17 City firms secure places on LGBT employer power list

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Strong showing from the legal profession in 2017 Stonewall rankings


Seventeen City law firms have landed places in this year’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) employer power list.

Released by equality charity Stonewall, the top 100 rankings — compiled using a benchmarking tool called the “workplace equality indexā€¯ — recognises the work undertaken by large organisations to promote inclusivity.

The accolade of highest positioning law firm went to City outfit Pinsent Masons. Building upon a strong 2016 performance (when it ranked fifth), the firm elevated three places this year to bag the number two slot.

Reflecting on the firm’s excellent performance, Kate Fergusson, head of responsible business and chair of Pinsent Masons’ Allies network, said:

In the last 12 months, we have increased our focus on gender identity, introducing gender identity monitoring and reporting, publishing new guidelines on transitioning at work and providing training and awareness raising sessions for our people.

Other City outfits to make the top ten are magic circle giant Clifford Chance, which ranked fourth, and Baker McKenzie, which took seventh. Berwin Leighton Paisner — a new entry to this year’s list — finished eighth, while Norton Rose Fulbright climbed an impressive 12 places and took tenth.

The other firms recognised for their inclusivity endeavours over the past year were Dentons (17th), Hogan Lovells (17th), Herbert Smith Freehills (24th), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (25th), CMS (31st), DWF (36th) and K&L Gates (43rd).

Missing out on a top 50 slot but still featuring in this year’s top 100 were Cleary Gottlieb and Travers Smith. Both new entrants, these firms took 49th and 58th positions respectively. Eversheds bagged 69th, seeing off competition from elite magic circle outfit Slaughter and May (70th) and Reed Smith (75th).


Simmons & Simmons is not ranked in the official list. Instead, for the second year running, the firm has been handed the title of “star performer”. According to Stonewall this means the firm has been specially recognised for its consistent and exemplary support for its LGBT staff.

Lloyds Banking Group was named Stonewall’s 2017 employer of the year.

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Comments are now closed.


(Primitive) Feminist

What a despicable bias against Adamasgender, Cadensgender, and Alexigender people. Shame on you Legal Cheek for failing to specify and identify them !

Goes without saying I won’t be applying to these firms…



I identify as a demi-queer metrosexual horse.

Can I apply?



It’s easy to mock but there’s no need to mix up (admittedly ridiculous) identity politics with the basic premise that workplaces being friendly to gay people is a good thing. My respect to the firms on this list.


(Primitive) Feminist

ugh. I am not an ‘identity’!

Being ‘friendly’ because one (or many) is (or are) gay??!?! OMG I bet you’re a cis white male as well


Adam Deen

Shame Jones Day aren’t on this list, although I feel they discriminate against me so I’m not too surprised. My supervisor in the post room has moved me to the sub-under-lower-basement level now


Adam Deen

After finding out about my boyfriend I should’ve said



I don’t get why LGBTQ+meaninglessletters is actually promoted anywhere?

I mean, sexuality and gender is irrelevant to your job of sitting in front of a computer all day churning out barely literate drafting.

If it’s negative comments that’s the issue, they can be treated the same way as any other workplace bullying and the perpetrators disciplined/sacked as appropriate.

Special snowflakes have taken to pushing their lifestyles in everyone’s faces, and no-one cares. Just do what you want in your private lives and leave this crap out of the workplace.



These firms are promoting the fact that the want people to be themselves. In case you weren’t aware, law is still a very conservative profession. Just because most people, like you, fit the mould (and have thus never even had to think about the challenges some people face) there are still numbers of people out there who don’t. Firms showing regard to diversity encourages potential candidates to apply, and that they want their employees to feel safe to be themselves. So yes, sexuality and gender is irrelevant to the job but these measures attract the best talent, because, some of the best talent are LGB.

And it’s not a lifestyle. It’s a part of me that I can’t change even if I wanted to.



Please explain how your choice of sexual partner impacts your decision to do your job.

Just shut up and get back to work.



So we’re back to calling being gay a ‘lifestyle’ now? That’s nice.

Look up Slaughters 2015 diversity stats. 14.5% of trainees identified as gay. Sure that’s not relevant to their work, but why shouldn’t firms try and ensure they at least feel comfortable making office small talk about their personal lives? The kind of small talk straight lawyers make everyday without worrying whether they’re going to offend an uber-conservative old partner.



Being gay is a lifestyle. Being gay doesn’t require you to do anything. You don’t need to wear a badge or perform any ceremony. It’s just a sexual preference.

Therefore, it’s about as relevant to your job as your preference to collect stamps.



Leaving aside your first paragraph which makes very little sense, can you point me to the part of my comment where I said being gay was relevant to the job of a lawyer?

In fact, if you look very carefully you may notice me saying exactly the opposite.

Take your time.



Lots of married male barristers have boyfriends on the side, so reliable sources at the Bar say.

Shame they live in denial.


Ziggy the Zebra

I self-identify as a zebra.

No firm will yet recognise my very strong urge to transition.

When will my torment end?


Gibson Dunn Trainee

This is ridiculous!! You should not get the job because you are gay or straight. It should be based on metric. Unfortunately so many firms are hiring candidates just because they are gay!


Adam Deen

Do you think it’ll help me get an MC TC at Irwin Mitchell?


Lord Denning

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Norton Rose

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



Not really a bit deal nowadays.


The Black Lawyer

This is so unfair. Before all the women were getting training contracts, now it’s all the gays. Bruce Jenner would probably be offered a partnership magic circle firm!


Lando Calrissian

That prick who constantly posts ”Fucko” can finally get a TC as a Fuckosexual.



Some commenters above should read John Browne’s book “The Glass Closet – why coming out is good for business”.


Comments are closed.