A leading set specialising in commercial, construction, insurance and property law
Hardwicke has been a Stonewall Diversity Champion since May 2014. We have recently decided to renew our membership of the scheme for another year. As a chambers we have committed ourselves to developing, regularly reviewing and maintaining inclusion and equality action plans to achieve inclusion, equality and to address identified barriers (including barriers related to both sex and gender) across all levels of our organisation. Being a Stonewall Diversity Champion is one element of our work in that context.
Whenever we have asked Stonewall for their guidance and assistance in relation to EDI and training matters, whether relating to LGBTQI+ issues or more broadly, such help has been given and we have found it be very useful. In relation to legal matters we obviously have our own internal knowledge and expertise. Whenever we have needed legal advice that is outside our own expertise we have retained solicitors or other members of the bar with the relevant expertise. We have never sought legal advice from Stonewall nor have they ever offered or given it.
We have used the Stonewall recruitment portal as one of our recruitment tools and through it have attracted excellent staff to join our team, enhancing our wish to create opportunities from a wide talent pool.
We have found it beneficial to take part in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index as a way to review our policies and procedures against a recognised benchmark.
With Stonewall’s assistance and guidance we collaborated with other chambers to set up the FreeBar group – a network aiming to foster inclusion and support for LGBTQI+ people and their allies working as and with barristers.
As a chambers with over 130 members, staff and pupils we are a diverse collection of people with a range of differing views on many issues including how to achieve the diversity and inclusion we value. We recognise that we all come from a range of backgrounds with diverse characteristics, our own personal histories and have differing views. Acknowledging all of that, we have a shared commitment to being respectful, considerate and compassionate at all times, open to being challenged and inviting constructive criticism particularly from those who are under-represented or disadvantaged.
Stonewall has never tried to influence our internal decision making, nor would we expect it to and we would not accept any such interference. Our internal decisions are a matter for chambers in accordance with our constitution and management structures.
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