Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
Find up-to-date guidance on points of law and then easily pull up sources to support your advice with Lexis PSL
Check out our straightforward definitions of common legal terms.
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Access our unrivalled global news content, business information and analytics solutions
Insurance, risk and compliance intelligence using big data, proprietary linking and advanced analytics.
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Discuss the latest legal developments, ask questions, and share best practice with other LexisPSL subscribers
While 2018 saw success for the largest number of female applicants since the competition’s inception, (30 women were appointed to Queen’s Counsel) there remains a disparity between the genders; male applicants make up both the majority of those appointed, and of those applying. The reasons for this appear to be manifold. In research commissioned by the QCA it was found that the system of application presents unique stumbling blocks for female candidates. Namely:
A dearth in female appointments to Queen’s Counsel may at first seem an elite issue, however, the ramifications of this disparity reverberate the length and breadth of the profession, and certainly have their impacts at a grass root level. Researchers noted that ‘action to improve the representation of women amongst QCs was not just a matter for the QC appointment system. The proportion of women in practice after 15 years is only slightly above 30%, despite the fact that almost equal numbers of women and men are called to the Bar.’ Retaining female advocates is a real challenge for the bar. The QCA should be mindful of their responsibility as an elite institution to guide the way for their colleagues, and be responsive to the growing difficulties facing female practitioners. The trickle down effect of these changes will help to diminish implicit bias against women for taking time away from their careers, sending a clear message that professional value does not diminish should one choose to have a family.
To combat this issue, the research team recommended the following ‘measures to encourage women to apply for appointment as QC:
Inducting these practices into the QC selection process will go some way towards mitigating barriers to professional development, dismantling (predominantly) male models of assessment that are in the habit of alienating women and encourage Chambers to look at their work practices to help facilitate the development of their female practitioners.
In an interview with The Times, Angela Rafferty QC expounded on the importance of helping women remain in the profession, saying: ‘we must do something to reverse the loss of female excellence at the Bar.’ This is not merely a female problem, this reflects upon the broader work culture at the Bar and calls upon male practitioners to treat their female counterparts ‘in a non-discriminatory way and vice versa’. Particularly prescient in 2019 as society continues to press for parity in maternal and paternal leave, securing the values of tolerance in the face of absence is key to safeguarding all talented professionals.
Suffering the loss of women from the profession of advocacy would be a serious blow to the judiciary. ‘Many criminal-law barristers are publicly funded and deal with the most difficult issues in society every day. The work we do in prosecuting and defending is important, and we deal with sensitive and traumatic events. Therefore, we must reflect the society we serve in all its diversity.’
While issues of gender parity remain broadly unresolved, ensuring that female practitioners are able to progress in their careers- particularly to the level QC- will enable the profession to retain its talented advocates and enable greater diversity at all levels, as men and women become cognisant that their profession values all, and are able to reach all levels of success no matter their gender or personal circumstance.
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
* denotes a required field
0330 161 1234