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Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

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Policy & practice

Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

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Case studies

Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

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Keating Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, encouraging mental health training and promoting a place of support within chambers.

What was the ‘business’ (other case) for action?

Keating Chambers is committed to creating a healthy working environment to provide barristers and staff with the highest quality of working life. Chambers endeavours to maintain a positive environment and support initiatives to encourage excellent barrister and staff wellbeing and achievement, covering all – physical, mental and social – aspects of working life.

 

 

Chambers actively supports a number of activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace and encourage suggestions for further opportunities through a dedicated mailbox.

What did Chambers do?

Wellbeing Policy:

A policy is in place which aims to promote wellbeing and mental health initiatives.

Support:

Staff and barristers have a confidential platform to discuss any professional matters or any private concerns that they may wish to share with someone. To facilitate this:

  • Keating has a designated deputy Head of Chambers who holds monthly surgeries for barristers and staff to discuss any concerns or simply have a chat. The CEO also holds a surgery for barristers every Wednesday morning.
  • The CEO notifies all staff that there is an open-door policy to discuss any concerns they may have. Chambers also supports flexible working options to allow barristers and staff to achieve an optimum balance between their personal and professional lives

Mental Health Training:

  • Members of the reception team and senior members of the clerking team have undertaken mental health first aid training.  The CEO also joined staff for this training.

 

 

Other activities:

  • A certified nutritionist has run two lunchtime talks on nutrition in the workplace and the best foods for a good night’s sleep.
  • A running club at lunchtimes has prompted staff and barristers to run the London half marathon together
  • There is a twice-weekly fruit order for barristers and all staff to maintain wellbeing
  • A weekly Pilates classes is offered
  • There are ‘seated massage’ sessions to relieve stress and muscle tension
  • Chambers has a netball team which participates in a league, introduced 5-a-side football matches and tournaments
  • Chambers participated in the legal walk; and
  • Participated in the Law Rocks charity rock concert

What were the results?

  •  Members and staff found the mental health training helped them become more knowledgeable around supporting mental health issues.
  • Members that attended talks on nutrition were able to take away valuable information.
  • Demand for fruit has been very high and it has proved a popular resource for barristers

 

  • On Pilates and Sports Activity/Massage initiatives, members found the Pilates sessions relaxing – helping physical and mental wellbeing (reduced stress, improved concentration and focus). Sport activities and massages were popular and helped to relieve aches and pains associated with sitting in chairs and working on computers for long periods of time.

“Keating has introduced a wide range of initiatives to support members and staff wellbeing; good to see they have also introduced a formal mechanism to enable members to raise issues and concerns directly with those in a management role.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

  1. Make sure all members of chambers and staff know who to talk to if they need some help.
  2. If you offer initiatives (like monthly surgeries) make sure that each member has time to participate.
  3. If you have an open-door policy, make sure everyone knows about it.

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


Get in touch Policy & practice

It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about