Supporting those preparing for the next pupillage recruitment round, this event explained good practice in making reasonable adjustments for candidates with disabilities, clarifying what is and isn’t lawful.

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28 November 2023, 17:30 - 18:40
Event Type
Equality and diversity

About the session

As the Pupillage Gateway opens at the end of 2023, this practical session explains good practice in making reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process, clarifying what is - and isn’t - lawful. 

We also shared the experience of chambers who have successfully onboarded pupils, members and staff with disabilities, and have created resources based on their experience for others across the Bar.

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Watch the seminar recording

Aim of the event

  • To help chambers provide reasonable adjustments during recruitment and in onboarding pupils, new members and staff with disabilities
  • To identify gaps in guidance, e.g. in the Fair Recruitment Guide, that can be addressed to better meet chambers’ needs


  • Those responsible for the recruitment, and onboarding, of barristers and staff
  • Heads of Pupillage, and members of pupillage (and other appointment) committees
  • Equality and Diversity Officers (EDOs)
  • Barristers with an interest in disability issues
  • Barristers and students who are members of disability networks


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Faisel Sadiq

Faisel is a barrister, pecialising in property litigation at Gatehouse Chambers. He is also Vice Chair of the Bar Council EDSM Committee, Chair of the Bar Council Disability Panel.

He has extensive experience of mediations, and has appeared in the Beth Din of the Federation of Synagogues.

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Paul Cray

Paul is Chief Executive & Director of Clerking at Farrar's Building. He joined Farrar’s Building in October 2021, having previously worked at leading sets in the Temple and Gray’s Inn. He assumed his current role of Chief Executive & Director of Clerking in January 2022.

Paul has overall responsibility for the strategic leadership of chambers, and the management and development of all members, clerks and staff.

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Celia Grace

Celia joined 39 Essex Chambers as Chief Operating Officer in May 2018.   Celia is a qualified lawyer (New Zealand), and has enjoyed a variety of careers.  She has worked as an employment and discrimination solicitor, as an education consultant specialising in governance and leadership, and more recently, in operational and compliance support at the Bar.  

Celia’s role at 39 Essex Chambers is extensive and broad ranging, including regulatory compliance, people, social responsibility, and corporate governance.



Holly Girven

Holly is a barrister at Farrar’s Building specialising in personal injury, clinical negligence and regulatory law. She completed pupillage in October 2023.

Holly is a manual wheelchair user, and has previously appeared on BBC Radio 4’s “Law in Action” podcast speaking about her experiences. She is also a committee member of AllBar, an organisation promoting disability access at the Bar.

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Declan O'Dempsey

Declan O'Dempsey specialises in discrimination law and employment. He co-wrote the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Code of Practice on Goods, Services and Public Functions, and has appeared in many lead cases on discrimination involving disability. He is on the EDSM, assisted in writing the Bar Council Reasonable Adjustments guide and was formerly Vice chair of the BSB Equality and Diversity Committee. He sits as a part time fee paid employment judge. 


Event partners

The Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA) and Institute of Barrister's Clerks (IBC).



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