Norton Rose comes out with LGBT forum

Norton Rose is to launch an LGBT network in a bid to improve the recruitment, retention and promotion of its gay and lesbian staff.

The network is expected to go live later this month, and alongside internal staff support will provide opportunities for networking with LGBT clients and LGBT-related community work.

Research conducted by LGBT inter-firm network InterLaw Diversity Forum, in conjunction with the Law Society and charity Stonewall, has found that a fifth of all solicitors have experienced homophobic bullying at work (The Lawyer, 16 August 2010).

InterLaw’s founder, ­co-chair and Simmons & Simmons corporate partner Daniel Winterfeldt thinks networks are a valuable resource. “It’s great to see Norton Rose launch an LGBT network,” he said. “Employee groups are an essential part of workplace diversity.

“LGBT networks provide a host of resources to members of law firms, including networking, mentoring and support, as well as a means of linking into the wider LGBT legal community.”

In 2007 Clifford Chance became one of the first firms to establish an LGBT network, Arcus, after ­settling a sexual orientation discrimination claim filed by former competition partner Michael Bryceland.

Norton Rose was not available for comment.