12 City law firms feature in LGBT top 100 employer list

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By Thomas Connelly on

Once again Simmons & Simmons named “star performer”


Twelve City law firms have secured places in this year’s top 100 LGBT employer list, improving once again on the previous year’s performance from the legal profession.

The list is compiled by leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual equality charity Stonewall. It uses a “workplace equality index” to compare how “inclusive” organisations are.

Magic circle outfit Clifford Chance features on the list for the first time, posting an impressive ninth place. It has been beaten only by Pinsent Masons — which offers around 75 training contracts annually — in fifth position.

Baker & McKenzie narrowly misses out on a top 10 place, coming in 11th position, while magic circle outfit — and one of the City’s oldest law firms — Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer shows its commitment to equality by placing a respectable 17th.

It was an excellent year for megafirm Norton Rose Fulbright — whose efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the equality charity — climbing 53 places to 22nd position, narrowly beating global powerhouse Herbert Smith Freehills in 25th place.


Honourable mentions go to national firm DWF, placing 56th, followed by transatlantic giant Hogan Lovells in 57th position. CMS Cameron McKenna — which offers around 50 training contracts each year — came in 80th place, alongside new entrants to the LGBT list Reed Smith in 72nd, Eversheds in 86th and global giant Dentons in 97th.

While top spot went to British intelligence agency MI5, a special pat on the back was reserved for those championing equality over at international firm Simmons & Simmons.

Having consistently made the top 10 over recent years, the City outfit was deemed once again a “Stonewall Star Performer”. As a result, Simmons & Simmons will now spend time mentoring low performing organisations in order to improve bisexual and trans equality in the workplace.

Kris Phelps, senior account manager at Stonewall, said:

Stonewall is delighted to see 12 law firms within the Top 100 this year and one as a Stonewall Star Performer. The legal sector is really leading by example in progressing LGBT diversity and inclusion. Ten years ago when the Index was launched no law firms featured in the Top 100. It’s hugely exciting to see so many firms taking the steps to ensure that their employees can be themselves in the workplace.

When Stonewall’s list launched a decade ago there were no law firms featured in it at all, with representation steadily increasing since then. The 2016 rankings represent the legal profession’s best ever showing.