Skip to main content

Diversity and inclusion

Sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTQ+)

Freshfields wants to be seen as an employer of choice for LGBTQ+ people. We have worked hard to ensure that LGBTQ+ employees feel supported in our offices, no matter where they work.

We have an active global LGBTQ+ network, Halo, which connects regularly, both globally and locally, as well as the Freshfields’ Halo Champions network. Halo Champions is a global network of staff that do not identify as LGBTQ+ but who support and promote the equality of their LGBTQ+ colleagues. Halo is one of the firm’s largest employee networks with more than 100 members across 20 of our 28 offices. We also have more than 400 Champions across the firm.

We are a founding member and Global Diversity Champions of Stonewall. We partner with Stonewall in a variety of ways throughout the year including: assisting with the writing of global workplace briefings, which outline the legal and workplace situation for LGBTQ+ in a variety of countries; and attending workplace conferences. In 2023, we were awarded with Gold and additionally won the Special Recognition award for our senior leadership at Freshfields. Georgia Dawson and Raquel Flórez were recognised for their continued work towards LGBTQ+ inclusion.

We are members of Out Leadership, the global LGBTQ+ business network, and we support the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business – we believe these standards are reflected in our commitments, including much of the firm’s pro bono work, alongside the endeavours of Halo and Halo Champions.

Across Asia, Freshfields Tokyo co-founded (with Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Morrison Foerster) an LGBTQ+ Lawyers and Allies Network (LLAN). Additionally, we were awarded a gold medal by the wwP (Work with Pride) PRIDE Index in 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023 for our continued workplace inclusion efforts in Japan.

In 2023 we were named a gold-standard organisation in the biennial Hong Kong LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index for the second time, organised by Community Business, having achieved gold, silver and bronze in previous iterations. We were also closely involved with the launch of the Asia-Pacific chapter of Global Equality Caucus in 2019.

Gender expression and non-binary inclusion

Internally, we have shared global guidance on trans equality and gender expression, including a policy on the use of pronouns, providing a framework for best practice and an expression of how we, globally, endeavour to treat our people.

We have publicly highlighted our support of trans colleagues, clients and communities by signing the US Business Statement for Transgender Equality and in the UK by signing a public statement to highlight our belief that trans rights are human rights.