Chambers enter the diversity league

Barristers’ chambers have made a respectable debut in the Diversity League Tables.

Chambers were included in the annual league table, run by the Black Solicitors Network, for the first time this year, with 23 out of 60 invited sets agreeing to take part. This year’s table expanded to capture data on sexual orientation and disability as well as gender and ethnicity.


Family law set, 1 Garden Court scored highest among chambers. 25 Bedford Row and Tooks Chambers were joint second.
At QC level, 1 Garden Court has the highest proportion of women QCs (71 per cent), well above the average of ten per cent. 1 Crown Office Row and Cloisters also scored highly (32 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively). 25 Bedford Row has the highest proportion of ethnic minority QCs (20 per cent), followed by Serle Court and Tooks Chambers, which each have 14 per cent.

Among non-Silks, more than 35 per cent of barristers are female at ten sets. The average is 31 per cent. 1 Garden Court is 51 per cent female while Tooks Chambers has an even gender split and women make up 44 per cent of barristers at 11KBW. 
Ethnic minority barristers make up 17 per cent of 11KBW and 15 per cent of both 1 Crown Office Row and Nine Bedford Row. The average is ten per cent.

Ingrid Simler QC, Chair of the Bar’s Equality and Diversity Committee, said: “The analysis of this year’s Tables shows a very encouraging picture of increasing diversity at the Bar—not just at the junior end. I am particularly pleased to see that women are staying in practice and succeeding at the Bar, in particular at 1 Garden Court where 71 per cent of QCs are women; and that 20 per cent of QCs at 25 Bedford Row are from BME backgrounds.

“As these tables demonstrate, the Bar has made great strides over the last decade to ensure that the diversity of barristers at entry level is retained as each cohort progresses within the profession, and is not lost to other professions because of a lack of flexibility or other practices within the profession which impact on career progression for minority groups or those with particular needs. It is to be hoped that this progress towards greater diversity is not damaged irreparably by the continued attack on fees for publicly funded work, which will impact most harshly on women and BME practitioners who tend to do more publicly funded work than their white, male counterparts.”
To take part in the next survey e-mail: bsn@satsumaconsultancy.co.uk

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