Women Who Will

Women Who Will 2023 report


In compiling this report, the teams at Obelisk Support and Next 100 Years invited nominations from senior General Counsel and other leaders in law, as well as including women recognised by the judges of the Next 100 Years Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2023 and doing our own research across published and social media.

Space only permits us to shout out 23 brilliant women in this report. We know there are many, many more Women Who Will in our profession, and we hope this prompts greater recognition of all the talented women across the legal industry.

We cannot claim that our legal system is the
best it can be when we know that many talented
people from diverse backgrounds are unable to
join or reach the heights of the profession.

– Christina Warner: Barrister at Goldsmith Chambers


A letter from Dana Denis-Smith

CEO, Obelisk Support

I am delighted to welcome you to this 2023 edition of our Women Who Will report, an annual celebration of the achievements and potential of women in law. I am privileged to introduce another generation of leaders in the “Class of 2023” of women who are blazing a trail and building on the legacy of many pioneering women before them.

Team Photos (300 × 300px) (1)

Together they are a community of women leaders from across the legal profession – from judges to solicitors working in-house. What they all have in common is a commitment to supporting each other as well as other women – each of them a strong advocate for a more equitable legal profession for all.

This fourth edition is a special one as we witnessed another major historic landmark for women – the appointment of Baroness Sue Carr as the first woman Lady Chief Justice in England and Wales in over 750 years. I am thrilled that she is one of our 2023 “Women Who Will” – someone who will play a significant leadership role in the legal profession for the decades ahead.

We can certainly look back at the last 100 years or so and reflect on just how much progress women in law have made. Ever since we started our “Women Who Will” initiative, during the Covid pandemic, the profession’s awareness that it must tackle gender inequality has heighted and many more initiatives have proliferated since, with organisations adopting a wide range of new initiatives, from gender blind work allocation to fertility services and menopause support as well as more focus on intersectionality and its impact on women’s access to opportunity and progress in organisations.

Research from Next 100 Years in 2023 called for more visible role models, which this report is also looking to achieve. It also called for organisations to provide more practical help with childcare, more truly flexible working options, targeted support for returners and wider uptake of mentoring and coaching schemes or networks to help women rise to the top by recognising what holds them back.

This year has shown us that it is time to take a step back and focus on what women are telling us really works. By thinking more strategically, law firms and other organisations can ensure efforts to improve diversity in their workforce are being channelled effectively and create lasting change. We are sure that our “Women Who Will” will be part of the design “team” of a different – and more inclusive – legal profession that helps all talent thrive.

Dana Denis-Smith

Obelisk Support
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When I first joined the legal profession some 30 odd years ago, there were very few women in law and even less from backgrounds like mine. That has improved significantly for the better over the years, and this year we hit another huge milestone with the historic appointment of the first ever Lady Chief Justice, Baroness Sue Carr, who took office in October 2023 as the first woman to lead the judiciary since the role was created in the 13th Century.

I was privileged to attend her swearing in ceremony in a packed court room at the Royal Courts of Justice and formally welcome her on behalf of the solicitor profession into her new role. It was an honour for me to be the first Asian and first Muslim President of the Law Society of England and Wales, and to speak at the swearing in of the first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales. It really was a truly momentous occasion. It felt like real positive change is in the air. The fact that it was live streamed and is still available to watch on YouTube was another first, taking the ceremony to a much wider audience and hopefully continuing to inspire many more women.

Lady Chief Justice Carr is clearly a Woman Who Will. She has already broken boundaries, defied convention and brings the hope of change. There are many other women who are amazing individuals, showing the power of determination, resilience and unwavering resolve. Those who also deserve to have a spotlight shone on them and their achievements. Those who are shaping history, impacting on society and making a real difference in their own way with their hard work, commitment and phenomenal contributions.

I am delighted to have been asked to write the Foreword for this Women Who Will Report 2023 because it is so important that we do give a voice to those women who are often overlooked or underestimated. Those who work quietly and conscientiously in the background, who have shown strength, tenacity and courage often in the face of hardship and adversity, and who have succeeded against all the odds.

Leaders Of The Industry

We should remember that everybody’s success is individual and unique to them. A success for one woman may be a stepping stone for another but each accomplishment is as valid and commendable as the other.

The Women Who Will Report contains stories to not only inspire but also motivate us to be our best selves, to ignore those negative voices, those doubting thoughts and to simply focus on how to get to where we want to be, at our own pace and on our own terms – because yes, we can!

There are so many women out there who already have, and so many more who can. Let’s support each and every one of them to be the absolute best and be Women Who Will.

Lubna Shuja

Immediate Past President of the Law Society of England and Wales (2022/23)

Diversity Statistics: A Snapshot

UK Supreme Court:

  • Only 2/12 Justices are women 32% 32%
  • 0/12 is from a BAME background 0% 0%


Data: The Supreme Court – Biographies of the Justices

Court of Appeal:

  • Female 32% 32%
  • BAME 3% 3%

from 27% in 2022

Data: Ministry of Justice Report: Diversity of the judiciary: Legal professions, new appointments and current post-holders – 2023 Statistics, Figure 21, published 14 July 2023

High Court:

  • Female 31% 31%
  • BAME 6% 6%

from 30% in 2022

Data: Ministry of Justice Report: Diversity of the judiciary: Legal professions, new appointments and current post-holders – 2023 Statistics, Figure 21, published 14 July 2023


In relation to the top 100 Law Firms. BAME refers to both men and women in role. Research conducted by PwC, 2022.

Trainee population

  • Women 63% 63%
  • BAME 17% 17%

Full equity partners

  • Women 23% 23%
  • BAME 5% 5%


General Counsel at FTSE 100 Companies are:

  • Women 31% 31%

*we reported 31% last year (2022) 



Data: FTSE Women Leaders Review: Achieving Gender Balance, published February 2022 and further desk research conducted by Next 100 Years, October 2022.


% of King’s Counsel are:

  • Women 11.5% 11.5%
  • BAME 15.6% 15.6%

Data: Bar Standards Board: King’s Counsel statistics, published April 2023


Baroness Sue Carr is the first female Lady Chief Justice upon her appointment in October 2023.

It took 755 years for a woman to hold the post.

