Lawyer

Legal mentoring in London

AWS London's membership also offers the opportunity for mentoring at our events in London and surrounding areas, whether looking for help and guidance in your professional role, or looking to achieve certain goals within the Law profession. Our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience meaning they can give you sound advice.

Our role models

 
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Linda Lee – Consultant at  Radcliffes Le Brasseur and Legal Chair/Assessor of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

Linda was admitted in 1994 and now specialises in disciplinary and regulatory work. She is a past and only the third female President of The Law Society and has been Council Member for Leicestershire & Northamptonshire since 2003. She has held various key roles at Chancery Lane and is currently the Chair of the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee. In addition, Linda is Chair of the Solicitors’ Assistance Scheme, which provides advice and assistance to solicitors facing disciplinary proceedings and her other roles include Commissioner for the Criminal Cases Review Commission and a Panel Member for HS2 Ltd. Already a mum of three before herself qualifying as a solicitor, Linda was delighted to become the first mother to admit her child to the Roll on the admission of her daughter Gabrielle in 2011.

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Partner and Head of Family Department, Anthony Gold

My first experience of legal practice was when I joined a trade union firm and commenced my “articles” in 1982. It was a different world. We were not computerised. Tippex on letters was a normal thing. Briefs to counsel were always tied with pink ribbon and documents were proof-read. We were not allowed to wear trousers. Refreshments were delivered by a “tea lady” with a trolley. I recall the male partners attending the annual TUC conference driving their wives’ cars to avoid looking too wealthy. Of course, they owned Jaguars! Despite the trade union connection, I was paid the minimum wage – then £3000 pa and I did cleaning and waitressing jobs to get by. Money was one reason why I transferred my articles to Russell Cooke in Putney and qualified as a family lawyer in 1984. I was made a partner and head of the family department when I was just 26 years old. I was the second female partner at the firm. I did start to wear trousers, but law practices still had many peculiarities and frustrating features. I remember battling with my dictation machine and feeling rage on those occasions when the tape snapped and all my work was lost. The fax machine had some advantages over email. It was unreliable and the sender could never be sure that the entire document had been delivered. This gave the recipient ample time to respond! Gender equality was still a struggle. I felt it particularly when I had a baby at 30 years of age and took only 3 months maternity leave. I feared being managed out of my job which did happen in those days. I have always regretted not spending more time with my only child. On the other hand, there was lots of fun in the 1980s. Everyone had lunch on Fridays and it often lasted the entire afternoon. Beaujolais Nouveau day was a really good lunch/afternoon. Smoking indoors (yes in the office) was allowed. We had big phones and even bigger hair. One thing that has not changed is that we still have the 1973 Matrimonial Causes Act which governs divorce and financial outcomes. This elderly statute has been with me throughout my career and that’s not a good thing.

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Baroness Sally Hamwee is currently Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Home Affairs in the House of Lords.

“Are you going to be a solicitor like your father?” was enough to deter me until I had to think seriously about a career, and realised the Law would provide all sorts of opportunities. It didn’t occur to me that these might include acting for rock stars and for the Poet Laureate during my years in an entertainment and media-focused practice after Cambridge. I was lucky enough to find myself in a firm where my partners thought there was more to life than work and were entirely open to my parallel political career. The only doubt was: “Won’t you be very tired?” I had been on Richmond upon Thames Council for five years when we won control. I became Chair of the Planning Committee (“You’re a lawyer, you could do it” – actually experience in negotiating recording contracts wasn’t much help). I then chaired the pan-London planning committee, and was elected to the London Assembly, which I chaired for much of my time as a member. I had been in the Lords for some years by then, continuing to practice. It wasn’t long before I found that clients were intrigued when a division bell rang during a phone conversation; I felt pulled constantly between responsibilities to individual clients and those that arose from public duties, including everything that goes with being a peer. I have now been in the Lords for 28 years. People often say that it must be such a help, being a lawyer. Well, yes and no. Yes, because I enjoy dealing with legislation, even if my drafting still owes a bit too much to how a point would be expressed in a contract. No, in that I find it very hard to take someone else’s analysis or wording on trust; I have to check the references, and read everything. And once a lawyer, always a lawyer – my proudest moment was when the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, in response to one of my amendments, said – inaccurately – “the Noble Lady’s drafting is better than mine”.

