Join Burlingtons as we look back at the development of LGBT within the legal profession for the 13th LGBT history month.

Changes since the turn of the millennium

It was only in 2000 when LGBT people have been allowed to openly serve in the armed forces, 2002 that same-sex couples could adopt children and 2005 that transgender people could change their gender in the UK. More recently, same-sex marriage became legal in the England and Wales in 2013.

LGBT in the legal profession

In a recent report published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, questions on sexual orientation received such a low response rate that the results were excluded from their analysis on diversity within the legal profession*. The representation of the LGBT community within the legal profession appears to mirror that within society at large.

Diversity in the legal profession

The Law Society Annual Statistics Report describes the size and composition of the solicitors' profession in England and Wales. Representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) amongst practising solicitors rose to 16 per cent in 2016 and has more than doubled over the past 15 years.

The proportion of female solicitors in BAME groups (57 per cent) was greater than the share amongst those of white European origin (48 per cent).

Increasing diversity in the profession is cause for celebration and we at Burlingtons are proud to be led by a female senior partner. We are committed to promoting inclusion within our firm and the legal profession, reflecting diversity within our society.

Diversity or unlawful discrimination within the workplace

Children as young as 12 are on Instagram but did you know the minimum age requirement is 13? With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25 May 2018 you should consider who your users are and whether you need to put systems in place to verify the user's age or obtain their parent's consent. The GDPR states that, if consent is your basis for processing the child's personal data, a child under the age of 16 can't give that consent themselves and instead consent is required from a person holding 'parental responsibility' – but note that it does permit member states to provide for a lower age in law, as long as it is not below 13.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of diversity within your workplace or how you can promote your diversity policy, please contact our head of employment Richard Berry at Richard.berry@burlingtonslegal.com.

*Mapping advantages and disadvantages: Diversity in the legal profession in England and Wales Final Report for the Solicitors Regulation Authority October 2017

Disclaimer: this newsletter is provided for general information only and is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as legal advice in relation to any particular matter.

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