Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity Policy

Smith & Graham complies with the requirements set out in legislation in relation to discrimination. This applies to the firm's dealings with members of the firm and other solicitors, barristers, clients and third parties.

Treatment of Staff

Smith & Graham is committed to promoting equality and diversity in its own policies, practices and procedures as well as in those areas in which it has influence. All members of the firm (which in this policy shall include the firm's employees, partners and any self employed person engaged by the firm) will be informed of this policy and will be provided with equality and diversity training appropriate to their needs and responsibilities. All those who act on the firm's behalf will be informed of this equality and diversity policy and will be expected to pay due regard to it when conducting business on the firm's behalf. In all its dealings, including those with suppliers, contractors, and recruitment agencies, the firm will seek to promote the principles of equality and diversity. The firm will make every effort to reflect its commitment to equality and diversity in its marketing and communication activities.

Treatment of Third Parties

The firm will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect and will not discriminate without lawful cause against any person, nor victimise or harass them on the grounds of their:-

  • race or racial group (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origins);
  • gender including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity;
  • sexual orientation including civil partnership status;
  • religion or belief;
  • age;
  • disability or illness.

Protection of Members of Staff and Clients

The firm will take such steps and make such adjustments as are reasonable in all the circumstances in order to prevent any member of the firm and clients from being placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled.

Mindfulness toward Equality and Diversity in Recruitment, Promotion and Disciplinary Actions

In addition to the above, when the firm is dealing with members of the firm this will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms aand conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, work allocation and any other employment related matters having regard to levels of qualification and experiences.

Clients - Accepting Instructions

The firm is generally free to decide whether to accept instructions for any particular client, but any refusal to act will not be based upon any of the prohibited grounds referred to in paragraph 2. However, the firm will take steps to meet the different needs of particular clients arising from its obligations under the anti-discrimination legislation.

Meeting the diverse needs of our clients and the local community

All staff employed by Smith & Graham will be mindful at all times of meeting the diverse needs of clients and the local communities to the best of their abilities. Staff should consider whether it is appropriate to offer home visits or other special measures to ensure that as many members of the local communities that we serve are able to access our services regardless of their personal circumstances.

Staff should consider at all times that some of our clients may note be literate amd have issues with reading and writing. It should be considered whether it is appropriate in those circumstances to: -

  • send those clients legal documents and/ or reports which they might find confusing and difficult to understand;
  • offer a longer appointment time to enable key documents to be read by the client and fee earner and explained in a manner in which they can understand.

Implementation and Monitoring

In implementing its equality and diversity policy this firm will comply with Rule 6 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007 and with current and future anti-discrimination legislation and associated codes of practice and any relevant amendments or re-enactments of such legislation and any relevant amendment to such codes or further codes of practice.

Updating this Policy

This policy will be monitored periodically by the firm to evaluate its effectiveness and if any changes are required they will be implemented. The policy will be updated as and when changes in legislation and regulation occur.

Availability

Every member of the firm will receive a copy of this policy and it will be available on request to any client and to the Solicitors' Regulation Authority.

Complaints

The firm will treat seriously and take action where appropriate concerning all complaints of breaches of this policy made by members of the firm, clients, barristers or other third parties. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the firm's grievance disciplinary and/ or complaints procedures and the complaintant will be informed of the outcome.

 

 

Equality and Diversity Results 2019

 

Role categories

1. Selected category which best describes a role in the firm.

Solicitor partner (sole practitioner, member or director)

Members or directors who are not solicitors should be recorded in the 'Managerial role' category below.

4

Solicitor (not partner)

All other practising solicitors including assistant solicitors, associates or consultants.  

3

Other fee earning role

Includes fee earners such as trainee solicitors, members of CILEx who are not Chartered Legal Executives (Fellows) or CILEx Practitioners and paralegals i.e. those who are not 'authorised persons'.

6

Role directly supporting a fee earner

Includes legal secretaries, administrators, legal assistants, or non-fee earning paralegals.

12

Managerial role

Includes non-lawyer managers, directors, or members and others such as practice managers, finance or account managers etc.

1

IT/HR/other corporate services role

Not an authorised person and not individuals in a managerial role - includes finance or accountancy roles.

3

Barrister

Individuals authorised by the Bar Standards Board.

0

Chartered Legal Executive (Fellow)/ CILEx Practitioner

People who are authorised by CILEx Regulation

0

Licensed Conveyancer

Individuals authorised by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

2

Patent or Trade Mark Attorney

Individuals authorised by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.

0

Costs Lawyer

Individuals authorised by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board.

0

Notary

Individuals authorised by the Master of the Faculties.