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Madeleine Heggs

Nominated as an AWS London role model by Jennifer Fowler Madeleine Heggs qualified as a solicitor in 1955, set up her own practice and was the first woman and first practising solicitor to be appointed a Social Security Commissioner. Jennifer has nominated her stating, “I first met Madeleine in 1979 and worked closely with her as a legal assistant for the whole of her career in the Commissioners’ office. She was a committee member of the AWS for many years and an inspirational figure to me and I am sure to others. She is a person who believed in working hard and maintaining high standards but is kind and always had time to help others”. Madeleine worked in the law until she retired at the age of 72.

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Stephanie Boyce

Director of Stephanie Boyce Consulting Limited Nominated by Eunice Shang-Simpson, Council Member. Stephanie was admitted to the roll in 2002, and has a wealth of experience in corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and professional regulation. Stephanie holds a Master of Laws in public law and global governance from King’s College, UoL. Stephanie has spent most of her career working in complex environments with challenging governance arrangements, from central and local government. She is an experienced General Counsel and Company Secretary who is used to working in complex, multi-stakeholder environments. She has delivered strategic change in those complex environments, bringing clarity to strategic planning and delivering improved legal services and governance frameworks in difficult financial circumstances. Stephanie has recently been elected to Fellowship of ICSA: The Governance Institute. Stephanie also sits as an Independent Person to the Standards Committee of her local authority and as a panel member to the Independent Educational Appeals Panel and is a former presenter on the Women Lawyers Division Returners Course. Stephanie has recently been elected as Deputy Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales becoming Vice President in 2020 and President in 2021. Stephanie will become the representative body’s sixth woman president and its first ethnic minority President.

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Eileen Meredith Pembridge

Nominated by Margaret Hatwood, AWS Committee Member After my degree at Newnham studying Chemistry, Physics and Biochemistry, then a year’s Russian, I took a Diploma in Russian and French at Bath. Using these skills, I worked in Vienna as a scientific translator for the International Atomic Energy Authority then other UN agencies. I then embarked on a change of career inspired by my work with Release. I qualified in 1975. Immediately (as one could in those days) I started my own firm of solicitors, Fisher Meredith. I managed work/life balance because I married and had my children late (at age 43 and 53) so I could by then help run the firm during maternity leave and afford a live-in nanny. I got involved in legislation for Equal Pay, domestic violence, and anti-discrimination generally—at a time when women solicitors were not even allowed into the Law Society building itself! From 1987 I was one of only five female members of Council and I stayed for 16 years. There were far fewer women in the profession and I really felt there needed to be better representation and to shake up the Old Boys’ Club that the society was in those days. In 1976 I became the first woman to stand for President of the Society and was called ‘the most dangerous feminist in England’ by the ‘old boy’ who was elected. Whilst on the Council I dealt with all issues affecting the profession and its development. I was a member of, or chaired, many committees including Family Law, Dispute Resolution, Reputation, Legal Aid, Human Rights, Governance, Equal Opportunities/Diversity. I represented the Law Society at national and international conferences. I was instrumental in the creation of the Judicial Appointments Committee for the Lord Chancellor for drawing up selection criteria for judges and best practice in the legal profession. In 2005 I was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University for services to Family Law and Legal Aid. Fisher Meredith was a legal aid firm of repute for many years in several niche areas, but as public funding was cut back, we reduced our staff to about 40 in 2017. At that point we merged with the larger firm of Bishop and Sewell LLP where I still I work. I now work with higher net worth clients on relationship breakdown, financial and private law children issues, prenuptial agreements and practice Collaborative Law when possible.

