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 fourth podcast is a discussion with Naosuke Fujita and Alexander Dmitrenko, the co-chairs and two of the co-founders of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network (LLAN), an organisation working to eliminate discrimination against LGBT+ people in Japan.
Ewan Watson, a member of the Law Society's LGBT+ Committee, is the host of this podcast and he is joined by Alex Vowinckel, another member of the LGBT+ committee.
Naosuke Fujita is a Co-Representative Director and one of the co-founders of LLAN. Naosuke is a graduate of Waseda University Department of Law and University of Michigan Law School LLM. Following a career as a business lawyer at Japanese and US law firms, Naosuke was General Counsel for Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. and an Ally of its LGBT Network until his early retirement in December 2019.
He is now in transition spending more time on LGBT and other pro bono legal matters while mulling over what next. In June 2017 Naosuke was awarded by Financial Times the Most Innovative General Counsel Award in connection with activities related to LLAN. Naosuke is editor and co-author of LLAN’s first publication “A Guide to Creating an LGBT friendly workplace” (Japanese) (December 2019) a primer on how to initiate an LGBT diversity program and why.
Alexander Dmitrenko is a Co-Representative Director and one of the co-founders of LLAN. Alexander began his legal career in Canada, including working on same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights cases. He also worked at Sojitz Corporation (Tokyo headquarters), Debevoise & Plimpton (NYC) and is currently Head of Asia Sanctions at Freshfields focusing on regulatory and compliance matters.
Alexander has LL.M. degrees from NYU, University of Toronto and Central European University. He is qualified to practice law in the Russian Federation, New York State and England & Wales.
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.
Alex is a member of the Law Society’s LGBT+ Committee. Alex works as Intellectual Property lawyer (German qualified) in the London office of CMS, combining passions for practical brand and design protection with interest in research and know how. Alex is also on the Committee of CMS’ LGBT+ Network as well as one of the firm’s Wellbeing Ambassadors. Alex lives in West London with husband and daughter.