Legal Women May 2023

Page 1

Women on Boards

 How to be an NED

 Imposter Syndrome

 Reignite your career

2 | LegalWomen Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Don’t change what you do. Just make it easier to do. See how Clio makes legal practice management easier. Discover Clio today at or call +44-800-433-2546.


Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing

Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ

Tel: 0151 236 4141

Fax: 0151 236 0440




Joanne Casey


Catherine McCarthy


John Barry




May 2023 © Legal Women Magazine, Benham Publishing Ltd.


© Benham Publishing.

None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Publishing. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.


Legal Women Magazine welcomes all persons eligible to join our community regardless of sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation. All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not those of Legal Women unless specifically stated to be otherwise. All statements as to the law are for discussion and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance. Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified legal advice.


Editor-in-Chief: Coral Hill. Features

Editor: Molly Bellamy. Sub-editors: Gillian Fielden, Tilly Rubens, Joanne Skolnick.

Editorial Team: Enya Hood, Ramsha Khan, Charity Mafuba, Serena Reynell, Elizabeth Shimmell, Agnes Swiecka and Emma Webb. Graphic Designer: David Smith.

LegalWomen | 3 Contents 5 Foreword 8 Tamara Box Interview 10 Professor Miranda K. Brawn Interview 11 Gender Parity on Boards 12 Alternative Careers - how to become a Non-Executive Director 14 Women on Corporate Boards 16 The Right Honourable Lady Justice Nicola Davies DBE 21 Managing my imposter syndrome 22 Legal Walk 2023 25 Digital marketing for law firms: What it is and why you need it 26 Reigniting Legal Careers 29 Events 32 Book Review 26 16 10 Find us online at: Copy Deadline 31st July 2023 For the August 2023 edition Advertising Anyone wishing to advertise please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 Editorial To submit editorial, please send to:
Photo of Professor Miranda K. Brawn by Krisztina J.
4 | LegalWomen Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx How’s the weather looking this working week? Cloudy, but brighter with MyQuill. Quill’s cloud-based legal software is chock-full of new and improved features, giving you everything your law firm needs to manage your cases, contacts, and bills in just a few clicks. The result? A clear workflow, and a clearer head, no matter the weather. SCHEDULE A DEMO TODAY! 0161 236 2910 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY

Jacinda Ahern’s valedictory speech raised interesting issues about who we see as leaders. She recognised that she couldn't anticipate how her time in power would be defined in the future. However, she was clear that a different type of leadership was possible and that as a leader:

“...... you can be anxious, sensitive, kind and wear your heart on your sleeve. You can be a mother, or not, an ex-Mormon, or not, a nerd, a crier, a hugger – you can be all of these things, and not only can you be here – you can lead. Just like me.”

Many people do not see themselves reflected in the stereotypical image of leadership that society prescribes.

This edition focuses on the impact that such cultural norms, may have on company boards of directors. There has been distinct progress in diversifying the idea of leadership the UK since the Davies Report of 2011. Ramsha Khan’s article on our website http://legalwomen. gives more context on the figures in the recent past and reflects on some of the figures globally. In the UK, there are legal requirements about

female representation, which have led to a greater impact on the non-executive director roles, for which Lawyers have an ideal set of skills. In this edition you will find inspiring role models talking about their experiences in this field and others.

Turning to Legal Women Events, I am delighted that Legal Women has been able to hold events in London, Edinburgh and very soon (7 June) in Belfast. To be notified of our events, ensure you are subscribed for the magazine and emails Subscribe ( We also celebrated International Women’s Day in partnership with Hill Dickinson, Manchester with an online panel event. There’s more on our events on pages 29-31.

Finally, you’ll see the logos of some of our supporters below. We are extremely appreciative of this support and if you would like to find out more about our packages please do contact ■

LW magazine is for everyone; lawyers, solicitors, barristers, advocates, judges, legal executives and those working as paralegals, legal secretaries, advisers or recruiters, the list is endless. We welcome the many male champions as readers and contributors.

Our mission is to:

■ Provide clear information on gender parity

■ Inspire practical initiatives to create real change

■ Promote innovation in leadership and practice

LegalWomen | 5 Introduction
Foreword MAY 2023
Many thanks to our Supporters Donaghey & Chance Limited KAY GEORGIOU SOLICITORS

Enjoy a career without limits, earning up to 75% of your billing.

Taylor Rose MW is a top 60 law firm with over 30 offices nationwide and we are seeking legal professionals that are keen to work on a consultancy, fee sharing basis.

We are seeking likeminded individuals and groups of Solicitors, FCILEx or Licensed Conveyancers with 4 years PQE+ to join our consultant programme.

