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Professional Female

Legal seminars in London

AWS London hosts Legal seminars covering a wide range of subjects within the Legal profession. These are great to keep up to date and gain knowledge. 

Our guest speakers have a wealth of knowledge and experience so can answer your questions and give you real-world advice.

Our seminars are held in London so become a member today to come and join our women's only association.

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Renee Wright


Renee is the current Chair of Association of Women Solicitors and a Senior Associate in the International Group Litigation Team of Leigh Day, based in their London office. Renée initially qualified into Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence and spent the first six years of her career advising on catastrophic injury claims having developed a specialist interest in high-value brain and spinal injuries, and amputation claims. Prior to joining Leigh Day, Renée has attended inquests, worked on death row cases in Mississippi, assisted the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in phase 1 of the public inquiry and worked as a panel solicitor for the Police Federation. Renee is a first generation university student, ethnic minority and female lawyer who is passionate about supporting others from similar backgrounds. She is a mentor for students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Renee has also lectured to secondary school students under the module of crime and punishment.

Christl Hughes

Christl Hughes MBE

Past Chair

Christl Hughes is the past Chair of Association of Women Solicitors, London having joined the AWSL Committee in 2014, and a past Chair of the former national Association of Women Solicitors. She was admitted as solicitor in 1980 and was in High St litigation practice for 30 years before retiring in 2011. Her office in Leicester city centre was very near to the burial site of King Richard III and when his bones were found and identified she realised the royal ghost had been haunting her as she sat at her desk dictating at night. On retirement she held the position of Trustee and Secretary of the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) for 9 years including representing the gender reassignment protected category on the national Crown Prosecution Service Community Accountability Forum. Having been appointed a trustee of The Solicitors Charity in 2014 she was elected Chair of the board for 3 years 2015/18 and currently chairs the Awards Committee. Christl is Secretary of Leicestershire Medico-Legal Society and only the second solicitor and first woman in 170 years to hold twice the office of President of Leicestershire Law Society. Christl was awarded the MBE in 2020 for her services to Equality & Charity. Her hobbies include walking and reading novels.

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Vicki Sales


Vicki qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and after a few years specialised in private family law matters to resolve children and financial arrangements. For many years she was a senior solicitor for a boutique law firm in South West London practicing only in family law matters. More recently Vicki has taken up a new role as a solicitor with Crown Prosecution Service. Vicki has been a member of the AWS London group for more than 15 years. After attending many enjoyable sociable social events and seminars, Vicki joined the committee in 2021 becoming Treasurer the following year.

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Rayssa Whitlock


Rayssa is a Solicitor at Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP and commenced her career as a paralegal at the firm in 2019. Rayssa is currently undertaking a seat in the firms Court of Protection department in their London Bridge office. Rayssa assists the Partners and Associates on a wide range of Court of Protection matters, including complex litigation and Property and Affairs Deputyship matters involving the careful management of substantial damages awards. Rayssa joined the committee in August 2022 following her attendance at AWSL events and also sits on her firms Employee Representative Forum where she promotes the views of her colleagues to the Partners. Rayssa is keen to promote inclusiveness across the legal sector and is passionate about women’s rights.

We promote and support women’s interests in the legal profession

We provide a forum for members’ achievements on our website and newsletter

We enable professional development through educational events, networking, social and mentoring opportunities

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Margaret Hatwood

Committee Member

Margaret was a family law partner in Anthony Gold from 2009 until she retired from professional life in 2018. Margaret has had a keen interest in women’s rights since she was 13. This was a significant factor in her deciding to become a lawyer. She joined the AWS London’s committee in January 2011 and was chair in 2014/2015. During her time as chair Margaret rashly committed to run a half marathon raising over £1000 for Womankind, a charity protecting the rights of women in Latin America, Africa and Asia. AWSL also raised considerable sums for the charity. Amusing fact: Margaret collects countries and she has visited 105 so far which she says is: “not bad for someone who has not had a “gap yah”.

Samantha Lewis

Committee Member

Samantha will qualify as a Solicitor at Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP in June 2023. Samantha specialises in housing related personal injury claims with a particular focus on asthma and respiratory injuries. She is passionate about tenant and disability rights; she works with charities and communities throughout the country and particularly in South East London. Samantha joined Anthony Gold as a paralegal in August 2020 before starting her Training Contract in September 2021. Prior to joining Anthony Gold Samantha worked for two national Legal 500 firms and has over 8 years’ experience in representing Claimants in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. Samantha graduated with a 2:1 BA Joint Hons degree in History and Law from Oxford Brookes University in 2012 and completed her LLM LPC at the University of Law in 2016. Samantha endeavours to promote inclusion of women with disabilities in the legal sector.