The past year has brought some exciting developments in female leadership:

– First female Lady Chief Justice
– 40% of FTSE 100 board members now being women
– Heather McDevitt being elected as the first female chair of White & Case
– Severn Trent became the first FTSE 100 to have a female chair, CEO, and CFO
– 100 years this year since the first woman qualified as a barrister at Gray’s Inn (Edith Hesling)

– 100 years since the first women were called to the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (Mercy Ashworth and Mithan Tata)
– ‘Barbie,’ the blockbuster film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, became the first film solely directed by women to break $1B at the box office
– The England Lionesses played in their first world cup final
– Lady Justice Simler was appointed as the fifth woman on the Supreme Court

A closer look at the numbers:

Female solicitors now outnumber male solicitors. However, women are not adequately represented at senior levels. The legal industry must focus on fostering a workplace culture that supports women returning to work, retains women for the long term, builds a strong pipeline of young women, and promotes women to leadership positions. This means allowing for flexible working, mentoring, promoting work-life balance, and creating a supportive workplace culture.

It should be noted that the legal sector is not an exception. Women across the board are not represented at the highest levels of industries. We hope that the legal sector can drive change and set an example for other industries.

Looking at the representation of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic lawyers paints a similar picture. Whilst 18% of lawyers at law firms are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, far fewer hold the highest positions of seniority within London’s largest law firms.

Looking at representation for disabled lawyers is also concerning.

At the Bar, 12.5% of pupils, 7.5% of non-KC barristers and 4% of KCs had reported a disability in 2022. Meanwhile, in April 2022, the SRA reported that just 5% of all lawyers reported a disability, and 4% of partners reported a disability; the number decreases as seniority rises and as firm size increases. Around 15.8% of the UK working-age population has a declared disability as of 2022, demonstrating that the stats at the Bar and within law firms are incredibly low when looking at the wider picture.1

Numbers rarely tell the whole story. D&I targets must acknowledge a range of minority identities. For example, it is not necessarily diverse to have a team with a good gender balance if all of the team members are from the same ethnic background. To encourage teams to value intersectional diversity, employers should consider a more nuanced concept of D&I.

Encouragingly, advancing representation for the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiverse individuals, or those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds within the legal profession is increasingly on the industry’s agenda.

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Jaishree Jaisinghani Vyavaharkar

Commercial Law Group, Government Legal Department, Home Office
Senior Lawyer

Stacey Quaye

Global Head of IP, Innovation & Design

Patricia Ratnam

Senior Legal Counsel (EMEA & UK)

Charlotte Hall

Senior Legal Director

Fiona Mills

Senior Legal Counsel

Kendall Langford

Patron Capital
General Counsel and Senior Partner

Rebecca Mayfield

Head of Global Compliance

Laura Leanca

RS Group plc
Legal Director

Kaori Toyama

Mizuho International plc
In-house Counsel

Patricia Ratnam

Senior Legal Counsel (EMEA & UK), Aon

Patricia overcame multiple obstacles and secured a traineeship with a top local firm in Malaysia. Following her traineeship, she successfully made the transition to working in the UK and is dual-qualified. When she is not working in multiple languages, she designs her own bags and jewellery, which she sells through Instagram. Patricia is also raising two beautiful children and does it all with a smile on her face and quiet but unstoppable determination.

Working with very large procurement contracts, she is seen as a true business partner by her team. She is a trailblazer in showing how women from minority and foreign qualified backgrounds can succeed and excel in global corporates. And have fun and creative side hustles!

Rebecca Mayfield

Head of Global Compliance, Norstella

Rebecca took an alternative route into law by completing her practising certificate and training ‘on-the-job’ in-house within the legal and compliance functions. Rebecca works to champion others and is currently co-chair of Norstella’s diversity and inclusion committee. She launched an internship program across the company aimed at individuals who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities.

Rebecca has designed the internship program to put the interns in the best possible position for their future careers, and she will be personally mentoring an intern in the compliance team.

Charlotte Hall

Senior Legal Director, Onfido

Charlotte Hall is an influential and inspiring leader of tomorrow. Charlotte marries the unique blend of legal, technical skills, strategic vision, and EQ to help support and guide the business. Charlotte is a catalyst for organisational change and has spearheaded legal growth process changes and training initiatives to drive our revenue goals and empower our sales teams.

Originally a trained employment lawyer who has diversified into commercial law, Charlotte has also brought a people-centric perspective to her work. Charlotte also channels her strategic MBA learnings back into the legal team and business so that others can learn and develop.

Laura Leanca

Legal Director, RS Group plc

Laura joined RS Group plc in 2018 from Google DeepMind and immediately transformed a previously sleepy GDPR compliance programme into something meaningful and practical to the business. Her relentless energy, passion and enthusiasm is infectious to all colleagues, driving forward projects ranging from Data Protection compliance, through business-critical IT projects, to public equity placings.

In a small team serving an innovative and globally dispersed business, Laura is highly innovative, always seeking new ways to support the business in a more effective way. She created a data protection chatbot to alleviate the team’s workload in 2019 – way before ChatGPT – inspiring the business’ internal innovation resources to create something used to this day across the Group. More recently, she has led the creation of a pragmatic approach to new AI capabilities, balancing the commercial opportunities with a risk-intelligent framework for assessing new use cases.

She has the ability to inspire previously reluctant colleagues to become advocates for compliance, establishing a community of champions across more than 25 countries to be local advocates. Her passion extends to bringing through the next generation of lawyers, running our summer placement scheme for the last few years. This gives opportunities for aspiring lawyers to experience not only the breadth and depth of what an in-house legal career can offer but extends beyond that to give experience and contact across a number of other functions in our Group.

Jaishree Jaisinghani Vyavaharkar

Senior Lawyer, Commercial Law Group, Government Legal Department, Home Office

Jaishree is an exceptionally talented lawyer and a natural leader with a commercial approach and excellent communication skills. She has successfully navigated from a flourishing career in private practice to a cutting-edge role in the Government Legal Department.

She is a supporter of all other lawyers but is actively involved in empowering junior lawyers. Jaishree has been described as a role model in diversity and inclusion and is highly regarded by her clients.

Stacey Quaye

Global Head of IP, Innovation & Design, UBS

Stacey is recognised across the Law Without Walls network as a powerful change agent. Her contribution to problem solving projects has provided excellent support to numerous groups of students and professionals. She gives generously when in a team and understands how to get others to collaborate and take responsibility.

She effortlessly adapts her approach to dealing with different stakeholders and always keeps the energy high. Stacey is quickly able to identify issues and approaches problem-solving with an open mind and empathy. She asks insightful questions to help others reflect on how they could change and adapt to achieve different outcomes.

She is passionate about uplifting and upskilling others and does so with energy, tact and kindness. She doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations and isn’t afraid to push others to help them achieve their potential. She demonstrably challenges the status quo for the better and champions women at partner organisations.

Fiona Mills

Senior Legal Counsel, Global

Fiona is a lawyer, entrepreneur, tutor and mentor. She is passionate about inspiring and helping the next generation to have high aspirations, fulfil their potential and achieve their goals.

