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Talent Retention Scheme

The purpose of the Talent Retention Scheme is to provide support to Middle Temple barristers who are either returning from time out of practice (a “returner”) or switching practice areas (a “mover”).

The scheme is open to men and women, and all barristers, employed and self-employed.

Time out of practice may be for any reason including maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, caring responsibilities, health reasons, further study, time-out or to pursue other ventures. Movers could be changing discipline because they are excited about a new challenge or because their practice is not compatible with family or caring responsibilities, other commitments, or has become difficult to sustain for various reasons. For example, criminal barristers moving to family or regulatory work; self-employed barristers becoming employed, or vice versa.

Supporting returners and movers is a concrete way of encouraging diversity, equality and inclusion. Returners and movers offer cognitive diversity and will bring different approaches, skills and experience to enrich the offer of the organisation that takes them on. Also, if chambers and employers compete to offer longevity of careers and, in particular, a horizon that goes beyond having children, health, study or other breaks, this will help recruit the best young barristers from the outset.

Our first initiative: A Returner and Mover Practitioner Panel

Our first initiative under this scheme is the creation of a panel of practitioners who will serve as coaches to returners or movers. The coaches will be experienced practitioners who have direct experience of the issues around returning or moving. Returners and movers who wish to make use of the service will be paired with a coach, providing an opportunity to discuss issues and concerns in a confidential space.

The panel will initially operate as a pilot and will be adapted pursuant to user feedback.

Initially, we envisage the panel covering at least the following practice areas: crime, family, civil, public and commercial, but we welcome assistance from practitioners from any practice area.

If you would like to volunteer to be a coach, please contact Oliver Muncey, the Inn's Membership Manager, at o.muncey@middletemple.org.uk

If you are a returner or a mover and would like to be paired with a coach, please also contact Oliver Muncey. 

Future initiatives

Our intention is to expand the Talent Retention Scheme throughout 2020 and beyond. Ideas include:

  • Practical workshops such as those offered to prospective pupils, pupils and new practitioners, on CVs, business plans, interview skills, confidence building, CPD requirements and practice development;
  • Seminars: expansion of the Survive & Thrive programme to address the topic & needs of returners / movers;
  • Working with chambers to create a draft / best practice policy on returners and movers that encourages applications.