0

Prefer not to say

 

0

 

2. Age Group

16 – 24     

7

25 – 34     

7

35 – 44     

6

45 – 54     

5

55 – 64     

6

65+

0

Prefer not to say 

0

 

3. Gender

Man          

6

Woman    

25

Other preferred description

0

Prefer not to say

0

 

4. If we consider our gender identity to be different from our registered sex at birth?

Yes                                   

0

No 

31

Prefer not to say 

0

 

5. Do we consider ourselves to have a disability according to the definition in the Equality Act 2010?

The Equality Act defines a disabled person as someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. If you have a condition which fits the Equality Act definition, please tick 'Yes' even if you are not limited by your condition.

Yes           

0

No 

31

Prefer not to say

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Are day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months?

Yes, limited a lot 

0

Yes, limited a little

0

No 

31

Prefer not to say 

0

 

7. Ethnic group

Asian/Asian British

Bangladeshi

0

Chinese

0

Indian      

0

Pakistani 

0

Any other Asian background

0

Black/Black British

African

0

Caribbean                       

0

Any other Black background   

0

Mixed/multiple ethnic groups

White and Asian

0

White and Black African

0

White and Black Caribbean

0

White and Chinese       

0

Any other Mixed/multiple ethnic background

0

 

 

White

British/ English/ Welsh/ Northern Irish/ Scottish                  

31

Irish          

0

Gypsy or Irish Traveller 

0

Any other White background  

0

Other ethnic group

Arab

0

Any other ethnic group 

0

Prefer not to say

Prefer not to say                                                             

0

 

8. Religion or belief?

No religion or belief/ Atheist                                        

19

Buddhist

0

Christian 

12

Hindu

0

Jewish

0

Muslim     

0

Sikh

0

Any other religion or belief

0

Prefer not to say 

0

 

9. Sexual orientation?

Bi                                      

0

Gay/ lesbian

0

Heterosexual/straight    

31

Other        

0

Prefer not to say 

0

      

 

 

10. What type of school was attend between the ages between the ages 11 and 16?

 

UK state run or funded school (selective on academic, faith or other grounds)                                                  

0

UK state run or funded school (non-selective)        

31

UK independent/ fee-paying school (bursary)

0

UK independent/ fee-paying school (no bursary)              

0

Attended school outside the UK

0

Other        

0

Don’t know  

0

Prefer not to say             

0

 

11. The highest level of qualifications achieved by either of parent(s) or guardian(s) by the time you were 18?

At least one has a degree level qualification                       

7

Qualifications below degree level

20

No formal qualifications

4

Don’t know

0

Not applicable

0

Other       

0

Prefer not to say 

0

 

12. Thinking back to when you were aged about 14, which best describes the sort of work the main/ highest income earner in your household did in their main job?

Modern professional occupations such as: teacher/lecturer, nurse, physiotherapist, social worker, welfare officer, artist, musician, police officer (sergeant or above), software designer

4

Clerical and intermediate occupations such as: secretary, personal assistant, clerical worker, office clerk, call centre agent, nursing auxiliary, nursery nurse

10

Senior managers and administrators usually responsible for planning, organising and co-ordinating work and for finance such as: finance manager, chief executive

3

Technical and craft occupations such as: motor mechanic, fitter, inspector, plumber, printer, tool maker, electrician, gardener, train driver

10

Semi-routine manual and service occupations such as: postal worker, machine operative, security guard, caretaker, farm worker, catering assistant, receptionist, sales assistant

2

Routine manual and service occupations such as: HGV driver, van driver, cleaner, porter, packer, sewing machinist, messenger, labourer, waiter / waitress, bar staff

1

Middle or junior managers such as: office manager, retail manager, bank manager, restaurant manager, warehouse manager, publican

0

Traditional professional occupations such as: accountant, solicitor, medical practitioner, scientist, civil/ mechanical engineer

0

Short term unemployed (claimed Jobseeker's Allowance or earlier unemployment benefit for a year or less)

0

Long term unemployed (claimed Jobseeker's Allowance or earlier unemployment benefit for more than a year)

0

Inactive (excluding those that are retired)

0

Retired

0

Not applicable

0

Other

0

Don’t know

0

Prefer not to say

0

 

 

13. Primary carer for a child or children under 18?

Yes

6

No

25

Prefer not to say             

0

 

 

14. Do you look after or care for someone with long term physical or mental ill health caused by disability or age (not in a paid capacity)?

No                                                                                                 

31

Yes, 1 - 19 hours a week          

0

Yes, 20 - 49 hours a week       

0

Yes, 50 or more hours a week 

0

Prefer not to say

0

Established 1886

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