Australian legal bodies set new equitable briefing policy

by Adam Smith30 Oct 2015
Some of Australia's largest legal bodies have met in Sydney to decide on a new policy to promote gender equality at the bar.

According to The Australian, more than 70 people from some of Australia's largest legal representative bodies met in Sydney to set a new national equitable briefing policy. The policy will urge corporate clients to sign up for new targets for briefing female barristers.

“One of the things that’s very exciting for me about this new proposal is that we will take it ­directly to corporate counsel and CEOs and seek their assistance in putting it into practice,” Australian Bar Association president Fiona McLeod said.

McLeod told The Australian that the current national equitable briefing policy, in place for more than 10 years, had not changed the behaviour of private firms as much as originally hoped.

“The new policy will include targets in terms of the number of briefs that go to women and I hope the value of briefs that go to women, so that women not only have a further opportunity to ­appear in court but they also have assistance addressing the current inequity in fees paid to women barristers,” McLeod said.