For the fourth year running Simmons & Simmons has been ranked as the most gay-friendly firm in the UK by Stonewall and has added to its glory by becoming the first law firm to make it into the top 10 in the LGB charity’s Top 100 Employers List (see story).
Despite dominating Stonewall’s legal sector rankings for the past four years, Simmons shows no sign of treating its LGB policy as a fait accompli. In 2011 the firm began applying the same standards that it imposes on itself onto its suppliers and implemented a ’Straight Allies’ programme, which shifts the burden of LGB awareness away from just LGB people.
And Simmons has even bigger plans for this year. The firm aims to get all its international offices on the same track as London. Given that the firm has offices in the Middle East, this is no mean feat and certainly not a short-term goal.
Of course, it’s not all about Simmons. Thirty-six legal sector employers submitted entries to Stonewall this year, up from 26 in 2010, but it is still the same six suspects - in addition to Simmons - that made it into the top 100: Baker & McKenzie, Eversheds, Herbert Smith, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell and Pinsent Masons.
The magic circle remains conspicuously absent. It’s possible that the firms entered but didn’t make the rankings, but as Stonewall seems to have taken the other magic circle’s vow of secrecy, it looks like we’ll never know.