Clifford Chance tops Stonewall LGBTQ+ rankings

updated on 21 February 2023

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Clifford Chance has secured the top spot in Stonewall’s annual top 100 employers list, which celebrates exceptional employers that champion LGBTQ+ equality across the UK.  

The magic circle firm, which has held a top 50 spot on the list for eight years, and secured third place in 2022, has been recognised for its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. The only other law firm to secure a spot in the top 10 of Stonewall’s list is Linklaters LLP who placed ninth. 

This is the third recognition Clifford Chance has received recently to commemorate its commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion at work. In July, the firm received a Gold Award in Stonewall’s Global Workplace Equality Index, and the firm’s affinity network Arcus was also awarded the Highly Commended Network Group Award by Stonewall earlier this month.  

Deong Fang, co-chair of Arcus alongside Georgina Court, said the firm is honoured to be recognised as the top employer for LGBTQ+ people: “People from every part of Clifford Chance have worked together for years to affirm LGBTQ+ colleagues, build LGBTQ+ community and protect LGBTQ+ rights in the world. It’s particularly meaningful to receive this recognition for the year we celebrated 15 years of Arcus.” 

Stonewall commended Clifford Chance for its clear policies ensuring LGBTQ+ employees are protected and supported, in particular Stonewall praised the firm’s expansive healthcare benefits available to protect and support LGBTQ+ staff, such as transition-related treatments and LGBTQ+-inclusive mental health support. The firm has also already achieved its target of ensuring 5% of its partners are LGBTQ+ by 2025 and is continuing to work towards accomplishing its target of 3% global LGBTQ+ partners by the same year.  

Michael Bates, the firms UK managing partner, said in a statement on the firm’s website that “we know that there’s always more to do as we work together to deliver a truly inclusive experience for our people, clients and stakeholders and we’re committed to doing that".  

He added: “Coming first in the UK Stonewall index is a great honour for us and a tribute to the work of so many people at every level of the firm. Our employees are our greatest asset, and we’re proud to provide a supportive and empowering environment where they can thrive.” 

Other firms that were recognised by Stonewall this year include DLA Piper UK LLP (17th), Leigh Day (25th), Charles Russel Speechlys LLP (32nd), Irwin Mitchell LLP (36th), RPC (42nd), Shearman & Sterling (53rd), Womble Bond Dickinson (56th) and TLT (96th).