Important Information Diversity and inclusion

Fulcrum Chambers Ltd believes that we must take an active role in promoting diversity, not only for reasons of legal compliance, and not only because the principles of fairness and equality are so fundamental to sound business practice, but because we believe that opportunities should be equal for all.

1. DEFINITIONS

Equality

1.1 Equality is the vision or aim of creating a society free from discrimination, where equality of opportunity is available to individuals and groups, enabling them to live their lives free from discrimination and oppression.

Diversity

1.2 Diversity is the differences in values, attitudes, cultural perspectives, beliefs, ethnic background, sexuality, age, skills, knowledge and life experiences of each individual in any group.

2. OUR COMMITMENT

General commitment

2.1 Fulcrum is committed to ensuring that the differences in values, attitudes, cultural perspectives, beliefs, ethnic background, sexuality, age, skills, knowledge and life experiences of each individual in any group are valued.

2.2 We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and eliminating discrimination in our own policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which we have influence.  This applies to our dealings with our own people and with third parties.

2.3 We are committed to ensuring that all of our clients, our staff, and everyone who applies for employment with us are protected from unlawful discrimination or oppression.

Regulation and legislation

2.4 In developing and implementing this Equality and Diversity policy, Fulcrum is committed to complying with all current and any future anti-discrimination legislation and associated codes of practice.

Forms of Discrimination

2.5 The following are the kinds of discrimination, which are against this policy:

  • (a) Direct discrimination:  where a person is treated less favourably on grounds of race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origins, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief.
  • (b) Indirect discrimination: where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put a substantially higher proportion of the members of one sex, or persons having a racial or ethnic origin, or a particular religion or belief, or a particular disability or a particular sexual orientation at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary
  • (c) Victimisation: where someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has taken relevant action against Fulcrum.
  • (d) Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to any of the grounds referred to above takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment may involve physical acts or verbal and non-verbal communications and gestures. This will include physical, verbal and non-verbal acts.

3. EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

3.1 We will treat all employees and job applicants equally and fairly and will not discriminate unjustifiably against them. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, bonus schemes, work allocation and any other employment related activities.

Recruitment and selection

3.2 We will ensure that:

  • (a) we recruit from the widest pool of candidates possible;
  • (b) employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit;
  • (c) where appropriate, positive measures are taken to attract applications from all sections of society and especially from those groups which are under-represented in the workforce;
  • (d) selection criteria and processes do not discriminate unjustifiably on the grounds of disability, gender,  marital status,  race,  racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or age other than in those instances where we are exercising permitted positive action;
  • (e) wherever appropriate and necessary, lawful exemptions (genuine occupational requirements) will be used to recruit suitable staff to meet the special needs of particular groups;
  • (f) all agencies, agents and consultants acting for Fulcrum are aware of our requirement not to discriminate and to act accordingly.

Training and promotion opportunities

3.3 Promotion within the Firm will be based solely on merit.  The selection criteria and processes for recruitment and promotion will be kept under review to ensure that there is no unjustifiably discriminatory impact on any particular group.

3.4 We may take positive action to encourage under-represented groups to apply for promotion opportunities.  However, recruitment or promotion to all jobs will be based solely on merit.

3.5 We will make sure that all our employees have equal access to training and other career development opportunities appropriate to their experience and abilities.

Conditions of service

3.6 Fulcrum will treat all employees equally and create a working environment which is free from discrimination and harassment and which respects the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees.

3.7 Terms and conditions of service for employees will comply with anti-discrimination legislation. The provision of benefits such as working hours, maternity and other leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code, bonus schemes and any other conditions of employment will not discriminate against any employee on the grounds of their gender, marital status, race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age; or unreasonably on the grounds of their disability.

3.8 Where appropriate and necessary, Fulcrum will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of employees which arise from their ethnic or cultural background, gender, responsibilities as carers, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age.