Fiona is the founder of Little Lawyers, a project that delivers group sessions to children to help them develop legal life skills and empowers them with the ability to advocate for themselves, know their rights and responsibilities and stand up for themselves and what they believe in. This course is designed to build confidence, raise aspirations and promote interest in the legal profession. The course covers topics such as how laws are made, how to campaign for changes in the law, how contracts are formed and their use in everyday life, how to negotiate, problem-solving in real-life scenarios when something goes wrong, The Equality Act, how to protect your privacy and data online and the benefits and risks of AI.

Fiona also mentors children in secondary school, students in university, students in law school and young working adults who are interested in pursuing a career in law.

Kendall Langford

General Counsel and Senior Partner, Patron Capital

Kendall Langford is one of the founding partners of Patron Capital Partners. Kendall is active in helping to address the gender imbalance in the finance and legal industry and has pioneered a collaborative project between senior partners of both private equity and law firms, which seeks to increase the recruitment and address the retention of women in these industries.

Kendall is also a trustee of the Barbican Centre Trust, which aims to develop new creative ways to shape funding relationships to support art, culture and education. Kendall is also an investment committee member and director of the Women in Safe Homes Fund, which provides a solution to the lack of affordable, safe, and secure housing across the UK for women and their children who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, are domestic abuse victims, have recently left the criminal justice system, or are facing poor mental health and other illnesses.

Additionally, Kendall is a regular speaker at schools and universities and an active mentor for Girls Are INvestors inspiring women to pursue careers in the finance industry.

Kaori Toyama

In-house Counsel, Mizuho International plc

Kaori moved to the UK from Tokyo, Japan to learn English on her own when she was fifteen. Following completion of her GCSE and A-levels she studied Pharmacy at King’s College London and underwent training to qualify as a pharmacist. After practising as a community pharmacist for a few years she decided to study law and retrain as a solicitor.

Kaori worked as a corporate paralegal at law firm Goodman Derrick for 18 months whilst also working as a pharmacist at weekends before joining the in-house legal department at Mizuho International plc as a trainee solicitor. Since qualifying as a solicitor she has been working at Mizuho as in-house counsel – to date working in the areas of debt capital markets and derivatives.

Kaori is a mother to her 12-year old son. She returned to work full-time from her 8-month maternity leave and was determined to show that she was as committed and available for work as someone without a family. She was promoted soon after and also received internal awards including the Business Promotion Award (for contributing to an important transaction) and Evaluation Committee Award (for her contribution towards running a team during the lockdowns). Kaori was dismayed by the lack of understanding shown by some of the managers on difficulties some working parents face, in particular by those who did not have help with childcare and are from the dual-working households.

This led to Kaori establishing a Family Network (an employees-led network) to help raise awareness of the importance of work-life balance. She led the network and worked with the HR department to launch a flexible childcare benefit scheme and organised various seminars and networking sessions. Kaori was also able to work and collaborate with the Gender Network (which is another network set up to promote gender equality within the company).

“What I have actually discovered along the way is that it is those differentiating characteristics where you draw strength. It is great to be different and stand out, and that is what will propel you forward.”

– Lande Belo is Group Legal Director, Employment Counsel for Kantar.

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From private practice and the Bar

Afsana Akhtar

Abbey Law

Iryna Kravtsova

Gateley Legal plc
Foreign Qualified Lawyer

Orlagh Kelly

Barrister and CEO

Barbara Mills KC

4 Paper Buildings
Joint Head of Chambers

Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty

Fitzsimons Redmond LLP

Jodie Hill

Thrive Law
Founder and Managing Partner

Simranjeet Kaur Mann

formerly Founders Law
Junior Associate, Qualified Solicitor and Youtuber

Hannah Strawbridge

Han Law
Founder and CEO

Fiona Teague


Orlagh Kelly

Barrister and CEO, Briefed

Orlagh is a highly accomplished woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, unwavering dedication to her business, and an unyielding determination to conquer challenges within the legal profession. Called to the bar in 2003, she has had over a decade’s experience as a barrister and has successfully represented clients in over 2,000 family law cases.

After managing her own practice for years and seeing a niche in the market in 2013, Orlagh developed an innovative piece of technology to help self-employed barristers manage their entire practice online and all in one place. Orlagh has become a renowned authority on data protection and GDPR and has helped many industries and organisations in the UK and Ireland. Briefed has further evolved into a one stop solution for barristers and chambers to help meet all their regulatory training requirements, including bar-specific training in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion to help break down barriers in all types of discrimination within the legal profession.

Orlagh’s CSR initiative, Honesty Box, highlights her commitment to supporting positive change for charities. Briefed understands that charities and voluntary groups don’t have the same budgets as corporates to access high-quality training and advice from barristers, and consequently, they might skip training their teams completely, increasing the risk of data breaches and so the Honesty Box was brought into being.

What sets Orlagh apart is her resilience and fortitude. On top of being CEO of Briefed, she has two young children and still manages to be in the office daily. Orlagh is a role model for all women, illustrating how perseverance, hard work, and a positive attitude can lead to ground breaking success.

Barbara Mills KC

Joint Head of Chambers, 4 Paper Buildings

Barbara Mills KC, has been elected vice-chair of the Bar for 2024. Mills will be the first family lawyer in 35 years to take the role and the first person of colour to assume the office. She will succeed Sam Townend KC of Keating Chambers, who was elected unopposed to serve as chair in 2024. Following that tradition, Mills is expected to become chair in 2025.

Mills was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1990 and took silk in 2020. She is an arbitrator, a mediator and a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. She specialises in difficult and complex children’s cases, often with an international element. She was appointed as a deputy High Court judge this year and has been a recorder on the South Eastern Circuit for more than 10 years. She has been co-head of 4PB alongside Charles Hale KC since last December.

Mills comes to the vice chair role from her Bar Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee membership. She also co-chairs the Bar Council’s Race Working Group, which published the landmark Race at the Bar report in 2020. As a governing bencher at Inner Temple, Mills is also a member of its diversity and international committees.

Afsana Akhtar

Founder, Abbey Law

Afsana examples determination and resilience. Afsana began Abbey Law as a sole practitioner in 2015. A few months after opening her practice, she had her first child and remarkably managed both first-time motherhood and running a new small business.

As of this year Abbey Law now boasts a team of 12 and has expanded to accommodate the increase in demand for the company’s legal services.

Iryna Kravtsova

Foreign Qualified Lawyer, Gateley Legal plc

Iryna is a highly qualified lawyer who relocated to London due to the war in Ukraine. Iryna founded the Ukrainian British Lawyers Network, which provides a networking platform for Ukrainian lawyers to help them adapt quicker to life in the UK.

