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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Inclusion & diversity

Clifford Chance's goal is to be the global law firm of choice for LGBT+ people and for LGBT+ causes.

We have developed an global program of initiatives designed to help deliver greater equality for LGBT+ people in our firm, build the capacity of our clients to be stronger supporters of equality, and drive real change across the world. Across the world, being an LGBT+ person all too often means you are faced with legal discrimination and persecution. Working with partners in civil society and across the world of business, we are building partnerships and taking strategic action to help dismantle such laws, whilst at the same time we work constantly to change cultural attitudes that allow such laws to exist.

From Poland to Singapore, London to Brazil, we are working in courtrooms and communities to make sure no one ever feels that they will face a life of marginalisation simply because of who they are and who they fall in love with.

Virtual Pride Art

Happy Pride 2021! 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world. 2021 provides a platform for us all to emerge from the past year, to reflect on our resilience, come together in support of our LGBT+ and allies communities, and to take that energy into the future.

Our Arcus Pride Art galleries, assembled through our Arcus networks across the globe, are part of our commitment to both celebrate and champion LGBT+ people and their equality. Through these galleries we aim to raise awareness, and empower and inspire people to become advocates and supporters of LGBT+ equality.

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Building Bridges


We were delighted to come together with J.P. Morgan recently to host "Building Bridges", an LGBT+ ally training virtual webinar . With word clouds, small group activities and a range of hypothetical scenarios to ponder, colleagues from APAC, Europe and the UK were thoroughly engaged during this insightful session.

Thank you to our hosts, Eddy Chan, Stephanie Tong and Tiernan Brady.

Australia offices awarded Gold Status at the Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards


​The firm's Australia offices have been awarded Gold Status at the Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards​ (AWEI) for LGBT+ workplace inclusion and diversity.

The awards are independently audited and recognise Australia's top organisations for LGBT+ workplace inclusion and diversity.

The Australia team has worked tirelessly to improve LGBT+ diversity and inclusion and generate change in our offices.

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This is radical love: the history of Black queer Britain in pictures


Marc Thompson and Jason Okundaye launched a digital archive, "Black and Gay, Back in the Day", on Instagram at the start of LGBTQ History Month in 2021.They wanted to document the lives of Black queer people in Britain – not just those seen as icons or famous figures, but the everyday people who contributed to Black culture and frequented Black spaces.

Marc and Jason joined our Arcus and REACH networks for a vibrant virtual event that showcased their photo collection, sharing stories of many of the people in the images.

International Transgender Day of Visibility


Here at Clifford Chance we pride ourselves on being a trans inclusive workplace and we marked TDOV with a virtual Lunch and Learn event in partnership with Unilever's PROUD network. Tate Smith spoke about his life as a trans man, why allyship is important, and much more. Thank you for sharing your story Tate.

LGBTI at work


In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Pride Amsterdam, our Partner and diversity and inclusion ambassador Ilse van Gasteren shared her story of acceptance and inclusion as a LGBTI lawyer when she started at Clifford Chance 20 years ago.

Ilse says: "I realise that I was lucky. There is still discrimination, exclusion and harassment against LGBTI employees in some companies. Such companies will have to set tough (but realistic) targets, and look for LGBTI role models. Finally, there should be clear rules of conduct regarding LGBTI inclusion, which are actually monitored. As an employer, you have to show that these things are on the agenda at the highest level, and remain there. It is a culture change, and that takes time, but it can be done."

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Choir@CC performs "Let's Do It"


Clifford Chance's global (virtual) choir has recorded a performance of 1920s New York writer and singer Cole Porter's Let's Do It.

Cole Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Writing in 1920s New York, Cole found a clever way to write freely without fear of retribution. His love songs are coded, loaded with sly references to those in the know, and wonderfully ambiguous. For the first time in mainstream culture he deliberately replaced “he” and “she” with “me”, “you” and "us".

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Pro bono highlights

Clifford Chance leads LGBT groups to victory in Poland


Our Warsaw team have won a legal victory in Poland on behalf of LGBT groups, successfully bringing a motion to a Polish court which ordered the conservative newspaper Gazeta Polska to halt the distribution of "LGBT-free zone" stickers.

Partner Marcin Cieminski and Advocate Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram led the pro bono team in the case, with the support from Advocate Monika Kozieł and Counsel Michał Drwal. Clifford Chance Warsaw is cooperating in this matter with Advocate Michał Wawrykiewicz.

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Clifford Chance acts in judicial review proceedings related to X Passports


In July 2021, the Supreme Court heard judicial review proceedings on X Passports brought by Clifford Chance on behalf of Christie Elan-Cane.

Clifford Chance and Blackstone Chambers, acting pro bono on behalf of Christie Elan-Cane, launched judicial review proceedings in 2017 challenging the lawfulness of the UK Government's passport policy. That policy requires that either an "M" or an "F" gender marker appear on every UK passport and does not allow for a non-gender specific marker, notwithstanding that non-gender specific passports ("X passports") are permitted by the relevant international standards and are available in a number of countries worldwide.

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LGBT+ in Brazil


We are acting for a Brazilian LGBT individual who is applying for asylum in the United States on the grounds of (i) persecution against LGBTs in Brazil and (ii) protection under the Convention Against Torture.

An initial application for asylum has been submitted and we are currently waiting for the Bethpage Asylum Office to schedule an interview with the client. The Clifford Chance team, led by Jeff LeMaster, a partner in our New York office, is comprised of associates and trainees from multiple offices, including Shane Meckler and Teo Pastor in São Paulo, Brian Yin and Giancarlo Reanda in New York and Deon Fang in London.


Arcus is our global inclusive employee network open to all Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans*, Intersex, Queer people and their Allies​​​. Arcus aims to encourage an inclusive and integrated culture within Clifford Chance that gives colleagues the choice to be open and out.

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Reporting library

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Mapping our objectives

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The latest points of view from our people on our responsible business activities

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