At Broadway House Chambers we are proud to be known as a ‘reliable and friendly set’ who has a ‘devotion to client care’. As a Chambers, we believe that we have a responsibility to exist as a sustainable and ethical organisation. We have therefore focused this policy around four main areas consisting of the Workplace, the Community, our Clients and the Environment.

Workplace

At Broadway House Chambers we value the importance of wellbeing in all staff, tenants and pupils. Although life at the Bar is incredibly rewarding, the pressures of the role can often become overwhelming. Many barristers feel the pressure to keep a very busy practice in order to maintain client and clerk satisfaction which can lead to stress. According to research carried out by the Bar Council, in the profession 1 in 3 find it difficult to control/stop worrying and 2 in 3 feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness. If any concerns or difficulties should arise, staff, pupils and tenants are aware that they can approach management and our trained Mental Health First Aiders (Helen CravenDavid Richardson or Susan Sanders) at all times. A number of barristers and members of our administration team address issues surrounding wellbeing by attending specialist training sessions led by Bar Council representatives and charities such as LawCare. Through an increase in understanding, we are then able to put procedures into place, so that we are able to safeguard all staff, pupils and tenants.

We annually recruit two pupils who undertake pupillage with a clear expectation of training, mentoring and coaching provided mainly by dedicated supervisors. The ethos of Chambers is that all tenants contribute formally and informally to this training process. There is a clear and genuine expectation that subject to successful completion of pupillage, pupils will be offered future career opportunities by way of tenancy at our Chambers.  We endeavour to ensure that pupillages are a constructive learning process which enables the pupils to develop their skills within a supportive environment. In addition to this, we accept mini-pupils who are placed with members of Chambers and are able to observe court proceedings and assist in preparation and research.

Broadway House Chambers are committed to promoting equality and diversity in and out of the workplace. We do this by ensuring that our policy documents are updated and that all staff, pupils and tenants are aware of any changes. Broadway House Chambers values and respects each individual as an equal regardless of their gender, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age and ability. In Summer 2022, we have committed to host a paid intern for two week’s as part of the Bar’s collective participation in the #10000BlackInterns scheme. The 10,000 Black Interns Programme aims to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the UK by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries, as well as world-class training and development.

We conduct annual appraisals where the Chambers Director reviews the achievements of each member of staff and their contributions to the set. Staff members are then provided with targets so that they are able to further work on their personal development.

On a monthly basis, all employees are provided with a complimentary breakfast, an incentive and token of gratitude for everything that they contribute towards Chambers.

We arrange team building activities for all members of staff so that we can collectively collaborate and work together effectively as a team. All employees are always fully engaged and thoroughly enjoy all activities that are arranged. We see the importance of developing employee relationships and through team building we learn to respect each other, communicate better and problem solve together.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important now more than ever that we keep everyone in the workplace safe. Broadway House Chambers is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all staff, and visitors to its sites by protecting them from harm. The following precautions have been implemented:

  • SPOC (Single Point of Contact) to take the temperature of everyone who enters the office.
  • Signs have been placed around chambers to remind everyone to maintain a social distance and stay 2 metres apart. Signs also remind individuals of updated government guidelines and to wash their hands on a regular basis.
  • Some seating has been cordoned off inside both offices to ensure individuals are able to maintain a 2 metre distance.
  • Numerous hand sanitiser stations are situated around each office. Visitors and members of staff/chambers must sanitise their hands and take their temperature at the front door station when entering and exiting both offices.
  • Staff are on a rota which varies between working in Leeds, Bradford and working from home. Limiting numbers in each office allows social distancing to be possible and allows staff the flexibility to work from home.

Chambers is working hard to ensure that we can still deliver a high quality service without risking the health of clients, staff, barristers and the general public.

Community

Broadway House Chambers has supported a number of charities over the years including the Leeds Children’s Charity, FRU, IDAS, Save the Children, the Manuel Bravo Project and many more. From quiz nights to annual conference fund raisers, Broadway House Chambers raises thousands for charities across the years.

