Top City firms win ‘gay-friendly’ status

Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and the Law Society have been recognised as gay-friendly.

The six firms and solicitors’ regulatory body were named in the gay and lesbian activist group Stonewall’s recruitment guide Starting Out as gay-friendly and “safe”.

Stonewall’s workplace programmes coordinator Lorenzo De Silvio said: “Last year there was one law firm, this year there are seven including the Law Society and two out of the five magic circle law firms.”

City firms were branded as “homophobic” by some in a Law Society report earlier in the year but the guide will go some way to resuscitating the legal profession’s reputation in the gay community.

Workplace programmes director Stephen Frost said: “We deal increasingly with students wanting to work somewhere where their sexual orientation won’t affect their career development.”

The guide is targeted at the 150,000 gay and lesbian students in Britain, and will be distributed to student unions, career advisers, employment agencies and university-based gay and lesbian societies this week.