QEB Hollis Whiteman is strongly committed to promoting and advancing equality and diversity in all aspects of Chambers’ life. We recognise the need for barristers to be representative of the society we serve and are actively seeking to contribute to this aim, in full knowledge that the Bar as a whole has some work to do. As a Chambers and as individuals, we do not discriminate or tolerate any form of discrimination against anybody based on any protected characteristic.
Chambers has a dedicated Equality & Diversity Committee (EDC), consisting of an Equality & Diversity Officer and ten further Members of Chambers, which regularly meets to consider and implement policies designed to further equality and diversity. The EDC also runs seminars and training sessions on a range of equality and diversity issues, with the aim of raising awareness, eliminating discrimination, and providing support to our members.
Recruitment and Work
When recruiting new tenants, pupils or staff, we look for quality and welcome applications from as wide a talent pool as possible. We do not discriminate based on any protected characteristics and have worked with the Bar Standards Board to ensure our applications at all levels not only meet but surpass the fair recruitment standards expected. All members and staff involved in recruitment have undertaken Fair Recruitment training.
We are mindful of the financial difficulties faced by many at the start of their careers and therefore offer a generous pupillage grant and guaranteed earnings in pupils’ second-six. We strongly believe that financial difficulties should never be a bar to entering this profession.
We appreciate the stresses inherent in the work we do, for staff, tenants and pupils. We place importance on our responsibility for the well-being of our pupils, who are cared for not only by their pupil supervisors and the pupillage committee, but also by our Pupillage Welfare Officer, Rebecca Harris. We strive to ensure that all of 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.
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 [hyperlink].
QEB Hollis Whiteman is proud of its retention levels of parent members who return from parental leave. We support all new parents and have a generous parental leave policy that enables new parents to take the time off that they need, ensures they are not charged Chambers rent for a set period, and fully supports their return back to work.
As a chambers with a high proportion of parents, we understand that the stresses of the Bar and parenthood can often seem and be overwhelming. We are active in providing support to all our members to ensure they make the right decisions for themselves and their families, and help them to continue to progress and develop their careers.
Seminars, Workshops and Training
At QEB Hollis Whiteman we acknowledge that issues concerning Equality & Diversity both within society and at the Bar are ongoing and that we must all be involved in creating lasting change. One of the numerous ways in which we are seeking to contribute to this change is by challenging and educating ourselves about discrimination that continues to exist within our profession, the criminal justice system, and society more generally.
We have regular seminars, workshops and training sessions concerning equality and diversity issues. We welcome input from, and collaboration with, organisations that have expertise in running these types of seminars.
Outreach and Access to the Bar
As a Chambers and as individuals we are all involved in outreach programmes to ensure access to information about the Bar is available for all. Please see further details about our initiatives on the Chambers Social Responsibility page.