Over the past few years we have supported a local charitable organisation the ‘Manuel Bravo Project’. Based in Leeds, the Manuel Bravo Project aims to help asylum seekers who are unable to find adequate legal representation. We also assist Manuel Bravo with pro bono work. We support this project by organising an annual charity quiz which has raised over £5,000 for the charity. We invite specialist employment solicitors with the aim to raise Manuel Bravo’s profile within the legal profession and over 150 attend.

For a number of years we have been working to support and develop those who are starting out in the legal profession. We have a strong working relationship with BPP and often provide assistance in Plea in Mitigation competitions.

Many of our barristers work with Advocate, a pro bono charity that helps support those who cannot fund legal representation. Barristers such as Susan Sanders, Christopher Rowe, Fen Greatley-Hirsch and Lucy Coen have a significant commitment to pro bono work since joining Chambers as a pupil. Members of Chambers undertake pro bono work after seeing first-hand how difficult it was for litigants in person to represent themselves. They appreciate that free representation is invaluable to a person who is experiencing a difficult, costly and unwelcoming chapter in their lives. Christopher Rowe in particular has worked closely with Advocate and undertook over 100 hours of pro bono work after setting himself the personal goal of completing 100 hours of pro bono work within 12 months. Following this, he has continued to undertake additional pro bono work this year and was nominated for ‘Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year’. Christopher has also set to complete a further 25 hours of pro bono work to mark Advocates 25th Anniversary.

Ian Miller is the Deputy Head of the School of Law at the University of Bradford. He runs the ‘Justice Bradford’ scheme, whereby third year law students provide advice to members of the public, on a pro bono basis under Ian’s supervision. The scheme operates through the Bradford and Airedale Citizens Advice Bureau in Bradford City Centre. Broadway House Chambers offers a cash prize and a mini pupillage to the student that achieves first place for the most successful written advice. As well as this, Broadway House Chambers values education and therefore assists the University of Bradford law students through offering a mentoring programme. The students are partnered up with a barrister and are given advice and guidance throughout their studies. Additionally, Semaab Shaikh sits on the University of Bradford Law Advisory Board, advising the school of Curriculum and Employment skills.

Clients

The relationships that we have with our clients are extremely important to us. We strive towards continuing our reputation as a friendly and reliable set so that we are able to maintain high client satisfaction. We aim to uphold this reputation through offering free of charge training sessions with refreshments that attract Continuing Professional Development points. The aim of these sessions are to update our clients with recent developments in the legal sector. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued seminars via Zoom to ensure solicitors are still being trained on the latest legal updates.

We are known for our ‘friendly, reliable and professional clerks’ (Chambers & Partners). Our clerks work hard to ensure that they always go above and beyond for our clients. Our Fees Clerks maintain good client relationships through accurate and timely billing of cases. They also assist if further clarification is needed on more complex bills. Our direct access clients are kept continuously updated so that they are never in the dark and feel alone or lost in the process. Our clerks work hard to deliver a promise and therefore build trust with our clients. They are as accommodating as possible and always offer an efficient service.

Chambers is GDPR Briefed which means we complete a tailored GDPR course annually to ensure we are thoroughly up to date with all the latest guidance in relation to data protection. This means we have measures in place to protect personal data which we process involving clients and solicitors.

We have a strong working relationship with all of our suppliers, ensuring that they have everything from us, including a full payment on time.

Environment

As a chambers, we work to ensure that our carbon footprint is reduced day by day. We encourage barristers and staff to process information electronically and avoid using hard copies if possible. We decrease our paper wastage by using password protected printers. As well as protecting confidential information, this password stops accidental printing and requires extra effort to make any document unnecessarily into a hard copy. Additionally, we have a ‘Think Before you Print’ message on our email signatures. This message motivates individuals to consider whether their email is worth wasting paper. When printing documents, we encourage all staff, tenants and pupils to use a double sided format as well as more than one page per sheet of paper. Likewise, all of our materials are shredded confidentially and recycled with the aim to minimise our effect on the environment and avoid breaching the GDPR.

We have motion sensor lighting in both of our offices so the lights turn off when the rooms are vacant. This therefore reduces our energy consumption as a chambers.

For enquiries regarding this policy please contact Leah Taylor (ltaylor@broadwayhouse.co.uk)