Equality & diversity

The members and staff at 7 King’s Bench Walk are deeply committed to promoting and advancing equality of opportunity and diversity, within Chambers and at the Commercial Bar more generally. We recognise that continued success depends on sustaining an inclusive culture and maintaining a working environment in which everyone is treated equally and fairly. We also recognise the need for the profession to be representative of society as a whole and are committed to promoting access to talented individuals from all backgrounds. We are continually seeking to identify improvements to our procedures and policies which will assist in furthering equality and diversity and enable us to better understand how we can attract talented individuals from traditionally under-represented groups. Further details of our policies, procedures and the various initiatives in which we are currently involved appear below.

Social Responsibility

7 King’s Bench Walk is committed to furthering equality and diversity and promoting access to the Bar regardless of background. As part of this commitment, we participate in the 10,000 Black Interns ProjectPegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS) and the Bar Placement Scheme, all of which are designed to expand opportunities for students from under-represented groups to experience life in Chambers. 7 King’s Bench Walk is also an active participant in Combar’s Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups, which enables applicants from backgrounds that have traditionally been under-represented to access one-to-one mentoring with Commercial Bar practitioners.  Members of Chambers are also involved in mentoring to support students from non-traditional backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in law, and in particular at the Bar, through schemes operated by IntoUniversity, the Bar Council, City University and the Inns of Court. Many individual members also provide free representation through CLIPS and support a variety of charitable causes.

Women in Law

As part of its commitment to diversity, 7 King’s Bench Walk wishes to improve the representation, experience and retention of women at the Commercial Bar. We are proud signatories to the Women in Law Pledge created by the Bar Council of England and Wales, The Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). We are committed to the progress of equality, elimination of sex discrimination and pledge to make positive change for the legal profession. As part of its participation in the Women in Law Pledge, 7 King’s Bench Walk has set a number of targets and will report to the Bar Council on its progress in meeting these. Please click here to view our targets.

7 King’s Bench Walk also has a generous parental leave, special leave, career break and flexible working policy.  We are proud that all of our female members have opted to return to Chambers following (often extensive) periods of parental leave and feel continually supported in their desire to combine a fulfilling career with family life.

Anti-Racism Statement

7 King’s Bench Walk is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. Recent wider social developments have impressed upon us the need to examine more closely what we can do, both as individuals and as an organization, to tackle racial injustice and eliminate racism in its many forms. We are continually considering what further steps we can take to produce meaningful and lasting change. Please click here to view our Anti-Racism Statement.

Wellbeing

7 King’s Bench Walk places a high value on the wellbeing of all members, pupils and staff. We strive to be a friendly and welcoming environment, in which every individual feels supported and respected throughout their career. We have a reputation as a collegiate place, where members and staff take time to look out for one another. Members’ doors are always open. We also have a mentoring scheme to support new tenants in the first two or three years of practice, as well as those returning to Chambers after a period of parental leave. Friday night drinks and daily Chambers’ tea provide regular opportunities for members and staff to socialize.

Parental Leave, career breaks and flexible working

Our commitment to promoting a healthy work-life balance is reflected in our generous parental leave, special leave, career break and flexible working policy. We recognise the particular challenges that face those who have to combine caring responsibilities with a career at the Commercial Bar. We strive to support our members in achieving a balance that works for them as individuals, and we are proud that many of our members are able successfully to combine a fulfilling career with family life.

Recruitment

7 King’s Bench Walk recognises the importance of improving diversity at the Bar and ensuring it remains accessible to, and inclusive of, the society it serves. We are committed to making 7 King’s Bench Walk as accessible as possible to talented candidates from any background.

As part of our commitment to the promotion of equality and diversity, we use background information, obtained and analysed through the Rare Contextual Recruitment system, in our assessment process both for pupillage and mini-pupillage.  This enables us to take account of the background and circumstances of each candidate in considering the extent to which that candidate fulfils the criteria for selection.

We assess candidates for pupillage and tenancy on merit alone. However, we recognise that women, members of ethnic minorities, LGBT+ and those with disabilities are disproportionately under-represented at the Commercial Bar, including within 7 King’s Bench Walk. We particularly welcome applications from candidates within such groups.

Reasonable Adjustments

We are prepared and willing to make reasonable adjustments where this will assist people with disabilities to use Chambers’ services. Professional clients should identify to Chambers in advance any disabilities of particular clients which may require adjustments and/or adjustments that may be necessary to accommodate the needs of particular clients. Any such requests should be made to a senior clerk.

Diversity Data

We are pleased to publish, as required by the Bar Standards Board, diversity data relating to the barristers and staff in Chambers.  The latest data was collected in 2022. Please click here to view the most recent summary of Chambers’ anonymized data.

Equality and Diversity Policies

Please visit the links below to view our equality and diversity policies:

Equality and Diversity Policy

Equal Access to and Fair Allocation of Work Policy

Equal Access to and Fair Allocation of Work Policy – Guidance

Grievance Procedure

Harassment Policy

Parental Leave, Special Leave, Career Break and Flexible Working Policy

Reasonable Adjustments Policy

Diversity Data Policy