The firm is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within its policies, practices and procedures. This applies to the firm’s professional dealings with clients, staff and Director, other solicitors, barristers, and third parties. The firm will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect, regardless of: – Sex (including marital status, gender (including transgender), pregnancy, maternity and paternity); – Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status); – Race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); – Religion or belief; – Age; – Caring responsibility; or – Disability. In implementing its Equality and Diversity Policy, the firm will comply with the SRA Code of Conduct, the Equality Act 2010 and with any other relevant legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services. The SRA Code of Conduct requires firms to achieve the following outcomes: – You do not discriminate unlawfully, or victimise or harass anyone, in the course of your professional dealings; – You provide services to clients in a way that respects diversity; – You make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled clients, employees or managers are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to those who are not disabled, and you do not pass on the costs of these adjustments to these disabled clients, employees or managers; – Your approach to recruitment and employment encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; – Complaints of discrimination are dealt with promptly, fairly, openly, and effectively.
Meeting Clients’ Needs
The firm will treat all clients equally and fairly and not unlawfully discriminate against them. The firm will also, wherever possible, take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that it provides, taking account of the diversity of the communities that it serves. The firm is committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients and will take steps to identify the needs of clients in the community and ensure the services provided are accessible to all. The firm will take into account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients who are unable to communicate effectively in English. The firm will consider whether particular groups are predominant within its client base and devise appropriate policies to meet their needs: including men and women; carers; children; the elderly; members of religious groups; ethnic groups or nationalities; and lesbian, gay or transgender people.
Dealings with third parties
The firm will not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with third parties. This applies to dealings with other legal service providers and general procurement. In all its professional dealings, the firm will instruct barristers and experts on the basis of their skill, experience and ability and not unlawfully discriminate, or encourage barristers’ clerks to unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of their age; gender; marital status; race; religion or belief; sexual orientation or on the grounds of disability.
The ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the firm. The firm will appoint a senior person within it to be responsible for the operation of the policy. All employees and the Director of the firm are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing the firm. Complaints of unlawful discrimination against the firm by clients and other parties will follow the firm’s complaints procedure set out elsewhere in the Quality Procedures Manual. The firm will also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination made by staff, clients, Director, barristers, and other third parties.
The policy will be monitored to and also reviewed at least annually to measure its progress and judge its effectiveness. The firm will monitor annually equal opportunities information about job applicants from different gender, disability and ethnic groups. The firm will store this data as confidential personal data and restrict access to this information. Equal opportunities information will be used for exclusively the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring and have no bearing on opportunities or benefits. If as a result of these reviews, under-representation in the above groups is identified then the firm will consider the taking of positive action such as consideration of specific training requirements and /or the amendment of this policy.
Select your nearest office to get in touch
Park Square West,
Tel: 0113 5328100
Stokesley Business Park
Tel: 01642 221108
21-23 Elmfield Road
Tel: 0203 7807646