Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Underpinning our values of wellbeing, diversity and equality are the policies which we adhere to, these include:

  • Wellbeing
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Flexible Working
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Parental Leave
  • Back to the Bar
  • Return to Work
  • Transitioning at Work
  • Menopause

Chambers, its staff and members operate a policy that we 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.

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.

It is Chambers’ Policy to operate within the relevant legislation and codes of conduct, which are referred to as appropriate including:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • The Code of Conduct of the Bar
  • The Equality Code for the Bar

In line with the Bar Standard Board’s new Equality and Diversity rules of the Code of Conduct, please find our Diversity Data for Spire Barristers as at July 2020. 

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.

Social Mobility

We recognise that for too long the Bar has been perceived as an occupation for the privileged few. Our members seek to redress that perception through active participation in training and outreach schemes organised on the North Eastern Circuit.

Chambers and the wider community we serve, has benefitted from recruitment initiatives such as the Legal Education Foundation and feel strongly that social mobility and diversity at the Bar is an area in which we can all make a difference. To that end, members are actively encouraged to become involved at a Circuit and Bar Council level with initiatives to promote diversity, social mobility and equality at the Bar.

Equality and Diversity Committee

Chambers is very proud of its pro- active Equality and Diversity Committee. We did not want our internal Equality and Diversity Committee to be just a tick box exercise where chambers has a Policy and repeats its commitment to the relevant legislation. Instead we have a vibrant and busy committee compromised currently of:

Liz Shaw, Helal Ahmed, James Goodwin, Reagan Persaud, Tahneet Irshad and Jenn Bridgeman.

Philippa Pudney, who is the Equality and Diversity representative on chambers Junior Tenants Committee, has recently joined this committee.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to applications to chambers and disability, equality or diversity, any member of the committee is here to help. In the first instance please contact the clerks.

Associations

The members have been actively networking with external groups as we believe that is the way to ensure our own growth, learning and to keep our minds open.

We have met representatives of the Women in Law Pledge. 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 drafting our pledges which reflect 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.

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 to add ‘diversity’ as another tag, we clearly embrace and celebrate differences at Spire Barristers.

Please do not hesitate to contact us

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