We provide lawyers with a unique opportunity to thrive as part of our consultant arrangement, taking back control of their life and earnings in a smart, modern and supportive environment.

You can choose to work from home, one of our offices or both!

Why choose us?

Earn up to 75% of what you bill; minimum earning 70%

Choose your own clients, fees, hours and volume of work

· Work from home, 100 days access to hot-desking facilities

PII cover up to £20 million

Free calls via our app

Access to nationwide offices and meeting rooms

Fully optimised CMS and electronic systems

Access to business development

Dedicated liaison team and technical head for ops, legal support and training

To find out more, read our brochure or arrange a confidential call, please email or visit our website

6 | LegalWomen Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
“The ethos of the firm is progressive and forward thinking, always trying to benefit clients, staff and consutants. The move to Taylor Rose MW has been life enhancing.”
Felicity Marsden, Consultant Solicitor & Partner

Editorial Board

We are delighted to receive advice from the distinguished members of our Editorial Board. Full biographies are available on our website.


Christina Blacklaws

Past Presdient of The Law Society of England and Wales. Christina is a multi-award winning published author, speaker and frequent media commentator on innovation and diversity and inclusion.

Millicent Grant QC (Hon) FCILEx

Millicent is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (2017/18) and currently a member of the Institute’s Appointments and Scrutiny Committee. Millicent has worked to tackle diversity and inclusion on the legal profession and judiciary, contributing to the Preapplication Judicial Education (PAJE) Programme. She is the only Chartered Legal Executive to be appointed an Honorary Queens Counsel. She is chair of the Knights Youth Centre, an independent youth work charity.

Janem Jones practised for many years as a partner and senior partner in a West Wales firm where she specialised in Family Law, Education Law and Criminal Law. She now works as a consultant for Williams and Bourne as an experienced advocate.

Sally Penni MBE is a barrister at Kenworthy’s Chambers, Manchester, whose practice encompasses Criminal (including Cyber Crime) and Employment Law. Sally is a Bencher at the Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn, Founder of Women in the Law UK and regular broadcaster of the highly acclaimed podcast.


Karen O’Leary leads Caldwell & Robinson’s Family Law practice. Qualified to practice in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England, and Wales, Karen is regularly consulted by government and state agencies on legal matters from other jurisdictions. She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL).


Alison Atack

Past President of The Law Society of Scotland. Formerly, Alison was a member of the Regulatory Committee and convener of the Client Protection Sub-Committee. She was a partner at Lindsays.

Volunteer positions at Legal Women

Currently, all of us are volunteers to get this publication going. If you would like to be involved in:

■ sourcing and checking copyright on images ■ working on events and following up funding opportunities ■ writing content for social media, blogs and magazine features

Feel free to email with brief details about yourself. ■

LegalWomen | 7 Introduction

Tamara Box Talks to Joanne Skolnick about the Progress of Women on Boards

Can you please tell us a bit about your background?

I’m a transplanted Texan but I’ve now been in the UK longer than I lived in the US, so I mostly consider myself a Brit but for this pesky accent. I came to the UK to complete my economics degree at the London School of Economics and fell in love with London and learning. I went back to the US to do a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center, then worked in New York and Singapore before I finally got back to London in 1997.

As a structured finance lawyer, I’ve worked in six law firms, five of them as a partner. I’ve been at Reed Smith for just over 11 years, including on our global board for eight years and in our senior management team for over six years. Prior to joining senior management, I ran our largest practice group, the Financial Industry Group.

What is the 30% Club and why did you help found it?

The 30% Club is a business campaign started in 2010 with the mission of boosting the number of women in board seats and executive leadership of companies all over the world. By showing board chairs the value of having gender diversity on their boards, we have enlisted the support of over 1,000 of them worldwide to help achieve that goal.

I wanted to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative because I believe in women’s equality and I know that women are an asset to businesses; marrying those two principles brought about the 30% Club.

When the 30% Club started out in the UK, women made up just 12% of the UK’s largest company boards. Should it now be called the 50% Club since 40% of board members on the FTSE 350 are women? Is parity now the goal? The 30% Club will remain the 30% Club because that number – 30% – is the tipping point. Studies have shown that when women are 30% of a group, whether on a board or a senior executive team, they are able to influence results and change staid, entrenched views by bringing a different perspective to the group. Once that tipping point is reached, momentum takes over and the group populates itself according to the skills

and talents needed in the group. Having recognised those skills and talents in women (and not just in the traditional “pale and male” standard of the past), teams find themselves edging closer and closer to parity organically. Parity was always the goal, however.

The 30% Club started in the UK and there has been tremendous progress here. But in some other jurisdictions, we’re nowhere near 30% yet.

What are your views on the progress women have made to date?

