4-5 Gray’s Inn Square has become the first chambers to adopt a CV-blind application system for all barristers and staff.
The move, which launches today (9 November) means the public and commercial set will view all applications from new members on experience alone, and not be made aware of their gender, race, age or ethnicity.
However applicants’ educational background will still be visible.
It follows a rapid take-up among solicitors’ firms to use CV-blind recruitment to try and counter unconscious bias in its hiring processes for trainees.
The pledge resulted in Clifford Chance, the only firm in the magic circle to adopt the policy, seeing its intake of black and ethnic minority trainees triple in two years.
However, the response from barristers’ chambers to the progressive recruitment strategy has been much slower with 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square the first to commit fully to the system, The Lawyer understands.
A number of chambers already use CV-blind application processes for their pupillage applications, however.
4-5 head of chambers Timothy Straker QC said the set benefitted significantly from its current diversity and “we intend to stay at the forefront of best recruitment practice in that regard”.
A spokesperson added the set had adopted the recruitment blind system to “ensure future applications are assessed without reference to the applicant’s gender, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or age”.
It recently hired 11 Stone Buildings junior James Barnard after the commercial and chancery set voted to dissolve in September and has also taken on tax junior Michael Paulin from 3 Paper Buildings. Barnard joined on 4 November and Paulin will join the set on 16 November.