Follow us

Reflecting its commitment to championing diversity and inclusion globally, Herbert Smith Freehills has become the Principal Legal Partner of WorldPride 2023.

Sydney WorldPride will mark the first time the WorldPride festival will be held in the Southern Hemisphere, and with close to 1 million people expected to attend, it will be the biggest international summer event in Sydney since borders reopened. Held in conjunction with the 2023 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, this flagship LGBT+ celebration will be the pinnacle of pride and advocacy, featuring events that include the first WorldPride Human Rights Conference in the Asia Pacific.

Herbert Smith Freehills CEO Justin D’Agostino, the first openly gay CEO of a major international law firm, said the firm is devoted to walking the talk when it comes to supporting its LGBT+ community and clients.

“As a firm, championing diversity and inclusion is not just what we do, it’s who we are,” Mr D’Agostino said.

“We play a role in helping to address legal discrimination against LGBT+ people in a range of jurisdictions, including supporting the marriage equality debate and backing local LGBT+ organisations in countries across our global network.

“For instance, in Australia, the firm helped to establish the Pinnacle Foundation over 10 years ago and has continued to provide it with pro bono support ever since. We also supported the Human Rights Law Centre by reviewing Commonwealth legislation to identify areas where same sex couples were treated less favourably than married couples.

“On a personal front, I have always been deeply committed to ensuring an inclusive culture is embedded across our firm and the profession. When I became a partner in 2007, I founded our first LGBT+ network (IRIS), one of the first such networks of any international law firm.

“Now, here I am, some 15 years later, announcing that we are the Principal Legal Partner of Sydney WorldPride. It’s just remarkable how far we have come,” Mr D’Agostino said.

Emphasising the truly international reach of the partnership, Herbert Smith Freehills is providing the opportunity for two team members from anywhere across its global network to attend Sydney WorldPride including the Human Rights Conference.

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett said: “Sydney WorldPride is a global celebration of LGBT+ brilliance right here in Australia and we are delighted to have the support of Herbert Smith Freehills to make it happen.

“Major events require huge legal expertise and can be challenging to manage for commercial festivals, let alone a not-for-profit like Sydney WorldPride, so we are extremely grateful for the continued advice and support that Herbert Smith Freehills provides as our Principal Legal partner.”

Sydney WorldPride will take place on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation from 17 February – 5 March 2023. The theme, GATHER, DREAM, AMPLIFY, was developed in partnership with First Nations people.

WorldPride is a global event licensed by InterPride. American Express is the Principal Partner of Sydney WorldPride. Destination NSW is the Strategic Partner of Sydney WorldPride.

For more information or to sign up for pre-sale tickets and the latest news, including headliner reveals, subscribe to the Sydney WorldPride newsletter at

Key contacts

Justin D'Agostino photo

Justin D'Agostino

Chief Executive Officer and Partner, Hong Kong

Justin D'Agostino