survey will be open from 8 July 2024.

EB&Co is interested in hearing about the full range of experiences of working at Clifford Chance, including positive and negative experiences.

Who is conducting the Review?

The Review is being conducted by Elizabeth Broderick & Co (EB&Co).

EB&Co is a specialist consultancy focusing on high-level strategic consulting and transformation, particularly in the areas of gender equality, diversity, inclusion, and cultural renewal.

The Review Team is made up of individuals of diverse backgrounds, each of whom bring deep expertise in conducting cultural reviews of workplaces across Australia and globally.

I want to participate in a confidential interview. How can I do that?

EB&Co will be conducting confidential 1:1 interviews with current staff via video conference, phone, or in-person at some offices. These sessions are an opportunity for you to confidentially share your experiences, views, and suggestions for change.

Interviews with staff in the Perth office will take place on 15 & 16 July 2024.

Interviews with staff in the Sydney office will take place in-person on 30 & 31 July 2024.

All other interviews with staff will occur virtually via MS Teams between 1 July and  9 August 2024. Sydney and Melbourne staff will also have the opportunity to participate in these as well. 

A range of times will be made available between the hours of 9am and 7pm.

Interview participants can bring a support person to the interview.

Written notes will be taken by the Review team.

I want to participate in a small group listening session. How can I do that?

EB&Co will be conducting small group listening sessions with staff online in July 2024. A range of times will be made available between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Group listening sessions will be facilitated by the EB& Co Review team.

Written notes will be taken by the Review Team.

What is the online survey?

EB&Co will administer a survey to gather information about the lived experience of working at Clifford Chance. The online survey will be open from 8 July 2024 until the end of July.

The survey will collect information on the observations and experiences of psychological safety, respect and harmful behaviours including sexual harassment, bullying, racism and other forms of discrimination, and knowledge and experience of reporting and complaints processes. The survey is confidential.

The results of the survey will be included in the final report of the Review.

How can I make a written contribution?

You can share your experiences by providing a written contribution via email to [email protected].

It is helpful if the written contributions address the specific criteria covered by the Review.

Your written contribution can be as long or as short as you like, and we are interested in hearing about both positive and negative experiences of working at Clifford Chance.

Alternatively, you can mail your written contribution to:

GPO Box 396,
Sydney, NSW 2001

Please note that by providing a written contribution you are not making a complaint or report.

Written contributions close on 2 August 2024.

What will I be asked about?

If you choose to contribute to the Review by participating in a confidential 1:1 interview, a small group listening session, EB&Co will ask you questions about:

  • the workplace culture of Clifford Chance workplaces;
  • the risk factors contributing to psychological safety, respect and harmful behaviours including sexual harassment, bullying, racism and other forms of discrimination for staff in Clifford Chance workplaces; and
  • your awareness of relevant policies, practices, processes and supports.

EB&Co acknowledges that discussing harmful behaviours can cause distress. If you experience distress or discomfort while participating in this Review, you can choose not to answer certain questions, skip questions, or stop participating at any time.

What should I do if I have accessibility requirements?

If you would like to be involved in the Review and want to discuss how EB&Co can support your involvement by providing appropriate supports and/or adjustments, please contact us at [email protected].

How will you keep my information confidential? Will any information I share with the Review be made public?

Personal Information

By providing a written contribution to this Review, you consent to EB&Co collecting and using the information you provide for the purposes of the Review.

EB&Co will produce a report on the findings of the Review to the Clifford Chance leadership at the end of September 2024.

EB&Co will treat your name and personal information confidentially. Your name and other personal or identifying information will not be published in the report, or in any other EB&Co publication. The information you provide may be drawn upon, quoted or referred to in the public report and other resources produced by the EB&Co in connection with the Review, but will not be attributed to you, and will not be used if its use could identify you.

Reporting Obligations

In certain circumstances the EB&Co Review team may be obligated under relevant State and Territory laws to report to the relevant authorities an act that involves an act that is a ‘serious indictable offence’. This is known as ‘mandatory reporting’. Mandatory reporting obligations may also arise in cases of suspected risk of future abuse or harm. Whether mandatory reporting obligations are triggered in the course of this Review will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

How is the Review being funded?

Clifford Chance is funding EB&Co to undertake the Review.

EB&Co is an independent organisation with extensive experience conducting cultural reviews of complex organisations and workplaces.

How and when will I find out the results of Review?

EB&Co will share its findings and recommendations in a report to the Clifford Chance leadership by the end of September 2024..

Who can I talk to if I have any questions?

If you would like any further information or have any questions concerning this Review, please contact EB&Co at [email protected].

If your situation is urgent and you wish to report a criminal offence, contact 000 or police services in your jurisdiction.

Accessing Support

Support line

If you are a Clifford Chance staff member you can access support, including counselling, via the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app.

Additional support has also been arranged with The TALEA Group. Individuals can access their specialist psychologist services by emailing [email protected].

Other services:

Australian National Support services

National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service
Telephone: 1800 737 732

Beyond Blue: Anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention support service
Telephone: 1300 224 636

Lifeline: Crisis support and suicide prevention
Telephone: 13 11 14

Headspace: Supports young people aged between 12 and 25 years of age
Telephone: 1800 650 890

Kid’s Helpline: Counselling service for those aged between 5 and 25 years of age
Telephone: 1800 55 1800