Seattle - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has named Pallavi Mehta Wahi, a partner in the litigation practice and administrative partner of the Seattle office, as chairwoman of the firmwide diversity committee, a role in which Wahi will drive the direction of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Diversity has long been a key priority for K&L Gates, for both its importance to our own lawyers and other personnel as well as the firm’s clients,” stated Michael Caccese, chairman of the management committee, and James Segerdahl, global managing partner, at K&L Gates. “We have seen positive progress through the years, but there is still much more our firm and the legal profession can do. We look forward to working with Pallavi and the other members of our diversity committee to help K&L Gates continue to serve as a leader in diversity and inclusion.”
Wahi concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on corporate and intellectual property litigation, and also serves as a co-chair of the firmwide India practice.
In addition to her work within the firm and serving clients, Wahi is a dynamic leader in Washington state legal and local communities. She currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the King County Bar Foundation, the Washington Council on International Trade, and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, as well as on the advisory board of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington (where she was the group’s first woman president).
“As a proud partner of this firm who is also a South Asian lawyer, first generation immigrant, and the mother of a three-year-old, I’m honored to lead K&L Gates’ firmwide diversity committee,” said Wahi. “I look forward to helping to foster and support the success of lawyers of diverse backgrounds both here at K&L Gates and within the broader legal community.”
K&L Gates has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion and takes an aggressive approach to the recruitment of diverse lawyers. The firm regularly sponsors or participates in a number of diversity-related programs, including the ABA’s Minority Counsel Program and Commission on Disability Rights, Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC), Diversity Council Australia, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and Stonewall UK. In addition, K&L Gates has partnered with City Year, a non-profit organization focused on helping at-risk schools and students succeed, in its efforts to promote literacy and education across the United States and to help attract City Year students and volunteers to careers in the legal profession.
This spring, K&L Gates was named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), having earned a top rating of 100 percent in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index survey for the past seven consecutive years. The firm also has been recognized as a top achiever by Microsoft’s Law Firm Diversity Program; among the best UK companies for LGBT employees by the 2017 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index; among Yale Law Women’s Top 10 Family Friendly Firms of 2016; and as a Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard firm for six years.
Valerie Jackson, K&L Gates’ senior advisor to the management committee and firmwide director of diversity and inclusion, stated: “Pallavi is a trailblazer who has demonstrated her influence as a lawyer, a legal industry leader, and Puget Sound community member. Her energy, drive, positive outlook, and entrepreneurial spirit will help her on this challenge and opportunity to change the face of legal leadership through the perspective of a woman of color.”