Chambers Social Responsibility

4 New Square recognises the importance of Chambers Social Responsibility.  It aims to promote socially responsible behaviour and ethical practices in every aspect of life in chambers.

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COMBAR Mentoring Scheme for Under-Represented Groups

4 New Square Chambers is delighted to be participating in COMBAR’s inaugural mentoring scheme for applicants from groups who are under-represented at the Bar, and the Commercial Bar in particular. The scheme is an important part of COMBAR’s and 4 New Square Chambers’ commitment to improving access and diversity in the legal profession. The scheme pairs successful eligible candidates with practitioners for a series of one-to-one mentoring sessions. COMBAR also hopes to organise a pupillage interview and application workshop and a social event, to which all mentors and mentees will be invited, in early 2023.

Full details of the scheme can be found at the Scheme Guidelines which can be found here.

Bridging The Bar

4 New Square is a founding partner of the Bridging The Bar, an organisation which aims to increase equality of access to the legal profession across all underrepresented group: “At Bridging the Bar we believe that for any organisation to reach its full potential, it must reflect the diverse society that we live in. Whilst we recognise that a lot of good work has been done to create greater opportunities at the Bar, there is still a need to incentivise – and support – the organisations, and individuals doing this important work in isolation and the students from non-traditional backgrounds aspiring to a career at the Bar.”

In particular, 4 New Square supports Bridging The Bar’s flagship mini-pupillage access programme which fast tracks talented candidates from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to a mini pupillage with us and other leading sets.

Women In Law Pledge

4 New Square is a proud signatory of the Women in Law Pledge created by the Bar Council of England and Wales, The Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). We are committed to the progress of equality and elimination of sex discrimination and pledge to make positive change for the legal profession. Our Gender Diversity and Equality Representative is our CEO & Senior Clerk, Lizzy Stewart.

By signing up to the pledge chambers is committing to:

  • Supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the profession by focusing on retention and practice development opportunities;
  • Setting clear plans and targets around gender equality and diversity for your chambers/organisation; and
  • Tracking progress towards achieving your goals.

Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation “exists to support high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds into the top universities and professions. We do this by providing a holistic programme of support encompassing internships, mentoring, university application support and skills development to students predicted to achieve ABB or above at A-Level who have been eligible for Free School Meals“.

Each year, 4 New Square Chambers hosts a week long summer placement scheme run in conjunction with the Social Mobility Foundation and the Bar Council. The Bar Council’s website features an article written by a former student in which she reflects on her experiences shadowing Stephen Innes of 4 New Square Chambers on this scheme.

Chambers’ Wellbeing Committee

4 New Square Chambers was one of the first sets of chambers to be awarded a Wellbeing at the Bar Certificate of Recognition.  Chambers has a dedicated Wellbeing Committee which arranges a programme of wellbeing events, including talks from medical practitioners, mental health training and mindfulness meditation.

Chambers also subscribes to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provided by Health Assured.  The EAP is available for use by both members of chambers and staff and provides up to 6 sessions of face-to-face or telephone counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy per person, per year.

The Mindful Business Charter

4 New Square Chambers was the first set of barristers’ chambers to sign up to the Mindful Business Charter.  The Charter, originally launched between leading banks and law firms, aims to bring in-house legal teams and their legal services providers together to foster a culture of openness and dialogue on mental health wellbeing issues. 4 New Square’s CEO & Senior Clerk, Lizzy Stewart, is a Trustee of the Charter.

Wellbeing at the Bar

4 New Square Chambers has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from Wellbeing at the Bar demonstrating our commitment to providing a supportive working environment for members, prospective pupils and staff.  Wellbeing at the Bar aims to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and encourage members of the profession, and those who support them to better understand and feel empowered to make healthy choices. 

We Are Advocate

4 New Square Chambers is proud to support the work of We are Advocate as a Gold Circle Pro Bono Patron. Advocate is the Bar’s national pro bono charity that makes it possible for barristers to balance a dedicated practice with making a significant contribution to the community. As Pro Bono Patrons, 4 New Square Chambers is publicly committed to underpinning the core work of Advocate.

Individual pro bono activities

In addition to chambers’ support of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, many members of chambers undertake substantial amounts of pro bono work on an individual basis, through assisting individuals and charitable organisations in need on an ad hoc basis or via established schemes such as the Chancery Bar Association Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS).

Further examples of pro bono work undertaken by members of chambers include:

  • Acting for sportspeople and members of the legal profession in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings;
  • Volunteering as duty scheme advocate with the Asylum Support Appeals Project;
  • Acting in inquests for the families of military service personnel;
  • Representing environmental and human rights NGOs in a range of cases before the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Appeal and the ECOWAS Court.

In addition to pro bono representation, many members of chambers give their time by organising major fundraising events or sitting on the board of trustees for a range of charities such as the Free Representation Unit, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and KidsOut.

Further details of the work undertaken by members of chambers are available through their individual webpages.

The London Living Wage

4 New Square Chambers is an accredited London Living Wage employer and we only engage with on-site suppliers who pay their staff the London Living Wage.

Zero landfill

Once our waste is collected all materials are transported to a material recycling facility where it is sorted into the various waste classes to be recycled into other products. This includes a secure shredding service that is in full accordance with GDPR. 100% of Chambers’ waste is recycled.

Chambers has its own 4 New Square “KeepCup” to encourage members of chambers and staff to avoid the use of disposable coffee cups outside of chambers.  After marketing events, name badges are collected and re-used.  Our IT department regularly collects old electronic items for secure recycling.

Paper waste reduction

Chambers is taking significant steps to reduce its paper waste.  In particular, chambers very much encourages and supports paperless working and provides regular training for members of chambers and staff.  All printers have a default setting of print in black and white, double sided in order to lengthen the life of toner cartridges and reduce paper waste.  Documents are only printed for chambers’ meetings when specifically requested and handouts for our seminars conferences are sent out to clients electronically rather than in hard copy.  These measures have had a very significant impact on chambers’ annual consumption of paper (and toner cartridges), and as paperless working continues to increase in popularity that trend is set to continue.

If you would like to know more or have a question please talk to our clerks

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