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Freshfields supports LGBTQ+ case before Court of Justice of the European Union

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has partnered with ILGA Europe, an international non-governmental umbrella organisation bringing together over 600 organisations advocating human rights and equality for LGBTQ+ people in Europe.

Through its cooperation with the organisation, Freshfields is providing legal and strategic support in a case before the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) with far-reaching implications for LGBTQ+ rights in the EU (Case C 490/20).

Today, 09 February 2021, the Grand Chamber of the CJEU will hear a request for a preliminary ruling in this case. The question before the EU court is whether Bulgaria’s refusal to recognise a birth certificate issued in another EU Member State (Spain) to a Bulgarian national with two mothers, on the basis that Bulgaria does not recognise same-sex marriages, violates EU law.

“The preliminary ruling is a long-awaited opportunity for the CJEU to continue strengthening LGBTQ+ rights within the EU”, said Carsten Wendler, Freshfields disputes, litigation and arbitration partner. “LGBTQ+ couples and their children still face unequal treatment in the Member States. The EU court has the chance to clarify that once parentage is established in one Member State, all other Member States must recognise these vested rights regardless of their stance on same sex marriage,” he added.

“This pro bono matter is part of our global commitment to diversity & inclusion. We intend to continue our cooperation with ILGA Europe and to support LGBTQ+ families in their fight for equality,” said Boris Kasolowsky, partner and head of Freshfields German Business and Human Rights practice.

The Freshfields team is being led by partners Boris Kasolowsky, Carsten Wendler, and associates Stuti Gadodia, Alexander Grimm and Roopa Mathews.

The firm brings extensive experience to this cooperation, having recently announced that it had joined the Out Leadership community, the largest global business community dedicated to improving LGBTQ+ equality. Earlier in January, senior partner Georgia Dawson and head of Asia sanctions Alexander Dmitrenko were recognised in the 2020 Yahoo Finance Outstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists.

For further information contact: 

• Rolf Benders
+49 151 29 22 52 72