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Christina Blacklaws

Past President of the Law Society I am the Immediate Past President of the Law Society of England and Wales. [As of April 2020]. I originally specialised in representing some of the most vulnerable children in our society. In the mid-2000s I set up my own law firm which I grew to be the largest specialist family law firm in the country. I started to develop new ways of delivering legal services by establishing a ‘virtual’ law firm. My firm provided all back-office services, including technological, to self-employed consultants. The law changed in the UK which allowed non- lawyers to own and manage legal businesses. I approached the Cooperative Group, to suggest that they should develop a family law offering and they agreed. In 2011, we set up the first UK Alternative Business Structure (ABS). I became a director of policy, responsible for all external affairs. Later I moved to a large law firm where I was their Chief Operating Officer – responsible for development of innovative service delivery and operational models, including technological development. I have undertaken voluntary work which included, since 2002, being a member of the Law Society Council. I became a representative of the Women Lawyers Division and started to work on issues of gender equality and balance. In 2016, I was elected as Deputy Vice President of the Law Society leading to the roles of Vice President and President. As soon as I was elected, I started to develop the three themes – Innovation and the future of legal services, access to justice and gender equality. A main strategy was the Women in Leadership in Law programme. Women are entering the law in large numbers (in the UK this has been over 50% for nearly 30 years) and yet they are not reaching leadership positions in equivalent numbers. We undertook the largest ever global survey on this subject by holding roundtables. The roundtables created discussion around the key issues: bias, lack of flexible working, the problem of difficult work/ life balances and the gender pay gap and gather women’s lives experienced from around the world. The roundtables aimed to empower women to become leaders and change makers in their own organisations, so we created a toolkit with opportunities for activism. From these round tables, we produced three reports. In June 2019, we held a symposium at which we launched, with the support of our government and all the representative bodies, the Women in Law Pledge which distils all that we have learned into some simple actions. The UK government asked me to chair the LawTech Delivery Panel- a group charged with growing the LawTech industry in the UK.

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Dr Rukia Baruti

Tanzanian-born Dr. Rukia Baruti is a qualified solicitor in England & Wales with legal practicing experience in litigation and international arbitration. She specialises in international investment law. She has been appointed as arbitrator, including as sole arbitrator, in international arbitrations. Rukia is the founder of Africa International Legal Awareness (AILA), which she currently manages. AILA is a not-for-profit organisation that works to enhance professional legal competence and promote recognition of international law expertise among African practitioners. AILA’s flagship training programme is international investment law and arbitration. Prior to founding AILA, Rukia practiced law at SJ Berwin’s International Arbitration Group in London. She is a former Vice-President of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Africa Users’ Council. She benefits from experience in the roles of Counsel, Arbitrator and Secretary to the Tribunal in arbitrations conducted under various arbitration rules including ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, SCC and the LCIA Rules. She also has a well-rounded knowledge of Public International Law and International Relations gained from her postgraduate studies. Rukia was listed in The Lawyer ‘Hot 100’ in recognition of her pro-bono work with International Lawyers for Africa, an initiative to train African lawyers.

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Alexandra Marks CBE

Nominated by Virginia Cannon, AWS London Vice Chair 2019-2020 I am nominating Alexandra Marks as a Role Model for AWSL as I believe she is an outstanding example of what lawyers can achieve in the modern world, whilst remaining thoroughly rounded people and without sacrificing their humanity. She has combined a very successful professional and judicial career with leading the Solicitors’ Company and the City of London Law Society, carrying out law reform and human rights work, and encouraging others in the profession, all threaded through with her engaging nature, sense of humour, drive, dignity, and femininity. Brief details of her career are as follows. Alexandra Marks qualified as a solicitor in 1983 and was an equity partner at Linklaters (1990-2003). She now sits as a Deputy High Court Judge, Recorder and First Tier Tribunal Judge. She was recently appointed by the Minister for Universities as the Independent Statutory Reviewer of Access & Participation Plans for the Office for Students. She was a Judicial Appointments Commissioner for six years until January 2018, and a Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (investigating potential miscarriages of justice) for five years until October 2018. In 2008-09, she was Master of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors of the City of London, and President of the City of London Law Society. Alexandra is now Chair of CEDR (the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution), a Council member of JUSTICE (the law reform and human rights organisation) and a trustee of LawCare (the mental health and wellbeing charity for the legal professions and judiciary). Formerly, she chaired Amnesty International Charity Limited; JUSTICE’s Executive Board; the Law Society’s Law Reform Board; and Prisoners’ Education Trust.

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Fiona Fitzgerald

Fiona Fitzgerald Chief Executive Fiona is chief executive of Radcliffe Chambers a traditional chancery commercial set based in Lincoln’s Inn. She joined Chambers in June 2014 and since then Chambers has grown by 60% and been named Chambers of the year by STEP, Halsbury’s Awards and British Legal Week. 2016 was a busy year for Radcliffe Chambers in that they were also awarded Chambers of the Year in the Halsbury’s Awards and British Legal Week Awards and shortlisted for many more including The Lawyer. Fiona is a member of the executive board of the LPMA which is a group of senior directors working within chambers. Previously an equity partner in a busy national practice, her role was a full-time management one. She was also chair of the Association of Women Solicitors which at the time had a membership of 18,000 solicitors. She has been a regular commentator and writer in the media on a wide range of issues from management and strategy to compliance and career development particularly for women in the profession.

