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Clifford Chance and the Human Rights Campaign agree global partnership to advance LGBT+ equality

14 October 2019

Clifford Chance and the Human Rights Campaign agree global partnership to advance LGBT+ equality

International law firm Clifford Chance announces its pro bono partnership with the Human Rights Campaign ("HRC") to bring strategic impact litigation in support of LGBT+ rights and equality worldwide. The Firm will serve as international legal partner in this initiative, working jointly with Washington-based HRC to advocate for change and hold organisations and governments that discriminate against the LGBT+ community accountable. HRC is the world's largest LGBT+ civil rights organisation, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters.

The Firm will advise and help HRC staff attorneys write and analyse legislation and regulations, direct and draft amicus briefs, and advise legislators at all levels of government on a wide variety of legal issues related to LGBTQ equality.

Managing Partner Matthew Layton said, "As signatories of the UN's Standard of Conduct for Business for Tackling Discrimination against lesbian, Bi, Trans and Intersex people, Clifford Chance shares HRC's commitment to equality and campaigning. We are uniquely prepared to use the knowledge and skills of our preeminent global Firm to take on these issues, fight for justice and live our values."

“We are proud to collaborate with Clifford Chance as we expand our existing legal work both in the United States and around the globe," said HRC President Alphonso David. "Adding domestic and international impact litigation to our approach gives us a critical tool to fight against oppressive legislative and policy measures, and better advocate for LGBTQ rights. This is a natural extension of the legal advocacy the Human Rights Campaign has been doing for nearly four decades."

Tiernan Brady, Global Head of Inclusion added: “At Clifford Chance we are committed to ensuring that LGBT+ people enjoy the same status and standing as everyone else. And when you believe in a set of values then you have to go out and fight for them every day, and that's exactly what we intend to do. We are delighted to be partnering with the HRC in this shared mission."

The partnership with HRC reinforces the Firm's commitment to promoting equality and complements its extensive portfolio of global LGBT+ legal work, including:

  • The firm successfully brought a motion to a Polish court which ordered the conservative newspaper Gazeta Polska to halt the distribution of 'LGBT-free zone' stickers.
  • Representatives of the Firm have successfully persuaded a specially constituted 3-Judge High Court chaired by the Chief Justice of Singapore to allow a gay man to adopt his son, who was conceived through surrogacy in the United States.
  • Lawyers from the firm's Criminal Law Alliance partner in Singapore, are lead counsel to argue a similar challenge, ongoing before the Singapore Courts against the section 377A of the (Singapore) Penal Code
  • The Firm is analysing the provisions of the recently introduced penal code in Brunei. The Firm is engaged with human rights and LGBT+ community and groups in the region and globally to build the strongest possible coalition to reverse the law.
  • Clifford Chance has secured permission from the English Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court's finding that the UK Government's policy to refuse to issue non-gendered passports ('X' passports) is lawful.

Further information on Clifford Chance's commitment to LGBT+ rights and equality can be found in its annual Responsible Business Report, which the firm publishes in accordance with the United Nations Global Compact:

About Human Rights Campaign

As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide — all committed to making HRC's vision a reality. HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.