Bar summit aims to increase diversity

A high-powered working party has kicked off a review of access to the Bar, with the aim of increasing diversity among barristers.

Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Neuberger is leading the working group, which includes barristers from across the profession as well as representatives of the Inns of Court.

After the group’s first meeting yesterday (24 October) Neuberger said that because most judges are drawn from the ranks of barristers, it is essential that the bar is more representative of society.

The ‘Entry to the Bar Working Party’ will develop proposals to boost funding and information for would-be barristers, and reduce barriers to the profession for those who cannot afford to become a barrister or who would not usually consider it.

The working party includes Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Sedley, Brick Court Chambers’ Nicholas Green QC and Michael Swainston QC, Duncan Matthews QC of 20 Essex Street, Wilberforce Chambers’ Christopher Nugee QC, 3 Verulam Buildings’ Richard Salter QC, 3 Serjeant’s Inn’s Robert Francis QC, the Bar’s vice-chair Geoffrey Vos QC, and Matrix Chambers’ Karon Monaghan among others.