Additionally, Iryana launched UBLN Academy, where she organises free webinars and lessons to upgrade the hard and soft skills of Ukrainian lawyers; the platform is also open to all who support Ukrainian lawyers.

Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty

Partner, Fitzsimons Redmond LLP

Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty became Fitzsimons Redmond LLP’s first female partner in 2021. On top of her work as a business solicitor, Lisa heads her firm’s pro-bono department, taking on cases where people would otherwise not have access to justice.

Since stepping into her leadership role, she has made a number of changes to the firm to improve diversity and wellbeing. Her first initiative was to introduce a four-day workweek in which everyone works one day less per week for the same pay. Lisa studied and introduced lean working practices to ensure client satisfaction and productivity increased with the change in working time. The four-day week allows for greater wellbeing, better child-care options for parents, more free time for those close to retirement, and better access to the workplace for those with disabilities. With a focus on the wellbeing of people, Lisa also introduced flexible working arrangements. Some of the firm’s employees have flexible working hours and arrangements to suit their individual needs, and Lisa ensures this works smoothly. Lisa’s workplace initiatives are designed for the maximum wellbeing of our people and keep in mind the diverse needs of those who may later join the firm.

Lisa was a founding signatory of the Law Society’s GEDI Charter and the Law Society Professional Wellbeing Charter. Lisa is also a signatory to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge and the Bar of Ireland’s Equitable Briefing Charter. She leads these initiatives for the firm and ensures diversity and inclusion in all decision-making, at all levels, including keeping records on diversity in briefing counsel and expert witnesses.

In her free time, Lisa volunteers with many community groups, teaches community leadership in a community college, and sits on the EDI committee for the Irish Branch of the CIArb. As a recently retired board member of mental health charity turn2me, Lisa drafted the protocol for diversity and inclusion for events, as well as led a project to evaluate and codify the goals and values of the organisation to ensure diversity of reach. Lisa has also contributed a chapter to Women in Law Discovering the True Meaning of Success (Ed: Angela Han, Ramses House, 2022), a published book which shares the experiences of women lawyers globally and raised funds for a charity supporting underrepresented aspiring female lawyers.

Additionally, Lisa is published widely on the topic of breastfeeding rights and has liaised with TDs on the topic. Via PILA, she provided legal advice to HIV Ireland on the complex legal position of mothers living with HIV who chose to breastfeed.

Jodie Hill

Founder and Managing Partner, Thrive Law

Jodie Hill founded her own law firm in 2018, Thrive Law, at 29 years old. At Thrive, Jodies’s values around mental health and diversity and inclusion are the firm’s foundation. Thrive Law is the only employment law firm in the UK that blends D&I and wellbeing with employment law and HR advice to better workplace cultures.

In addition to Thrive, Jodie is the founder and chair of This is Me Yorkshire, a global, business-led mental health initiative, and an ambassador for Women in Law UK. She is also a Law Care Champion, a member of Neurodiversity in Law, and in 2020 was appointed as a member of The Law Society’s Employment Law Committee. On the employment committee, Jodie is enacting change by consulting with the government and influencing public policy, as well as creating guidance
for firms on supporting women in their career progression.

Jodie’s relentless advocacy for others flows through not only her entrepreneurship but her day-to-day life. Through being ultra transparent about her own journey with ADHD and PTSD, Jodie has touched the lives of many women (and men) by inspiring them to overcome any barriers they face. To found a law firm with an underlying greater good at such a young age and make a success of it is admirable. Jodie’s tenacity in challenging entrenched norms within our industry is exemplary.

Simranjeet Kaur Mann

Junior Associate, Qualified Solicitor and Youtuber

Simranjeet is an inspiring and powerful young voice championing authenticity and intersectionality within the legal sphere. She effectively utilises social media and her blog to provide guidance and inspiration to aspiring solicitors through her YouTube channel and dedicated Instagram page and was this year’s winner of Legal Cheek’s Best Use of Social Media Award.

As a proud Sikh and Panjabi woman, her identity is central to her content. Simranjeet works to encourage others within the legal profession to embrace their cultural backgrounds and leads by example. Simranjeet recently attended her Solicitors Admission Ceremony in traditional South Asian garments and proudly wore her choora (bridal bangles) in the office after getting married last year to help redefine what it means to dress professionally.

Having documented both of these experiences on social media, Simranjeet has received excellent engagement and continues to ignite discussion around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Hannah Strawbridge

Founder and CEO, Han Law

Hannah Strawbridge created the award-winning Han Law to be a disruptor to the legal industry. After becoming disillusioned by the traditional law firm mentality and witnessing too many colleagues either leave the profession or ‘burn out’, Hannah adopted a new business model to prove that there was another way of working that benefitted both the experts and the clients.

By building a culture that removed the outdated notions of billable hours, targets, presenteeism, and office politics, Hannah was convinced that this would appeal to like-minded clients, and it did. So far this year, Han Law has grown by 400% and has retained its quality service, along with its experienced and lovely team. They have twice won the CorporateLiveWire Innovation & Excellence Award for Innovative Legal Firm. Earlier this year, the firm was shortlisted for the Modern Law Client Care Award, and more recently, it was announced that they are a finalist for Employment Law Firm at the upcoming Yorkshire Legal Awards.

On top of this, Hannah has recently been listed in the Reward 300 index and is a Legal 500 recommended lawyer (2022). Hannah has always been a strong advocate for women’s rights in the workplace and established ‘The Fair Redundancy Pledge’, a campaign aimed at employers to be more transparent about potential redundancies to better protect women’s rights at work. One of the signatories to this is the national firm, Shakespeare Martineau.

Hannah has been asked to be a keynote speaker for several organisations, including the West Yorkshire Fire Service, to assist with their drive to recruit more females. Hannah is a regular columnist for The Yorkshire Post newspaper, within their business and opinion sections and is a regular speaker at the Reward and Strategy conference, along with the CIPPS BeConnected Series, where she provided members with employment law updates.

Additionally, she regularly gives pro bono advice to disadvantaged individuals and those who don’t have the means to pay for their legal fees. Hannah also offers free mentoring services for lawyers looking to become self-employed consultants.

Fiona Teague

Partner, Shoosmiths

In her role as Partner at Shoosmiths, Fiona specialises in a wide range of commercial contracts and is also lead for Hexagon, a Connected Services product that helps in-house lawyers identify and resolve key legal operation issues.

Alongside her role as a solicitor, Fiona is co-chair of Shoosmiths Balance Network, which works to promote gender balance and a clear understanding of its value across the firm and the profession. Additionally, the Network helps champion all women to ensure they are able to navigate both career and life challenges so they can fulfil their potential to the fullest. Fiona has worked successfully to bring together both men and women at Balance Networking events which provide a platform for women to share their successes and inspirations as well as the barriers to equity they face.


