Diversity & Inclusion

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We are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in both recruitment and the provision of services and all applications (be it for staff, tenants, pupils or mini-pupils) are considered on merit alone.

OUR POLICIES

All our selection procedures are operated without discrimination, that is to say without regard to irrelevant considerations such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief, or age. We welcome applications for pupillage and mini-pupillage from candidates from all backgrounds and all sectors of the community with the ability and determination to succeed as a barrister.

CONTEXTUAL RECRUITMENT

Keating uses a system called the RARE Contextual Recruitment System.  This is a way of identifying candidates who have over-achieved in the light of their wider personal circumstances, or whose achievements should be seen in the light of specific challenges they have faced. The system is used for our pupillages, mini-pupillages and senior staff recruitment.

We launched the use of this system in 2019.  Our former Head of Chambers, John Marrin QC, and Krista Lee QC wrote a joint article for the Winter 2019/2020 KC Legal Update celebrating its launch.  You can find this here. Further information on how we use the RARE system can be found on our application form guidance page.

MENTORING FOR UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS AT THE BAR

We are working 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; LGBT+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The scheme will run between October 2021 and May 2022.

WOMEN AT THE COMMERCIAL BAR ANNUAL EVENT

Since December 2017 we have been running an annual “Women at the Commercial Bar” student event in Chambers. This is an informal event which features short talks from female barristers of various levels of seniority at Keating Chambers, a keynote speech from a female judge, and the chance to network with male and female barristers from Keating. The presentations have covered the types of cases you are involved in at Keating, the work/life balance for a woman at the commercial Bar, and mentoring and support within Chambers. The event has been free to attend and open to students of all genders at any stage of legal study who are interested in a career at the Commercial Bar.

Last year, we were pleased to offer the same event virtually via Zoom. The format remained the same although this year we were delighted to have three distinguished female judges joining us: Lady Justice Carr DBE (Court of Appeal), Mrs Justice O’Farrell DBE (Judge in Charge of the Technology and Construction Court) and Mrs Justice Jefford DBE. The event was a great success with around 100 students attending and we were able to offer the same opportunity for informal conversation after the talks by way of smaller break out rooms with around 20 barristers.

BRIDGING THE BAR

We are proud to be Founder Members of Bridging the Bar. This organisation aims to increase diversity at the Bar by ensuring equal access to opportunity (through a structured mini-pupillage programme), through mentorship and through transparency.

10,000 BLACK INTERNS PROGRAMME

We were one of the first five sets of chambers to sign up to the 10,000 Black Interns programme, an initiative 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.

TECBAR BAME NETWORK

We recognise the importance of the TECBAR BAME Network and its efforts enhance BAME 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 BAME people considering a career at the Bar.

FIRST SIX TO SILK: FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BLACK WOMEN

In March 2020 Krista Lee QC was one of six women of African or African Caribbean heritage to take silk. In celebration of this unprecedented achievement, the Black Barristers’ Network invited Krista, Barbara Mills QC, Allison Munroe QC, Katharine Newton QC, Ijeoma Omambala QC and Melanie Simpson QC to join a webinar to discuss their experiences and triumphs, as well as career advice they would offer having successfully made Silk. The recording from this inspiring session can be accessed below.

EQUAL REPRESENTATION IN ARBITRATION PLEDGE

Keating has been a corporate signatory of The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (the “ERA Pledge”) since its launch in May 2016. In addition, a number of barristers and staff have signed the pledge in an individual capacity since the launch.

The ERA Pledge has two objectives. First, it aims to improve the profile and representation of women in international arbitration. Second, it seeks the appointment of women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis. The pledge recognises that, while there are many well-qualified women arbitrator candidates, they often lack visibility, with arbitrators frequently appointed from a relatively small pool of mostly male arbitrators. This lack of diversity raises questions as to the legitimacy of the arbitral process, unconscious bias and conflicts of interest, as well as procedural inefficiencies, including delays in the rendering of arbitral awards due to the limited availability of arbitrators. Further information can be found here.

MENTORING AND OUTREACH

Members of Chambers are involved in numerous different mentoring and outreach programmes, which include the below:

  • Members of the TecBar and Combar committees focusing on improving race diversity at the Commercial Bar.
  • Supporting Inner Temple’s PASS programme. This involves giving state school students who may not otherwise have considered a career at the bar the opportunity to spend a few days in chambers with a barrister, in an informal mini-pupillage context, to ask as many questions as possible and to come to understand possible routes into the profession.
  • Supporting the Black Students Law Society at Queen Mary.
  • Mentoring through Middle Temple’s Sponsorship Scheme, which aims to provide student members with a ‘sponsor’ – a practising barrister – who will act as a mentor and contact at the Bar.
  • Advocacy training of junior barristers via the Inns’ programmes.
  • Mentoring through Bridging the Bar.
  • Mentees through the Bar Council’s Race Equality Taskforce’s Reverse Mentoring Scheme, which involves a senior white barrister being mentored by a Bar student, pupil or junior barrister from a minority ethnic group.
  • Mentoring through the Bar Council’s E-Mentoring scheme, designed for Year 12, 13 and first-year undergraduate students to gain practical guidance and advice about a career as a barrister. The Scheme is intended to support students from non-traditional backgrounds, who are interested in pursuing a career at the Bar and who are attending a state school in England or Wales.
  • Mentoring through Inner Temple’s Mentoring Scheme, which aims to pair BPC students with barristers who can give advice and guidance.
  • Support for Big Voice London, a legal outreach project that helps young people explore the UK legal system, particularly the role of the Supreme Court, and their own legal identity.
  • Participation in the Bar Council’s CV clinics.
  • Participation in all four Inns’ various pupillage application advice sessions, CV workshops, sitting on scholarship interview panels, etc.
  • Informal mentoring of and support for students from sixth form through to the Bar Course, with a particular focus on students from under-represented backgrounds.