Our aim is to create an environment where the individual differences of all our members, pupils, employees and clients are respected and valued. 

We are an inclusive set and consistently strive to raise standards and attract members who possess exceptional ability. We are therefore committed to ensuring equality of opportunity regardless of race, nationality, social class, gender, age, disability, parental or carer status, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Our pupil selection process anonymises applications.

As one of the largest sets in England and Wales, we regularly review our selection process to ensure our recruitment policy is based upon skill, technical knowledge and ability.

Our commitment to equality and diversity is reflected in our Equality Policy. It is an essential part of who we are and has been integral to our achievements thus far.

Equality and Diversity Data

Red Lion Chambers has collated diversity data from its members and support team in accordance with the Bar Standards Board regulatory requirements. This essential exercise allows for continual improvements and effectiveness, in line with our commitment to equality and diversity.

Equality and Diversity Statistics 20-21 (Download) (9 downloads)

Highlights from our 2021 responses

Chambers is committed to promoting and developing equality and diversity in all aspects of a tenant’s life.  We also have a dedicated Equality & Diversity Officer, Michelle Nelson QC.

GENERAL STATEMENT:

Summary of the latest Diversity and Equality data for RLC 2021. This report was based on member responses collated between November 2020 and April 2021*.

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY ANALYSIS 2021

Where Bar Statistics are quoted below these refer to the Bar Council’s Diversity and Equality Report of 2020.
Please note percentages have been rounded and in some cases totals may not total 100 per cent. 

  • 21% of our members are QCs compared to 11% at the Bar highlighting the senior experience of our membership.
  • RLC continues to champion Women at the Bar with 35% of our Silks are female compared to 16.8% at the Bar.
  • Our membership represents 40% of members who are female.
  • RLC members have a higher % of caring responsibility for children - 36% - compared to less than half at 14.5% reported at the Bar with over a quarter of the membership holding other caring responsibilities compared to 6.5% at the Bar.
  • Almost half of Chambers members - 44% - were the first generation in their family to go to University, nearly double the 23.7% reported overall at the Bar.
  • 48% of our members come from a UK state school background, far exceeding those at the Bar, which reported 30.8% to have been state educated.
  • Statistics show that up to 11% of members represent the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths
  • Although 74% of members are from a British White background, up to a quarter - 25% - of the membership come from the Indian, Pakistani, Arab, White Irish, White Other, Afro-Caribbean and mixed multiple ethnicity communities.
  • 4% identified as with a disability. This is above the Bar representation of 3.5% overall.
  • 84% of members identified as heterosexual with 1% gay woman, 1% gay man, 2% bisexual, 3% other and 9% preferring not to say.

*Staff were not included in this set of data in order to compare against the Bar Stats.


EDUCATION

RLC continues to promote social mobility and welcome members who come from non-traditional backgrounds.

Almost half of Chambers (48%) attended UK state schools with 26% of our QCs hailing from the state sector and less than half of Chambers (43%) having studied at independent schools. 44% of those in Chambers were the first in their family and generation to attend university.

SUPPORT PROVIDER & PRIMARY CARER

Over a quarter of Chambers (28%) are in Carer roles providing up to 19 hours a week. RLC Silks (48%) are the largest group of primary carers to children under the age of 18, with 32-33% of members, pupils and associate tenants with child responsibilities.

RELIGION

11% of the membership represent the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist faith. Christianity and the category of ‘no religious faith’ each represented 39% of the memberships totalling 78%.

AGE

Chambers has a wide age range represented in its membership from 16 years plus to over 65 years.

The majority of our members fall within the 25-54 years age category with the largest percentage of members found within the 35-44 years and 45-54 age category. A fifth of our membership falls in the 25-34 category.

We have 12% of members who are 55 plus and 6% of members who are 65 plus.

GENDER

Chambers continues to lead the way in supporting gender equality supporting and championing Women at the Bar. This is highlighted in the number of women represented within the membership from junior level right through to silk and senior appointments in the judiciary.

Appointed in 2019, the first female and youngest Joint Head of Chambers, Gillian Jones QC, has been in position for 3 years.

2020 saw the appointment of 1 new female silk bringing the total number of female silks in Chambers to 9. This appointment sees Red Lion Chambers achieve a total of 16 appointments to silk in the last 4 years with one of the highest number of female silks across the Bar.

BAME

74% of the membership are from a White (British/English/Welsh/Northern Irish/Scottish) background. 5% of the membership come from a South Asian background with 2% from an Afro-Caribbean background.
Chambers is continuing to work to increase its BAME representation and recognises how fundamental diverse representation is at the Bar.

We continue to work with the East London Business Alliance - ELBA by mentoring and providing advice to young people and supporting businesses.

In 2020, Michelle Nelson QC founded SHIFT25 with ELBA- a new campaign led by a group of senior and influential Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic professionals and business organisations, following the shocking murder of George Floyd and unfolding events in the USA and the reaction to injustice around the world. The initiative pledge of the campaign is to make a fundamental shift by 2025 and to a future where there is equality of opportunity. [Read more here]

Chambers is also sponsoring a BAME mini pupillage and partnered up with the Bridging the Bar [BTB] initiative with the aim to increase diversity at the Bar. BTB candidates will have the chance to apply for a bespoke mini pupillage programme within Chambers where they will get hands-on experience of life in chambers, observe cases on key issues, and gain insight and guidance from RLC members on how to cultivate their careers.[Read more here]

SEXUAL ORIENTATION

84% of Chambers identified as Heterosexual.

DISABILITY

4% of RLC membership have identified as having a disability.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Please see our Social Responsibility page for more information on the charities we support.

OVERALL COMPARISONS TO THE BAR:

The following statistics are benchmarked against the findings in the Bar Council’s Diversity and Equality Report of 2020.
See here: BSB Report on Diversity at the Bar 2020 (8 downloads)
Equality and Diversity Statistics 20-21 (Download) (9 downloads)

Area RLC members %     Bar of 2020 %    
1st generation in family to go to University 44 23.7
State School Educated 48 30.8
Independent School Educated 43 18.1
Female Gender 39 38.2
Female QCs 35 16.8
Female Pupils 33 45.8
No. of QCs 21 11
Disability 4 3.5
Caring Responsibility for children 36 14.5
Caring Responsibility for others 28 6.5