Freshfields starts networking drive to instruct more women barristers

updated on 17 July 2019

Magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has launched a networking programme for solicitors of all genders to connect with women barristers, with the aim of increasing instructions and client recommendations to women advocates.

Unequal work allocation at chambers has been identified as a key issue facing women at the Bar by the profession’s regulator, the Bar Standards Board. Freshfields’ speed-networking events serve the dual purpose of enabling the firm’s solicitors to form connections with a broad range of barristers and encouraging chambers to put forward a more diverse selection of candidates for instructions.

The Law Gazette reports that the first event took place earlier this month for lawyers in the firm’s dispute resolution team. Claire Wills, London managing partner at Freshfields, said: “'Promoting diversity and inclusion across our business and across the wider legal profession is an absolute priority for us. While we still have more to do in this space, I am proud of the initiatives, programmes and efforts that we have underway and of the commitment that there is across our teams to building a culture of inclusion.”