1 October 2021

‘Some parts of the Bar have a diversity problem’

Dominic Carman


Featured in our Diversity Report (October 2021)


Chair of the Bar, Derek Sweeting QC, tells Dominic Carman that the Bar needs to reflect society

As a teenager, I used to live above a set of chambers in Lincoln’s Inn where all the barristers were Black. It was explained to me that they were simply not accepted at most other chambers: in effect, an unstated colour bar still applied. This was in 1981 when I first met Lord Denning, then Master of the Rolls, shortly before his book What Next in the Law was published. In it, he wrote: “The underlying assumption is that all citizens are sufficiently qualified to serve on a jury. I do not agree. The English are no longer a homogeneous race. They are white and black, coloured and brown. They no longer share the same standards of conduct. Some of them come from countries where bribery and graft are accepted as an integral part of life and where stealing is a virtue so long as you are not found out… They will never accept the word of a policeman against one of their own.” Denning resigned shortly after it was published. At the time, there were no BAME MPs or judges.

Related News

November 2022 News

MIND-BLOWING: OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE IPO OF PSYCHEDELICS COMPANIES (OR, HOW TO CHANGE INVESTORS’ MINDS)

Nigel Gordon, capital markets and M&A partner at Fladgate LLP, explores the IPO potential of psychedelics companies

November 2022 News

Private Capital: Regulatory horizons

Geoff Cook, Chair of Mourant Consulting in Jersey, looks at regulatory horizons affecting private capital in the United States, Europe and Asia.

September 2022 News

Private Capital: Navigating the Future

Ben Robins, Partner, and Geoff Cook, Consultant, Mourant examine the change of tone by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the prospect of higher rates amid continued uncertainty

September 2022 News

Branding in the Metaverse: the new big thing

Kate Ellis, Head of the Branding Group at Konexo, considers the implications for brand owners who want to protect, use, exploit and enforce their brands in augmented virtual reality.