Chambers is committed to promoting and advancing diversity and equality among its members and staff. We do not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, political persuasion, disability, age or religion. FTB is anti-racist and committed to increasing its diversity. We fully endorse the Bar Council's Equality and Diversity Code. Applications for pupillage/tenancy/employment are particularly welcomed from women, members of ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities and other groups that are currently under-represented in Chambers.
Access to the profession is an acute issue which Chambers seeks to address. Chambers is involved in initiatives aimed at increasing diversity. That includes its partnership with the Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA) and other planning/public law sets in the Planning and Public Law Mentoring Scheme for Underrepresented Groups at the Bar. Further information about our work as part of each of our various initiatives is set out below.
Individual members support (and in some cases lead) programmes which seek to widen access to the profession. Examples include: the Lord Edmund-Davies Legal Education Trust, the University of Reading School of Law work experience bursaries scheme, the BLD Foundation, BME Legal and Bar Council social mobility activities.
Chambers is a founder member of Bridging the Bar, a charity founded in April 2020 and committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and diversity within the Bar of England and Wales at all professional levels.
In 2020, Chambers began a partnership with the Sutton Trust directly, to work with 16-18 year olds from less advantaged backgrounds on their Pathways to Law scheme, continuing its work in 2021 via a virtual programme. The aim of our partnership with the Sutton Trust is to encourage participating students to give serious consideration to the Bar as a career option. The programme selects highly able 16 year olds from less advantaged backgrounds and provides them with a range of activities and experiences in the legal sector. The programme is delivered with universities across the country.
Chambers participates in the Inner Temple Pegasus Access and Support Scheme, which is a work experience programme administered by Inner Temple that aims to support those from diverse backgrounds who are considering a career at the Bar.
Chambers supports the Middle Temple Outreach Programme which seeks to reach and support able students from backgrounds which do not traditionally encourage aspirations for a career at the Bar.
In 2021, five planning, property and public law sets (Field Court Chambers, Francis Taylor Building, Kings Chambers, and Landmark Chambers), set up a mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups at the Bar. Falcon Chambers joined the scheme in 2022. It is supported by the Planning and Environment Bar Association. The scheme is intended to encourage undergraduates and postgraduates from groups that are not well represented at the Bar to consider becoming barristers. These underrepresented groups include women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
The Bar should be open to all who have the requisite ability, and we hope that the mentoring scheme will help talented individuals who might not think the Bar is for them to understand what the Bar has to offer and how to become a barrister, and to assist in the application process.
Successful applicants are offered one-to-one meetings with a mentor, a workshop on applications for pupillage and one or more social events with mentors and other mentees.
The 2021/2023 scheme ran from October 2022 to June 2023 (more details).
It is hoped that the scheme will run again in 2023/2024.
Chamber particpates in Advocate's Chambers Pro Bono Framework scheme. Advocate is the pro bono charity of the Bar, supported by the Bar Council and which provides free legal help from volunteer barristers.
Chambers is committed to well-being. We have an established a mentoring scheme for members, providing structured opportunities for knowledge sharing and for help and advice to be available across all levels of seniority. Our quarterly social events are on hold for the time being, but we uphold the tradition of Chambers’ tea, held remotely.
We give careful thought to ensuring our marketing events appeal to a wide range of clients, and are held at different times of day, for greatest possible access. This includes both academic and social events. .
Chambers is delighted to sponsor the London Sinfonietta's flagship schools programme, Sound Out, which puts creativity and composition at the heart of the partnership projects it runs with the music services of the London boroughs of Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.
In the last year, Sound Out has reached in excess of 2,600 young people, teachers and parents across London, enabling more than 480 secondary pupils to experience a live performance in their school and 69 young people to compose their own music in response to visual art works.
What follows is a link to FTB Chambers’ Diversity Data which Chambers is required to publish in summary form in accordance with the Equality and Diversity Rules in the Bar Standards Board’s Code of Conduct for the Bar. The data is presented in percentage terms, reflecting the information derived from the total number of questionnaires returned by members and employees of Chambers. Not everyone returned a questionnaire (they were not under any obligation to do so) and so the summary does not therefore necessarily present a complete picture of the make-up of Chambers. Nevertheless, by presenting the data in this way, the anonymity of respondents is preserved, as required by the rules, where publication of data relating to a category group numbering less than 10 might lead to identification of individual respondents.
Chambers is an accredited London Living Wage employer. This means that all employees and contracted staff will be paid at or above a minimum hourly rate which is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK.