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About Us

Gowling WLG is an international law firm built on the belief that the best way to serve you is to be in tune with your world, aligned with your opportunity and ambitious for your success.


Number of legal professionals


Focused on key global sectors, including energy, financial services, life sciences, natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and tech

Around the world, our 1,400+ legal professionals and dedicated business support teams apply our deep sector expertise to understand and support your business, and see the world through your eyes.


Number of cities with offices


Repeatedly recognised as a top employer, and committed to diversity, inclusion and innovation


Number of pro bono hours



Number of individuals listed in Chambers & Legal 500


As a Gowling WLG client, you’ll have access to expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services. Combined with our presence in 19 cities worldwide and specialised expertise in countries around the globe, we’re positioned to help you achieve your objectives, wherever your business takes you.


Number of practices listed in Chambers & Legal 500


We're proud to be recognised as a top employer, and actively encourage diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. Not only does this allow us to attract and retain the best talent, it also helps us attract and retain great clients, who know that motivated and engaged people produce higher quality work, approach problems with creativity and ingenuity, and will go the distance to help them succeed.


We welcome clients approaching us with difficult issues to solve and are not constrained by the way things have been done before. We have adopted a flexible approach over many years and many projects that has led us to formalise innovation into three main areas:

Legal Innovation - the creative use of law to solve client problems
Business of Law Innovation- structuring ourselves to best meet client demands
Digital Innovation - the creative use of digital technologies to support our strategy

Learn more about careers at Gowling WLG Learn more about working with Gowling WLG

About the founding firms

Gowling WLG represents a natural evolution for its founding firms - Gowlings and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co - who, throughout their histories, have continually adapted to better serve their clients' needs.


With roots tracing back to 1887, Gowlings has grown to become one of the largest and most respected law firms in Canada, with a reputation for innovation in client-focused service delivery.

Building on its early strength in intellectual property, Gowlings has diversified to offer a full suite of business law, litigation and intellectual property services in all of Canada's key industries, including energy, mining, financial services, government, infrastructure, manufacturing, life sciences and technology. Gowlings ranks among the busiest law firms in the world for Canadian M&A, and is known for its deep expertise in client advocacy before courts, tribunals, regulatory bodies and governments in Canada.

Becoming a founding member of an international law firm is a natural progression for Gowlings, which has always operated with an international mindset, forming strong partnerships globally to better serve the needs of its clients. Prior to the combination with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Gowlings was home to 2,000 people in 10 offices across Canada and in London, Moscow and Beijing.

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG)

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG) was formed by the merger of Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham in May 2014.

The move introduced a new firm to the UK legal market, giving clients access to a broader range of services, increased capability in London and the UK, and enhanced international coverage. WLG is synonymous with outstanding client service and sector knowledge providing advice and solutions based on understanding the commercial issues, challenges and opportunities clients face. The merger created one of the UK's largest real estate practices - a broad-based practice acting for institutions, investors, developers and occupiers - and the UK's number one AIM firm; a position further enhanced through WLG's combination with Gowlings.

WLG has a strong financial services pedigree thanks to its market-leading investment funds practice, award-winning pensions experts and a highly rated private capital team, which advises UK and international high-net-worth individuals. In dispute resolution, WLG brought together Wragge & Co's strengths in intellectual property, construction and commercial litigation with Lawrence Graham's focus on international disputes, particularly in the areas of fraud and asset tracing, contentious trusts and insurance/reinsurance.

WLG can trace its roots back to 1730, when Lawrence Graham became one of the first law firms to register in the City of London. Wragge & Co was founded in 1834. Since then, both have established themselves as major UK firms before embarking on international growth. Wragge & Co opened offices in Germany and China in 2008, a full service office in Paris in 2010 and in Dubai in 2011. Lawrence Graham opened its first overseas office in 2003 in Monaco, followed by Dubai, Singapore and Moscow (the latter by joint venture).

Forming WLG was the first step towards creating a new international law firm. As a founding member of Gowling WLG, the firm offers clients increased international capability, connections and coverage.

Gowling WLG Structure

Around the world, our member firms operate and provide legal services to clients as separate legal entities under the common brand of Gowling WLG.

