PRIDE – Reflections on the Rainbow

The staff at Browell Smith & Co are happy to extend their warm wishes to our LGBTQIA+ clients and staff who are celebrating Pride this month. Paul Henley from our well-established Family Team has been spending sometime this week reflecting on what Pride means to him working at Browell Smith & Co.

Paul has made the following comments and observations during this month:

“It is very easy to forget whilst working in such an open and respectable environment as Browells that, as a gay man, it is a privilege to be “out” to my colleagues and clients. However, the sad reality is that even now, in 2022 many of the LGBTQIA+ community cannot reconcile their queer identities and their work identity or access appropriate legal services.

It is horrifying to note that in 69 countries in the world today, being “out” can result in criminal sanctions! I have therefore chosen to spend Pride Month educating myself on the history of Pride itself as well as current issues facing the queer community. Pride, for those who do not know, was born out of protest riots held in New York following Police Raids at a local gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in the early hours of the 28th of June 1969. This year, 2022, is significant in the UK as we mark 50 years since our first Pride, with Newcastle finally getting to host UK Pride in July.

Whilst strides are being made to improve access to legal advice and tackling discrimination, it is a sad truth that there are still many barriers to overcome, not least a greater understanding of the nuances for LGBT clients seeking advice. I am exceptionally lucky that every day at Browells is not only a daily celebration of my Pride but also a positive, supportive, welcoming and understanding workplace. I have seen first-hand how my colleagues “go the extra mile” to support our LGBT clients and staff. My own department regularly assist with matters unique to our community, such as access to tailored legal advice for surrogacy arrangements, private adoptions, jurisdictional child arrangements, matrimonial and cohabitation rights, change of names and much more.

I have no trouble saying that here at Browells we welcome the opportunity to continue our support for new and existing LGBT clients, representing their needs for yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Browell’s is committed to making services to our clients as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. We have been dedicated to representing their needs since 1995 and will strive to continue to assist to the best of our abilities every day of the year. Happy Pride to you all!

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