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Equality & Diversity

As a measure of our equality and diversity commitment, Hardwicke participates in the Black Solicitors Network diversity questionnaire and we are proud to have been top ranked as Chambers of the Year in both 2011, 2012 and 2016.

For more details view our current diversity data.

Hardwicke is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. Stonewall is Britain's largest charity for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality. The Diversity Champion programme is an employers' forum promoting good practice on sexual orientation, its ethos being: "People perform better when they can be themselves".

We ask anybody who applies for a position at Hardwicke (be it as a barrister, pupil, mini pupil, work experience student or member of staff) to complete our Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire.

Policy statement

We are committed to offering equal opportunities to all staff, members of chambers, pupils and applicants regardless of citizenship, colour, disability, ethnic origin, gender reassignment, marital status, nationality or national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, age, sex or sexual orientation.

We have implemented all mandatory and recommended essential sections of the Equality Code for the Bar and adopt its procedural recommendations. We do not tolerate discrimination on any of the above grounds in the selection, treatment or conduct of any of its members, pupils or staff.

Aims and objectives

We aim to operate systems which:

  • Ensure that members of chambers, staff, pupils and applicants progress on merit.
  • Provide a clearly defined and accessible system for dealing with complaints of discrimination in which potential complainants can have confidence.
  • Monitor all application, selection, training and work allocation processes to ensure compliance with the Equality Code for the Bar and chambers’ own constitution, rules and procedures.
  • Oblige all members of chambers, staff and pupils to conduct themselves in compliance with the Equality Code for the Bar.

Awareness of the policy is promoted. All staff and members are invited to a seminar presented once a year by one of the barristers on equal opportunities. A register of attendees is maintained.

  • Training and induction for both staff and members include equality and diversity. Training is available to all members and staff irrespective of age or gender.
  • Both members and staff are offered appropriate “soft skills training”.  The need for such training is identified at practice meetings which are attended by the relevant Senior Practice Manager(s) and the Chief Executive.

For Practice Managers the training includes reinforcing the standing instruction that they must act in accordance with the Equal Opportunities policy when deciding whether or not to accept instructions and when allocating work.

The annual appraisal of Practice Managers reviews members’ perception of fair distribution of work and, occasionally, a review of a particular team may be carried out if asked for by members or a team.

Appropriate facilities for disabled persons, and disabled access are maintained. Toilet facilities for the disabled are provided; guide dogs for the blind are welcome; a laptop computer is available for any conferences attended by people who have impaired hearing.

A wide range of languages is spoken amongst members of chambers who could act as interpreters for those who do not speak English.

The Equality and Diversity policy is reviewed annually by the Management Committee.