Equality and Diversity

The Bar has not always been the most representative or accessible profession. It has a reputation for being very white, male, and middle class. This, however, is changing.

We at QEB Hollis Whiteman are committed to promoting and advancing equality and diversity in all aspects of Chambers’ life. As a Chambers and individually we do not, and never will, discriminate against anybody based on race, sex, pregnancy or maternity, disability, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, religion or belief, age, or gender reassignment.

Chambers has a dedicated Equality and Diversity Officer and Diversity Data Officer, Arabella McDonald, and all Members of Chambers are offered equality and diversity training. The middle-to-lower end of Chambers is more representative of society than it ever has been before. But, there is still room for improvement.

Recruitment and Work

When recruiting new tenants, pupils, or staff, we look for quality. We welcome applications from everyone and do not discriminate based on any protected characteristic under the Equality Act. Moreover, all interviewers are trained in Fair Recruitment and Selection processes.

Once recruited, all work is allocated fairly and equitably, and Chambers organises regular practice development meetings for tenants to enable discussion about work allocation, work opportunity, and the development of individual practices.

The stresses of pupillage can be different to those experienced by tenants. As a result, our pupils are not only cared for by their pupil supervisors and the Pupillage committee; we have a separately appointed Pupillage Welfare Officer, Rebecca Harris. We strive to ensure that all our pupils are able to make the most of the opportunities offered during pupillage and are not adversely affected by any external pressures or personal difficulties.

Reasonable Adjustments

We are lucky as a Chambers to own the building in which we work; therefore, we have strived to ensure that the majority of Chambers is accessible to those with disabilities, for example by installing a wheelchair lift to street level, and internal ramps.

Should you have any queries or requests for further reasonable adjustments, please contact our Senior Clerk, Chris Emmings.

Retention

QEB Hollis Whiteman supports all new parents and consequently has a generous Parental Leave Policy, that enables all new parents to take the time off that they need, ensures they are not charged Chambers rent or expenses during a set period, and supports their return back to work. The stresses of the bar and parenthood often seem (and can be) overwhelming; therefore, we try to support all our Members in any way possible, so that they can make the right decisions for themselves and their families, and help them continue to progress and develop their careers.