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Equal Opportunity & Diversity

OUR CORE VALUES INCLUDE A COMMITMENT TO EQUALITY, DIVERSITY, SOCIAL MOBILITY AND WELL-BEING.

 

Our commitment means that we have considered and have policies in place for our set which recognise and promote:

  • Equality and Diversity
  • Flexible Working
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Parental Leave
  • Back to the Bar after leave
  • Return to Work
  • Transitioning at Work
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Well-being

Chambers, its staff and members operate a policy that we do not discriminate directly, indirectly or unconsciously against, or victimise anyone, on the grounds of their race, colour, national or ethnic origins; nationality or citizenship; gender, marital status or sexual orientation; religion, political persuasion, age or disability.

In fact, chambers continually has CPD training around issues of discrimination that minority groups can experience to ensure that our membership is appropriately informed and educated about these matters.

This policy is applied in deciding whether to accept briefs and instructions from clients and in the provision of services; in the selection, recruitment and treatment of staff, pupils and tenants.

Where a professional or lay client, as a result of disability, cannot attend chambers, we will visit the premises of the professional or lay client as appropriate.

Chambers, its staff and members do not act on any instructions or inducement to discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origins, nationality or citizenship; gender, marital status or sexual orientation; religion, political persuasion, age or disability. Equally, we do not instruct, induce, or attempt to induce anyone to discriminate on such grounds.

 

ADHERENCE WITH LEGISLATION DUTIES AND CODES OF CONDUCT

Chambers respects and adheres to its duties in accordance with relevant legislation and codes of conduct including, but not limited to:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • The Bar Standard’s Board Equality and Diversity Rules of Conduct
  • The Equality Code for the Bar

Please find our Diversity Data for Spire Barristers as at January 2024

Commitment

Chambers, its staff and members do not discriminate directly or indirectly against, or victimise anyone, on the grounds of their race, colour, national or ethnic origins; nationality or citizenship; gender, marital status or sexual orientation; religion, political persuasion, age or disability. This policy is applied in deciding whether to accept briefs and instructions from clients and in the provision of services; in the selection, recruitment and treatment of staff, pupils and tenants. Where a professional or lay client, as a result of disability, cannot attend chambers, we will visit the premises of the professional or lay client as appropriate.

Committed to Promoting Diversity and Social Mobility at the Bar

At Spire Barristers, we are passionate about creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. We recognize that historically, the Bar has been perceived as elitist and exclusive. We believe that it is our responsibility to change that perception.

One of our methods of addressing this issue is through active participation in training and outreach schemes on the North Eastern Circuit, and with some of our members engaging in outreach work with, for instance, the Inns of Courts. We believe that it is essential to engage with our local communities and inspire the next generation of legal professionals, regardless of their background or circumstances.

We are also committed to promoting diversity and social mobility within our own chambers. We believe that a diverse workforce leads to better outcomes for our clients and our community. To that end, we support recruitment initiatives such as the Legal Education Foundation to identify and support talented individuals from all backgrounds.

But our commitment to diversity and social mobility goes beyond our own chambers. We encourage our members to become involved at a Circuit and Bar Council level with initiatives to promote diversity, social mobility and equality at the Bar.

We believe that, by working together, we can create a more inclusive and diverse legal profession that better serves the needs of society. We encourage others to join us on this journey towards a brighter, more equitable future.

We know that creating a truly inclusive and diverse profession requires more than just having a policy in place. That’s why we are proud to have a vibrant and busy Equality Diversity Social Mobility Committee that drives our efforts to create a more equitable workplace culture.

Our committee is proactive and engaged, working to identify barriers to equality and diversity within our chambers and the wider legal profession, and developing effective strategies to overcome them. We believe that it is essential to have a diverse profession that better reflects the community we serve, and that is why we foster an open and inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and respected.

Very recently, our steps to create such an environment has included our members attending the Bar Race Training Course, LGBTQ+ allyship training, outreach work by members from our set with Inner Temple, membership contributions to the Spire Foundation which supports education for care experienced adults or adult with physical or learning disabilities. We will be attending further training around issues of unconscious bias in January 2024 and will continue to make efforts to better inform ourselves around these important matters to refine our culture and understanding as a set. We welcome any further suggestions as to how we can continue to foster an inclusive environment.

Our EDSM Committee compromised currently of:

Chambers has a very active Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee comprising of Reagan Persaud (chair), Charlotte Keighley, Holly Littlewood, Chloe Lee, Philippa Pudney, James Goodwin, Jenn Bridgeman and Francine Whittleston. If you have any questions or concerns relating to applications to chambers and/or any other matters relating to disability, equality or diversity, any member of the committee is here to help. In the first instance please contact the clerks.

Contact the Clerks

Our EDSM Committee

Associations and Pledges

Our members have been actively networking with external groups who promote equality and diversity as we believe that is one way to ensure our own growth, learning and to keep our minds open.

We have signed and committed to the Women in Law Pledge which sets out a series of chambers’ commitments to supporting and promoting female members of the Bar. Whilst we are proud that we are unique in having two female joint Heads of Chambers and a strong female presence in chambers, we still feel we have more to offer by way of commitment to women at the Bar and are busy our pledge, which has been in place for two years, shows our ongoing commitment to the issues surrounding the retention of women at the Bar and how to support women returning to work at the Bar.

Chambers has signed up to the FreeBar Charter and has attained the Charter Mark, having completed all the necessary steps in 2021. We believe this sends a very important message that Spire Barristers is welcoming to LGBTQ+ applicants and members. We continue to educate ourselves around the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ issues and remain committed to making chambers an LGBTQ+ friendly environment.

Chambers is also a supporter of Bridging the Bar and have committed to taking part in their 10,000 Black Interns project and mini pupillage scheme.
We became the first set on the North East Circuit to adopt the Halo Code,

to endorse the independent initiative by the Halo Collective aimed at eradicating all discrimination and bullying experienced by those with afro-textured hair. By being a member of the North East Circuit Diversity Outreach programme, we are actively encouraging other sets to commit to the scheme

We strive to put our words into actions and that is more meaningful than statistics.

 

OUR ETHOS IS NOT TO SIMPLY ADD ‘DIVERSITY’ AS ANOTHER TAG. WE EMBRACE AND CELEBRATE DIFFERENCES AT SPIRE BARRISTERS.

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