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and Gowling WLG (UK) LLP are members of Gowling WLG International Limited, a company limited by guarantee registered in England. Gowling WLG is the name and brand under which the members of Gowling WLG International Limited and their respective affiliates provide services around the world. However, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and Gowling WLG (UK) LLP operate and carry on business as independent and autonomous entities. They are not one international partnership and the members of Gowling WLG International Limited are not legal partners with each other. Gowling WLG International Limited does not provide legal or other services to clients. Rather, its purpose is to act as a coordinating entity for its members. Our structure is explained in more detail on our Legal Information page.

Learn more about the structure of Gowling WLG

Corporate Responsibility

We take our responsibility to our people, our environment and our communities seriously. Trust and transparency are embedded in everything we do and impact every business decision we make.

For us, corporate responsibility (CR) is all about making connections and making a difference. Not just to benefit the not-for-profits, individuals and suppliers we work with; but for the wellbeing and personal and professional development of our people and to strengthen relationships with our communities, clients and suppliers.

There are three elements to our corporate responsibility agenda: community investment (pro bono, volunteering and charitable giving), diversity and inclusion, the environment. And wrapping around all of these things, collaborative working - engaging with others to increase the impact we can have.

While the law is what we 'do', there's much more to us than that. As people, and as a firm, we believe we have a responsibility to help those around us, to make a positive difference in the local and wider community, to support our people and enable them to flourish and to minimise our environmental impact as much as possible. This isn't just good business-sense, it's good people-sense too.

Read on to find out more, or visit our CR Twitter feeds:

More Women - our diversity initiative that aims to increase the number of women in senior roles at the firm. Follow us @GowlingWLGWom.

OpenHouse - our network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and straight allies. Follow us @GowlingWLGLGBT.

Lorna Gavin - Head of Corporate Responsibility, @lornagavin1.

Collaborative working

The way we conduct our business relationships with clients, suppliers and key community partners is part and parcel of our approach to CR.

Sustainable business is good business and we comply with appropriate ethical and professional standards. Integrity, transparency and teamwork underpin the way we operate.

We welcome opportunities to collaborate with clients and other businesses in responsible business projects. For example, in conjunction with Lloyds Banking Group and PwC, we bring together a group of young professionals from across Birmingham every other year to create a project that meets a specific local need. Most recently, this led to the creation of Suited for Success - now a registered charity in its own right, providing interview clothing donated by business people, to those who are unemployed and trying to get a job.

We are members of the Legal Social Mobility Partnership, a collaboration of law firms and in house legal departments providing quality work experience to pupils from deprived backgrounds.

We encourage suppliers to follow practices consistent with our values and CR aims. We have helped a key supplier develop its CR programme from scratch and the same supplier has worked with us in providing work placements for homeless people.

As a Living Wage employer we pay the Living Wage to our own people and our regular onsite contractors.

In 2016 we held our first Responsible Business Suppliers Forum, bringing together the firm's key suppliers to share information about our respective CR programmes and identify opportunities for further collaboration.


We are proud to be a member of these organisations:

Community Investment

Investing in the communities in which we live and work is a key part of our corporate responsibility ethos. Our community investment programmes focus on three priority areas: pro bono, volunteering and charitable giving.

For nearly 20 years we have had a dedicated corporate responsibility programme, drawing on the skills of our people and the resources of our firm to support our local communities. We provide support through pro bono legal advice, volunteering (prioritising homelessness, education and inner city needs) and charitable giving. Last year we invested more than £1 million in community activities.

Pro bono

We are one of the founding signatories of the Law Society's Pro Bono Charter and the provision of free legal advice directly to charities and community groups, as well as through legal clinics, plays to our core strengths. Last year, we provided more than 4,500 hours of pro bono advice to more than 30 different charities and community groups.

Our pro bono work sees us regularly support the Birmingham Legal Advice Clinic and dozens of charities - ranging from small, local charities such as SIFA Fireside, Roshni and Spitalfields Crypt Trust, to national charities like The Big Issue Foundation and the NSPCC, and NGOs such as Oxfam and The British Red Cross Society.

