Every organisation has a responsibility to the people it serves and to its community to conduct its affairs ethically and to seek to ensure that those with whom it works are also maintaining proper levels of responsibility.
Cornerstone Barristers aspires to an open, inclusive, responsible and philanthropic culture. Our attitude to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reflects our moral compass and the corporate personality of our organisation. We have a dedicated CSR committee which meets regularly to advance our CSR programme and initiatives.
Access to the Profession
In September 2021, Chambers worked with four other sets to develop a Mentoring Scheme which aims to encourage and support those from underrepresented groups to consider becoming barristers. With 22 members of chambers signed up for mentoring a young person.
At Cornerstone we believe in equal opportunity and recognise the challenges inherited by young people today when it comes to building a sustainable career. We have joined the 10,000 Black Interns programme to play our part in making the Bar a profession of equal representation and opportunity. This initiative provides paid training and work experience opportunities. We are looking forward to welcoming our first intern in 2022.
Cornerstone endeavours to promote education outreach in schools and enhance accessibility to the profession for less-advantaged social groups and areas. We regularly arrange for school children to visit chambers, introducing them to the profession and helping them to understand the work of Barristers and staff.
Cornerstone Barristers is proud of its dedicated and socially active members and employees.
A number of members and staff give up their time to undertake a range of roles in charitable organisations or on committees supporting the positive development of the legal profession as part of organisations such as the Planning & Environment Bar Association (PEBA), the Institute of Barristers Clerks (IBC) and the Legal Practice Managers Association (LPMA).
We are active supporters of access to justice initiatives. Our members undertake pro bono work, serving as Free Representation Unit volunteers or Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) panel members and case assessors. Against the background of cuts in legal aid funding, this helps to facilitate access to justice in circumstances where it may otherwise be denied.
The barristers and staff at Chambers are very philanthropic. Regularly organising, participating in and donating to fundraising events of a variety of charitable causes.
We regularly support the work of the London Legal Support Trust and participate in their annual London Legal Walk and Great Legal Bake.
Environmental and Sustainability
We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint here at Cornerstone. Our CSR committee actively pursue opportunities to improve our sustainability by minimising the environmental impact of our operations, specifically by reducing waste and conserving energy.
In 2021, Chambers joined the Bar Sustainability Network to further this work. The network provides a range of services and support for chambers to transition to a more sustainable way of working.
Chambers actively promotes the health and wellbeing of our staff, members and pupils. Our Personal Development and Wellbeing committee (PDW) seeks initiatives to provide regular training and wellbeing schemes.
In January 2020 we were awarded the Bar Councils Certificate of Recognition for Wellbeing at the Bar.
Cornerstone Barristers is a London Living Wage employer. We ensure that all employees are paid at least the London Living Wages. This also includes people who work on a regular basis at our offices for a sub-contractor.