ChambersRegulation & Government

Barristers launch equality, diversity and inclusion directory

The directory sets out guidance on a range of topics in a bid to encourage the profession to adopt and embrace improved practices.

Nine barristers from the inaugural Bar Council Leadership Programme have launched the Bar’s first ever Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Directory.

The directory has been created to set out guidance for barristers, chambers and others, to encourage the profession to adopt and embrace improved practices.

Split into 11 key areas of equality, diversity and inclusion, it sets out the applicable minimum legislative and regulatory standards, draws together resources from existing initiatives, highlights other commendable practices beyond the Bar, and provides an overview of themes and best practices.

The nine authors of the directory include Laura Bayley from Crucible Law, Bo Kay Fung from the FCA, Chris Gutteridge from Exchange Chambers, Narinder Jhittay from Maitland Chambers, and Khadija Leuenberger from 36 Stone.

It is also authored by Francesca O’Neill from 1 Chancery Lane, Lydia Pemberton from 3 Paper Buildings, Andrew Powell from 4 Paper Buildings, and Susanna Rickard from Serjeants’ Inn Chambers.

Derek Sweeting QC, chair of the Bar, said: “It is great to see members of the profession taking their own initiative in drawing together information, for the benefit of their colleagues, on protected characteristics, bullying and harassment, as well as the fair allocation of work and recruitment.

“The Bar Council encourages interventions aimed at improving equality, diversity and inclusion at the Bar.”

Gutteridge added: “The basic requirements in the equality legislation and the BSB’s Equality and Diversity rules provide the minimum standards that all Chambers must adopt to avoid unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failure to make reasonable adjustments. 

“However, these requirements are a bare minimum and much more is required to demonstrate a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. The Bar can, and should, aim much higher. Only by doing so can it harness its true potential.”

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