Come along to find out more about signing up to the FreeBar Charter.

The Charter aims to guide organisations in implementing best practice with regards to LGBT+ inclusion, allowing them to demonstrate to potential applicants and clients that they are (or are working towards becoming) an LGBT+ inclusive organisation.

Speaker: Daniel Winterfeldt QC (Hon) MBE of Reed Smith

The event is open to all barristers and staff working in organisations at the Bar, particularly those who will be responsible for signing and implementing the Charter.

Please email Alice Brighouse to RSVP.

The Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR), Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG) and FreeBar are delighted to hosting networking drinks on 1 May 2019.

The event is open to all, in particular LGBT+ lawyers, barristers, practice managers, industry professionals and students.

This is a great opportunity to meet barristers from TECBAR and COMBAR and learn about working in commercial, technology, construction law and related fields.

RSVP to admin@tecbar.org.

On 11 November 2017, Alex Southern spoke at the 2017 IBC Conference on behalf of FreeBar. This was the first year that Freebar was provided with a prime speaking slot at the conference and we are grateful to the IBC for inviting us to speak.  Alex gave a short presentation on the importance on inclusivity in chambers. Click here to download a copy of the speech.

 

On 30 October 2017, Freebar hosted a best practice event at Gatehouse Chambers which was attended by over 50 people from over 30 sets of chambers alongside representatives from the Inns of Court, SBAs and the regulators.

The evening was chaired by David Wolfe QC (Matrix) and Brie Stevens-Hoare QC (Gatehouse Chambers) with Chris Edwards of Travers Smith, Rachel Reeves of Global Butterflies and Reg Keraj of Stonewall as panelists. The event began with a panel discussion sharing experiences and ideas about how organisations achieve inclusivity with a particular focus on LGBT+ individuals. The discussion opened out to all in attendance, allowing a chance to share common worries and generate ideas to be taken back to their respective organisations.

We have already seen a tangible impact from this event with many of the chambers who attended sharing their support on their websites and social media and thereby increasing their visible inclusivity.

 Freebar has produced a document to capture the ideas covered in the session. You can download the document here. The document contains a variety of top tips for chambers with a focus on inclusive recruitment, inclusive colleagues and an inclusive building. It is our hope that this will be a living document which will generate further discussion and ideas that can be added to it.

 As was reiterated at the event, all are welcome to get involved in the organisation of Freebar whether you identify as LGBT+ or as an ally. If you are interested in getting more involved, please let us know.

 

 

On Wednesday 19 July 2017, Matrix Chambers hosted a roundtable, in association with FreeBar and Stonewall, to mark the recent 50 year anniversary since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. The discussion considered personal experiences of what has changed at the Bar in the last 50 years, our achievements in LGBT+ equality in that time, and – most importantly – focused on what more we can do to address discrimination, stigma and inequality at the Bar for the LGBT+ community. Martin Bowley QC, S Chelvan (No. 5 Chambers), and Bex Stinson (Head of Trans inclusion, Stonewall) spoke at the event. It was chaired by Brie Stevens-Hoare QC (Gatehouse Chambers).

It was a fantastic and inspiring event that brought supporters of Stonewall, FreeBar and others from our sector together to network and discuss these issues, as well as spreading the word about our work to some new people. Thank you to everyone who came to the event, it was a great success.