Equality and Diversity
We are committed to eliminating discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. This applies to our professional dealings with clients, all staff, other solicitors, barristers, experts and third parties.
We monitor diversity on an annual basis using ‘Survey Monkey’. Whilst staff are encouraged to take part in this survey it is not compulsory to answer all or any of the questions. The results are submitted to the SRA on an annual basis.
Our Chief Executive is responsible for implementing and monitoring our Equality & Diversity policy. He undertakes a review of this policy annually to verify it is in effective operation and ensures that appropriate action is taken in relation to any non-compliance identified under this policy.
We treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:
- sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
- sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
- race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
- religion or belief;
- caring responsibility; or
Wherever possible, we take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that we provide, taking account of the diversity of the communities that we serve, in order to ensure that, subject to funding constraints, our services are accessible to all clients.
We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients ensuring the services which we provide are accessible to all. We will take account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients who are unable to communicate effectively in English. We will consider whether particular groups are predominant within our client base and, where possible, will ensure that their needs are met.
We do not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with experts and third parties.
We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, using selection criteria which do not discriminate, and making decisions based on individual qualities and personal merit. Promotion within the firm (including into the partnership) is made solely on merit.
We consider all employees to be equal and create a working environment which is free from unlawful discrimination. This applies equally to voluntary positions and anyone undertaking work experience with us. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, dress code, work allocation and any other employment related activities.
Information will be provided to all managers and supervisors on equality in relation to employees and recruitment including:
- Recruitment selections;
- Training promotion;
- Disciplinary matters;
All staff are informed of this policy as part of their induction and during annual equality & diversity update training. All staff are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing our firm.
We treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination made by any of our staff, clients, barristers, experts or other third parties and will take action where appropriate. All complaints are investigated in accordance with our grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome. We also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination.
Where acts of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation and/or failure to comply with this policy by any member of staff are identified, we will ensure that our Disciplinary Procedure is followed and this may result in disciplinary proceedings being instigated.
We monitor, at least annually:
- recruitment and selection (applicants, existing staff and partners);
- promotion and transfer;
- terms and conditions of employment;
- take up of benefits;
- grievance and disciplinary procedures; and
- Resignations, redundancies, and dismissals.
We provide equality & diversity information to the Legal Aid Agency as part of the application and billing process which is required in relation to staff and clients under the terms of the LSC Contracts. Note this is voluntary only.
We identify equality and diversity training needs as and when appropriate, and address them as part of our overall training plan. This includes the provision of annual update equality & diversity training. Our Equality & Diversity training and communication objectives are reviewed at least annually.
Please click here to read our latest Equality and Diversity report.