CommBar Equitable Briefing Initiative

Achieving equitable representation of Victorian women barristers in commercial litigation

A joint initiative of Commercial Bar Association of Victoria (CommBar), members of the Judiciary and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

The overarching objective of the CommBar Equitable Briefing Initiative is to increase briefing of women at all seniority levels of the CommBar (and beyond), by engaging with the lawyers who brief the CommBar and working with these organisations to commit to real change. This is an action-focused initiative and as such, progress will be both measured and reported. Note that no firm's/organisation's individual progress will be publically identified.

More information on the background of the initiative and the workshops conducted to date can be found in the Public Statement.

The Charter of Commitment

Leading law firms and organisations have signed up to a three year Charter of Commitment (2016-2019), in a collective attempt to achieve gender equitable briefing practices in commercial litigation.

The Charter has six key actions. These actions aim to address some of the key barriers to achieving gender equitable briefing practices that firms and organisation have identified in previous workshops.  The Charter of Commitment for Law Firms and the Charter of Commitment for In House Counsel contain further details.

The founding signatories to the Charter of Commitment include:

  • Arnold Bloch Leibler
  • Australian Securities & Investments Commission
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Gilbert & Tobin
  • K & L Gates
  • Lander and Rogers
  • Maddocks
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Slater and Gordon
  • Telstra
  • Victorian Government Solicitors Office

It is anticipated that as more firms and organisations become aware of the initiative, that additional signatories will sign up to the Charter of Commitment. The initiative remains open to additional signatories.

The Organising Committee

The initiative has greatly benefited from the extensive experience and commitment of the organising committee. The committee comprises of Justice Debbie Mortimer, Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth, Commissioner Kate Jenkins, Philip Crutchfield QC, Kathleen Foley and Anna Robertson from CommBar.

Contact Us

If you would like any further information or would like to sign up to the CommBar Equitable Briefing Initiative, please contact Kathleen Foley.