Briefing patterns cause transformation delay – Cape Bar

Failed SAA gagging order to be challenged

Briefing patterns cause transformation delay – Cape Bar

Publish date: 25 November 2015
Issue Number: 3887
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Practice

The Cape Bar has admitted it has delayed tackling slow transformation in the legal industry because briefing patterns ‘continue to favour white male counsel’, notes a Cape Times report. Cape Bar Council chairperson John Butler said ensuring that black junior advocates had access to non-state work was a major challenge and admitted there had been delays in addressing the problem. ‘This is significantly influenced by private attorney briefing patterns, which continue to favour white male counsel. Efforts have been made to meet with individual law firms to address this,’ Butler said. He explained that the result of this mindset had proven problematic when choosing advocates for promotion to senior counsel. He said eligibility for silk status depended significantly on excellence, and the length of a member’s years (more than five years) of experience. ‘The disproportionately small number of more senior black and female counsel at the Cape Bar arises from the historic lack of representivity as well as briefing patterns,’ he said. Advocates For Transformation chairperson Gregory Papier said the ‘snail pace’ increment of black members could be attributed to ‘gate-keeping’. The Bar Council has simply refused to adequately address the need for transformation, he said.

Full Cape Times report (subscription needed) (part 1)

Full Cape Times report (subscription needed) (part 2)

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