Top City law firms unite for first gay summit

InterLaw, the first diversity network that aims to connect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) networks across all law firms, will officially launch tomorrow (18 March).

The forum is the brainchild of Simmons & Simmons corporate partner Daniel Winterfeldt, who was inspired by the Interbank LGBT forum and JPMorgan managing director and assistant general counsel Tim Hailes.

Winterfeldt said: “It all sweeps back to the Tim Hailes piece in The Lawyer [19 March 2007]. That article really hit home across the City and a lot of people were talking about it.”

The inaugural launch of InterLaw will be held at Simmons’ London office. More than 85 lawyers from 23 City firms are expected to attend to discuss and plan the structure and activities for moving InterLaw forward.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive ;of ;gay ;rights group Stonewall, and Hailes will be giving the keynote speeches at the evening launch event.

Hailes told The Lawyer: “We’re absolutely delighted by the steps being taken by law firms to ‘shape up’ on LGBT issues.

“The launch of the InterLaw group is the sincerest form of flattery, given the long track record of the investment banks who’ve been active in the Interbank group. We wish them every success.”