Media Release – Barristers’ equitable briefing improving but more to be done


The Victorian Bar is encouraged by the progress being made in equitable briefing of male and female barristers but says the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy Annual Report 2017-18, released today, shows there is more work to do.

"It is very encouraging to note that when barristers made recommendations to law firms and clients, they recommended women barristers in 61 per cent of current matters and 60 per cent of new matters," said Dr Matt Collins AM QC, President of the Victorian Bar.

The LCA report found that junior women barristers received 30 per cent of the junior briefs, meeting the LCA’s equitable briefing target.

However women barristers received only a quarter of reported briefs and 17 per cent of total reported fees.

"The Law Council report is another reminder of the importance of signing up to the LCA gender equitable briefing policy.

"The Victorian Bar’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is demonstrated through its endorsement of the LCA’s Equality and Diversity Charter and Equitable Briefing policy. More Victorian barristers have adopted the Equitable Briefing Policy than in the rest of the nation combined. The LCA report shows that the message has clearly gotten through to members of the Victorian Bar to draw upon the full array of talent when making briefing recommendations. We need, however, to understand why briefing recommendations do not appear to be translating into a commensurate number of paid briefs being awarded to women by law firms, government and clients.

"We have made substantial progress and have real momentum but we must do more – the current inequity between male and female barristers is unacceptable."

Source: Law Council of Australia Equitable Briefing Policy Annual Report 2017-18

Source: Law Council of Australia Equitable Briefing Policy Annual Report 2017-18

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