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Minster Law awarded ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ at the British Claims Awards 2023

Minster Law

Minster Law is honoured to have been awarded ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ at the British Claims Awards 2023, where our accessibility work and disability initiatives have been recognised.

The judges said: “Minster Law is achieving fantastic results across disability and social mobility, targeting specific issues with understanding and patience to improve accessibility, communications, and access to legal careers.”

How have we championed diversity and inclusion so far?

Minster Law joined the Government’s Disability Committed Scheme in 2022 to improve how we recruit, retain, and develop people with disabilities. We successfully achieved Level 1 accreditation following an assessment of our inclusive and accessible recruitment, access to career progression and providing support to existing colleagues. Work is now underway to move to Level 2, as we use the framework to drive proactive and meaningful change within the business.

However, we knew that as a business we wanted to focus externally on our clients, too. It’s important that access to legal support is accessible for all, so we decided to focus on learning as much as we could about the different barriers those with disabilities or other impairments face.

Joanne Peacock, Head of Legal Services Operations, said: “Dealing with clients at one of the most vulnerable times in their life following a life-changing serious injury such as a brain injury, long and short-term memory loss and trauma to the eyes, it is important that our communication is accessible and inclusive to them.”

We spoke to colleagues, partners, suppliers, friends in other industries, and scoured the internet for webinars and support content.

We decided on digital to be our first focus, finding that there were so many different tools available that allowed us to audit our websites and social media through an accessibility lens. Following this audit, we launched a number of changes, including:

  • Improving our website contrasts and other changes
  • Working on the language within our customer communications to make advice and information easily digestible
  • Alt text on our social media posts
  • Helpful guides for colleagues on how to make their social media posts more accessible

Our focus on ensuring customer communications and support is accessible will continue into next year as we place an emphasis on trying to make the changing and complicated legal industry make sense to those outside of it.

Paul Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at Minster Law, said: “We feel it is important to provide all of our customers with easy access to quality information, which is easy to access, simple to understand and provides reassurance to them.”

We’ll also be working with charities and organisations who can help inform us of where else we can improve next. Minster Law Developer, Graham Ellwood, has experience of testing accessibility improvements in the real world and how it can be a “real eye opener” to see how others navigate your digital products.

Shirley Woolham, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s always been so important to us to drive an authentic and impactful ED&I agenda across our business and with our colleagues. We do this by learning together, constantly challenging ourselves to be better, having courageous conversations to really understand perspectives and views and, as importantly, adapting, changing, and evolving.

Our approach had been to start from within – focusing our efforts on generating real insight and taking a stand to promote diversity and inclusion and this is the first time we put ourselves up for external review. I’m so pleased our teams have received the acknowledgment they deserve and am grateful for the recognition we received amongst such prestigious finalists. But the next steps are that we continue to move forward together, to continue to make Minster Law a place where everyone belongs.”