Pro Bono and Charitable Work
Most of the pro bono cases, which Members of Chambers undertake are received from either Advocate of which Keating Chambers is a founding member and FRU (Free Representation Unit). In some cases Members of Chambers may be willing to advise or represent litigants on a direct access or public access basis. For enquiries in relation to public access pro bono cases, email the Practice Management Teams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keating Chambers have been enthusiastic supporters of a number of charity initiatives over the last year:
- Chambers was particularly festive on 13 December 2019, as members and staff wore Christmas jumpers as part of Christmas Jumper Day – a national initiative to fundraise for Save the Children.
- In February 2020, Members of Chambers and staff brought in baked goods in support of the London Legal Support Trust’s ‘Great Legal Bake’.
- Due to the postponement of the London Marathon this year, a team from Keating Chambers pulled together to run a combined marathon to raise money for KidsOut and Oxfam. Each team member ran 2.62km and we managed a combined finish time of 3hrs 32m 42secs.
Chambers also annually participates in a number of charity sporting events, including football, softball and the London Legal Support Trust’s London Legal Walk. This year, due to social distancing measures, the London Legal Support Trust replaced their usual London Legal Walk with a virtual 10,000 steps challenge. We had a lot of fun training for this event (as evidenced in our video below). Fundraising is more critical than ever as agencies work hard on preventing homelessness, resolving debt, gaining care for the elderly and fighting exploitation during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please take a few minutes to watch our training video to see how Keating came together virtually in support and raised £1,242.50.
While we have been working from home, Keating has donated the money we would normally spend on fruit for Chambers to contribute to Fresh Fruit Daily’s fantastic initiative to deliver fruit to hospitals, care centres, food banks and many other organisations, who have been tragically affected by COVID-19. This small family business are continuing to deliver fruit to vulnerable people throughout the pandemic and we are proud to be supporting them.
Upon hearing that some criminal sets had no choice but to withdraw pupillage offers for this September due to financial pressure as a result of the impact of COVID-19, our Executive Committee voted in August to provide funding of £20,000 towards a withdrawn pupillage this September. More details can be found here.
Equality & Diversity
A snapshot of our equality and diversity initiatives is provided below but please visit https://www.keatingchambers.com/recruitment/diversity-and-inclusion/ for more information on our outreach programmes and our equality and diversity policy.
We aim to be at the forefront of gender diversity. We have a high percentage of females in Chambers, across barristers and staff, including a high proportion of female silks currently at 21%. Every year we host a “Women at the Commercial Bar” event. Last years’ event, on 3 December 2021, was held virtually with keynote speeches from Lady Justice Carr DBE and Mrs Justice O’Farrell DBE, together with short talks from female barristers of various levels of seniority. More information can be found here.
Keating Chambers are strong supporters of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, which seeks to increase, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators in order to achieve a fair representation as soon as practically possible, with the ultimate goal of full parity.
In September 2022 we announced the launch of a new social mobility scholarship in partnership with Gray’s Inn, to be awarded through the Gray’s Inn Scholarship Programme The scholarship, funded by Keating Chambers, is designed to support Bar Course students from backgrounds under-represented at the Bar. In awarding £15,000 to the winning candidate, the Keating Chambers Scholarship will support a Bar Student from a background under-represented at the Bar, who may not have otherwise been able to embark on this journey. We will also offer the successful applicant an unassessed mini-pupillage at Keating Chambers and mentoring. The mini-pupillage will be a 1-day in person placement which aims to provide a varied and stimulating introduction to life in Chambers.
We worked with nine other sets on a mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups at the Bar. The purpose of the scheme is to support and encourage individuals from groups which are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales (and in particular the commercial bar) to pursue careers as barristers. Those underrepresented groups include women; people from minority ethnic backgrounds; people with disabilities; LGBTQ+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The scheme ran between October 2021 and May 2022.
