Skip Navigation

Lawyers of Asian Heritage Launch New Affinity Groups at Blakes

September 7, 2021

EastAsian@Blakes and SouthAsian@Blakes will serve as forums for their members to exchange ideas, build relationships and encourage mentorship.

Toronto - Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP (Blakes), one of Canada’s leading law firms, is launching EastAsian@Blakes and SouthAsian@Blakes, internal networks of legal professionals of Asian heritage dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion and fostering the long-term career success of their members. These groups are the latest additions to the Firm’s set of programs and initiatives designed to create a more inclusive organization and legal industry.

“Affinity groups founded by our lawyers have long played key roles promoting diversity and inclusion at Blakes,” said Bryson Stokes, Firm Managing Partner. “With the formalization of EastAsian@Blakes and SouthAsian@Blakes, the Firm takes further steps to ensure that everyone can see a path for themselves at Blakes and in the legal profession.”

Strengthening Bonds Within Blakes and Beyond

EastAsian@Blakes not only acts as a resource and a community for our lawyers, but we also engage with clients and other organizations that have ties to Asian communities,” said Partner Kevin Rusli, one of the group’s co-founders. “We aim to cultivate belonging,” added Partner and co-founder Linda Tu, “whether by mentoring young lawyers, supporting our colleagues to reach leadership positions or simply hosting open discussions.”

For Partner and co-founder Paul Singh, “SouthAsian@Blakes presents exciting new opportunities to contribute to the recruitment, development and promotion of lawyers of South Asian heritage at the Firm.” The group’s co-founder, Partner Alyssa Shivji, added that “outreach and networking with the broader South Asian legal community will be key to these efforts — channels through which we can help build a more diverse industry.”

Participation in both groups is voluntary and the events they host are open to all legal professionals at Blakes who are interested in contributing to a supportive and inclusive working environment.  

About Blakes Diversity Initiatives

The Blakes commitment to diversity includes three other affinity groups — Pride@Blakes, Women@Blakes and Black@Blakes — and a range of professional development and community initiatives. In 2021, the Firm was recognized for the 11th time as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by MediaCorp Canada Inc. We work with leading diversity and inclusion organizations across Canada to make effective, sustainable change — including the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Ascend Canada (enhancing Pan-Asian talent in Canadian business) and the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network.