Award Recognizes U.S. based Partner Firm for Diversity Practices

ATLANTA, Feb. 29, 2012 -- The Coca-Cola Company presented its "Living the Values" Award to law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, L.L.P. The award was established by the Company to acknowledge and honor the U.S. based law firm, with which it does business, which best demonstrates a commitment to diversity with creative and innovative solutions that align with The Coca-Cola Company's diversity values. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bernhard Goepelt presented the award to Cleary Gottlieb Managing Partner Mark Leddy during an awards dinner at the St. Regis Hotel.

"Diversity is more than just a priority for our Legal Division, it is a business imperative and a core value for our Company. For this reason, it is important that we encourage and reward the positive actions of our partner law firms who are making progress on this important issue. We applaud Cleary Gottlieb for their visible leadership, best-in-class practices and commitment to elevating their diversity performance," Goepelt said.

The Living the Values Award has been awarded by the Coca-Cola Legal Division annually since 2008. The recipient of the award is chosen based on a questionnaire distributed to the Company's 32 U.S. partner law firms requesting descriptions of their practices and values that support and drive diversity and inclusion. Firm responses are evaluated against best-in-class practices in the following areas:

  • Commitment of the 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 firm-wide diversity programming such that diversity, as a goal, enjoys firm-wide ownership and participation.

Diversity and inclusion were among the founding principles of Cleary Gottlieb, which is consistently recognized as a leader in diversity by various surveys conducted in the legal industry. Cleary Gottlieb provides services at a global level and believes that attracting, retaining and advancing a diverse group of lawyers who exhibit a sharp understanding of cross-cultural differences is crucial to offering multinational clients the best possible legal services. Current diversity and inclusion efforts include mentoring programs, recruiting, retention and promotion initiatives.

"We are both proud and humbled to be recognized by The Coca-Cola Company for the success of our diversity and inclusion efforts. The Living the Values Award is a great honor but more importantly, it will serve as yet another incentive for Cleary Gottlieb to continue to invest heavily in diversity and inclusion both at our firm and within the legal profession generally," said Cleary Gottlieb Managing Partner Mark Leddy.

Coca-Cola is one of the first Fortune 100 Companies to publicly honor law firms that excel in workplace diversity programs.

About Cleary Gottlieb
Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism, and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb is a leading international law firm with approximately 1,200 lawyers around the world. For more information, please visit

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at