Brick Court Chambers is committed to acting in a socially responsible manner. We actively participate in and contribute to a number of different initiatives in this regard, which are set out in the sections below.
We are committed to promoting access to the legal profession and to the Bar, in particular by students who are underrepresented at the Bar. Initiatives organised by chambers to promote social mobility, as well as activities of individual members of chambers, are described in the Social Mobility section of our Equality & Diversity page.
Brick Court is also one of six commercial sets that have jointly created a mentoring scheme to support and encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to pursue a career as a barrister. Further details of the scheme are here under the heading MENTORING SCHEME.
We will consider requests for sponsorship by university societies (or similar organisations), prioritising applications that seek to contribute to promoting access to the Bar for groups of people who are underrepresented in the practice areas in which Brick Court is active. The sponsorship application form for 2021-22 is here.
In addition, as of 2019, Brick Court is pleased to be sponsoring a travel bursary to support students in financial need who reach the national final of the mock trial competition for 15-18 year olds organised by the charity Young Citizens as part of its SmartLaw initiative.
Members of Brick Court regularly undertake pro bono work on a wide range of issues. We have close links with a number of pro bono organisations including Amnesty International, Liberty, Redress, Reprieve, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Human Dignity Trust, the Death Penalty Project, the AIRE Centre, JUSTICE, the International Commission of Jurists, and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre.
We are a legal partner of A4ID (Advocates for International Development), an international development charity providing legal support to development organisations and developing country governments.
We also work closely with Advocate (the Bar Pro Bono Unit) and the Free Representation Unit. In 2012 we received a Friends in Law Award in recognition of our support of these organisations. Brick Court Chambers is an inaugural Pro Bono Gold Patron of Advocate.
Stephen Ruttle QC is the founder and still active member of the Wandsworth Mediation Service, which offers mediation to the community that covers assisting in neighbourhood disputes through to actively keeping down knife crime.
Notable pro bono cases have included Marie Demetriou QC acting for transsexual Christine Timbrell in her claim for fair pension rights before the Court of Appeal, and also acting on behalf of war widows in claims brought against the Government. Several members of chambers continue to fight for the displaced Chagos Islanders, as well as taking instructions on behalf of other displaced families.
In 2017, Richard Gordon QC, Gerard Rothschild and Andrew McIntyre represented the parents of Charlie Gard pro bono in the litigation concerning the termination of treatment for their son.
In 2019 Paul Bowen QC won the Outstanding Achievement category at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards, being recognised particularly for his public law and human rights work in cases involving free speech and open justice, mentally disordered and incapacitated individuals, access to justice, inquests and deaths in custody and assisted dying, among others.
In 2019 Jennifer MacLeod won the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year Award at the Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards. She was nominated in recognition of her outstanding record of pro bono work. It was noted that, amongst her other work, she “displays an extraordinary commitment to improving women’s rights, working on international cases to assist victims of domestic violence and abuse” as well as working “extensively on this topic closer to home”.
In 2020 Jennifer MacLeod and Emma Mockford jointly won the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year Award at the Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards. They were jointly nominated for their work at a three-week long inquest into the death of baby Harry Richford. The inquest concluded that his death was wholly avoidable and had been caused by numerous gross failings which amounted to neglect. All involved highly praised Jennifer and Emma’s work, including the Coroner who commented that “they both represented the best of the profession, and that it was an honour to have them appear before him”.
Brick Court Chambers was founded in 1921 and on our 100th birthday we aim to celebrate chambers’ past, present and future.
To that end, Brick Court has committed itself to raising £250,000 for charity in its centenary year. The primary focus of the “Centenary Challenge” will be social mobility, with £100,000 each being raised for the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity – charities that are working to improve the representation of under-represented groups in both higher education and in the workplace. Their work will be more important than ever in 2021.
Whilst our principal aims are deliberately wider than the legal profession, the need remains great within the legal sector too, and Brick Court will also be raising £50,000 for the Access to Justice Foundation and Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit).
Brick Court Chambers is extremely proud to be working with, and for, four such excellent charities, and looks forward to working with all its clients and colleagues to raise funds for them. Further information is here.
In addition Brick Court makes regular donations to the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII), an online database which provides all court users with free access to British and Irish legislation and case law. Members of chambers also take part in the annual London Legal Walk to support legal advice charities; and are individually involved in supporting a wide range of charitable causes, including:
Brick Court seeks to minimise its environmental impact wherever possible. There is a comprehensive recycling policy in place for paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, batteries and toner cartridges. All white goods and computer hardware are recycled to WEEE standards.
Brick Court is an accredited London Living Wage employer and has committed to pay at least the London Living Wage to both employees and subcontracted workers.