In Summer 2022 Keating co-hosted a Summer School with Lamb Buildings. The collaboration with Lamb Building (a common law set with family and criminal law specialisms) enabled Keating to reach a wide range of students who might not have otherwise considered coming to the Commercial Bar. The school was open to LLB, GDL and Bar Course students, as well as those who have completed the Bar Course, who have an interest in Commercial, Criminal, or Civil Law. The event was run virtually to ensure maximum accessibility and involved tenants and pupils from both sets. As well as learning what it is like to practice in these areas, sessions covered pupillage applications, interview skills, advocacy and life as a pupil.
We recognise the importance of the “TECBAR BAME Network” and its efforts to enhance inclusion, participation and progression at the Technology and Construction Bar. We have supported this by hosting CV workshops in Chambers to provide support and encouragement to ethnic minorities considering a career at the Bar, and two Keating barristers were involved in authoring The Specialist Commercial Bar & Black Inclusion – First Steps Report, Commissioned by The Commercial Bar Association, The Chancery Bar Association and The Technology and Construction Bar Association.
In August 2020 we were pleased to announce ourselves as founding partners of Bridging the Bar (BTB), a charity committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and diversity within the Bar of England and Wales at all professional levels. BTB aims to support students from all underrepresented groups including those from a low socio-economic background, minority ethnic background, those who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, students who have a disability or long-term health condition and other communities who are “statistically underrepresented in the profession”. We share BTB’s belief that “for any organisation to reach its full potential, it must reflect the diverse society that we live in”. To read more about BTB’s objectives please click here.
In February 2020 we announced that we are one of the first five sets of chambers to sign up to the 10,000 Black Interns programme. This initiative aims to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries. The aim is to provide training and development opportunities and to create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.
We have also adopted a contextual recruitment system for our pupillages, mini-pupillages and senior staff recruitment, which will improve our approach to secure people in Chambers from diverse backgrounds who might be disadvantaged by the traditional means of recruitment.
All Rise (The Bar)
Keating Chambers is a signatory to the “All Rise (The Bar)” initiative, a project which invites the Bar to step up and actively create a better culture. Research identifies that it takes 25% of people to effect societal change, so “All Rise” aims to encourage at least 25% of barristers to be “active bystanders” by speaking out and standing against belittling, bullying, discrimination and harassment. Keating Chambers is committed to providing a working environment in which all individuals (including members, pupils, mini-pupils, employees, instructing solicitors, clients and the public) are treated with dignity, respect and fairness. Our barristers are individually pledging their active support in challenging unacceptable behaviour and cultivating an inclusive environment, and we have already surpassed the 25% target set. We will continue to look for ways to develop our internal culture and to improve behaviour across the Bar more widely.
London Pulse Corporate Netball Cup
In July 2020 we announced an exciting new sponsorship partnership with London Pulse, London’s Only Vitality Superleague netball team, to sponsor the inaugural Keating Chambers and London Pulse Corporate Netball Cup. This will be a women’s and mixed netball tournament to be held at the Copper Box Arena in March 2021. Corporate netball teams will have the chance to battle it out in the inaugural competition with London Pulse Superleague players assigned to teams to help coach and cheer them on.
Funds raised from the sponsorship and entry fees will support the London Pulse community netball programme, which includes:
- The provision of funding to talented athletes who otherwise would not be able to afford to be part of the London Pulse academy programme.
- Funding to provide extended education to London Pulse athletes on matters including nutrition, performance lifestyle and the management of studies with training and wellbeing.
- Signposting and introductions to vocational and academic institutions and careers.
- Providing safe travel to and from training and matches across London at night.
Read more here.
Keating Chambers has a long established relationship with Law Rocks “Battle of the Bands” events, where bands from solicitors’ firms and other clients compete for honour of the “best band” title. Law Rocks’ mission is to promote music education for underprivileged youth and raise funds for local non-profit organisations. Proceeds from their events are split between the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute and a local charity in the host city. Keating Chambers’ band Demolition features Marcus Taverner KC (lead guitar), Calum Lamont KC (vocals and keyboard), Ben Sareen (bass guitar), Sarah Williams (vocals and keyboard), and Oliver Goldsmith (drums).