Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Equality & 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 the obligation not to discriminate against clients, members, pupils or staff on grounds of gender, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, age, disability, marriage and civil partnership and religion or belief is a fundamental and legal obligation imposed on us by legislation and 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 and harassment as a serious matter. We also have an Equality and Diversity Strategy, which sets out our goals in respect of Equality and Diversity and how we aim to achieve them, and a rolling Action Plan, which sets out time-tabled steps towards meeting those goals.

Our two Equality and Diversity Officers, Stuart Ritchie QCTamara Oppenheimer and Laura John monitor and report on our progress in relation to Equality and Diversity.

We recognise that women, members of ethnic monitories 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.

Chambers will make reasonable adjustments for clients, staff, pupils, tenants, candidates for employment, pupillage and tenancy, and others including temporary visitors.  Requests for such adjustments should be made to our Head of Administration, Julie Parker.

Diversity Data

Rule C110.3 of Section D of Part 2 of The Bar Standards Handbook requires Chambers to conduct a survey to ascertain diversity data of the workforce consisting of Members of Chambers and staff.  Data results are published in anonymous form.  The results of the latest survey, completed in September 2014, are set out below.  83% of the workforce consented to their data being used for the purpose of publishing Chambers’ diversity data.

Applications for tenancy, pupillage or employees are assessed, without discrimination, and any offers made are based solely on merit.

Gender Male Female
Queen’s Counsel 96% 4%
Junior Barristers and Pupils 68% 32%
Staff (Clerks and Administration) 52% 48%
Ethnicity White BME* Prefer not to say
Queen’s Counsel 83% 13% 4%
Junior Barristers and Pupils 86% 10% 4%
Staff (Clerks and Administration) 88% 12% 0%

* Including: Asian/Asian British. Black/African/Caribbean/Black British, Mixed/multiple ethnic groups and other ethnic groups