Newsletters

 

AWS London May 2021 Newsletter

AWS November 2020 Newsletter

AWS London June 2020 Newsletter

Press releases

 

New Publication Launch - Legal Women

AWS London is delighted to welcome the launch of the new publication, Legal Women. Legal Women is a quarterly publication for everyone interested in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, a critical issue for all business, from private practice to legal departments in industry. Edited by distinguished former Chair of the Association, and former co-editor of its Centenary Newsletter, Coral Hill, it will be a much-needed, inclusive platform for showcasing the fantastic work of the many individual groups of women involved in the law throughout the UK, helping to provide leadership of thought and practical suggestions for real change. Please do have a look, and subscribe for free, on http://www.legalwomen.org.uk/

The University of Leeds – Gender Pay Gap Research

The Gender Pay Gap in the Legal, Financial and Professional Sectors - Call for Research Participants The University of Conducting doctoral research into the gender pay gap within the legal sector and the wider professional services. The research hopes to understand the complexities of gender pay gaps focussing on sociological factors that may impede women’s career development compared to their male counterparts. If you are interested in taking part here is the information below: The legal obligation to report gender pay gaps has highlighted positive and negative aspects of gender equality within the professional sectors where reducing, if not eliminating, the gender pay gap remains a large aspiration. This research hopes to understand those existing policies that attempt to address the gender pay gap and any problems organisations have in their successful implementation. Furthermore, it hopes to explore any social aspects of work that may act as barriers to career progression for the increasing number of women into a sector once traditionally seen as “men’s work”. What is required from me? Interviews will be conducted through video-communication (Zoom, Skype, etc.) or by phone call. Interviews can be arranged at a time that suits you and outside of traditional working hours if required. There is no strict structure to the interview, but it hopes to understand career histories, the nature of socialisation within your industry and, if applicable, strategies to address the gender pay gap. For more information, please contact: Jack Daly, Postgraduate Researcher, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change Leeds University Business School. busjdal@leeds.ac.uk

Book review: Equal to Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court

The perfect read for children ‘Equal to Everything’ written by Afua Hirsch and Henny Beaumont. Reviewed by Christl Hughes, Committee Member. ISBN 978 1 912273 485 This picture book aimed at 7 to 8-year-olds and published to celebrate Lady Hale’s retirement aims to inspire all members of next generation to believe they can reach the top of whatever profession they choose whilst focussing on the law and women. Crowdfunded by the Legal Action Group the proceeds will support LAG’s commitment to access to justice and a judiciary of the future that is fully diverse and representative of the society it serves. Ama the heroine, the daughter of a widowed dinner lady and not very good sport or art gets to go to London, visit the Supreme Court and meet Lady Hale. She also learns about the work of the Court, thus alerting the young reader to the concepts of justice, fairness, and equality. The text is in rhyming couplets and the illustration is beautiful. Essential reading therefore for girls and parents.

Book review: Women’s Legal Landmarks – Celebrating the History of Women and Law in the UK and Ireland

