Social responsibility

The members of Essex Court Chambers are committed to acting in a socially responsible manner.

Access to the legal profession

Social Mobility Foundation

The members of Essex Court Chambers are committed to the furtherance of equality and diversity and promoting access to the legal profession and to the bar. The barristers at Essex Court Chambers are proud supporters of the Social Mobility Foundation and regularly participate in the Bar Council’s Social Mobility Foundation Bar Placement week. In addition, alongside offering mini-pupillages, members of Essex Court Chambers hold an annual Student Open Day in order to enable and encourage more students to gain an understanding of their potential opportunities at the bar.

London Living Wage

Essex Court Chambers is accredited as a London Living Wage employer. This means that all employees and all contracted staff (such as security and cleaning staff) will be paid at or above a minimum hourly rate which is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and calculated by the Greater London Authority. The living wage is higher than the minimum wage and calculated according to the basic cost of actually living in London.

Pro bono work

Members of Chambers regularly undertake pro bono work, including via the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Employment Law Appeal Advice Scheme (“ELAAS”).

Notable pro bono cases undertaken by members of Chambers include appearing in the Supreme Court in (1) Jivraj v Hashwani, in which the Supreme Court held that an arbitrator was not a person “employed” within the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003; and (2) Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP, in which the Supreme Court held that members of limited liability partnerships are workers for the purposes of whistleblowing protection. Further information on pro-bono work undertaken by members of Essex Court Chambers can be found on individual members’ CVs.

In addition to arguing cases pro bono, many members of Essex Court Chambers are individually involved in supporting charitable causes, including working with legal advice clinics and acting as trustees.

In 2019 Essex Court Chambers was acknowledged as a Gold Patron of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.