Huge boost for equality as large firms adopt Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy en masse

Huge boost for equality as large firms adopt Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy en masse

The Law Council of Australia’s National Equitable Briefing Policy today received a major boost, with a large number of the nation’s leading large law firms, as well as three large corporates, signing up to a commitment to briefing women barristers.

The new policy, launched this year, aims to boost the number of briefs to women barristers. It includes interim and long term targets with the ultimate aim of briefing women in at least 30 per cent of all matters and paying 30 per cent of the value of all brief fees by 2020.

Today, the Law Council unveiled support from a number of law firms including:

  • Allens
  • Ashurst
  • Baker & McKenzie
  • Clayton Utz
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • DLA Piper
  • Henry Davis York
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Minter Ellison
  • Norton Rose Fulbright

The Law Council also announced the support of three large corporates with Telstra, Woolworths and Westpac the first of the ASX 200 to signal their support for the Policy.

Law Council of Australia President-elect, Fiona McLeod SC, said it was extremely encouraging to see organisations signing on and support for diversity measures building rapidly.

“The policy is intended to support the progression and retention of women barristers, address the pay gap and the underrepresentation of women in superior courts,” Ms McLeod said.

“The preparedness of the legal profession and the Australian business community to adopt the policy signals a significant cultural shift in our support for equality.

“The Law Council is grateful indeed for the leadership of the profession and these businesses in recognising the importance of diversity measures by signing up to this commitment.

“With this momentum, I am confident the National Equitable Briefing Policy will provide the incentive for long term change within Bars,” Ms McLeod said.

The new signatories join the Australian Bar Association, various Bars and Law Societies of Australia, as well as numerous individual legal practitioners, who have committed to the Policy.

The Law Council will continue to promote the Equitable Briefing Policy and support signatories in their implementation of it across the country through ongoing events and reporting templates.

Sign up to the National Equitable Briefing Policy here.

Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs                                             Anil Lambert: Media

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