"The British Red Cross cannot thank Gowling WLG enough for the fantastic support they give us both in terms of legal advice and meeting space. Everyone who has helped us has provided highly professional, timely and very user-friendly advice and the fact that this is pro bono means that we can concentrate even more of our resources on delivering vital services to our beneficiaries."
Andrew Napier, Head of Legal, The British Red Cross

A copy of the Gowling WLG (UK) pro bono policy is available here.


Each year our people give a huge amount of time and energy to projects in our local community - focusing on the key issues of homelessness, education and inner city needs.


The best way out of homelessness? Employment. By providing workshops on drafting CVs and interview preparation, work placements and one-to-one job coaching, our people are helping homeless and disadvantaged members of the community to build their confidence and employability skills. Since 2001 we have provided more than 100 work placements as part of this programme and in some instances have gone on to permanently employ individuals who successfully completed the their programme.

Other practical support we provide includes preparing and serving festive lunches, hosting summer BBQs, raising funds through sponsored sleep outs, providing pro bono advice and donating clothing and food.


If we had to sum up our education programme in one word, it would be "aspiration": helping underprivileged children of all age groups to believe they can achieve their true potential when they leave school. Every week, volunteers visit primary schools in Kingstanding (Birmingham) and Southwark (London) during their lunch-hour to help children learn to read.

We are members of the Legal Social Mobility Partnership, a collaboration of law firms and in house legal departments providing quality work experience to pupils from deprived backgrounds.

In partnership with Enabling Enterprise we invite groups of primary and secondary school children to spend a day a day in our offices, gaining an insight into law and mixing practical learning with enterprise skills.

We fund an anti-homophobic bullying programme in partnership with Diversity Role Models in Holyhead School in Handsworth (Birmingham).

We also sponsor a TeachFirst teacher in Holyhead School.

More than 100 of our people have become school governors through our partnership with the School Governors One Stop Shop.

Inner city needs

Poverty, racial tension, unemployment, gang violence and isolation of the elderly are just some of the challenging issues being faced by communities within half a mile of our offices. We are supporting a number of charities and community organisations in tackling these issues.

We have food and clothing banks in each of our UK offices; food is donated to the Trussell Trust; clothing for the homeless is donated to SIFA Fireside in Birmingham and Spitalfields Crypt Trust and St Giles Trust in London.

We have funded family sessions at allotments in Southwark Park (London) for parents and pre-school children to learn more about where food comes from and to encourage healthy eating.

We support Free@Last, a charity helping the children and young people of Nechells, one of the most deprived areas of Birmingham, with pro bono advice, funding towards courses for young dads and workshops for young men aimed at giving them leadership and life skills to play a positive role in their community.

Charitable giving

Alongside practical help, we provide financial support to charities in a variety of ways.

Our people nominate and vote for three charities of the year, one national and two local to our London and Birmingham offices, as set out in our Charity of the Year Partnership Policy. The chosen charities benefit from staff fundraising throughout the year and, where possible, pro bono and in kind support; to the extent that they often become lasting community partners.

Our 2017 charities of the year are Young Minds, Bede House and Birmingham St  Mary's Hospice. Previous charities of the year include Beyond Food, Bliss, Help Harry Help Others, Dogs for the Good, KidsOut, Auditory Verbal UK, Macmillan, Alzheimers Society, Friends of the Elderly and Make-a-Wish.


Our award-winning choir supports the charities of the year by raising money at concerts held throughout the year.

Charitable Trust

The firm's Charitable Trust makes small grants throughout the year to charities registered in England and Wales and also provides matched funding for our people's fundraising efforts in aid of a wide variety of UK charities.

Payroll giving

We operate a payroll giving scheme, facilitating direct donations from our employees' salary to charities of their choice.

An Inclusive Workplace

Creating an inclusive workplace where our people can be themselves, and celebrating the fact that we're all individuals, are top of our agenda. Chairman Andrew Witts is the firm's Diversity Champion and is an active participant in our diversity forum which ensures we deliver on our commitment to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Our diversity and equal opportunities policy

All job applicants, employees, partners, clients, other lawyers, barristers, third parties and suppliers will not be treated less favourably than others because of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, sex (including gender identity and re-assignment, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity and paternity), disability, age or sexual orientation and whether or not they work part-time, flexible hours, or on a fixed-term contract. This also includes associated or perceptive discrimination.

