Steve Wardlaw



Steve is a respected international business lawyer and prominent gay rights campaigner.

Ranked highly across leading LGBT lists of influence, he co-founded Emerald Life to change the insurance industry for the better, bringing with him his passion for equality and his zeal for good business.

As an associate and then a partner at US law firm Baker Botts, he was the first English-qualified associate to join the company, moving through the ranks and eventually opening and running the organisation’s Moscow branch, where he lived with his husband, Ian, for 8 years. Following this, Steve ran the London office before retiring from the firm to focus on Emerald in 2015.

He and Ian were influential in the campaign for civil partnerships in the UK and today, Steve is an active ambassador for Stonewall and speaks on their trans ally program, as well as acting as a governor at his local primary school in Kent. Steve works with Positive East on fundraising, is a Diversity Role Model and also advises ‘Gloves not Gunz’, a South London Charity working against youth violence.

In his younger days, Steve won a silver medal at the gay games in Amsterdam in 1998 for Latin-American ballroom dancing, after which, he and his dance partner helped to develop the first European circuit for same-sex couples to compete in the sport. He has since hung up his Cuban dance heels, although really, he still likes to dust them off occasionally and samba across the dance floor.

Steve and Ian live in Kent, with their standard schnauzer Calvin, and their Welsh terrier, Jasper.

Steve’s thoughts on Emerald:
“Our concept was simple. We wanted to take the insurance sector and – for the first time – rebuild it with a strong focus on the LGBT community, the community I am part of. We’ve made monumental progress on major issues surrounding gay equality; from early successes such as the age of consent right up to same-sex marriage, yet we still don’t have full equality in the everyday services we need, and in our dealings with those who provide us with them. Our aim is to abolish these inequalities and make sure the LGBT community gets true equality of experience in areas of life, like insurance, where we are taken for granted, or simply forgotten.”