Responding to the Bar Standards Board’s new statistics on retention at the Bar, Chair of the Bar Council Derek Sweeting QC said: “This is an important report with findings that will help inform the Bar Council’s future support for the profession. The statistics show a Bar that is continuing to grow, with the number of practising barristers each year growing substantially over the last three decades, and the proportion of barristers leaving in the first 10 years of their career decreasing. The news that the proportion of female or ethnic minority practising barristers has almost doubled demonstrates progress on diversity and inclusion at today’s Bar.
“Nonetheless, there is still work to do. While retention of women has improved, women still leave in greater proportions than men. Addressing factors behind this is a key part of the Bar Council’s current programme of work on Modernising the Bar. As well as this, our work with the young Bar (including focus groups and the Barristers’ Working Lives Survey 2021) and our planned Race Summit this Autumn will – we hope – help us better understand why barristers from ethnic minority backgrounds spend longer periods out of practice in their early careers than white barristers