We recognise that there is a persistent problem with the lack of recruitment and representation of talented black lawyers in our profession, particularly at the commercial, Chancery, common law and competition and public law bars, which form the core of our work. There is black talent in our universities and law schools, but it is not being attracted to these areas of practice. This is true of our Chambers, in spite of our commitment to equality and diversity.
Before recent events in the United States, we had started a re-examination of our pupillage recruitment and tenancy selection procedures, as well as our arrangements within Chambers for members and staff, in order to try to identify any structural issues and risks of unconscious bias, and to see how we could better persuade talented lawyers from all walks of life to pursue a career at the commercial Bar and to be confident of equality of opportunity and access to work. We are continuing that work in light of, and informed by, the ongoing public debate about race.
We call on all our colleagues at the commercial, Chancery, common law and competition and public law bars and in law firms to make a similar public commitment to real action to improve access, equality of opportunity, career progression and leadership prospects for talented black and other minority ethnic lawyers. We recognise that statements alone are not enough; they must be backed by action.
For details of our activities and policies to promote equality and diversity, see here.