find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
Firms back equitable briefing initiative

Firms back equitable briefing initiative

Marilyn Warren

More than 10 firms and government agencies have committed to equitable briefing targets under a new program launched by the Victorian Commercial Bar.

The initiative, spearheaded by CommBar in conjunction with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), will see signatories make a three-year commitment to briefing policies encouraging gender equity in commercial litigation.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Warren (pictured) said it remained rare to see women advocates appearing before higher courts in commercial matters.

"Yet there are so many talented women at the Bar. So why overlook their potential? So long as they are overlooked, the community is missing out on valuable resources," she said.

Founding signatories include firms Arnold Bloch Leibler, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gilbert + Tobin, K&L Gates, Lander & Rogers, Maddocks, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slater and Gordon.

Major corporate Telstra has also signed on, as well as the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

According to VEOHRC commissioner Kate Jenkins, equitable briefing initiatives would give women expanded career options on par with those of their male counterparts.

"Gender discrimination in commercial litigation has been reported to manifest in allocation of different forms of work, women being denied access to opportunities, and being judged as less competent,” she said.

“While there have been some efforts to improve this situation, progress has been too slow and often focused on what action women barristers might take to change the situation, rather than addressing briefing practices."

Federal Court of Australia Chief Justice James Allsop suggested equitable briefing was a question of equality and fairness, which are key values to the administration of justice.

"This initiative, and the commitment of major litigation firms operating in Victoria to new and more transparent briefing practices, and to briefing women counsel in proportions commensurate with their representation at the Commercial Bar, will give those values the prominence they deserve," he said.

Like this story? Read more:

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Firms back equitable briefing initiative
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
Julian Assange
Oct 13 2017
When justice fails, according to Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the capacity of judicial systems to deal with complex...
Aussie anti-terrorism laws, detention of 10-year-olds
Oct 13 2017
Treatment of kids under Aussie anti-terrorism laws an over-reach: ABA
The Australian Bar Association has urged the government to reconsider proposed reforms to Australian...
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'...
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...
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 & ...