Bar chief backs Lord Chancellor's call for diversity

5 October 2016

The call from the Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss MP this week at the  Conservative Party Conference for more to be done to boost diversity in the legal profession and judiciary has been backed by Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar.

Doerries, the head of the Bar Council, is one of three women currently leading the barristers' profession alongside Louisa Nye, who leads the Young Barristers' Committee, and Lorinda Long, Treasurer of the Bar Council.

Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC said: "The Lord Chancellor's decision to put diversity high on the agenda reflects the Bar Council's priorities. We all want to see greater career progression for women and BAME lawyers and judges. The Bar and the judiciary need to reflect society at large. 

"At the Bar we have a number of initiatives already underway, including several mentoring schemes. One of these is aimed at supporting women and ethnic minority barristers seeking to become QCs and members of the judiciary. We also recently launched a maternity mentoring scheme, open to fathers and mothers with children to help balance parenting with a flourishing career at Bar." 

Other initiatives run by the Bar Council include: 

Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC added: "The Bar is making great efforts to promote diversity and retain talent across the Bar. Transformation will take time but we must respond to legitimate concern. I am encouraged by the fact that there are already a number of outstanding women who are making their contribution to the future of the profession including the leadership of several Bar Council committees and specialist bar associations.  We look forward to working with the Lord Chancellor to help her achieve her ambition to promote greater diversity in the profession." 

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

  2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board