“The best thing that this generation can do is be themselves, to show that being yourself is not something you need to compromise on, that you can still be excellent and be yourself.”

– Abimbola Johnson is a criminal defence barrister at 25 Bedford Row with a focus on serious crime, professional discipline and inquiry work.

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The legal change-makers

Baroness Sue Carr

UK Judiciary
Lady Chief Justice

Amanda Brock


Charlotte Smith

Level7 Legal
CEO and Founder

Siobhan Taylor-Ward

Housing & Social Welfare Solicitor
Executive Director

Caroline Flanagan

C Flanagan Ltd

Charlotte Smith

CEO and Founder, Level7 Legal

Charlotte Smith is a trailblazer in the legal industry with over 15 years of global experience. In 2014, Charlotte relocated to California and trained as an Executive Coach at the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching and gained her PCC, and ACC qualifications. Charlotte began coaching legal professionals from around the globe, and her unique approach has earned her recognition as a leading expert in her field, coaching hundreds of lawyers.

With her most recent venture, Level7 Legal, Charlotte addresses key culture challenges in the legal industry by providing comprehensive support for professionals at all levels of the legal organisation. Her mission is to empower individuals, restore energy, and build trusted partnerships within teams.

Charlotte knows the future of law requires individuals and leaders to be radically open-minded and resilient in the face of
change. She is actively changing some of the fundamental cultural issues of the legal industry and helping lawyers to gain new skill sets needed to serve today’s customers and retain today’s employees. Additionally, Charlotte has been described as an incredible mentor and support system for many female entrepreneurs and working mothers.

Caroline Flanagan

CEO, C Flanagan Ltd

After reading History at Cambridge University. Caroline attended the College of Law, London and gained her Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 1997. She spent eight years working in the City of London as an international finance lawyer at two of the world’s largest global law firms, Allen & Overy, LLP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP, before qualifying as a certified Coach in 2006.

Caroline founded her own coaching and speaking business in 2008. She is now CEO of C Flanagan Ltd. Caroline works with international law firms, banks and other global organisations to increase the number of women and people of colour in leadership. Caroline’s mission is to empower minority individuals to defy the odds, triumph over adversity and win battles they think they cannot win.

Caroline is also an inspirational keynote speaker and the host of the Caroline Flanagan Podcast for high achievers, and the Be The First Podcast which showcases inspirational role models of colour. And in 2016 she was the ambassador for the Marie Claire #breakfree campaign inspiring working mothers to break free from mother guilt.

Additionally, Caroline is the author of ‘Baby Proof Your Career: The Secret to Balancing Work and Family So You Can Enjoy It All’. Her second book, ‘Be The First: People of Colour, Imposter Syndrome and the Struggle to Succeed in a White World’, was published in February 2021.

Amanda Brock


Amanda Brock is CEO of OpenUK, the UK organisation for the business of Open Technology – open source software, open hardware and open data – with the purpose of UK Leadership and International Collaboration in Open Technology, and she is the Executive Producer of State of Open Con.

Amanda is a Board Member of the Open Source Initiative; an appointed member of the Cabinet Office’s Open Standards Board; a Member of the British Computer Society Inaugural Influence Board; an Advisory Board Member for Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance and Mimoto; and a European Representative of the Open Invention Network.

A lawyer with 25 years of experience, she previously chaired the Open Source and IP Advisory Group of the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs and sat on the OASIS Open Projects and UK Government Energy Sector Digitalisation Task Force Advisory Boards. She was the General Counsel of Canonical for 5 years from 2008 and set up their legal function.

Amanda is a judge in the IDG Foundry CIO 100 2023, having been a Judge in the We Are Tech Women Rising Star Awards 2020-22. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards UK 2022 and included in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in Tech long list in 2021 and 2022 and in their UK Tech50 Influencers long list for 2022 and 2023, and in 2023 she has been listed in Computing’s IT Leaders 100. Amanda was included in the 2022 Involve HERoes list of 100 global women executives driving change by example and listed as one of 20 CEO’s to Watch.

Amanda is also the editor of Open Source Law, Policy and Practice (2nd edition), published by Oxford University Press in October 2022.

Baroness Sue Carr

Lady Chief Justice, UK Judiciary

Baroness Sue Carr read law at Trinity College, Cambridge, before she was called to the bar in 1987, specialising in general commercial law, and was made a QC, aged 38, in 2003.

Her judicial career began in 2009 in crime, when she became a recorder (part-time judge). She was appointed to the high court, Queen’s Bench Division, in 2013. Carr was the first female high court judge to sit in the technology and construction court and the second to sit in the commercial court. She also sat on the investigatory powers tribunal between 2014 and 2016. She was appointed as a lady justice of appeal in 2020.

Baroness Sue Carr took up the position of Lady Chief Justice later this year, becoming the first woman in the role that dates back to the thirteenth century. Carr’s momentous appointment will lead to further progress on women’s representation within the judiciary.

Siobhan Taylor-Ward

Housing & Social Welfare Solicitor,
Vauxhall Community Law & Information Centre

Siobhan is Housing solicitor at Vauxhall Law Centre in Liverpool with a speciality in housing and homelessness of asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants. She is a Justice First Fellow and won the Newcomer award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards in 2020. Siobhan is actively involved in campaigning and policy work in the North West and nationally around legal aid and housing law and policy. She is a former chair of ACORN Tenants union Liverpool branch and former chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). In her work with YLAL she focussed on social mobility within the profession and the SQE. This led to her work on the Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund (SWSQF) becoming a founding member with Patrick McCann from the CLLS and Victoria Cromwell from BARBRI.

SWSQF provides financial assistance to aspiring solicitors working in social welfare law or organisations serving disadvantaged communities. To date, SWSQF has secured funding from 31 organisations to fund the SQE process for social welfare lawyers across England and Wales. This is an innovative programme that exploits an opportunity created by the new Solicitors Regulation Authority qualification regime, which allows social welfare workers to work full-time whilst studying part-time using flexible online resources.

In the first 3 years, SWSQF will support around 68 candidates and anticipate that that funding will provide 83,000 additional social welfare solicitor hours to provide legal services for those who need it most and for the benefit of society as a whole. SWSQF delivers qualified solicitors working at the cutting edge of social welfare law, delivering legal services to the most vulnerable members of society in areas such as care, criminal, debt, domestic and other violence, education, housing, human rights, immigration, and public law.


Women Who Will

Our Women Who Will report aims to foster collaboration across the legal profession and provide support, encouragement and advancement opportunities to women, so that they can thrive and succeed in the law going forward. By making women leaders in law visible through celebrating them in our report, we hope we can inspire women within the profession already and those who aspire to enter.