A fantastic review Women’s Legal Landmarks – Celebrating the History of Women and Law in the UK and Ireland (Edited by Erika Rackley and Rosemary Auchmuty) by Committee Member, Elaine O’Connor. It was difficult as a lawyer, and certainly a female lawyer, in 2019 to be oblivious to the fact that it was a somewhat landmark year for women in law. 2019 marked 100 years since the passing of the Sex Disqualification Removal Act 1919 and thus was the centenary celebration of females being legally permitted to become jurors, magistrates, solicitors and barristers. The ‘big day’ was 23 December 2019 and the fact that this was common knowledge is largely due to the First 100 years Project, the national campaign to mark the anniversary which is managed by inspirational charity, Spark21, and led by Dana Denis-Smith. The initial campaign was launched by Dana’s company, Obelisk Legal Support Solutions in 2015 and runs until 2020. Obelisk uses a pioneering outsourcing working model where lawyers work remotely for clients. This allows flexible working solutions for men and women who may previously have had to take time out of their careers for family reasons. 2019 was a great year for AWS London, and we were lucky enough to have Dana attend our event in Parliament on 13 May 2019 where, with 50:50 Parliament, we celebrated women in law and politics with a somewhat esteemed panel. Along with Dana, we were lucky enough to have in attendance on the panel, the Hon. Mrs Justice Amanda Yip DBE, the Hon. Mrs Justice Clare Moulder DBE, Frances Scott of 50:50, Clare Kelly, a former equity partner at Anthony Gold Solicitors and now Chambers Director at 5 Pump Court, Sarah Jones MP, Antoinette Sandbach MP, Wera Hobhouse MP, Mims Davies MP and Baroness Glenys Thornton. It was a privilege to see these high-profile ladies openly discussing their personal trials and tribulations in playing an integral part in our modern democracy. We have, in 2018, already celebrated 100 years of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave women the (limited) right to vote. I was lucky enough to attend an event late in 2018, organised by the Fawcett Society, where Lady Hale gave an awe-inspiring speech about the courage of women in fighting for equality in the vote, education, professional life and equal pay. I have therefore been fortunate to be privy to several “Women’s Legal Landmarks” recently which segues neatly into the narrative of this piece. To follow the special centenary edition of the AWS London newsletter, I was tasked with reviewing the tome at the beginning of this page which I will simple refer to as WLL in the interests of reducing repetition and word count. On that point I must admit that, when I received the book, I was a little perturbed about the task ahead given its hefty weight and abundance of pages. However, on reading the acknowledgment by the editors, I am amazed that this account is not the size of the human genome library at the Wellcome Collection. WLL took five years to coordinate, engaged more than 100 participants and therefore was a mammoth operation to put together. This included a series of workshops to develop the book’s structure and thematic grouping as well as training events to equip and examine academic research. This is therefore not a quick or unchallenging read, but for the reasons explained below, is an essential one. The foreword by Helena Kennedy begins by explaining that this is the story of the law and the legal profession from the perspective of women and how, “unless a heroine, villain or victim”, women traditionally went unmentioned in historical scholarship of the law. Helena is a QC practising from Doughty Chambers, Chair of the Human Genetics Commission, a member of the World Bank Institute’s External Advisory Council, on the board of the British Museum and is also a broadcaster and Labour member of the House of Lords. She holds nothing back in retelling how, when called to the Bar in 1972, only seven percent of barristers were women, and many chambers were unashamed to declare that they only accepted males. Female applicants for pupillage would be asked if they were planning to get married and, notwithstanding the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, when challenged, Heads of Chambers would say: “Women? We’ve got one.” We have used the word “celebration” many times in 2019 (and this piece already) and progress is acknowledged by Helena. However, her frank description of the accounts to follow set the tone for the book excellently. What we are “celebrating” is the removal of injustice, incredible discrimination, indignities and outright misogyny. Helena states that WLL is “a model of feminist legal history. It should make us both proud and angry.” Although we often hang our exultant jackets on the coat hooks of legislative reform and innovative case decisions, WLL considers the important role performed by feminists in achieving legal change. Lest we forget, the actual changes were often resisted and opposed and when finally enacted, were done so in a grudging fashion by “generous men in long wigs”. The themes of the book are further developed by the editors in the introduction. When calling for expressions of interest, the only criteria were that the landmark – be it a case, statute, event or monument – be from the UK or Ireland and “be significant for feminists”. As the project developed, an additional category of ‘first women’ was introduced to include pivotal moments where roles and achievements were first attained by women. This has resulted in a collection that is varied, holistic and extremely eclectic. No apology is given for the predominance of landmarks associated with property, money and body. The intention was not to produce an historic encyclopaedia as the editors explain, “as feminist scholars we work and write on issues that matter most to women, the most basic denials”. The landmarks themselves each begin with summary of landmark and then continue with context and detail before illustrating what happened next and the significance for women. Our journey begins with a Welsh prince, Hywel ap Cadwell (known as Hywel DDA or “Hywel the Good”) who on or around the year 940, codified existing laws in Wales and recognised the rights of women in doing so. Although women and men were certainly not treated equally, Hywel’s laws recognised women not as chattels but as individuals with their own freedoms and responsibilities. We then travel between books (A vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Woolstonecraft, 1792), plays (A Pageant of Great Women, Cicely Hamilton, 1909-12), actions (Match Women’s Strike, 1888), firsts (Carrie Morrison, First Women Solicitor, 1922), cases (Unmarried woman granted equitable share of property, Grant v Edwards, 1986), Acts of Parliament (Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 – yes you read that right, 1985) and academic landmarks such as the publishing of the first Feminist Legal Studies Journal in 1993. Although the structure of the landmarks themselves is clearly laid out in WLL, there are several pervasive themes throughout the book from equality, justice, representation in the legal profession and gradual elevation to the higher judiciary. Access not only to legal and political representation but to money, property and health services are explored as well, as is the use and abuse of the law to control and discipline women. On a more positive note, the importance of feminist organisations, networks and campaigns is lamented and championed, and the Association of Women Solicitors is given a place in the landmark list at number 22, for which we are extremely honoured. Aside from being an exceptional educational history book, WLL does a lot more. In producing WLL, the editors discovered that in the UK and Ireland, there is little in the way of feminist legal history as opposed to the well-established feminist treatment of history per se. WLL has political as well as academic aspirations to identify women’s voices, show how feminist activity has caused seismic shift (rather than being the result of social and institutional change), and challenge the inference that just because progress has been made, there is sufficient parity with regards to gender. There is clearly a long way still to go. I anticipate that anyone reading WLL will come away incredibly proud, certainly angry, definitely grateful and I hope, inspired.

