Lawyers unite for #LegalPride 2019

The legal professions of England and Wales – solicitors, barristers and Chartered Legal Executives are joining together to mark Pride events in Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and London.

The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) will be marching together as #LegalPride, under the banner of “All are equal under the law” to highlight the work of lawyers to defend LGBT+ rights and recognise the LGBT+ community’s contribution to the legal sector.

Sixteen law firms are featured in Stonewall’s top LGBT inclusive employers list, three of them in the top 10 (including number 1), and many entrants have large in-house legal teams.

Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Richard Atkins QC said: “Pride is a celebration of progress, and diversity and inclusion.  The Bar Council is delighted to be partnering again this year with the FreeBar and BLAGG, two thriving LGBT+ Bar networks, as well as the Chancery Bar Association, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and colleagues from across the profession, as part of #LegalPride. We now participate in more Pride events than ever before across England and Wales and encourage LGBT+ and straight barristers to join one or more of the parades to help demonstrate our commitment to inclusion.”

CILEx President Philip Sherwood said: “A diverse legal community is integral to fostering public trust and confidence in our justice system and I am proud that Chartered Legal Executives are so diverse, with 75% of our members women and 11% from a BAME background. CILEx will proudly march throughout England and Wales, to pledge its support for LGBT+ CILEx members and the roles they play in the legal profession, sending out our clear message that we are an open and accepting legal community, and that all are equal under the law.”

President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Christina Blacklaws, said: “We’re proud to advocate for LGBT+ rights in the legal profession and in wider society – and this year we’ll be attending more Pride events than ever. Recent developments show why, in the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Riots, we still must take a stand. In Brunei, brutal new punishments have been introduced for consensual same-sex acts. In the UK, we have witnessed a fierce backlash to educating on diversity in our schools. A hostile narrative towards trans people and their rights persists.  It’s important to show the public the legal profession will constantly and unequivocally support LGBT+ people and their rights.”

Dates for 2019 Pride events:

Birmingham 25 May (SRA led) https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pride-in-birmingham-2019-tickets-60393622952

Registration for those wishing to join opens today.

The three professional bodies are being joined for #LegalPride by the Chancery Bar, Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG), the Law Society Junior Lawyers Division, the Law Society LGBT+ Lawyers Division, FreeBar, the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, the Interlaw Diversity Forum, and the CILEx LGBT Specialist Reference Group.

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