find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Clayton Utz addresses untapped female talent

Clayton Utz addresses untapped female talent

WHILE FIRMS across Australia are touting equal opportunities for their female staff as a priority, national law firm Clayton Utz has entrenched the Law Council of Australia’s (LCA’s) equal…

WHILE FIRMS across Australia are touting equal opportunities for their female staff as a priority, national law firm Clayton Utz has entrenched the Law Council of Australia’s (LCA’s) equal opportunity briefing policy across all practice areas.

But the thing that sets the firm apart from others, Clayton Utz argues, is not that it has adopted the policy, but that it has backed it up with an “all important” tracking mechanism. It is the only firm to do this nationally, Clayton Utz claims.

In order to genuinely implement the LCA’s Model Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy, firms need to be able to monitor and track the engagement of female barristers across all areas of law, said Clayton Utz managing partner for litigation, Stuart Clark.

“Clayton Utz will periodically report on the nature and rate of these engagements to the various Bar associations,” Clark said. “This will assist them to understand whether the implementation of the policy is having a demonstrable effect on briefing practices.”

Clark cited recent data that indicate women are significantly underrepresented in receiving briefs. He said the firm’s program will recognise some “untapped talent” and assist female barristers to build on their skills and meet the requirements of law firms and their clients.

Victorian Women Lawyers Association member Kate Marshall has praised the firm’s adoption and treatment of the policy. When the LCA’s policy was introduced, Marshall was concerned that law firms would say they were willing to adopt it but not fully institute it into their business models. Firms need to identify available female counsel across all relevant practices, according to Marshall. The firm needs to believe that wherever there is an opportunity the policy should apply, “not just in matters where there is litigation”, she said.

“Privacy was also an important consideration in tracking the process and, while the information will be thoroughly monitored via a discrete reporting system, we have to make certain that there will not be any references to particular matters or barristers,” Marshall said.

All staff need to be educated, both legal and non legal. The entire firm needs to understand why the policy matter and partners need to be conscious of their subjective preference when they seek to brief a barrister, she said. “We believe that what we are doing will make people more aware of a broader pool of new barristers.”

Law Council of Australia president-elect John North said last week that the equitable briefing practices will open up access to qualified female barristers. But its wider view, North said, is equal opportunities no matter of race, ethnicity or disability.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Clayton Utz addresses untapped female talent
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...