4 New Square’s Alison Padfield KC and Clare Dixon KC feature in FreeBar’s Visibility Project which launched in July 2022 to celebrate LGBT+ diversity at and around the Bar. The project celebrates this diversity and comprises a collection of photos and individual reflections on experiences of being LGBT+, or an ally, at the Bar – including how the Bar has changed for the better.
Here are Alison and Clare’s contributions – you can see their photos and contributions (and those of 42 others) in the FreeBar Visibility Project online by clicking here.
‘I’ve been at the Bar since the early 1990s. Women weren’t allowed to wear trousers in court – but it was almost impossible to buy black trouser suits anyway. It was almost ten years before I had an LGBT+ colleague who was open at work – and then only one, for a long time. There is still work to do, but I’ve sensed real change at the Bar in the last few years and I’m optimistic about the future. I want to be a visible ally so that people thinking about coming to the Bar or taking a job in chambers know that the Bar is changing.’
Alison Padfield KC
‘I wanted to be a barrister. Not a “gay barrister” although that was, and is, true. So, I waited until I was made a tenant before being open at work and then tried to manage the process so that it wasn’t the first thing colleagues or clients found out about me. Time passes, I am now a QC and also a parent, with my partner, to two small children facing the same joys and pressures as everyone else (straight or gay) in that situation. I am also a little more confident in my ability to do the job and a little less afraid of labels which don’t impact (or at least not negatively) on that ability. I wanted to be a barrister, and I am.’
Clare Dixon KC