Women in Law Pledge

Fountain Court’s Pledge

Fountain Court Chambers takes seriously its responsibility and obligations for promoting diversity amongst its members and staff. As part of its commitment to diversity, Fountain Court wishes to play a full part in improving the representation and experience of women at the Bar.

Chambers is proud of its initiatives and policies to support its female members and staff, including a long standing generous parental leave policy and flexible working policy, complemented by a clerking structure which helps to ensure that members’ practices are tailored to their professional and/or personal requirements.

Chambers strives to promote gender diversity in all parts of its organisation, as demonstrated by the fact that four of its senior staff (Head of Administration Julie Parker, Deputy Senior Clerks Katie Szewczyk and Sian Huckett and Head of Marketing and Business Development Helen Griffiths) are women, and four of the QC appointments since 2019 have been female. In addition, Chambers Practice Manager (Asia) based in Singapore is female (Caroline McConnon).

Equality and diversity issues are overseen by our Equality and Diversity Officers, Tamara Oppenheimer QC and David Murray supported by the Equality and Diversity Committee in which our Head of Administration and Deputy Senior Clerk participate. Significant equality and diversity initiatives, including this Pledge, are considered, and approved by Chambers’ Management Committee.

As part of its participation in the Women in Law Pledge Fountain Court has set the following targets, and will report to the Bar Council on its progress in meeting these.


Members’ practice issues

To continue monitoring allocation of work opportunities to ensure fair distribution of work in accordance with Chambers’ existing policies;

  • To further develop Chambers’ monitoring protocols to enable consideration of whether any issues arise in relation to any gender pay gap, and if so to formulate steps that should be taken to address this. By July 2022 to formalise reporting of any pay gap patterns to Senior Clerk and Head of Chambers[1] (together with work allocation).
  • By July 2022 to conduct a review of marketing opportunities to ensure that across the range they ensure fair access to marketing opportunities for female members. This review should be built into Chambers’ monitoring protocols such that it is repeated on a periodic basis.
  • By March 2022 to develop and roll out the existing wider mentoring scheme in Chambers to ensure the retention of female members and to support their applications for silk, judicial positions, or other career advancements and to encourage female members to participate.
  • On a three year trial to make available “My family care” support resource for those with domestic caring commitments regardless of gender.

Chambers management and staff

  • To ensure that Chambers’ management committee is at all times representative of the gender balance of Chambers’ membership.
  • To support remote/flexible working for members and staff where it is not incompatible with Chambers’ business needs and requirements.


  • To continue to participate in and support initiatives, where appropriate, as part of Chambers’ aim to recruit underrepresented groups both to Fountain Court and the Commercial Bar as a whole. Current initiatives include a mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups created by six leading commercial chambers; Bridging the Bar – a mini-pupillage initiative; the Pathways to Law scheme run by Oxford University; the COMBAR scholarship; and a work experience programme offered to several inner London schools.
  • By May 2026 to increase:
    1. The proportion of women members in Silk;
    2. The proportion of women members of Chambers.

Work place culture/training

  • To hold education sessions on women’s health issues and to encourage attendance by all members and staff regardless of gender.
  • To continue to organise equality and diversity training for all members and staff to ensure compliance with all relevant rules and best practice, with particular focus on those who are involved in recruitment.

E&D committee to review these targets annually.

[1] Which has already been informally undertaken and subject to review by the E&D Officers over the past three years.



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