Corporate Social Responsibility
Atkin Chambers is a modern, forward-looking set with an international outlook.
Chambers is committed to respecting and understanding the cultural needs of its diverse and global client base, and is committed to equality and diversity in both recruitment and the provision of services.
Please see the section on equality and diversity for further information.
Diversity at the Bar
Chambers understands the importance of the legal profession, including the Bar and the Judiciary, reflecting the make-up of society. Chambers welcomes members, pupils and staff without regard to age, sex, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief. Chambers aims to follow best practice with regards to disability and reasonable adjustments.
Chambers is proud that members and staff have a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Languages spoken include Mandarin, Cantonese, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, French, German, Portuguese and Italian.
Chambers welcomes the opportunity to work with other groups to foster equality and diversity at the Bar. A number of members are founding members of the TECBAR BAME Network and Chambers supports FreeBar, a forum focused on LGBT+ people and their allies working at and for the Bar. Recent examples of events aimed at fostering equality and diversity can be found in “news and events” and include events with the Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG), and events aimed at students with BPP and King’s College London.
Wellness at the Bar
Recognising the importance of work-life balance and providing support to all who work at Atkin Chambers, Chambers has implemented an assistance programme with Health Assured for all members, door tenants and staff at Atkin Chambers. The programme provides top-up support to that provided under Chambers’ private medical health insurance scheme, and that accessible through LawCare.
Atkin Chambers commends the efforts by the Bar Council of England and Wales, the Inns of Court and the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks in its development of the Wellbeing at the Bar portal which provides support and best practice to barristers, clerks and chambers on wellbeing and mental health issues.
Atkin Chambers and the vast majority of its members have, for many years, actively supported Advocate (the Bar Pro Bono Unit), including by being members of the panel of available barristers and through financial donations. Atkin Chambers is pleased to support the work of Advocate as a Pro Bono Patron for 2021.
Members and staff of Atkin Chambers also support the London Legal Walk raising money for the London Legal Support Trust, the Free Representation Unit and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Criminal Pupillage Funding Scheme
Following the launch in December 2020 of the Criminal Pupillage Funding Scheme, Atkin Chambers will be providing the funding for a criminal pupillage starting in September 2021.
The Criminal Pupillage Funding Scheme was devised in recognition of the challenges caused by Covid-19 and the impact on the recruitment and training of pupil barristers in publicly funded areas of the Bar. Several commercial sets, including Atkin Chambers, will be providing funding for a pupillage that would otherwise have been postponed or cancelled because of the effect of Covid-related court closures on some barristers’ sets this year. Click here to read the full story (Criminal Pupillage Funding Scheme)
Active in the community
Many members of Atkin Chambers are, in a private capacity, engaged with a range of community organisations and networks, and are also active in the legal community. For example:
- Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC was, during 2016, Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales.
- Martin Bowdery QC is the recent outgoing chair of the Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR). Sebastian Pigott is on the committee and Steven Walker QC and Riaz Hussain QC are co-opted committee members. Christopher Reid is editor of the Tecbar Newsletter.
- The Society of Construction Law, when founded in 1983, had three members of Chambers as founder members. Lauren Adams is a current council member.
- Serena Cheng QC and Jennifer Jones are both advocacy tutors for Lincoln’s Inn. Simon Lofthouse QC has been an advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn since 2004.
Living Wage employer
Atkin Chambers is an accredited Living Wage employer.