Consultants Independent Counsel and Trainers

3.9 Consultants and Independent Counsel and Trainers will be selected on the basis of their skills, experience and ability. Arrangements and procedures for selecting Consultants, Independent Counsel and Trainers, their terms and conditions of service, access to benefits, facilities or services and termination arrangements will be reviewed and amended where necessary to prevent discrimination on any of the forbidden grounds.

Suppliers and Service Providers

3.10 All lists of approved suppliers and databases of contractors, agents and other third parties who, or which, are regarded as suitable to be instructed by those within Fulcrum have been compiled only on the basis of the ability of those persons or organisations to undertake work of a particular type and contain no discriminatory exclusion, restriction or preference.

Clients

3.11 Fulcrum will take steps to meet the different needs of particular clients arising from its obligations under anti-discrimination legislation.  In addition, where necessary and where it is permitted by the relevant anti-discrimination legislation (for example, provisions relating to positive action or exemptions) we will seek to provide services which meet the specific needs and requests arising from clients’ ethnic or cultural background, gender, responsibilities as carers, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or other relevant factors.

4. IMPLEMENTING THE POLICY

Responsibility

4.1 Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the Chief Executive who is responsible for the operation of the policy.

4.2 All directors, employees and consultants of Fulcrum are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this Equality and Diversity policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing us.

4.3 Acts of discrimination or harassment on any of the forbidden grounds by employees of Fulcrum will result in disciplinary action. Failure to comply with this policy will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure. The policy applies to all who are employed in Fulcrum.

4.4 Acts of discrimination or harassment on any of the forbidden grounds by those acting on behalf of Fulcrum will lead to appropriate action including termination of services where appropriate.

Complaints of discrimination

4.5 Fulcrum will treat seriously, and will take action where appropriate concerning, all complaints of discrimination or harassment on any of the forbidden grounds made by employees, consultants, clients, or other third parties.

4.6 All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the our grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome.

Monitoring and review

4.7 We will monitor and review this policy on a regular basis (and in any event at least annually) to measure its progress and judge its effectiveness. In particular, we will, as appropriate, monitor and record:

  • (a) The gender, ethnic composition and age of the workforce as well as the number of disabled staff, at different levels of the organisation
  • (b) The ethnicity, gender, age and disability of all applicants, short-listed applicants and successful applicants for jobs and training contracts
  • (c) The ethnicity, gender, age and disability of all applicants for promotion and training opportunities and details of whether they were successful.
  • (d) Where it is possible to do so, and where doing so will not cause offence or discomfort to those whom it is intended to protect, the sexual orientation and religion or belief of all consultants and staff will be monitored so as to ensure that they are not being discriminated against in terms of the opportunities or benefits available to them.  We are however aware that staff and participants may choose not to disclose their sexual orientation or religion or belief and care will be taken to avoid inadvertent discrimination in such cases.
  • (e) The number and outcome of complaints of discrimination made by staff, clients, participants and other third parties.

Diversity Data Collection – 2019 Law firms that are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are required to collect, report and publish workforce diversity data annually.The data includes the most senior people of the business as well as qualified and non-qualified staff.The aggregated data collected from everyone at the firm must be reported to the SRA, broken down by role categories.

The data that needs to be collected is:

  • Information about a person’s role, ownership and supervisory responsibilities within Fulcrum
  • Information about a person’s protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010
  • Information about socio economic factors (education) and caring responsibilities

The results of this Diversity Data Collection exercise are set out in graphs below:

Where we operate

We act for multi national organisations and are therefore used to travelling to and operating in jurisdictions all over the world, particularly Europe, Africa, the United States, the Middle East and the Far East.

Sometimes our clients have only tenuous links to the UK but are nevertheless concerned about the reach of the UK investigating authorities. Our goal is to ensure clients receive outstanding legal advice and service wherever their business is located.

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A specialist corporate and legal consultancy firm of highly experienced professionals

Fulcrum Chambers Ltd is an innovative legal advisory and consultancy business comprising barristers, solicitors and other professionals. We have established ourselves as an award winning firm providing strategic advice and

representation for public, private and commercial clients for a range of matters including commercial fraud, corporate governance, due diligence and all regulatory and compliance issues.