LGBT+ lawyers

Pride: Home and away - In discussion with Brett Hearnden and Peter Dernbach

For this year's Pride special, our theme is Home and Away, celebrating the LGBT+ community under COVID-19 restrictions. In our Pride podcast series we speak to LGBT+ legal professionals in different countries around the world to find out how the pandemic has affected them and how Pride is being marked this year.

Our final podcast in the series is a discussion with Brett Hearnden and Peter Dernbach. Brett lives in Sydney and is a partner at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers. Peter lives in Taipei and is a partner at Winkler Partners. Both firms are part of the Interlaw global legal network, that provides legal services to clients with operations across the world. Brett and Peter share their experiences of working as a LGBT+ legal professional in Australia and Taiwan.

The podcast is hosted by Ewan Watson and Helen Randall who are members of the Law Society's LGBT+ Committee.

Brett Hearnden, Peter Dernbach and Helen Randall


Brett Hearnden

Brett is a Sydney partner of Interlaw’s Australian partner firm Hunt & Hunt Lawyers and a member of the firm’s litigation team. His practice is focussed on regulatory enforcement, administrative reviews and public law.

He leads a team of experienced and highly regarded advocates who represent government clients in their prosecutions for regulatory and criminal offences and defending their administrative decision making. He regularly represents Government and private clients in judicial reviews, coronial inquiries and disciplinary hearings.

Brett is often retained to act in high profile, novel or strategically significant policy cases and is an advisor to key stakeholders in respect of the impact, prosecution and effectiveness of new enforcement technologies.

He regularly advises clients on Judicial Reviews to the NSW Supreme Court and appeals to the Courts of Appeal and Criminal Appeal, the District Court or the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

With a strong interest and commitment to workplace diversity and community contribution he is the current chair of the "Diversity, Inclusion and Community" group of Interlaw, an international network of independent law firms, and a director of Clean Up Australia, a not for profit environmental conservation organisation.

Peter Dernbach

Peter J. Dernbach is Coordinating Partner of Taipei, at Interlaw’s Taiwan-based partner firm Winkler Partners, coordinating the firm’s intellectual property practice and community initiatives. Winkler Partners is the first law firm in Asia to be certified as a B Corporation, and Peter helps lead the firm’s efforts as a mission-driven law firm to provide the best work environment for colleagues, the best service to clients and the best contribution to our community.

Active in the international IP conversation, Peter has served on the board of directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA) 2015-17, where he is a member of the Brands for a Better Society Committee, the Programming Advisory Council and the Nominating Committee.

Through WIPO, he has served as a panelist in over 100 domain name disputes brought under ICANN’s UDRP system. Peter is also a member of the board of an environmental law organisation in Taiwan, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, and B Lab Taiwan. Peter won the inaugural INTA Service Award for a Better Society in 2019 and is a member of the International Bar Association’s LGBTI Committee.

Ewan Watson

Ewan Watson is a member of the Law Society’s LGBT+ Committee. He works as a solicitor in the in-house legal team at Warner Bros., specialising in TV licensing and distribution and is also actively involved in the LGBT+ staff network, Out@WarnerMedia. Ewan lives with his husband in North London.

Helen Randall

Helen is a senior equity partner and the Diversity Champion at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, a firm belonging to the global Interlaw network representing the networks clients in England, Wales, the UAE, Bahrain and Oman. She specialises in public sector commercial law.

Helen is also the Interlaw D&I representative for the EMEA region and Chair of Stonewall Housing, a specialist LGBT+ housing association.

Listen to the podcast:

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