Equality and Diversity
Fountain Court is committed to Equality and Diversity. We regard it as essential to our standing as a leading commercial set of chambers that we should seek to excel in this, as in the rest of our business.
We recognise that the obligation not to discriminate against clients, members, pupils or staff on grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability and religion or belief is a fundamental legal and regulatory obligation imposed on us by legislation and by the Bar Code of Conduct.
It is only right that we should make sure we are behaving in a fair and non-discriminatory way. It also makes good business sense that we should recruit and retain the very best staff, pupils, and tenants, based on merit, from the widest possible pool of talent.
We have a comprehensive Equality and Diversity Handbook, which sets out the policies we have adopted for ensuring compliance with our legal and regulatory obligations and the Attorney General’s Equality and Diversity Expectations Statement. In particular, we use published, objective, selection criteria in recruiting staff, pupils and tenants and we ensure that all those involved in recruitment have Equality and Diversity training; we participate in programs designed to encourage applicants from under-represented groups, such as the Social Mobility programme; we provide 6 months rent-free parental leave for the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted baby, as well as the option of an extended career break; we support flexible working patterns; we monitor fairness in allocation of work opportunities as between practising barristers; and we treat breach of our policies on discrimination or harassment as a serious matter. We also have an Equality and Diversity Strategy, which sets out our goals in respect of Equality & Diversity and how we aim to achieve them, and a rolling Action Plan, which sets out time-tabled steps towards meeting those goals.
For case studies explaining some of our recent work in this area, see here. We were delighted to be recognised in the BSN’s 2010 Diversity League Table as leading the field at the Bar on policy and procedures for equality and diversity.
We recognise that women, members of ethnic minorities and those with disabilities are under-represented at the commercial bar and within Fountain Court, in comparison to the population at large. We encourage applications from these groups. We are committed to making reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates.