Chambers Social Responsibility

QEB Hollis Whiteman is increasingly conscious and mindful of its social responsibility and its capacity to contribute to essential change in society.

Both as individuals and as a collective, we are engaged in a number of social and charitable initiatives, and are striving to play our part in ensuring equal opportunity and diversity at the Bar. We are using the momentum generated by recent tragic events to further reflect on our duties as a Chambers, and to intensify our actions to create an equal, fair, diverse and just environment for all.

This page sets out some of the ways in which we are currently aiming to fulfil our responsibility. We are however ever mindful that there is more that can and ought to be done, and are in the process of developing further initiatives.

Social Justice and Equal Opportunity

Chambers recognises strength in diversity and the fundamental importance of equality of opportunity. Consequently, we are involved in mentorship programmes, as well as links to local secondary schools in London and other charitable organisations; to improve the flow of information about life at the Bar and provide support in getting to the Bar. We are also involved in the Middle Temple Pegasus Access Scheme.

Chambers offers work experience to both secondary students and university students considering the Criminal Bar. For more information, please see our Mini-Pupillage & Work Experience page.

We are proud to be a member of the #10000BlackInterns programme, which offers paid work experience across a wide range of sectors each year. We are the first criminal set of Chambers to be involved and are in the process of encouraging our colleagues to participate in this exciting new initiative.

Members of Chambers are also individually involved in a wonderfully long list of different activities to this end. This includes, but is not limited to, attending schools to talk about the profession, teaching and guest-lecturing at universities, mentoring at Inns of Court, judging mock trials, and advising charities with this important purpose.

Access to Justice and Pro Bono

At QEB Hollis Whiteman, we aim to serve our communities coherently and effectively, and are therefore actively involved in doing so within our own expertise; access to justice and pro bono work is at the heart of the General Crime practice group at QEB Hollis Whiteman.

Our barristers are involved in a wide range of pro bono work, including with the Innocence Project, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, Reprieve, numerous Inquests, investigations by JUSTICE, the Football Association, and many more.

Additionally, Chambers donates to and is involved in fundraising and raising awareness for a number of legal charities, including by way of the London Legal Walk, for the Free Representation Unit and the Centre for Criminal Appeals.

Wider social responsibility

Further to our work within the legal field, we acknowledge the needs that are present in other sectors of society. Our barristers are individually engaged in and committed to a large variety of social initiatives. Members of Chambers are also trustees for a range of organisations such as Curriculum for Cohesion, Anti-Slavery International, Angels and Elephants and Martial Arts Charitable Trust.

A number of our members have long-standing commitments with secondary schools to give talks about sex and consent, and knife crime and gang violence, are school governors, and are involved in organisations such as “Growing Against Violence”. We are also involved in grass roots charities such as CRISIS, an initiative to distribute films received by FACT to homeless shelters, Waves for Change and Plan International.

QEB Hollis Whiteman is open and keen to be involved in any fundraising initiatives, such as the Tour de Law, which we participate in every year to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

Responsibility within the workplace

Ethical Business

QEB Hollis Whiteman is committed to ensuring its staff, employees and any individual who works in Chambers is paid the London Living Wage. Furthermore, we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our relationships and are therefore committed to helping prevent modern slavery in all of our supply chains.

Well-being

The well-being of our staff, pupils, barristers and all individuals working within our Chambers is paramount. To this end, we have provided training for a number of “listeners” within Chambers, and hold regular mental health awareness seminars. We also have a designated Welfare Office both for pupils and barristers.

Environmental Responsibility

Chambers recognises the gravity of our global climate crisis. To this end we encourage members to cycle to work where possible, we have made recycling within Chambers easy and accessible, and try where possible to reduce our energy use. We are furthermore committed to tracking our carbon footprint, and being involved in initiatives to offset our carbon footprint where possible.

Equality and Diversity

Arabella MacDonald is the Chair of the Equality & Diversity Committee. Please see our Equality & Diversity page for further details.

Kyan Pucks is the officer responsible for Outreach and Social Responsibility endeavours within Chambers and can be contacted directly for any queries.