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The Scotland-Woolf Rule

As an additional “bolt on” to the UK Model Diversity Survey, the InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Apollo Leadership Institute is adapting the “Rooney Rule” from the United States for the UK legal sector as the Scotland-Woolf Rule.


The Scotland-Woolf rule is scheduled for launch in 2023.

The Scotland-Woolf Rule is named after two pioneering diverse leaders in the UK legal profession:


  • Baroness Patricia Scotland is the first black female Secretary General of the Commonwealth and the first black woman to serve as attorney general for England and Wales.

  • Dame Fiona Woolf is a renowned energy lawyer, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, and a former President of the Law Society of England & Wales.

Both women are trailblazers in the UK legal profession, long time advocates of inclusion and diversity in the legal profession, Patrons of the InterLaw Diversity Forum, and firm supporters of this initiative.


The Scotland-Woolf Rule is an outcomes-focused certification which seeks to increase diverse and socially mobile candidate pools for key leadership positions in law firms. Year-on-year the rule will consider law firm participants’ success rate in engaging with and hiring these diverse candidates into leadership positions. We will grant additional, enhanced certification for those firms who are able to increase diversity in key leadership roles. Firms who are able to demonstrate that diverse candidates are being both considered and short-listed, but who are not able to show definitive progress, will only be eligible for standard accreditation via the rule.

Full criteria used for accreditation will shortly be published on this page.


The InterLaw Diversity Forum is uniquely placed for this work, given we have a 360-degree view of inclusion and diversity in the UK legal profession and a longstanding, proven track record in this space.


From our work with senior in-house leaders in the Apollo Leadership Insititute to our work with the next generation of diverse talent through our Student Lab Summit and Student Lab Summer Internship, we are committed to creating connections and opportunities and supporting diverse talent throughout their professional journey as lawyers.

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