Some of our diversity highlights

  • Our Women initiative comprises a number of projects aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in our partnership and management.
  • Working in schools with high black and minority ethnic populations and a high proportion of pupils on free school meals to promote inclusion in the profession - including our 'Day in the Life of a Lawyer' programme which incorporates a work placement (with us and a client as part of the Legal Society Mobility Programme), and a 12-month mentoring and skills development programme. Our ultimate aim is to broaden access to the legal profession for people from all backgrounds.
  • OpenHouse is our network for our LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies) staff, which is co-sponsored by chairman Andrew Witts and head of corporate responsibility, Lorna Gavin. We are also a Stonewall Global Diversity Champion.
  • Enable is our disability and wellbeing network. Led by volunteers from around the firm, Enable organises events, gives access to training and one-to-one support for employees.
  • Our bespoke working policies support our employees' needs and enable us to provide working arrangements that work for the individual as well as the business as a whole.
  • For working families we offer an enhanced maternity package; support for staff going through fertility treatment and childcare vouchers for working parents.
  • We have prayer/contemplation rooms in our London and Birmingham offices for people of any faith to use.
  • We celebrate International Women's Day by hosting events and raising awareness each year to mark the day in each of our offices.
  • We have rolled out online diversity training to all UK employees.


We have always taken the view that the firm has a responsibility to the environment and think it's time to do even more. Therefore, we have launched our new PLANET+ environmental commitment (environmental policy).

Our environmental vision: Gowling WLG (UK) wants to be a beacon of environmental sustainability.

Our main environmental impacts: Operational activities and services associated with our two UK offices and 1,200+ occupants interact with the environment in different ways. The largest and most obvious impacts link to:

  • Energy for buildings and business travel - leading to carbon emissions (climate change) and other pollutants
  • Purchase of goods/services and discarding of 'waste' - depleting natural resources and accumulating hazardous substances

This commitment (policy statement) outlines our direction of travel for tackling direct negative impacts, enhancing positive ones and dealing with those where we have less control (indirect). It supports our ambitious vision for the business, and our values.

The challenge: An important starting point is to acknowledge the complexity and enormity of the environmental pressures on people, biodiversity and the planet. Achieving meaningful change can be difficult - and environmental issues and practices are subject to local and international political change; far reaching social and economic pressures; and technological progress. Whilst changes in the wider world can present risks, there are also real opportunities for the environment, for the business and for our clients - and we will focus on where we can make a positive difference.

PLANET+ goals 2030: We have adopted six goals that reflect the nature and scale of the challenge and the areas in which we can make a real impact. They are stretching - and our plans to meet the goals will evolve over time - but we are committed to take a lead as a business, and to engage everyone in the firm. The goals...

Zero carbon Zero waste Everyone plays a part All hazardous substances avoided Our clients engaged Work with suppliers who share our goals

The tools: We are drawing from the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and related science and research, to set our destination (PLANET+ goals) and shape our action plans, with international standards ISO14001:2015 (environmental management) and ISO50001:2011 (energy) guiding the way. It is through colleagues, clients, on-site contractors, other suppliers and competitors where the greatest opportunities to make a real difference lie. Listening, tapping into our talent, sharing ideas and bringing everyone with us, is how these stretching goals become achievable over time.

"Our PLANET+ goals are integral to our aspirations for the firm and our values and I and the Board are fully behind them"
David Fennell, CEO 2017

Other must dos: In support of these goals we will also look to:

  • Avoid pollution
  • Continually advance energy and environmental protection and performance
  • Meet (and exceed where we can) environmental compliance obligations
  • Commit resources to support our PLANET+ goals
  • Procure goods/services with energy and environment at front of mind
  • Make environmental data and information available to all who need it
  • Develop guidance to explain our goals and commitments
  • Share what we do and how we do it - promoting best practice
  • Report progress openly and honestly - and act if we go off course from our goals
  • Embed good environmental practices across the organisation and at all levels

You can download a copy of our PLANET+ environmental statement.

If you would like to know more about our environmental programme in the UK please contact