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Fountain Court Chambers

Work 020 7583 3335
Fax 020 7353 0329
London, Singapore

Equality and Diversity

Fountain Court is committed to Equality and Diversity. We regard it as essential to our standing as a leading commercial set of chambers that we should seek to excel in this, as in the rest of our business.

We recognise the obligation not to discriminate against clients, members, pupils or staff on grounds of gender, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, age, disability, marriage and civil partnership and religion or belief is a fundamental and legal obligation imposed on us by legislation and the Bar Code of Conduct.

It is only right that we should make sure we are behaving in a fair and non-discriminatory way. It also makes good business sense that we should recruit and retain the very best staff, pupils, and tenants, based on merit, from the widest possible pool of talent.

We have a comprehensive , which sets out the policies we have adopted for ensuring compliance with our legal and regulatory obligations and the .  In particular, we use published, objective, selection criteria in recruiting staff, pupils and tenants and we ensure that all those involved in recruitment have Equality and Diversity training; we participate in programs designed to encourage applicants from under-represented groups, such as the ; we provide 6 months’ rent free parental leave for the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted baby, as well as the option of an extended career-break; we support flexible working patterns; we monitor fairness in allocation of work opportunities as between practising barristers; and we treat breach of our policies on discrimination and harassment as a serious matter. We also have an Equality and Diversity Strategy, which sets out our goals in respect of Equality and Diversity and how we aim to achieve them, and a rolling Action Plan, which sets out time-tabled steps towards meeting those goals.

Our two Equality and Diversity Officers,  and , monitor and report on our progress in relation to Equality and Diversity.

Giving back to the community

Fountain Court Chambers has always been at the fooffice_idront of delivery of pro bono services. For years, the set’s staff and members have provided advice for those in need through a variety of outlets. For example, junior members, such as Samuel Rabinowitz and Alexandra Whelan provide legal advice in the Bethnal Green Advice centre every Wednesday evening as part of chambers’ ongoing commitment to the centre, whilst the clerks’ team also support CSR initiatives in law firms and have assisted Olswang in helping the homeless in the Whitechapel Mission.  The Whitechapel Mission serves men and women caught in the cycles of poverty, hopelessness and dependencies of many kinds, and works to see their lives transformed to hope, joy and lasting productivity.

Other schemes that our junior barristers (1-3 years call) volunteer for include: the QueenÂ’s Bench Division Interim Applications Court Pro Bono Advocacy Scheme; and the Chancery Litigants in Person Scheme (CLIPS) set up in conjunction with the Chancery Bar Association to provide Pro Bono representation to litigants in person in the Chancery Division at the Rolls Building, Court 10 and at the Central London County Court.

Another CSR that Chambers are proud of includes silks such as Michael Green QC attending Wormwood Scrubs Prison on a monthly basis as part of a scheme to monitor the welfare of prisoners, including those in vulnerable positions.

Bar Pro Bono Unit

Former Fountain Court member Lord Goldsmith established the Bar Pro Bono Unit, which we continue to actively support. Silks and juniors continue to review numerous cases, devoting substantial amounts of time to work for the Bar Pro Bono Unit, ensuring legal representation in High Court hearings and many other cases for those most in need but without the ability to pay for representation.

This year, chambers have joined the pilot of a new scheme called Pro Bono Connect, supported by the Bar Pro Bono Unit. The purpose of the scheme is to establish a network of chambers and firms of solicitors willing to work together on pro bono cases. It is intended to enable any barrister from a participating chambers working pro bono on a case to request assistance, via the clerks, from a participating solicitor.

Philip Brook Smith QC is a trustee and an instrumental part of the management committee of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and works alongside participating law firms such as; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, K&L Gates LLP, Mishcon de Reya LLP, Enyo Law LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Linklaters LLP, Allen & Overy LLP, DLA Piper LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP.

Stephen Lawrence Trust - access to clerking

The Trust is a national educational charity committed to the social inclusion; community cohesion and the alleviation of poverty. It addresses the causes of urban decay; youth disaffection and educational underachievement and supports young people by developing pathways into sustainable education and employment.

In January, 2017 former Deputy Senior Clerk Paul Martenstyn was invited to become an Ambassador for and in the same year was invited to be part of the IBC Management and Education Committee. Both of these invitations demonstrate the high-regard with which he is held in the legal community.

Outside of the legal arena, Chambers also works hard to contribute to a variety of charitable causes.  For example, participating in the ‘Macmillan’s Go Sober for October’ fundraising event, the clerks’ team were awarded for being a top fundraising team, helping to raise just short of £3,000 for this incredible charity.


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