Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

We understand the value that an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace brings to our people, our clients and the communities we serve.

Cox & Palmer is striving to be a firm that is diverse, equitable and inclusive in its day-to-day operations and to the outside world, through its policies, strategies, actions and hiring practices. We believe this will lead to an inclusive culture that respects and maximizes the contributions of all of the members of our team.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Cox & Palmer

Cox & Palmer has been advancing its equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts for many years and in the fall of 2020 renewed its commitment and formalized its plans. Through consultation with our board and members of our leadership team, we identified EDI priorities that inform the firm’s immediate initiatives and will support a longer term strategy. This process culminated in the creation of four working groups which are led by our EDI Committee co-chairs who report to the firm’s CEO and Board of Directors. With regular reporting to the Board on its efforts and outcomes, the committee acts as the Board’s champion for promoting a culture that respects and maximizes the contributions of all of the members of our team.

Guiding Principles

Guiding principles are the values, beliefs and behaviours that we will adhere to in the execution and support of our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion strategy. Cox & Palmer will:

  • build awareness for the importance of EDI and its mandate in the firm
  • engage all members of the firm in the development and execution of its EDI initiatives
  • develop and implement actions and activities that result in the recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce
  • promote human rights and respect for all, modeling an inclusive workplace built on respect for one another
  • build the skills required to be successful in an all-inclusive environment

Our current priorities will serve as a foundation for future efforts:

  • Leadership Commitment and Accountability
    We know that teams look to their leaders for direction and that equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives with the demonstrated support and commitment of the leadership team have the greatest opportunity for success. We will openly communicate our commitment and strengthen leadership capability and accountability.
  • Mentorship
    Mentorship is a longstanding custom as a means of supporting those new to the profession and industry. A formalized mentoring program is an important way to support and retain lawyers, particularly lawyers from diverse communities. We will review our existing mentorship programs to ensure EDI considerations are incorporated accordingly.
  • Cultivating Diverse Talent
    With a highly educated workforce, law schools and other educational institutions offering legal programming, are the entry point for lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants into the legal profession. As such, our team should reflect the diversity of the educational institutions offering legal programming and the community at large. We will partner with these institutions to support EDI initiatives amongst their student population and will continue to refine our recruitment processes to eliminate bias.
  • Workplace Analysis and Issue Identification
    Through consultation with members of our team from across the region and a variety of roles, in conjunction with a comprehensive third party survey, we will clearly identify areas for improvement and develop plans to address critical issues.

Training & Education

Cox & Palmer is dedicated to the ongoing training and education of its team to ensure we raise awareness and continually foster an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace. We have delivered mandatory Unconscious Bias training and Respectful Workplace training throughout our offices. Additionally, our membership in the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI) and Pride at Work Canada (PAWC) provide a wide range of educational opportunities and resources accessible to our entire team.

Celebrating and Promoting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

We promote and support a number of long-standing EDI focused initiatives including Bell Let’s Talk, International Women’s Day, Black History Month, Pride, and National Indigenous Awareness Day. Cox & Palmer also supports the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative program on interview skills and mentorship. Select to learn more about the IB&M program.

Recent sponsorships include:

  • Ulnooweg Business Awards for Atlantic Canada
  • Canadian Black Lawyer Association Conference
  • Atlantic Canadian Most Inspiring Immigrant Gala
  • Mental Health Foundation: A Different Stage of Mind

Cox & Palmer is a member of the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network (LFDIN), Pride at Work Canada (PAWC), and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). We are pleased to partner with organizations dedicated to the promotion of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.

Champions for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Our EDI committee is comprised of business team members, legal assistants, paralegals and lawyers from our offices throughout Atlantic Canada. The committee is broken into working groups with mandates unique to the EDI priorities we have established for the year. Committee co-chairs report directly to the CEO and Board of Directors.

EDI Committee Members

  1. Greg Anthony, Partner, NL
  2. Krisanne Bishop, Associate, NB
  3. Laura Briand, Legal Assistant, NS
  4. Craig Bugden, Chief Operating Officer, PE
  5. Will Cahill, Partner, NL
  6. Jocelyn Campbell, KC, Partner, NS
  7. Chika Chiekwe, Associate, NS
  8. Dan Clarke, FCPA, FCMA, Chief Operating Officer, NS
  9. George Cooper, KC, Partner and Chief Executive Officer, NB
  10. Ashley Dickey, Associate, NS
  11. Steve Forbes, Partner, PE
  12. Atanu Haldar, Associate, NL
  13. Laura Hanusiak, Associate, NS
  14. David Hooley, KC, Counsel, PE
  15. Maggie Hughes, Associate, PE
  16. Michelle Kelly, KC, Partner, NS
  17. Adam King, Partner, NB
  18. Lisa King, Executive Assistant, NB
  19. Amy MacGregor, Partner, NS
  20. Kendra Mackenzie-Granger, Paralegal, NS
  21. Caitlin Mahoney, Partner, NB
  22. Mark McGrath, Human Resources Manager, NL
  23. Terry Moore, Chief Marketing Officer, Regional
  24. Kate O’Neill, Partner, NL
  25. Kim Perreault, Human Resources Manager, NB
  26. Allison Philpott, Associate, NL
  27. Jennie Savoie, Paralegal, NB
  28. Joanne Simfukwe, Paralegal, NL
  29. Serena Smith, Associate, PE
  30. Shirley Thomson, Human Resources Manager, NS
  31. Kelcie White, Associate, NS

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs

For more information about Cox & Palmer’s commitment to equity, diversity & inclusion, please contact one of our Regional Co-Chairs: