WBD was proud to support this year's Global Parliament of Mayors Annual Summit which took place in Bristol this week (21-23 October).

Over 80 Mayors and officials from around the world including Oceania, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe attended the summit and together looked to discuss and address key challenges facing cities globally from urban security, public health, governance, migration and innovation. 

Colleagues from WBD's offices in Atlanta and Washington DC came together with colleagues from Bristol to contribute to the summit.

WBD had the opportunity to participate in a number of the sessions and also took part in the 'City Solutions' debate where the firm chaired a panel discussion on Housing and Transport. Alongside consultancy and project management practice Arcadis, WBD looked at how city growth is creating demand for more and better housing and the infrastructure needs to boost economic performance. The panel also explained the importance of collaboration in the role businesses play in supporting city governments, in particular in keeping up with the pace of regulatory change which is something business can support with, whilst city government focuses on strategic issues.  

WBD Partner Vicki Redman attended the Women in Leadership session which looked at the progress we, as a society, have made in gender equality and diversity. Although we have come a long way in the past couple of decades, there is still a huge under representation of women in some areas, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations and private and public sector need to work together to narrow this gap. 

Finally, Julian Kinsey, Partner and Head of WBD's Bristol office, gave one of the closing speeches, reflecting on the key themes discussed throughout the event. 

He commented:

"The themes of collaboration, diversity and inclusion, social mobility and health are all issues that resonate with our firm. As a responsible business, we have a part to play  in ensuring Bristol can continue to be a great place to live, work and do business and our role is crucial in shaping the future of our cities and contributing to city governance. This is why we are involved in a range of initiatives within the community from mentoring, volunteering and fundraising campaigns through to opening up routes to the legal profession with our award winning apprenticeship programme, our commitment to diversity and Inclusion as we endeavour to create a diverse and inclusive culture, and our mental health support programmes for our people." 

We were also pleased to welcome some of our US colleagues to our vibrant city and introduce them to Mayor Marvin Rees as well as showcasing some of the city's initiatives such as the Bristol Housing Festival."

Vicki Redman added:

"We were delighted to support the Global Parliament of Mayors Annual Summit which presented the perfect opportunity to showcase the city of Bristol on the international stage and demonstrate the strengths of our city as a hub for innovation, collaboration, diversity and sustainability. I attended an excellent session on Women in Leadership which left us all feeling inspired, whilst also recognising that there is still a lot to be done towards a gender equal society. Businesses need to do more to boost enterprise and help as many people as possible get into the workforce – especially women in STEM and at board level or senior positions."

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK and 18 offices in the US. It is one of the largest law firms in Bristol where it employs more than 230 staff.

Julian Kinsey - GPM