Annette Byron

Elected as a partner to the real estate sector group in 2000, Annette is also the partner sponsor for social mobility at Freshfields. Freshfields has approximately 5000 employees and partners worldwide and improving diversity is a key strategic priority for the firm.
In October 2015, alongside Black History Month activities, Annette co-led the relaunch of Freshfields’ global Black Affinity Network by bringing together nearly thirty lawyers of black African and black Afro-Caribbean heritage from across the firm. The group aims to increase collaboration across offices, share experiences and develop regional office diversity activities and awareness.
Annette is also is one of the drivers behind the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship, which is a unique social mobility initiative. The Scholarship seeks to address the under-representation of black and mixed-race men from low-income backgrounds, and the lack of direct role models, in large commercial law firms. So far, the program has helped more than 170 individuals prepare for a career in law, and Annette looks forward to the program helping many more in future.

Timothy Wilkins

Timothy is a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He has been practicing law for 23 years and has been a partner for the last 14. He is proud to be the first US-qualified African American partner in the history of the firm. He joined Freshfields as an associate in the Tokyo office and was elected to the partnership in 2002. Timothy served as the Co-Head of the Corporate Practice in Tokyo and he returned to the New York office in 2006.

Timothy lectures widely on issues of international law and social justice at universities and conferences. He has guest lectured at Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Last year he was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of International Law at Hunter College, where he teaches a course in the political science department on public international law.

Timothy has undertaken significant efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession. He served on the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, where he co-chaired a sub-committee on expanding minority lawyer opportunities at global firms. His efforts have been recognized by the Council of Urban Professionals, the leading organization promoting diversity in New York, which selected him as a ‘Change Catalyst in Law’. He was also honoured by Legal Outreach as an ‘Elder of the Village’ for his promotion of the Legal Outreach program at law firms throughout the city. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, also recognized Timothy last year by appointing him to be the President of NYC Global Partners and serve as a Director of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.