We are LGBTQ+ Friendly Solicitors

‘I was very surprised that in 2020 this was something that needs to be declared as surely all solicitors should be LGBTQ+ friendly.’

Faye Harlow Smith is a solicitor in our Private Client department and here she recounts and discusses her experience as an LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor. Here at Hart Reade we are happy to declare as a firm that we are all LGBTQ+ friendly and our doors are open to welcome and advise all clients, whatever their sexuality.

What does being an LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor mean?

An LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor is a solicitor that has experience in advising clients who identify as being part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. And who has a good understanding of the laws and circumstances which may affect the community. Personally, whilst at university I studied the laws around civil partnerships, transgender transitions including the legal change of gender. As well as the parental rights of same sex couples. I then campaigned for same sex marriage to be entered into law and followed the Act closely as it went through parliament. Equal Rights is a matter close to my heart.

How did you become an LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor?

As a private client solicitor, I have always been interested in families and relationships as I see the importance of these on a daily basis. No two families are the same and every client that comes in has different circumstances that we need to consider to provide the best advice.

I initially came across the term ‘LGBTQ+ friendly solicitors’ when I was updating my Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) profile and there was the option to declare yourself. I selected this option as I have always been interested and involved in the community. It was surprising to then receive a large increase in enquiries and when I spoke to clients they confirmed that they were reassured by the label. Unfortunately, law firms and solicitors can be perceived as being old fashioned, judgemental or intimidating. Which can put people off making enquiries or seeking advice. However, I think this is often a misconception – especially when it comes to Hart Reade and I would urge all clients to feel confident to book an appointment with us.

What experience do you have as an LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor?

My area of expertise is private client law. Which covers a broad range of topics such as the preparation of Wills, the application for Grants of Representation, the administration of estates and the creation and administration of Trusts. I also advise on capacity and assist people in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney or application to the Court of Protection. We help vulnerable people manage their affairs and the partners in our department have been appointed as attorneys and deputies for people in our community. I regularly assist with the day to day management of their affairs.

Covering such a broad range of topics means that I meet and act for a huge variety of people. I have regularly met with same sex couples to advise on Wills and Estate planning. I have advised families on the best legal wording to ensure their unique family circumstances are properly provided for. This has included but is not limited to ensuring step children, adopted children, children from a previous relationship and transitioning grandchildren can be traced. Then they can be sure to benefit from the estate of the loving parent/ grandparent. I have advised on the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the effect of converting a civil partnership into a marriage.

Get in touch

The SRA have removed the option from the solicitor profile pages. I still wanted to reach out and identify myself as an LGBTQ+ friendly solicitor to anyone who may be seeking advice. If you would like an appointment with me in relation to any other matter please do get in touch. Either call on 01323 841481 to arrange an appointment  or please fill in the form below and someone will get in touch.

Please click here to fill in our contact form

Please note the above is for information purposes only and is intended to be a short summary.  It should not be treated as a comprehensive guide and should not be acted on without qualified legal advice.