Male solicitors must be alert to their “unconscious assumptions” and ensure female barristers get an “equal crack of the whip in winning work on their merits”, the vice-chair of the Bar Standards Board has said. Patricia Robertson QC also said it was essential for women barristers to “find the right life partner”.
Regulators need to do more with the diversity data they now collect in order to drive improvements in recruitment and particularly progression and retention within the profession, the Legal Services Board will shortly say.
A report for the Bar Standards Board, which concluded that the regulator handled cases involving ethnic minority barristers in a “transparent, consistent and fair” way, has been strongly attacked by equality expert Professor Gus John.
A black barrister had an arguable case that she was indirectly discriminated against by the Bar Standards Board through its disciplinary procedures, the High Court ruled yesterday.
The Bar Standards Board has told three chambers with financial problems to “prepare emergency plans” to minimise the impact on clients should they be forced to close.
The six lawyer groups that advise the Solicitors Regulation Authority on its equality and diversity strategy have condemned as “fundamentally flawed” last week’s report on the disproportionate representation of black and minority ethnic solicitors in the regulator’s disciplinary work.
The senior management of the Law Society does not reflect the diversity profile of the rest of the organisation, new figures have shown. It comes at the time every law firm and chambers in England and Wales has to report the make-up of their organisation to their regulator.
Eight members of Law Society committees have been kicked off for failing to undergo mandatory equality and diversity training, it has emerged. All members of boards and committees had a 30 April 2013 deadline to undergo the training.
The inaugural diversity survey of people working in solicitors’ firms has found that more than a quarter of lawyers went to fee-paying schools – nearly four times the national average. Meanwhile, a review of law firms’ approach to diversity has found clients pushing the agenda.
An inter-firm diversity initiative is being launched this month to make the legal sector more accessible to lawyers from multi-cultural backgrounds. A number of City firms are already on board with the NOTICED (Networking Opportunities to Integrate, Celebrate and Educate on Diversity) scheme.