Like the Victorian Bar, CommBar is committed to promoting equality and diversity in the legal profession. 

CommBar recognises that for years concern has been expressed about the underrepresentation of women in commercial litigation. Against this background, and in the light of the Victorian Bar’s Equality Project (‘Quantum Leap’), the CommBar Executive is determined to take an active role to address this problem.

In 2015, CommBar, members of the Judiciary and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission undertook a joint initiative to increase briefing of women at all seniority levels of the commercial bar (and beyond), which resulted in leading law firms and organisations signing up to a three-year Charter of Commitment (2016-2019) which, in general terms,  commits them to brief in approximately equal proportion to the number of CommBar members who are women (which at 30 June 2015 was 28%).  More information on the initiative can be found here.

The founding signatures to the Charter of Commitment are:

  • Arnold Bloch Leibler
  • Australian Securities & Investments Commission
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Gilbert & Tobin
  • K & L Gates
  • Lander and Rogers
  • Maddocks
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Slater and Gordon
  • Telstra
  • Victorian Government Solicitors Office

It is expected that more firms and organisations will sign up to the Charter as they become aware of the initiative.

CommBar also supports the equal opportunity briefing policy of the Victorian Bar which provides that in selecting counsel, all reasonable endeavours should be made to identify and genuinely consider engaging female counsel in the relevant practice area. CommBar’s website allows searches to be conducted for female counsel in a particular area of commercial law.

The Victorian Bar’s equal opportunity briefing policy can be found here.

More information on gender equality at the Victorian Bar can be found here.

The Victorian Bar’s equality and diversity policy can be found here.