Equality and Diversity
Our statement of principle is:
“We are committed to a policy of treating all our employees, workers and job applicants equally. No employee or potential employee will receive less favourable treatment because of any “protected characteristic”, namely:
- age (or perceived age)
- disability (past or present)
- gender reassignment
- marriage or civil partnership status
- race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins
- religion or belief
- pregnancy or maternity
- sexual orientation
- trade union membership (or non-membership)
- part-time or fixed term status
No employee or potential employee will be disadvantaged by any conditions of employment that cannot be justified as necessary on operational grounds.
We aim to encourage, value and manage diversity and are committed to equality for our entire staff. We wish to attain a workforce that is representative of the communities from which it is drawn.
These principles of equality and diversity also apply to the manner in which we treat clients, our business partners and visitors.”
Employees are expected to work with us towards these aims. In certain circumstances, an employee can be personally liable for discrimination against a fellow employee or a job applicant.
All employees have personal responsibility for the practical application of the firm’s equality policy, which extends to the treatment of job applicants, employees (including former employees), clients and visitors. The following list gives you an idea of how discrimination can be broken down.
- Discrimination, victimisation and harassment
- Direct discrimination
- Indirect discrimination
Equality and diversity in our relations with clients
Any reference in this policy to clients includes current, past and potential clients.
We will treat our clients fairly and equally at all times.
We will not unlawfully discriminate against our clients.
We are generally free to decide whether to accept instructions from any particular client. Where we decide not to accept instructions, this will not be based on any protected characteristics.
We will take steps to ensure that we meet the diverse needs of our clients. Where necessary, we will devise procedures to deliver services that meet specific needs arising from clients’ ethnic or cultural background, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disabilities, age or other relevant factors. We will do so only where this is permitted by the relevant anti-discrimination legislation.
We will take seriously any complaint of discrimination by or on behalf of a client and act promptly to investigate.
Equality and diversity in our dealings with third parties
We will not unlawfully discriminate in our dealings with third parties.
We will instruct barristers on the basis of their skills, experience and ability, taking into account factors such as specialist expertise and cost. We will not accept instructions from a client to select a barrister wholly or partly on the presence or absence of a protected characteristic. If necessary, we will cease to act. Where a client requests a specific barrister is instructed, we will discuss the suitability of the barrister with the client and advise appropriately. We will take the same approach when instructing other experts or third parties on the client’s behalf.
Any reference in this policy to our suppliers includes suppliers of goods and services to the firm or our clients, regardless of the geographical location of the supplier. It also includes any outsourcing providers and other third parties involved in the provision of goods or services to the firm or our clients.
Our suppliers will be selected solely on the basis of their suitability. We will not unlawfully discriminate when selecting suppliers.
We maintain a database of our approved counsel, experts and suppliers. This database has been compiled solely on the basis of skills, experience and ability, taking into account factors such as specialist expertise and cost. This database contain[s] no discriminatory exclusion, restriction or preference.
We will take seriously any complaint of discrimination by or on behalf of a third party and act promptly to investigate.