LGBT+ Bar Survey

Pioneering  Research on LGBT+ Barristers: Add Your Voice

Marc Mason (barrister, Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster) and Steven Vaughan (solicitor, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham) are undertaking a major research project on LGBT+ members of the Bar and their career experiences. This research is being conducted entirely independently of the Bar Council. All LGBT+ barristers, pupils and BPTC students are encouraged to participate. It will take about 10 minutes of your time to complete the online survey. Later in the year, Marc and Steven hope to do a second piece of work on LGBT+ people working for the Bar (including clerks and other members of chambers).

Online survey: [Please note: this survey is now closed]

We welcome this research, the first of its kind in England & Wales. 

All research data is confidential and securely held. Only the academic researchers have access to the data. They will publish overall findings from the research and will do so in a way that does not enable individuals or the organisations that they work for to be identified. The project has ethical approval from the University of Westminster and the University of Birmingham.

Phase 2 of the research project will involve short interviews. If you are willing to be interviewed for the project, please email Marc or email Steven directly. Interviews can be in addition to, or instead of, completion of the online survey.

Who is carrying out the research:

Marc Mason joined Westminster Law School in 2013 following a period of practice as a Family Law barrister specialising in child protection. His current research looks at the regulation of the legal profession and legal service markets, with a focus on the Bar of England and Wales. Marc has previously worked on research projects funded by the Ministry of Justice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Nuffield Foundation

Dr Steven Vaughan is Director of Research in the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER) at Birmingham Law School. His research involves various aspects of diversity in the legal profession, among other matters. Steven sits on the LGBT Lawyers Division of The Law Society and spent almost a decade in practice as a corporate finance solicitor in the City.


While research has been conducted on diversity in the legal profession in England & Wales for five decades, little attention has been given to those working at the Bar. Even less attention has been given to LGBT+ members of the legal profession. Some existing work on LGBT+ solicitors has suggested that those solicitors have, on occasion, faced direct and indirect discrimination because of their sexuality.

This research, the first of its kind, seeks to understand the career experiences of LGBT+ members of the Bar, to ask those members about the extent to which (if at all) their sexuality has impacted on their practice, and to explore the role and function of LGBT+ support networks for barristers.


Any queries should be directed to Marc or Steven.

Date posted: 18 May 2016