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Virginia Cannon

Committee Member

Ginny is a retired commercial solicitor. Most of her working life was spent at British Telecom as a corporate and commercial lawyer dealing with a wide variety of both UK and international transactions and contracts, mainly for its international division. After a stint as BT Broadcast Services’ first sole dedicated lawyer, she became BT’s International Compliance Manager. She left BT in 2003 when the international division was sold and went back to work for 7 years in a part-time position dealing with London Underground’s PPP and PFI Contracts. Ginny retired in 2010. She joined the AWS London Committee in 2012, was Secretary from 2013 to 2016, and Chair from 2020 to 2021. Chair of the Friends of Moorfields Eye Hospital until 2021, Ginny is now Chair of The Solicitors’ Charity (also known as the SBA), and also Chair of the Investment Managers’ Charitable Trust. She is senior Steward on the Court of the City of London Solicitors’ Company, and Vice Chair of that Company’s Charities Committee. Ginny enjoys using her experience to help the Association in its work to support the success and wellbeing of women lawyers. Her interests include a passion for opera and ballet, and for finding out what makes people tick.

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Suleikha Ali

Committee Member

Suleikha joined the committee in 2016 after attending a number of AWS events over a number of years. Suleikha qualified as a solicitor in 2013. She is a Senior Associate at JMW Solicitors LLP where she practises exclusively in clinical negligence. She is a member of AVMA (Action against Medical Accidents ) and accredited member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. Suleikha is also a committee member of Black Women in Law

Suleikha is passionate about women's rights.  

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Nicola Wainwright

Committee Member

Nicola qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and specialises in clinical negligence. She is currently a Partner and Head of Clinical Negligence - London at JMW Solictors. She works solely on behalf of Claimants, particularly those who have suffered serious life-changing injuries. Nicola is a Law Society clinical negligence panel member. She is a member of AVMA (Action against Medical Accidents) and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. She joined the AWS London Committee in 2010, having attended many excellent London AWS events over the previous years. Nicola is a past Chair of AWS London.

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Elizabeth Eigbefoh

Committee Member

Elizabeth Eigbefoh was admitted to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales in 2015. She is one of two Directors at Francis Solicitors, a busy high street firm in the borough of Lewisham. Elizabeth’s primary area of practice is family and housing law and she represents parents in public and private law proceedings. Elizabeth is passionate about family law and is part of the Family Law Reform Network. Elizabeth is particularly passionate about seeing an end to the stigma associated with male victims of domestic abuse especially within the ethnic minority communities. She is also keen to see more support given to parents whose children are taken into care. Prior to becoming a solicitor, Elizabeth worked in the civil service for 14 years and was involved in several pioneering projects in the Civil Service; one of which earned her an invitation to 10 Downing Street and another to attend the Queen’s garden party. Elizabeth enjoys reading, cooking, travelling and loves working with children and their families. She has worked in the Children’s ministry at her local church for more than 20 years.

Previous Chairwomen of AWSL

 List of Past Chairwomen of AWSL from 1992 onwards.

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1992     Alison Parkinson

1995     Anthea Grainger

1996     Karen Brockman

1997     Angela Morgan

 1998     Valerie Roberts


1999     Sue Offen (Pape)


2000     Faith Mark


2001     Elizabeth Cruickshank


2002     Fiona Muxlow


2003     Fiona Fitzgerald


2004     Dawn Dixon


2005     Sarah Nurcombe


2006     Lorna Valcin


2007     Saadia Saddiqui


2008     Joy van Cooten


2009     Penny Mackinder


2010     Danusia Brzezina


2011     Linda Davies


2012     Darlene Waithe


2013     Nicola Wainwright


2014     Margaret Hatwood


2015     Coral Hill


2016     Jessica Standley


2017     Angela Hogan


2018     Gillian Fielden


2019     Any Wedgwood


2020     Virginia Cannon

2022     Christl Hughes MBE

We have done our best to ensure that this List is accurate but if anyone does spot an inaccuracy do let us know and we will correct it


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