Freshfields has launched a network to enable staff to publically declare their support for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues.

Workers who sign up to the programme will become "Halo Champions", which will signify to their LGBT peers that they are vocal and active supporters of LGBT people, and to everyone else that they really like a computer game. Over 100 staff and clients attended the launch party at the firm's London office, where three partners, the COO and the firm's Risk and Compliance officer were unveiled as inaugural HCs.

    Halo Champions: How they might look

Partner Andrew Austin said the scheme was necessary because people "often make the mistake of assuming that everyone knows that they are supportive of their LGBT colleagues", overlooking how "many have experienced negative encounters" and "might be reluctant to take to the risk of coming out to others unless they are sure they are in a safe environment".

The firm has also teamed up with Linklaters, Jones Day and banks including Credit Suisse to launch a support network called P3 for LGBT parents and parents of LGBT children, which aims to help staff deal with the challenges of LGBT parenting alongside the pressures of a City career. Co-founder Steven Friel said that companies and organisations often weren’t aware of their "unique" needs, and that P3 hoped to "give employers a valuable resource to help guide them to best practice in supporting all of their staff, regardless of gender or sexuality".
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 19 September 14 10:01

Has anyone actually asked the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals if they are happy to be included in the same bracket as transexuals? Or is it just assumed that 'they're all non-hetero, it's fine'.

Anonymous 19 September 14 22:39

It sounds like a good idea but I do get tired of the way everything gets branded and particularly the use of the word 'champions'. How can you possibly say "I'm a Halo Champion" and keep a straight face, or here someone else say it and not want to push them down the stairs?

Anonymous 20 September 14 00:44

At anon 09.01. On the same basis one imagines your own bracket of "people who can go and f*ck themselves" will be included soon.

Anonymous 20 September 14 12:41

Does anyone else remember when we went to work to do a job and no-one asked or cared about anyone's sex life?

Anonymous 20 September 14 17:03

"No-one asked or cared about anyone's sex life". The saddest thing about that is that it didn't even occur to me. I wish I didn't have to appear to care. I really don't.

Anonymous 20 September 14 17:09

Freshies does a lot of internal branding as I recall (haven't been there for a while). They used to call their intranet iFreshfields and I'm sure they have quite a few different kinds of champions, climate change champions and navel-gazing champions and so forth. Business psychology and neuro-linguistic programming have a lot to answer for. In my experience a lot of the more creative and independent people get put off by it. Mind you, as long as the firm is making money I don't suppose the partners care. Soon we'll all have bar codes tattooed on instead of security cards.

Anonymous 29 September 14 10:18

"Does anyone else remember when we went to work to do a job and no-one asked or cared about anyone's sex life?"

No, actually, I do not remember such a time. In fact, in the not too distant past, Monday mornings were about which solicitor got it on with which secretary on which desk in the office after Friday drinks and client functions often ended up in the girlie bar. Yes, things have moved on over the past 5-10 years and are better, and in an ideal world "it doesn't matter and no one cares" but to pretend the law (and finance industry) were not traditionally macho, sexist, elitist and homophobic in the past is not correct. And even though it's better, there's still a long way to go. These things make a difference, maybe not to the straight employees, but to those who are different and may not know what it is like to be supported and valued and their partners acknowledged, and to the 10 year old confused kid who needs to know he or she is alright and that his or her feelings are worth just as much as any one else's.