Book Review: Career Management for Lawyers by Rachel Brushfield

Not another book by a Career Coach! Yes, but this one is a bit different. Despite the title the book is mainly aimed at solicitors and in my view more at women than men in that for example the majority of the Role Models featured are female and there is good and realistic coverage of part time/flexible working and returning after a maternity/caring break. That said the three-day week is no longer an issue solely for women – it is increasingly embraced by male GP doctors for example. Image CV preparation, willingness to drive forward and take risks (difficult for all lawyers who are trained to spot snags), resilience after rejection, developing your personal brand are all covered together with Questionnaires and pages on Action Planning. But the most interesting chapter is the first one which addresses the sadly very high attrition rate for lawyers particularly but not exclusively female. Chapter 1 entitled “Lawyers and Career Change” acknowledges that those who give up legal practice have not failed but have instead discovered that legal professional training imbues transferable skills and strengths that are much in demand outside the law. Yes, it may be time to consider eg moving from private practice into in-house or the Government Legal Service for example (although I am not sure that the traditional partnership model has gone completely “mouldy” as the author suggests) but there are other options. Under “Useful Career Resources” what is available from The Law Society is recited and AWSL gets a mention as one of the recommended organisations for networking, learning from peers, mentoring etc. Finally for the involuntary job seeker there is a paragraph on the LawCare Helpline which of course offers confidential advice on everything from redundancy to alcoholism. If I have a criticism it is that there is no mention of the Solicitors’ Assistance Scheme * for those affected by regulatory issues or SBA The Solicitors’ Charity** for (financially eligible) solicitors unable to work due to illness or needing assistance seeking a job. At just 102 pages including Appendix and Index this a very useful, readable book and I highly recommend it. Christl Hughes

Christl Hughes MBE for services to equality and charity

AWS London would like to express their heartiest congratulations to Christl Hughes, MBE for services to equality and charity. As a previous Chair of AWS National and an integral part of the current AWS committee, Christl has been forwarding the cause of equality in the law for many years. She is a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work, determination, tenacity, and imagination. AWS London can think of no better way to celebrate 100 years of women being allowed to practice law than to recognise the hard work of a lady who has been working behind the scenes for many years to forward the rights of women.

Past events

 

AWS London Theate Trip – Dolly Parton presents 9-5 The Musical

Dolly Parton presents 9-5 The Musical Thursday 12 September 2019 at 19:30 Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R 0ET AWS London are doing things a little differently this year and would like to invite you to tumble outta’ bed and stumble to Dolly Parton’s rip-roaring West End musical with us. We are taking a break from our usual ballet and opera trip and offering something new for our members. * 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the ladies manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? Inspired by the hit film and brought to you by Dolly herself, this hilarious new West End production is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business! *Theatre tickets are priced at the discounted price we can obtain for you as we are making a group booking but does include a small charge to cover our own administration costs. Tickets are priced at £35 with seats in the stall’s rows N and O. Seat allocation will be on a first come first served basis. Due to limited availability this year, tickets, are limited to a maximum of 2 per member. Do apply as soon as possible by emailing awslondon1@gmail.com with the subject heading “THEATRE19”.