Portrait, Lawyer And Black Woman With Tablet, Smile And Happy In Office Workplace. African Attorney, Technology And Face Of Professional, Female Advocate And Legal Advisor From Nigeria In Law Firm.

Our 2023 report celebrates our fourth year of Women Who Will. In our previous reports, we have explored the implications of the pandemic on women in law and the opportunities of the post-Covid world, as well as celebrating 100 years of women in law and highlighting ways to break down barriers and accelerate women leaders to the top of the profession.

As we continue in our mission to create change through inspiration and celebrate women in law, it is important to dive deeper and understand the importance of intersectionality and the role it plays within the diversity and inclusion conversation; which is why intersectionality is the focus of our report this year.



Women Legal Leaders 

The Power of Difference

The legal industry is increasingly focused on removing barriers faced by minority communities to promote diversity and inclusion. Most firms have chosen to drive an increase in diversity through their recruitment campaigns. Over the past five years, far more diverse trainee intakes have become the norm at elite London law firms. Gender is currently leading the pack, with 63% of the trainee intakes at the top 100 law firms being female.2 However, it is important that the industry does not consider diversity to be a cosmetic issue. Whilst their recruitment campaigns might be inclusive, this doesn’t mean their workspaces are.

Choosing talent is not like ordering from an A la Carte menu. Firms must consider their talent as individuals to diversify their workforce effectively. While two women may appear to be very different, if they have come from the same privileged background and education, the diversity of thought might be less than it first appears. Similarly, whilst two women may look the same, differences in age, religion or sexuality may set them apart. This is why it is important that the legal industry do more to understand and account for intersectionality.

34 years ago, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a civil rights activist and legal scholar, coined the term ‘intersectionality.’ Crenshaw exampled the term in a paper for the University of Chicago Legal Forum through a discussion of how traditional feminist ideas and anti-racist policies exclude Black women because they face overlapping discrimination which is unique to them. Since the term was introduced, it has helped generate discussion of the double bind faced by victims of simultaneous prejudice. Intersectionality entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015, where it is defined as the ‘interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.’3 Other categorisations include LGBTQ+, disability, age, and social opportunity. Such identities do not exist in a vacuum, and many women, like Crenshaw, do not consider their gender identity in isolation.

Women who identify with another of these intersectional categorisations are more likely to gain entrance into the legal profession if they have come from a prestigious university or middle-class upbringing. This truth seems indicative of the cosmetic facelift approach to diversity. The legal industry must change its culture so that wherever there is talent, talent can be developed. Only when the legal industry considers the individual behind their diversity targets will their workplaces become truly accessible to all those with talent and passion..


“The law is for everybody, irrespective of your shape, size, colour, creed or background. If you have the passion, the commitment, and the talent, then the law needs you.”

– Caroline Harrison KC

Double Disadvantage

Diversity in leadership sets the tone for the whole organisation. It is not just that employees need to be represented, although that is a key factor; diversity in leadership is proven to lead to a stronger bottom line. Diversity in leadership forms a well-established and strong business case for both “gender diversity and ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership (9)” and the “greater the representation, the higher the likelihood of outperformance.” The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion framework (10) is a good place to start for firms who need guidance as to how to make the business case for DEI.

In times of uncertainty and volatility, there is a new need to connect with our leaders, who will be called upon to go beyond delivering profits, to provide stability, hope and support to their workforce. Adding to the list of concerns for leaders to grapple with, including continued health threats, rising wages and the “great resignation”, in times of crisis the attitudes of leaders towards risk, empathy and communication are crucial. While it may be too close to this particular pandemic to conclude categorically, research carried out in 2020 examining 194 countries’ responses to Covid-19 did conclude that “COVID-outcomes are systematically and significantly better in countries led by women(11)”.

McKinsey found in 2021 that “senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to spend more time on diversity, equity and inclusions (DEI) work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities, such as recruiting employees from underrepresented groups and supporting employee resource groups; (12)” fundamentally, “the work women leaders are doing drives better outcomes for all employees.” It is therefore inescapable that a key way to improve DEI, and therefore future business success, is to ensure a greater percentage of the leadership is female, and that DEI work is attributed value.

Crucially, women in leadership should be celebrated for the attributes they bring rather than junior women being sent on leadership courses to help them become more like their male counterparts. As one respondent to the RollOnFriday Best Law
Firms to Work At 2022(13) survey replied, firms bemoan the fact that women don’t want to apply for the top jobs, yet do not do anything at all to establish why that might be, with another noting that their firm ‘constantly wonders why there are
not more women in senior roles, but makes the work environment impossible to succeed in for women in families.’

Intersectional Identity in the Workplace

Many women from our Next Hundred Voices project highlighted how their intersectionality had played a key role when discussing their career journey and how their intersectionality is a meaningful part of what makes them who they are. Commenting on her secret to success Ariel White-Tsimikalis, a partner in Goodwin Proctor’s Technology and Life Sciences group and Capital Markets practice, explained that the key lay within her identity. ‘It was only when I realised that what is different about me is my superpower; my intersectionality is not my handicap.’11 Almost all of the women interviewed felt that increasing all types of diversity should be on the legal industry’s agenda as a top priority.

Whilst increasingly proud of their difference, women don’t always find it easy to fit their identity into an industry shaped around only one; White, privileged, heterosexual men. For intersectional women, the legal industry and its existing culture work to dissolve their difference in many ways.

Fawcetts’ 2022 ‘Broken Ladders’ report found that Muslim women were significantly more likely to make changes to themselves at work than non-religious women or women of other religions. 53% of Muslim women changed the clothes they wear at work ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a bit.’ Further, 61% of women of colour said that they had changed one or more of the following by ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a bit’, compared with 44% of white women: the language or words they use (37%), the topics they talk about (37%), their hairstyle (26%), the food they eat (28%), and even their names (22%) at work.12 

Ellipse 19
Business Woman Looking Out Window

Jemima Olchawksi, CEO of Fawcett Society, commented, “As well as being held back at work, women of colour are being forced to hide their identity in workplaces across the UK; things like changing their hairstyle or what they eat, just to try and conform. What a waste of those women’s time and energy – we need workplaces that respect and celebrate everyone’s individuality and allow women to focus on bringing their talents into the workforce.’13

The behaviours exampled by the Fawcett report highlight how some women respond to bias in the workplace, concealing or changing their behaviours to ‘fit in’ to their environment. Perhaps where a woman’s leadership language may be perceived as emotional rather than decisive due to her gender, she decides to change it. Perhaps when a woman feels discussing the career break she took as a mother will hurt her chance at career progression, she decides not to mention it.

