We are committed to corporate social responsibility and the wellbeing of our barristers and staff.
Below you can view further details of our approach to social responsibility and the steps we take to ensure that our team are able to function at their optimum level and remain well, both physically and mentally.
We take an open approach to sharing information, including our policies on equality, wellbeing and menopause and how we engage with, train and support our people.
If you would like to discuss any of these matters please email our Head of Human Resources, Helen Power at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Access to the profession
We are committed to increasing access to the profession so that an individual’s background and life experiences are in no way inhibitive of their ability to be a barrister or work in our Chambers. We have several outreach programmes in place to encourage access to the Bar from exceptional young people who would not previously have considered or had access to the legal profession. Our activities include:
- Providing speakers for schools and colleges
- Mini-Pupillage programme
- Kalisher Trust
- Manchester Metropolitan University ‘Pathways to Law’
- Bar Council Bar Placement Week
- Specific programme for Xaverian College (providing mini pupillages in a six-week block each year)
- The Sutton Trust’s ‘Pathways to Law’ programme (which works collaboratively and systematically to widen access to the legal profession by providing disadvantaged young people aged 16-18 with the skills, advice and experience they need to access a career in the sector)
- Equality & diversity
Equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to Chambers’ success, both as a workplace and service provider. We value the rich diversity and creative potential that people with differing backgrounds and abilities bring and wish positively to encourage a culture of equal opportunities for all; in which personal success depends upon personal merit and performance.
A senior member of Chambers acts as our Equality and Diversity Officer. Our EDO is available to colleagues who may wish to raise any Equality, Diversity or Inclusion related issue or concern. The EDO also works with us to ensure we comply with our regulatory responsibilities around training, policy and monitoring in line with our Equality Action Plan.
Training in Equality and Diversity is offered to members and is compulsory for staff.
Our Equality Policy is available here.
Our latest Equality and Diversity Data is available here.
- Corporate social responsibility
- Training & support
We offer a wide range of training to ensure members and staff are kept up to date with issues such as GDPR, Equality and Diversity, IT systems and online library resources.
In terms of proactive career development, members have regular practice development meetings with their clerks, and an annual financial review with their dedicated Accounts’ team member. In addition, we run a successful KC mentoring scheme, a unique programme which seeks to identify and support future applicants for Silk. We have also assisted members with applications for Recorder, Deputy DJ, JAC applications, tribunals, AG’s list, HSE Panel, CPS panel and numerous other competitions.
Staff have annual personal development planning meetings to identify any training needs.
- Engagement & communication
We encourage members and staff to engage positively with Chambers and provide events and opportunities that benefit us all professionally and personally.
We are drafting a plan of activities for 2023 that include wellbeing events, social events, educational events and more. Our hope is that we can ensure future generations of staff and counsel feel engaged in life at Chambers.
We have a committee of Engagement Champions throughout our sites and practice groups, who work hard to deliver our engagement goals.
St John’s Buildings was one of the first chambers in the country to receive a Certificate of Recognition from the Bar Council for our comprehensive wellbeing support provision.
The collegiate and supportive nature of our chambers allows us to have an internal panel of barrister members who have formed a Mentor Panel. They offer support on issues including handling distressing cases, mindfulness, anxiety, workload management, return to work, career planning and much more.
Our flexible working and equality policies ensure our members and staff benefit from a comprehensive and supportive approach to career development and management.
We also offer confidential Assistance Programmes for members and staff which provide access to support and counselling, free of charge.
- Client care & feedback
We want to be known for the quality and consistency of the service we give to our clients.
We run regular client satisfaction surveys to large groups of clients who are randomly selected from all practice areas and sites. This gives us a clear indication of what we do well and where we need to improve in future.
In addition, specific feedback is sought after each event and seminar, to see where improvements can be made, and to assess any further training requirements or preferences.
We run regular surveys of our members, asking both for feedback and for ideas and initiatives that should be included in our strategic plans. Staff satisfaction surveys take place regularly.
We are always happy to receive feedback from our clients. Please use the Contact Form to get in touch.
- Charity & community
We have a proud history of supporting local and national charities through a range of regular and one-off activities. Examples include Headway, the Brain Injury Charity which we continue to support through various charitable endeavours, and Cornerstone, a day centre which provides a full range of services to homeless and vulnerable people to improve life chances and increase quality of life. We also regularly support the Child Brain Injury Trust and others.
Many of our members are involved with access to justice initiatives and meeting the needs of individuals who cannot afford to pay for advice and representation. Members regularly provide pro bono services.