Festive Quiz

Festive Quiz November 27, 2019 @ 18:30 - 21:30 « AWS London Theate Trip – Dolly Parton presents 9-5 The MusicalTackling Problems in Witness Preparation: An Interactive Workshop with speakers Amrit Dhanoa and Rosalee Dorfman Mohajer from 4-5 Grays Inn » Back by popular demand it is the AWS London festive quiz. Will last year’s team from Slater and Gordon reign supreme this year or are there some new boffins in town? When: Wednesday 27 November 2019 Where: Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobolds Road, London, WC1X 8PN (near Chancery Lane Tube) The format will be the same as last year, several rounds of general knowledge and some loosely festive themed rounds to boot. Tickets are FREE for AWS London members, but please do RSVP online for catering purposes. Non-member tickets are £10. Each team will receive drinks and snacks to help keep those brain cells going. Members, please check your emails for your unique link or email awslondon1@gmail.com if you have not received it. Non-members can buy their tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/awsl-festive-drinks-quiz-tickets-79315269105

Tackling Problems in Witness Preparation: An Interactive Workshop 

Join us at 4-5 Grays Inn with speakers Amrit Kaur Dhanoa and Rosalee Dorfman Mohajer on 30 January 2020 at 6pm. This interactive seminar, kindly hosted by 4-5 Grays Inn will take you through the various stages of preparing witness evidence in a civil case, from issuing a claim up until trial. In particular, we will be highlighting problems that frequently occur when dealing with witness evidence, and offer a best practice approach to resolving them. The following topics will be dealt with during the course of the seminar: Dealing with a difficult client Mental Capacity Issues Vulnerable witnesses and Special Measures Effective Cross Examination Hearsay Evidence Requests Equality Act Assessors Tickets are available on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tackling-problems-in-witness-preparation-an-interactive-workshop-with-spea-tickets-79316448633 All proceeds will be donated to 4-5’s choice of charity Advocate, the Bar’s National charity https://weareadvocate.org.uk/.

AWS London AGM & Dinner with Guest Speaker Laura Devine

AWS London is thrilled to announce that our AGM and dinner will be taking place at the Ivy Tower Bridge on Thursday 20 February 2020. With stunning views overlooking the Thames, we hope that this will be our best AGM yet. Plus, to top matters off, we have the inspirational Laura Devine as our after-dinner speaker. What better way to round off our centenary year than with a shining example of how women can make a real difference in the law. Tickets are now on sale!! AWS London have subsidised the price of your tickets which has enabled us to not increase our ticket prices this year. To reserve your place, at what is always a sell-out event, please complete the attached booking form and either pay using Eventbrite (there will be a small booking charge) or by transferring the sums directly into the AWS London bank account. Please note that your place will not be reserved until we receive both payment and your booking form. So, what are you waiting for? Why not treat yourself to a fantastic meal and an inspirational talk. Download your booking form HERE. Members, please contact us by email to obtain your discounted booking link. Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting and Dinner will be held at: The Ivy Tower Bridge, One Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2AA, on Thursday 20 February 2020 Drinks Reception from 6:30pm AGM at 7:00pm Dinner at 7:30pm Carriages at 11:00pm Guest Speaker: Laura Devine

Zoom Murder Mystery Event

It’s summer, 1991. Bryan Adams is STILL at number one with “(Everything I do) I do it for you” after knocking Jason Donavan off the top spot with “Any dream will do”, we are all still enjoying Madonna’s Immaculate Collection and at Cheeseman’s Holiday Park the summer is just ending and Dustin Cheeseman wants to make some changes to his park, bring in something new. A LASER QUEST! But not everyone is happy with these changes. Come and join AWS London on Wednesday 22nd July at 8pm to help Detective Slaughter discover who killed Barry Cheeseman. Tickets can be purchased through DesignmyNight and £2 from every ticket will go to support local community charities. BUY NOW This is an interactive murder mystery event that uses Zoom as a way of video conferencing – the app must be downloaded and working BEFORE the event begins. You will be sent a link 15 minutes before the event via email from Play Dead London and you will need to access the Zoom Meeting 10 minutes before your event – so make sure that it is correct when booking your ticket – ALSO DO CHECK YOUR JUNK MAIL THE DAY BEFORE YOUR EVENT AND ON THE DAY IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD FROM PLAY DEAD LONDON! ONLY ONE TICKET IS NEEDED PER HOUSEHOLD!

