EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AND CHAMBERS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
4 Stone Buildings is committed to providing exceptional services and to our social responsibility to all our clients, staff, pupils, members and those with whom we contract.
Equality, diversity & inclusion
We are committed to providing a working environment in which all members of Chambers, pupils, mini-pupils, staff, clients and the public are treated with dignity, respect and fairness, in which everyone is treated equally and can flourish, and which is conducive to the professional growth of our members, pupils, mini-pupils and staff and to the promotion of equality of opportunity.
It is in our, and our clients’, interests that our members and staff build successful and fulfilling careers. We fully support practice development, with flexibility in working practices, assistance with leave or career breaks, whether for parental or other reasons, help at all stages, and a working atmosphere that encourages motivation and wellbeing.
We make no distinctions of social, educational or economic background or circumstances. We will never allow discrimination on grounds of race, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, disability, age or religion or belief; nor will we allow harassment, victimisation, bullying or an unsafe working environment. Any such conduct would be anathema to our principles of fairness. It would also be unlawful.
We are proud of our standards, our friendliness and sense of community, and of the services that we provide. We are committed to promoting and advancing equality and diversity.
We have members of Chambers that sit on the Bar Council Pro Bono and Social Responsibility Committee and the Chancery Bar Association’s Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee.
Members of Chambers also give their time as volunteers to support many equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives, including:
- The Middle Temple Access to the Bar Scheme: Supporting applications to the Bar by those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- The International Lawyers for Africa Secondment Programme: Hosting secondees in Chambers each year.
- The Technology and Construction Bar Association’s BAME Network: Providing mock interviews and reviews of CVs for prospective pupillage applicants.
- Step into Law and More: A social mobility collaboration between Achievement for All and the Chancery Bar Association, providing weekly one-to-one sessions with secondary school students.
- Leducate: Promoting an understanding of everyday legal rights among secondary school students.
- The Lincoln’s Inn Mentoring Scheme.
- The Bridging the Bar Mentoring Scheme and Mini Pupillage Programme: Promoting equality of access to opportunities in the legal profession across all underrepresented groups.
- The Bar Placement Scheme: A scheme organised by the Bar Council working with Pathways to Law and the Social Mobility Foundation to provide the opportunity for students in years 12 and 13 to explore the career of a barrister by shadowing a barrister in chambers and court.
- 10,000 Black Interns Project: A programme designed to support Black students and graduates and address under-representation of Black talent across various sectors.
- The Inner Temple Schools Outreach Programme.
- Middle Temple Vis Moot Team: Providing support and coaching for the mooting teams.
A copy of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Code can be found on this webpage.
Chambers publishes diversity data in accordance with rC110 of the BSB. It can also be found on this webpage.
Pro bono and volunteering
We are proud to be connected with many pro bono and volunteering schemes. Members of Chambers, pupils and staff are involved in a wide range of initiatives, both within and outside the legal sector.
Two of our members are trustees of the Bar’s national pro bono charity Advocate, formerly known as the Bar Pro Bono Unit, and many of our members give their time and expertise as volunteers to deal with deserving cases for those who are unable to obtain legal aid and cannot afford to pay.
One of our members founded PILARS (the Personal Insolvency Litigation Advice and Representation Scheme) and developed it into the paradigm of personal insolvency litigation support. PILARS provides advice and representation for unrepresented debtors or bankrupts in bankruptcy proceedings who need legal assistance but are not entitled to public funding and cannot afford to pay for assistance. Another of our members is now currently the Chair of PILARS and many other members regularly give their time and expertise as volunteers for the scheme.
One of our members oversees CLIPS (the Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme), the flagship scheme in the Rolls Building that provides ‘on the day’ advice and representation for litigants in person in the Interim Applications Court of the Business and Property Courts. Many of our members regularly volunteer for the scheme, spending a day at court each time assisting any litigants in person in dealing with their applications.
Chancery Bar Association
We have long been involved at the heart of the pro bono activities organised by the Chancery Bar Association. One of our members is Chair of the Chancery Bar Association’s Pro Bono Sub-Committee, and another member sits on the Committee, dealing with all the various Chancery Bar Association pro bono initiatives.
CO:IN Pro Bono Scheme
One of our members is involved with the CO:IN Pro Bono Scheme, established by City Law School to provide free advice and representation for small companies attending the winding up courts in the Rolls Building.
Other pro bono activities
Alongside the schemes mentioned above, members of chambers undertake a range of other pro bono activities including:
- Free mediation services on referral from the Civil Mediation Council.
- Volunteering at Citizens Advice Bureaux.
- Pro bono advice to barristers facing disciplinary proceedings.
- Free assistance under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.
Supporting charities and other organisations
Alongside providing free legal services, members of Chambers also support a diverse range of charities and organisations, for example through trusteeships of charities, acting as school governors, and volunteering for community sports clubs.
We are committed to working towards environmental sustainability in our working practice.
We recycle as many materials as possible (paper, printer cartridges, etc), in accordance with our own principles and with the overall policy of Lincoln’s Inn’s where we are based.
We avoid single-use plastics where possible. Our kitchens are stocked with re-usable glassware, crockery and cutlery. We use filtered tap water in reusable glass bottles rather than bottled water.
Many members of Chambers have adopted paperless working where possible. Where not entirely possible, we print only when necessary. Our paper complies with FSC and Ecolabel requirements.
We use low energy light bulbs and power saving modes on electronic and IT devices.
Our coffee and tea are from sustainable and ethical sources.
For many members of Chambers and staff, cycling, running or walking to work is the preferred means of transport, for health and sustainability reasons.
We are committed to ensuring that those with whom we contract are treated fairly, for example by ensuring that our cleaners are paid the London Living Wage.