‘I want to see the people that I grew up with, authentically themselves, in senior positions of power, being able to run organisations without having to conform. And, I don’t know how you get there, and I don’t know if perhaps I am asking for too much at this stage,’ said June Sarpong, author of Diversify in 2019.14 If we were not at that stage four years ago, it’s crucial we are now as we delve deeper into what it means to operate an inclusive work environment. We must question why a woman may feel that muting her identity will help her career success, whether that be adapting her language, name or hairstyle or concealing their background, culture or sexuality. Not having a workplace in which women can be their authentic selves ultimately makes retaining talent and increasing diversity among senior positions a challenge.

Encouraging Role Models

Undoubtedly, we need more women in positions of leadership to enact the change in workplace culture we want to see. It is at the top they can best set an example for and encourage other women to be their authentic selves and lead like a woman. This means them not shying away from discussing their career break, their sexuality or their background. In doing so, such women become role models.

You can’t be what you can’t see,’ said civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman. Role models are particularly important for under-represented groups for whom lack of representation in the workplace can lead to feelings of isolation and reduced confidence. ‘As a Black woman, I know only too well how difficult it can be to make it in the legal profession. I am a testament to what can be achieved, but unfortunately, I remain in the minority. There are too few lawyers who look like me and wider still, too few lawyers who look like the population they serve; that must change,’ said Millicent Grant KC.15

A recent survey by the Next 100 Years project reported that most respondents thought mentoring and coaching, visible role models, women networking events and sector-specific representative groups could help women progress in their careers. Similarly, the 2021 Pride in the Law Report determined that the absence of role models was a concern across in-house and private practice, with a higher proportion of respondents reporting negative experiences in relation to this, compared to other issues.16

If it is true that role models can be a powerful force for change, the legal industry must focus on propelling women of different backgrounds to senior positions of leadership. We know that many women enter the legal profession, but historically the industry has not managed to retain that talent. One critical way the industry can help women to the top is by adequately supporting returners to the workforce to prevent a female brain drain.

Women Who Will Female Leaders Blog Image
Childcare - supporting legal consultants

Supporting Returners

A study conducted in the US found that the managers involved would prefer to hire a new candidate over one that was out of work for 6 months. This illustrates prejudice against returners, such as the assumption that they are less motivated or that all their skills must have depreciated. It is therefore not surprising that despite 1 in 3 taking a career break, 53% would prefer not to tell a prospective employer about it.17

Hiring discrimination and a lack of choice means returners are returning to lower-paid, lower-skilled work that does not utilise their full talents. Yet, simultaneously career breaks are increasingly popular; 47% of Gen Z have a career gap as opposed to 33% of the general population of workers.18 Thus, those returning from maternity leave or care duties are not alone among those returning from travelling or additional education. Employers will need to prioritise supporting returners, as there is a moral argument and a business argument for acknowledging that careers are not linear and working to retain talent. This is especially important for accelerating women into positions of seniority, as returners are disproportionately more likely to be women.

One of the most comprehensive solutions is a returners programme, such as a ‘returnship’ or ‘supported hire’. This gives returning professionals a chance to ‘catch up’ with advancements in the industry and get back into the swing of things. This is usually done through a 3-6 month programme where they are supported to expand their skill set. A successful returners programme should allow for flexible working, focus on relevant technological change, foster a supportive network, and communicate with returners thoughtfully to build confidence, not fuel stereotypes.

It is important that once we have role models, we make them visible. Intersectional women represent a small percentage of the profession, so the more visible and active these lawyers are, the greater their impact on current and aspiring legal professionals.

About the Next 100 Years

Founded by Dana Denis-Smith, CEO of Obelisk Support, who conceived the idea for the First 100 Years project back in 2014 when she stumbled upon a photograph from 1982. It showed City law firm, Herbert Smith (now Herbert Smith Freehills) celebrating its centenary. Front and centre of the photo was the firm’s first female partner, Dorothy Livingstone.

For Dana it was the start of a five-year journey to chart and celebrate the history of women in the law and to inspire future generations. Activities have included the commissioning of the first artwork for the Supreme Court to focus on women lawyers, the publication of “First” a book dedicated to the stories of the women legal pioneers and the creation of an archive of films capturing the stories of the first women to occupy different roles across the profession.

The Next 100 Years continues this work whilst looking to the future and how we can create an equal future for women in law. Obelisk Support is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Project and to have helped it grow and succeed over the last six years.

Find out more about the project at www.next100years.org.uk

Club 1919

Do you want to #GiftHerFuture and become a member of Next 100 Years?

Our membership offering includes:
– Your name entered onto our Donors’ Wall
– One complimentary copy of our brand new book, ‘In Her Words’
– First access tickets for Next 100 Years events
– Invitation to an exclusive Next 100 Years Members’ event in 2023

By making a £50 donation to the Next 100 Years and becoming a member, you will help us build on the work of the First 100 Years, capturing the inspirational stories of today’s pioneering women lawyers, educating the public on the legacy of the legal pioneers of the past and driving the change needed to create an equal future for women in the profession. Sign up for membership on our website or contact us for more information.

Inspirational Women in Law Awards

Eight years at a glance


Barrister of the Year

Jessica Powers – Winner
Natasha Shotunde
Sarah Lucy Cooper

Solicitor of the Year

Barbara Corbett
Jodie Hill – Winner
Sana Shafi

Rising Star of the Year

Arina Stelmokaite – Winner
Brianella Scott
Ita Farrelly
Laura Thomas
Yasmin Howbrook

Law Student of the Year

Amy Evans – Winner
Rukhsar Jahangir
Tabitha Boyton

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Abigail Wilson
Lynda Horgan
Kate Cheetham – Winner

Paralegal of the Year

Eve Bottalico – Winner
Kyla Donnelly
Zania Putri

Mentor of the Year

Crystal Dias
Eve Dullabh
Judge Bibi
Mellissa Akinya – Winner
Sarah Youssefi

Legal Academic of the Year

Laura Bee
Professor Lisa Webley
Rachel McPherson – Winner

Humanitarian Advocate
of the Year Award

Iryna Kravtsova
Tetyana Antsupova
Maab Saifeldin – Winner

CILEX Lawyer / Chartered
Legal Executive Award

Gemma Adams
Louise Fisher – Winner
Zoe Heron

Champion of the Year

Jade Gani
Paige Gouldthorpe
Reena Parmar – Winner
Sarah Ouis
Sharon Thomas

Lifetime Achievement Award

Gareth Peirce


Barrister of the Year

Sultana Tafadar KC – Winner
Katy Thorne KC
Elaine Banton

Solicitor of the Year

Jenine Abdo
Polly Blenkin
Keeley Lengthorn – Winner

Rising Star of the Year

Lucy Cole – Winner
Netanya Clixby
Nasreen Shah
Saadia Sharmin

Law Student of the Year

Catherine Maunder
Hafsa Arif
La’Shaunna Williamson – Winner

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Rosie Teo
Angharad Price – Winner
Rachel Ford

