“Fountain Court is an excellent set, offering intelligent barristers and a user-friendly service. It always seems inclusive and forward looking.”
The Legal 500
Fountain Court Chambers recognises a wider social responsibly, which it takes very seriously. Members and staff participate in various initiatives that reinforce chambers’ commitment to act in a socially responsible manner.
We have a longstanding and proud commitment to pro bono work.
Former member of Fountain Court Lord Goldsmith KC established the Bar Pro Bono Unit (now, Advocate), which enables access to justice through providing barristers’ services on a pro bono basis.
We continue to support Advocate’s work in various financial and non-financial means. Fountain Court is a Gold Patron of Advocate and many of our barristers also provide financial support to the charity on an individual basis. Fountain Court is also an enthusiastic participant in the London Legal Walk, a fundraising event arranged by Advocate on behalf of free legal advice agencies in London.
Our barristers also provide legal advice and assistance on a pro bono basis through Advocate. More senior barristers support its work as case reviewers, and door tenant Philip Brook Smith KC is a trustee of Advocate and a member of its management committee.
Other pro bono work
First year tenants provide free legal advice in the Bethnal Green Advice Centre on a weekly basis, as part of Fountain Court’s ongoing commitment to the centre.
Chambers also participates in Pro Bono Connect, a scheme that maintains a network of chambers and firms of solicitors willing to work together on pro bono cases. Through this scheme, Fountain Court barristers have been instructed by law firms on a pro bono basis to provide a joined-up approach to the provision of pro bono legal services.
Our barristers also participate in several pro bono schemes operated within the RCJ, including:
We participate in a number of initiatives that promote the furtherance of equality and diversity in the legal profession and which are designed to encourage diverse access to the Bar.
Pathways to Law
We have close links to the Pathways to Law scheme, which supports academically able students from non-privileged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in law. The project offers placements to students to enable them to gain an insight into the life of chambers and the work of its barristers. It is part of a nationwide scheme developed by The Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation.
Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups: A Scheme Run by Commercial Barristers’ Chambers
While Fountain Court is strongly committed to achieving equality in all aspects of its business, we recognise that there are challenges, with under representation of certain groups in chambers and at the commercial Bar in general.
We are proud to have joined with nine other sets of chambers to create a mentoring scheme to support and encourage individuals from all underrepresented groups to pursue a career as a barrister.
Those underrepresented groups include women; people from minority ethnic backgrounds; people with disabilities; LGBTQ+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
The scheme has the support of Combar and commenced in 2020. In its first year, 150 mentees were matched with mentors. It is open to all undergraduates and graduates from groups that are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales (and in particular the commercial Bar) and who do not yet have a pupillage offer.
Successful applicants to join the scheme will be allocated a mentor, who will be a member of one of the participating sets of chambers.
As part of the scheme, mentees will be offered:
Bridging the Bar: Mini-Pupillage Programme
We are seeking to enhance diversity at the commercial Bar by supporting and participating in Bridging the Bar, an initiative through which candidates from underrepresented groups are able to apply for mini-pupillages in chambers.
10,000 Black Interns
Fountain Court is a proud supporter of the 10,000 Black Interns programme (run by The 10,000 Black Interns Foundation) which seeks to secure paid internships for young Black talent.
To find out more, please visit the 10,000 Interns Foundation website.
Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS)
Fountain Court is a proud supporter of Inner Temple’s Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS). The scheme aims to improve access to the profession and to support high achieving students from under-represented backgrounds by providing experiences and developing skills that will support a career at the Bar.
The deadline for applications has now passed but further information about the scheme can be found here.
As part of our ongoing efforts to encourage those from non-traditional backgrounds to consider a career at the Bar, we offer work experience opportunities to year 10, year 11 and sixth form or college students. Students will have the opportunity to try out a range of roles within administration, business development, clerking, finance, IT and marketing. Candidates do not need to know anything about the law or barristers’ chambers and will be given the opportunity to learn about life at the Bar.
Generally, we accept placements in July, October and November. For further details, including how to apply, please view our flyer here.
Fountain Court is a London Living Wage employer.
For more information on Fountain Court’s commitment to equality and diversity click here.
Greener Litigation Pledge
Fountain Court is a Founding Signatory of the Greener Litigation Pledge, an initiative launched with the intention of reducing the environmental impact of dispute resolution. In signing the Pledge, we commit to take active steps to reduce, with a view to minimising, the environmental impact of dispute resolution in England and Wales. To read more about the Pledge, please see here.
Bar Sustainability Network
Fountain Court is a member of the Bar Sustainability Network which provides guidance and range of services to chambers with the aim of creating more sustainable ways of working.
Many of our members and staff support charities through financial and non-financial means. This includes undertaking activities as a way of fund-raising for a particular charity or donating to causes on a regular or ad hoc basis.
London Legal Walk
Our members and staff are regular participants in the London Legal Walk which raises funds for over 100 charities that provide legal advice and representation to those in need. More information on the initiative, and the charities which benefit, can be found here.
In the last two years, Fountain Court walkers have raised over £6,800 in donations.
Chambers proudly supports Le Cure, which was established by Marianne Butler in 2014 to raise money for cancer research undertaken by the Royal Marsden Cancer Society. Le Cure runs an annual cycle event, “Le Cure de France”, which sees cyclists (colloquially known as “Curistas”) take on some of the Tour de France’s toughest climbs in the French Alps over four gruelling days. Fountain Court counts a number of Curistas amongst its members. For more information see here.