Meet the Experts Part 1: Fed up with being a solicitor or barrister – how about a swap of profession?

Happy New Year to all our AWS members. We all hope for a more ‘normal’ 2021 and hope to see you in person soon! To start off the year we are holding our first Zoom talk on 26 January 2021 at 6.30pm by two distinguished legal professionals, talking about their career changes from barrister to solicitor and vice versa. Why they did it, how they achieved it, and was it worthwhile? Jacqueline Major, a Partner and Head of Family Law at Hodge Jones & Allen (https://www.hja.net/legal-team/jacqueline-major/) who qualified as a barrister before training as a solicitor; and, Ann Crighton of Crighton Chambers who specialises in motoring offences (https://crightonchambers.co.uk/about/) who did the reverse, training to be a solicitor before qualifying as a barrister; Jacqueline and Ann will discuss their fascinating careers, as both are qualified solicitors and barristers. Ann was featured in our last newsletters. This will be followed by a Q&A session. The cost for members is £10, for associate members is £5 for non-members £15 To register for this interesting event, please do this via Eventbrite

AWSL AGM 2021 Thursday 25th March

We are delighted to announce that our guest speaker for our AGM will be Jenny Beck a leading family lawyer and co-founder of Beck Fitzgerald a boutique family law firm. Jenny is an award-winning family lawyer, and her latest accolade is the award of an QC (Hon) from 15 March 2021. Jenny was formerly a partner in the firm of TV Edwards, she also co-founded the Family Law service the country’s first ABS at Cooperative Legal Services. She is a current member and former chair of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee, Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee, representative on the Family Justice Council to name but a few roles. Jenny will talk about her journey in the law. Somehow, she has managed to combine all this with being a mum to two teenage girls. To enable non-members to attend our talk, we have set up two separate Zoom links, one to the AGM for members only, and the other to the talk by our guest speaker, to which we should be delighted to welcome both members and non-members. Once the AGM has finished, that meeting and Zoom link will be closed, and the second Zoom meeting will be opened, for those who have registered for it, to click onto it separately. So, if you are a member, and wish to come to the AGM and the talk, please register for both events, as indicated below, thank you. This year our AGM will take place remotely via zoom at 6.30pm. To attend the AGM, please click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/awsl-annual-general-meeting-2021-tickets-146318088341 Our guest speaker, Jenny Beck will commence her talk at 7pm. Non-members all very welcome to join. The event is free; however any donations are welcome. In honour of Linda Davies, all proceeds go to the Eve Appeal who do incredible work to support women with gynae cancers. We hope to see you all there! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/guest-speaker-for-awsl-agm-2021-jenny-beck-tickets-146326042131

Virtual Chocolate tasting with Hotel Chocolat- 28 April 2021

Take your love of chocolate to the next level with Hotel Chocolat’s ultimate virtual tasting experience. During this interactive chocolate tasting, hosted by a live chocolate expert, you will work your way through 14 of Hotel Chocolat’s bestselling truffles including milk, white and dark chocolate. You will learn the best way to experience chocolate while discovering the world of cocoa with an insider look at Hotel Chocolat’s roots to wrapper credentials, sharing imagery of their cocoa farm in St Lucia and bean to bar chocolate making process. During this relaxed and engaging session, you can share your opinions on the chocolates and learn about their creation – the perfect hour of chocolate escapism!

AWSL Annual Dinner & AGM with Guest Speaker Law Society President, Christina Blacklaws

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting and Dinner will be held at: The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin St London SW1X 7DR on 26 February 2019 Drinks Reception from 6:30pm AGM at 7:00pm Dinner at 7:30pm Carriages at 11:00pm Dress Code: Smart Casual – no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or trainers. Gentlemen required (due to Club rules) to wear suits or jacket with ties. Guest Speaker: Law Society President, Christina Blacklaws To RSVP, please complete the booking form available for download HERE and email it to awslondon1@gmail.com with your name and AGM19 as the reference. Please note that your place is not guaranteed until payment is received. All bookings must be received by 19 February 2019 to guarantee your place. Price for non-members: £80 Price for members: £70 Payment can be made through the Eventbrite booking page by clicking HERE or by direct bank transfer. If you are an AWSL member, you should have received a link to the members only booking page for a discounted price. Please contact awslondon1@gmail.com if you require this to be resent.