Twelve new law firms have been added to Stonewall’s diversity champions programme after demonstrating that they have taken practical steps to ensure a positive working environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender staff.

Eighteen law firms in total are now diversity champions and are included in Stonewall’s Starting Out recruitment guide for the 150,000 lesbian and gay students in the UK.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill commented: “In sectors where there is a competitive recruitment market, when a small number of employers start taking these issues seriously, then others follow.”

The practical steps that firms take will vary from recruitment programmes to leadership and mentoring programmes.

Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Bevan Brittan, K&L Gates, Lester Aldridge, Olswang, Reed Smith Richards Butler, Russell Jones & Walker, SJ Berwin and Weil Gotshal & Manges are the new firms. They join Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Mayer Brown, Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons.