Equality & Diversity
Frederick Place Chambers is committed to promoting and advancing equality and diversity. Chambers does not discriminate against members, pupils, staff, applicants or clients on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, sex, pregnancy or maternity, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, religion, belief or age.
Equality Action Plan
This Plan aims to set out actions in pursuance of Frederick Place Chambers Equality Policy and to further implement the statement and commitment made in that policy. Given that most of Chambers’ work comprises advice and drafting, the following actions are set out:
Chambers practice of offering an initial half an hour’s free telephone advice will continue to be implemented for all potential clients without any discrimination in relation to protected characteristics. This will be a continuing standard practice for all members.
Efforts will be made to ensure that client care letters are available in translation, for clients whose first language is not English, utilising free resources so far as possible. Chambers aims to expand its current list of translators and interpreters. In relation to the visually impaired and clients with learning disabilities, reasonable adjustments will be made to the client care letter.
Chambers is committed to further developing existing links with local community groups and organisations including Bristol and Avon Law Centre and Bristol SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality).
Action will be taken to further develop existing expertise in discrimination law and practice, for example by closely analysing and discussing relevant journals such as Equal Opportunities Review and Legal Action.
In relation to religion and cultural values, Chambers is committed to developing a deeper understanding of cultural sensitivities. For example, care will be taken to ensure that client conferences are arranged around religious festivals and prayer time.
In relation to gender and sexual orientation Chambers will further develop members’ awareness of gender and related issues. Members of Chambers are acutely aware of emotional issues arising in sexual and sexual orientation harassment cases and will ensure the provision of a safe and appropriate environment based on the needs of the client.
Children can be safely accommodated in Chambers and are generally admitted so far as their conduct does not affect the professional conduct of conferences. Chambers will consider meeting clients out of hours or at weekends, where possible, to relate to child care arrangements.
In relation to disabled clients, care will be taken to make alternative arrangements and reasonable adjustments where access to Chambers may be problematic. This may include holding telephone conferences or arranging alternative meeting places. With reference to clients with mental disabilities, members will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of medication issues. Disabled clients will be advised that they may be accompanied by a companion to conferences.
Members of Chambers will continue to deal sensitively with vulnerable young people and the vulnerable elderly. Where the age of clients is an issue, other family members will be encouraged to attend Chambers with clients and a relaxed and comfortable environment will be provided.
Many of Chambers’ clients are of limited financial means. In this connection, and in the interests of avoiding disadvantage to such clients, members will continue to develop financial strategies for clients from lower socio-economic groups. Free seminars open to the public will be held monthly and Chambers monthly newsletter will be widely and freely distributed on a regular basis.
The suitability of public access clients will in no circumstances be based on clients’ protected characteristics.
As part of our commitment to equality and diversity, Chambers ensures that all those involved in recruitment have training in fair recruitment, reviews its recruitment procedures annually and monitors the allocation of unassigned work among members and practising pupils.
The Bar Standards Board requires Chambers to publish a summary of data collected through a diversity data monitoring exercise to be undertaken every three years.
Due to the fact that there are fewer than 10 individuals in the Frederick Place Chambers, we do not publish the collected data. This is in line with Chambers’ Diversity Data Policy and the best practice recommended by the BSB. A copy of Chambers’ Diversity Data Policy is available here.