Liverpool legal duo back city’s Pride festival and the battle against prejudice 

Emma Carey, managing partner of MSB Solicitors, and Beverley Jones, a partner at JMW, are both longstanding supporters of the event which takes place this weekend. Tony McDonough reports

Emma Carey
Emma Carey, left, of MSB, and Beverley Jones of JMW


Two of Liverpool’s most prominent family lawyers, Emma Carey and Beverley Jones, will be at Liverpool Pride this weekend in a show of professional sector support for the LGBT+ community.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Liverpool on July 28-29 for the Pride march through the city centre, which will finish at the festival’s new home in Tithebarn Street in the business district.

Both Emma, managing partner of MSB Solicitors, and Beverley, a partner at JMW and head of its newly set up Liverpool office, have both been staunch supporters of the LGBT+ community and the wider diversity agenda for several years.

Driving force

Emma will lead a contingent of more than 20 MSB employees on the Pride march. She was the driving force behind the firm securing the Navajo LGBT kite mark, the first legal firm in the North West to receive it.

She was also shortlisted for Straight/Gay Ally at this year’s British LGBT Awards.

“We have now established MSB as one of the most progressive law firms in the country,” Emma said. “Diversity and inclusion isn’t just a bolt-on for the firm. It is at the heart of our whole ethos.

“Liverpool Pride is not just is a celebration of the LGBT+ community – it is a reminder that people continue to face prejudice and barriers every day of their lives and that we all have responsibility to help bring about change.”

New team

In May, Beverley set up the Liverpool office of Manchester law firm JMW, heading up a team specialising in family law at the Plaza in St Paul’s Square. She has supported and taken part in Pride for a number of years.

She will run a joint stand at the event with an organisation called Diversity Role Models, which was established to tackle LGBT+ prejudice and bullying in schools.

“I was keen to continue being involved in Pride and JMW have been very supportive,” said Beverley. “I will be there on the day, not just to show my support, but also to be on hand to offer legal advice.

Click here for full details of Liverpool Pride 2018

“I can advise directly on matters of family law or if people want advice in other areas I can point them in the right direction.”

Beverley adds that it is also important that professional firms in Liverpool such as JMW send out a clear message that they are fully inclusive.

She explained: “It is important to me that people are treated equally, whoever they are. We need to give that message as a professional community and as a city. People from the LGBT community are entitled to the same respect as everyone else.”

Liverpool Pride
Liverpool Pride takes place this coming weekend


Into schools

Emma Miller-McCaffrey, community engagement manager at Diversity Role Models (DRM), explained why the work of the organisation was so important. She told LBN: “The Government has just unveiled its LGBT Action plan which highlighted that just 3% of young people have had any kind of conversations about LGBT issues.

“It is not being talked about enough and that is what we do – we go into schools and get conversations started.”

DRM goes into both primary and secondary schools, accompanied by “everyday role models” and adopts different strategies for each. In primary schools the focus is on talking about different types of families, especially in the context of same-sex parents.

In secondary schools the approach is more sophisticated, with a focus on challenging stereotypes and looking at how language is used. Emma cites the example of the widespread use of the phrase “that’s so gay” among young people.

Role models

She added: “At Pride this weekend we want to encourage people to support us by becoming role models (she is looking to recruit Beverley) and we want to promote our work to people who work in education.

“Schools are more receptive these days. Through our work we look to give young people a better understanding of what LGBT is and how we can all be more kind to each other.”

This year’s Pride marks a decade since the death of gay teenager Michael Causer, who lost his life on August 2, 2008, after a vicious homophobic attack in Liverpool city centre. The theme of this year’s festival is #AllTogether, sending clear messages locally, nationally and internationally that the Liverpool city region is visibly LGBT+ friendly and proud to be diverse.

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