Paralegal of the Year

Ella Watts – Winner
Iona Gallagher
Sophie Naughton

Mentor of the Year

Nasreen Shah
Rachel Bale
Sian Wilkins – Winner

Legal Academic of the Year

Maria Fletcher
Dr. Metka Potočnik
Professor Charlotte O’Brien – Winner

Champion of the Year

Akima Paul Lambert
Gaenor Bruce
Holly Moore
Kishma Bolaji – Winner
Sunaina Srai-Chohan

Lifetime Achievement Award

Baroness Butler-Sloss


Barrister of the Year

Rehana Azib – Winner
Morayo Fagborun Bennett
Charlotte Proudman
Christina Warner
Diana Wilson*

Solicitor of the Year

Phyllis Acheampong
Katharine Landells*
Samina Majid
Farah O’Brien
Leena Savjani – Winner

Champion of the Year

Vanessa Challess
Anthony Metzer QC
Amanda Millar*
Kenny Robertson
Lynette Wieland – Winner

Under-35 Lawyer of the Year

Faith Edmunds
Mary-Rachel McCabe*
Emma McIlveen
Chidi Onyeche – Winner
Sabrina Pervez

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Rosamund Browne
Vicky Harris*
Jenny Moore – Winner
Claire Porter-Bryant
Harpreet Sagoo

Paralegal of the Year

Toria Barnes
Rebecca Jiggens – Winner
Megan Ryan
Saadia Sharmin*
Marianna Vlas

Legal Academic of the Year

Sarah Hendry
Aoife Nolan
Shaid Parveen – Winner
Nicole Pierce*
Metka Potocnik

Mentor of the Year

Catherine Bamford
Laura Coates*
Amy Cox
Alexandra Gordon – Winner
Jade Williams-Adedeji

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dame Linda Dobbs DBE


Barrister of the Year

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
Anneli Howard
Kama Melly QC – Winner
Sheryl Nwosu
Sarah Pinder

Solicitor of the Year

Amanda Adeola
Vanessa Challess
Tracey Dovaston – Winner
Attia Hussain
Farzana Naz

Champion of the Year

Natasha Harrison
Samina Iqbal – Winner
Sabeena Pirooz
David Stone
Suzanne White

Under-35 Lawyer of the Year

Chloe Birch
Netanya Clixby
Anne Collins
Sangeetha Iengar
Karlia Lykourgou – Winner

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Shanika Amarasekara MBE
Clare Belcher
Anne Bodley, Lexlead – Winner
Amy Marren
Angharad Price

Lifetime Achievement Award

Cherie Blair QC


Barrister of the Year

Elaine Banton
Poonam Bhari
Kate Brunner QC
Professor Jo Delahunty QC
Rehana Popal – Winner
Professor Suzanne Rab

Solicitor of the Year

Hermione Allen
Danielle Ayres
Catherine Hart
Dr Laura Janes – Winner
Sarah Khan-Bashir MBE
Kelly Thomson

Champion of the Year

Dr Kim Barker
Alison Eddy – Winner
Jemima Lovatt
Sun-Hee Park
Rachel Pears
Eduardo Reyes

Under-35 Lawyer of the Year

Cynthia Jakes
Stephanie Kay
Coralie McKeivor
Coleen Mensa
Ingrid Munyaneza
Priscilla Osoba – Winner

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Penny Caven
Elaine Hutton
Catherine Palmer – Winner
Ruth Pearson
Prini Pithouse
Angharad Price

Lifetime Achievement Award

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC


Barrister of the Year

Kirsty Brimelow QC – Winner
Martha Cover
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
Angela Rafferty QC
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

Solicitor of the Year

Katja Butler
Hilary Meredith – Winner
Brandusa Tataru-Marinescu
Belinda Lester
Natasha Harrison

Champion of the Year

Ray Berg
Nilema Bhakta-Jones – Winner
Dan Fitz
Charlotte Wannedeya
Mary-Ann Wright

Under-35 Lawyer of the Year

Frances Hull
Zeena Luchowa
Katherine McAssey
Annsley MerelleWard
Rachel Welch-Phillips – Winner

In-House Lawyer of the Year

Maaike de Bie
Ruth Murphy – Winner
Jolie Norris
Anna Suchopar

Lifetime Achievement Award

Baroness Hale


Anita Jewitt – Winner
Harriet Johnson
Suzanne Keenan
Suzanne Szczetnikowicz
Jenny Wilde


Keily Blair – Winner
Annie Flower
Gemma Pesce
Claire Sng
Georgina Wolfe


Writing references, numbered as the footnotes are:

1. Assuring diversity: accessibility and disability in the legal profession, LawCareers.net, 4 July 2023
2. Agility through turbulent time, PwC Law Firms; Survey 2022
3. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: Intersectionality noun – Definition
4. Pride in the law: experience of the LGBT+ community within the legal profession, The Law Society, 15 September 2021
5. Time to consider intersectional identities, Law Gazette, 4 February 2022
6. Gender Pay Gap by Ethnicity in Britain – Briefing, Fawcett Society, March 2017
7. Autocorrected Pay Gap: National campaign launches to correct bias of Britain’s ethnicity pay gap, Marketing Communication News, 5 April 2023
8. Pay Equity and Discrimination, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)
9. Nearly 80% of UK employers pay men more than women, Financial Times, 4 April 2023
10. Nearly 80% of UK employers pay men more than women, Financial Times, 4 April 2023
11. Next 100 Voices: spotlight on women leaders in law, Next 100 Years
12. Landmark report reveals 75% of women of colour have experienced racism at work, The Fawcett Society, 25 May 2022
13. Landmark report reveals 75% of women of colour have experienced racism at work, The Fawcett Society, 25 May 2022
14. Is race and class discrimination hurting business?, Financial Times, 13 June 2019
15. Celebrating 5 role models championing ethnic diversity in the legal profession, Obelisk
16. Pride in the law: experience of the LGBT+ community within the legal profession, The Law Society, 15 September 2021
17. Women face greater risk of ‘career gap stigma’, says study, Stylist, February 2023
18. Gap years are out. ‘Gap careers’ are in for Gen Z, HRnews, 2 February 2023

Download the full report

This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. It may be subject to change or update without notice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation, assurance or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Obelisk Legal Support Solutions Limited, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.


© Obelisk Legal Support Solutions Limited 2022

Company number: 07312074

Next 100 Years is a campaign of Spark 21 Registered charity number: 1167825

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