Lgbt Mentoring SchemePosted: 25th April 2018

I am delighted to announce that EMG Solicitors have been accepted by our regulator (the Solicitors Regulation Authority) on their Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) mentoring initiative.

What is the purpose of the SRA’s LGBT initiative?

For those of you who don’t know, the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is a definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. This new initiative will provide small and medium sized law firms with the support and guidance of Stonewall and 10 leading law firms, all of whom are top performing law firms on the Index, in order to develop their approach to LGBT Diversity.

Why is the initiative important?

As a gay man, I am delighted at how far society and the legal profession has come in accepting and understanding the LGBT community as a whole. However, I feel that whilst we have made great progress, there is still more that needs to be done. I am of the view that dialogue and education are paramount to achieving further progress.

Whilst most people in business today fully appreciate their legal obligations under the equality legislation and will strive to ensure compliance, those in the LGBT community will no doubt have encountered situations, whether that be in the course of their employment or in their every day life, where perhaps they have been made to feel uncomfortable or unequal as a result of comments made, stereotyping, inappropriate questions/ actions or very often, by “office banter”. Whether it be a one- off incident or something more prolonged there is the very real possibility that each of the above will have a negative impact on the person, or in business, the company as a whole.

What do EMG Solicitors Ltd hope to achieve?

Here at EMG, we fully appreciate and actively ensure that our clients and colleagues are always treated with the utmost respect and dignity. However, as with everything, there is always room for improvement. I hope that the more we develop our understanding, the better we will be as a firm at supporting those colleagues and clients we have from the LGBT community.

In future, I would hope that we ourselves be recognised as industry leaders in this area, enabling us to actively work with other law firms to encourage, support and educate their approach to the LGBT community.

Who will be our mentor?

EMG Solicitors have chosen Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) to act as our mentor. It is an astounding achievement and a credit to the leadership and staff at BCLP that a global law firm with over 1600 lawyers spread over 32 offices world wide have been recognised in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and this represents their commitment to the LGBT community. Both EMG Solicitors and BCLP practice in commercial and residential conveyancing, wills trusts and probate and Court of Protection. It is therefore anticipated that BCLP will be able to provide guidance in our mutual practice areas on matters that are likely to impact the LGBT Community.

I’ll keep you updated on how we’re getting on, but in the meantime, if you have any queries about the initiative, please get in touch.