Baker McKenzie and Simmons & Simmons are among five City firms to have been recognised today for their efforts at creating diverse workspaces for lesbian, gay and trans staff.

The annual list, compiled by diversity charity Stonewall, also recognises Herbert Smith Freehills, magic circle outfit Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Pinsent Masons.

This year 12 businesses are featured in the list, meaning law firms take up nearly half of the spots.

Justin D’Agostino, head of disputes at Herbert Smith Freehills and sponsor of the firm’s LGBT network, said: ‘This is a great recognition of our efforts to create an LGBT inclusive culture across our global network of offices. I am proud that we are a firm which is true to our values and willing to push the needle on inclusion.’

Justin D'Agostino

Justin D'Agostino

Mahrie Webb, a financial services partner and LGBT network member at Simmons & Simmons, added: ‘We seek to integrate diversity into our business activities and processes and to foster an inclusive environment where all colleagues can fulfil their potential.'

'Although LGBT rights are not recognised or protected in many jurisdictions in which we operate, we continue to address this to ensure that all of our LGBT colleagues have access to equal opportunity.’

Meanwhile Baker McKenzie, alongside another city firm in Berwin Leighton Paisner, has also backed a drive to improve career progression for people of black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

The firms are among several organisations that have made pledges ahead of the Investing in Ethnicity and Race conference, due to be held later this year.

The conference comes on the back of a government review on the lack of BAME talent in executive positions. Other organisations also joining in the pledge include the Bank of England, HSBC and Tesco.

Anthony Poulton, Baker McKenzie partner, said: ‘We believe diversity makes us stronger and better placed to serve the communities in which we operate. As a firm, we are committed to ensuring those from diverse racial, ethnic or multi-cultural backgrounds can succeed on a level playing field.’