The Coca-Cola Company Honors Akin Gump's Commitment To Diversity

(Washington, D.C.) – The Coca-Cola Company has named Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as the recipient of its 2010 Living the Values Award, the firm announced today. Alex Cummings, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Cola-Cola, presented the award to Akin Gump at the Living the Values Awards Dinner last night in Atlanta.

Presented annually since 2008, the Living the Values Award recognizes the U.S. law firm with which Cola-Cola does business “that best demonstrates its commitment to diversity with creative and innovative solutions that advance Coca-Cola’s diversity goals.”

In accepting the award, Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump’s U.S. managing partner, said, “At Akin Gump we have long been committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace while delivering top-notch service to our clients. The Living the Values Award is a testament to our efforts to create an environment that supports the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys. We are honored to receive this award from a company that has achieved so much in its commitment to diversity.”

Coca-Cola Senior Vice President and General Counsel Geoffrey J. Kelly added, “Recognizing that the legal profession, and in particular large law firms, lags significantly in creating and advancing opportunities for diverse lawyers, we created the Living the Values Award (LVA) in 2005. The goal of LVA is to recognize those large law firms with whom we partner at The Coca-Cola Company who have focused resources, time and energy to meaningfully move the needle in the critical area of diversity in our profession and in the firm. Our LVA honorees have demonstrated a sincere effort and real progress toward weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of their firms through broad based ownership, programmatic rigor together with metrics and accountabilities.

This year, we are proud to honor Akin Gump as our 2010 LVA honoree. Like Coca-Cola, Akin is itself a venerable brand that has woven diversity into its institutional fabric by its management's willingness to be held accountable for progress, its innovative recruitment and retention models and for its passion for excellence in this area. From the diversity in its firm leadership, to its innovative recruitment, retention and development strategies to its longstanding external engagement, Akin Gump "lives the values" and we are proud to call the firm a business partner.”

In selecting the recipient of the Living the Values Award, The Coca-Cola Company evaluated partner law firms on five criteria:

  • Commitment of firm’s senior management to diversity with established systems for measuring progress and accountability
  • Representation of minorities and women in the firm generally and in the firm leadership
  • Success in hiring, development, promotion, and retention of minority and women associates within the firm
  • Creative partnering arrangements with minority and women-owned firms
  • Rigor in firmwide diversity programming such that diversity, as a goal, enjoys firmwide ownership and participation.

Akin Gump earned the highest aggregate score for its “best-in-class” practices in each area.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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