The Law Council is committed to taking measures that ensure a level playing field for all members of the Australian legal profession. A major step towards this goal is the development of a National Model Gender Equitable Briefing Policy, which briefing entities now have the opportunity to adopt.
The policy includes interim and long term targets with the ultimate aim of briefing women in at least 30% of all matters and paying 30% of the value of all brief fees by 2020.
The policy is intended to drive cultural change within the legal profession, support the progression and retention of women barristers, and address the significant pay gap and underrepresentation of women in the superior courts.
The policy was adopted by the Directors of the Law Council of Australia on Saturday 18 June 2016, and is a major step for the legal profession towards the goal of improving the briefing of women barristers across the country.
The policy is available for adoption by any briefing entity, including organisations and counsel in addition to clients of briefing entities operating in Australia. The selection of counsel is ultimately the decision of the client, and in-house counsel are encouraged to adopt and apply the policy when instructing briefing entities and making their selections of barristers.