While the number of women on boards has appeared to be increasing rapidly, we need to look beneath the surface and see that most of those positions are non-executive. That’s not to diminish the contributions of non-executive directors. But it is important to see where we still need to integrate women into the decision-making circles of our FTSE companies, namely in the senior management teams, or C-suites. Businesses would benefit, and the boards would also benefit, as more women would be able to move to NED positions after having held executive director positions, bringing an added dimension to their governance.

But the executive pipeline has barely moved in all these years. The number of women CEOs and chairs remains largely in the single digits. While there has been a lot of progress, there is still quite a distance to go, to a greater degree in some places than others..

Does the fact that the UK reached the 40% milestone through voluntary measures alone mean that mandatory measures such as those adopted by Norway and those which will be implemented throughout the EU are not needed?

Voluntary is doable and the UK has proven that. Government pressure and support has made a difference.

With quotas, the requirement is to have a certain number of women on the board. Some women serve on multiple boards so that there is not real diversity. One of the problems associated with quotas is the “golden skirt” phenomenon, where one woman is tapped to hold board positions in a

8 | LegalWomen
Women on Boards
Tamara Box Tamara Box is the Managing Partner for Europe and the Middle East at Reed Smith LLP and a Founding Member of the 30% Club’s Steering Committee.
One of the problems associated with quotas is the “golden skirt” phenomenon
Image by David Smith using Midjourney

number of companies simultaneously. It’s insulting to our gender to assume that there are so few women out there who could be good NEDs that we have to keep going back to the same ‘well’ for the next company appointment. Yet some companies chose to meet the quota quickly by appointing the first woman whose name came up as an existing board member.

On the other hand, some companies won’t change anything without either a carrot or a stick encouraging them to do so. For those companies, the quota was the stimulus that started the ball rolling. Although we never imposed quotas in the UK, we did initiate some carrots and sticks in the form of publicly revealing the gender breakdown on the boards of each FTSE company. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as we say. Giving publicity to a company’s success or failure in meeting the targets served that purpose.

Are compulsory quotas for women on boards the quickest way to achieve gender equality? Is there any place for mandatory measures where companies who fail to meet certain targets are sanctioned?

To date, we have functioned on the basis that self-reporting will expose the outliers and the stubbornly intransigent. “Comply or explain” is the primary approach of the Financial Reporting Council, for example. If we want change to occur faster or more extensively, perhaps we should consider additional sunlight rather than sanctions. Businesses shouldn’t get away with saying they can’t find qualified women. There are qualified women out there, so it just remains for businesses to be sure to be cultivating their talent and choosing well for their business needs.

You can look at a picture of a team that has half women, half men and think that this shows equality. It doesn’t. Equality is a state of mind, an inclusivity that respects the views and contributions of each person equally. But unconscious bias from centuries of traditional patriarchal business philosophies gets in the way of equality and it exists in the minds of both men and women. Changing that starts with role models –women in roles traditionally held by men, and men in roles traditionally held by women – so that the unconscious mind no longer associates a particular role with a particular gender. To effect real, long-lasting change, we have to change the implicit bias to ensure that we all actually believe that women are equal.

According to research, more diverse companies outperform less diverse ones. Why do you think that is the case? That’s easy: they are more open to novel ideas and less subject to the “groupthink” that causes companies to keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Utilising a full range of cognitive diversity, companies are more likely to consider new ways of doing business, new markets to explore and better ways to attract talent. In short, they create a better company and that shows up in their financial performance.

Volumes of research support the value of diversity on boards and in business more widely, from greater innovation and risk aversion to improved financial performance.

What suggestions would you have for women who are trying to join corporate or charity boards?

Always keep learning. If you have been siloed in a particular line of work, branch out and learn other aspects of corporate decision-making. Don’t be afraid to move laterally in your career; every new thing you learn by doing a different type

of work will be valuable to a company who is looking for governance across a range of disciplines.

Volunteer with charities and organisations in order to gain some experience in governance. Seek out mentors who can help you fill in the gaps in your experience or knowledge. If you want to be on a particular board, learn everything you can about that business: its strategy, its markets, its objectives and its leadership. You are looking for organisations with whom you have compatibility – you believe in them – and therefore want to do your best to help them succeed.

Although considerable progress has been made, what more needs to be done?

The short answer is that we need to ensure that women are equally represented in the executive teams of companies, not just the boards. That would bring immediate benefit to the companies and would give women the role models needed for the next generation.

The longer answer involves inclusion and respect, a subject that entails re-examining the unconscious hierarchies of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and any other genetic or physical feature that might be used to assign places in the pecking order. These hierarchies are the enemy of equality; no one is inherently “better” than anyone else.

