Women at the Bar

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There are fewer women than we would like applying for career at the Commercial/Construction Bar. Keating Chambers are dedicated to improving this situation and for a number of years we having been running events aimed at better informing students about work at the Commercial/Construction Bar, and joining industry initiatives designed to attract and retain women. Further information can be found below.

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.

This year, we are pleased to be offering the same event virtually via Zoom. The format remains the same although this year we are 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. We plan to offer the same opportunity for informal conversation after the talks by way of smaller break out rooms. Please visit our events page to register: http://www.keatingchambers.com/events/women-at-the-commercial-bar-2020/

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: http://www.keatingchambers.com/era-pledge/