LegalWomen | 9 Women on Boards
The 30% Club will remain the 30% Club because that number - 30% - is the tipping point.
Image by David Smith using Midjourney

Women on Boards -

You achieved your childhood dream when you called to the Bar of England and Wales in your 30s, having spent the earlier part of your career as an investment banker, financial services executive and hedge fund sales trader. What areas of law have you practiced?

In-House banking law at a few global investment banks notably within derivatives, capital markets and financial regulations.

How long have you been a lawyer?

Over 10 years which formed the second chapter of my career. The first chapter was that of an investment banker and hedge fund sales trader. I am now on my third chapter utilising my skills as a lawyer to this very day with over one decade of being a boardroom advisor across multi-sectors.

What made you transition from law to the board room?

I wanted a new challenge and I already had over 10 years of NED (Non-Executive Director) boardroom experience (which commenced about 13 years ago, working for a Charity) while working as a lawyer so the transition was quite organic.

What are the skills that you gained in law that you have used in the boardroom?

There are many skills which include my knowledge of regulations and policies, ability to weigh up points and counter points, skill in creating a logical argument and reasoned conclusion from a set of facts, being a good communicator with people at all levels not just within the boardroom, ability to work under pressure and of course being able to review documents and lots of board papers at speed while exercising my negotiation skills to name but a few.

What has your boardroom experience been like as a woman, especially one of colour?

I have really enjoyed it and to be honest my gender and race have not been an issue to date. As one of the first women of colour on the trading floor in the 1990s, I am used to being the only one. My focus has been on the delivery of excellent board advice and making sure that I am not the only diverse person in the boardroom by speaking up and using my voice to help close the diversity, equity and inclusion gaps.

You sit on varied boards from law tech start-ups to an NHS Foundation as well as The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation. You have served as both executive and nonexecutive director. What are the distinctions between these roles?

Executive directors manage the company and develop relevant strategies for growth, whereas a non-executive director provides relevant and valuable insights based on their expertise to assist in policy development and decision-making. I am often an independent non-executive director and/or external board advisor which means that I am not a full-time employee of the company and totally independent to provide ad hoc advice and guidance on the profitable and innovative growth of the organisation while attending board meetings to provide approval, make decisions, support and recommendations for the strategy etc.

What steps should a lawyer wanting to transition to NED roles take?

Lean into your network and let others know about your career aspirations to become a NED. You have to be proactive and seek out NED roles while also looking at your CV. Your executive CV will be different from your board CV. For example, a board CV needs to start with any board related experience.

What advice and tips would you give to others who aspire to be NEDs. Keep going and do not quit. Once you get one board role the others will follow. Networks like, Women on Boards UK and TMBDLF's Black Women on Boards initiatives are good starting points. You have an award-winning UK registered Charity, The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation (www.tmbdlf. com) which launched the UK’s first “Black Women on Boards” initiative. What is its purpose ?

Our Charity’s mission is to eliminate the diversity, equity and inclusion gaps in and out of the workplace. We offer innovative leading scholarships, annual diversity leadership lecture events which made UK history as the first of its kind on the 16th of October 2016. We cater for all diverse backgrounds however we originally launched 7 years ago to raise the awareness and act to closing the race diversity gap. However, today we cover all diverse backgrounds and races. The Black Women on Boards initiative was launched to help get more black women into the boardroom. There is less than 1% globally and this needs to change rapidly.

As a philanthropist, I support and partner with other amazing charities because I truly that collaboration is part of the key to solving many of the business, legal and world issues including racism, inequality, injustice and climate change.

You accepted the prestigious offer as a Senior Visiting Fellow at The University of Oxford, where you are researching and lecturing on “The Brawn Review”. Can you tell me more about this?

The Brawn Review is an independent report on boardroom sustainability, inclusion and corporate governance which will be published next year in 2023. We are working with global organisations such as Hogan Lovells, KPMG, Reed Smith and Goldman Sachs alongside global leaders to produce a guide on how the boardroom and organisations can be become more inclusive and sustainable. This is mostly on how to make the boardroom and workplace more diverse, inclusive and sustainable through innovative growth with the appropriate risk management and corporate governance techniques at Oxford University.

What’s one of the main success tips for you?

“If you do not ask, you do not get!” I like to spread kindness around like confetti and wish to leave a legacy to help others wherever I go especially through The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation. We have created our own family of amazing leaders who radiate kindness and are just good people. Life is too short to associate yourself with anyone less than that! I love the quote that states: ‘You are a true success when you help others. Be successful!’ In fact, my upcoming book will share this and much more about my career journey.

What is next for you?

Hopefully more magic and joy while living my best life to the fullest! I am also planning my 2023/24 book and public speaking world tour, where there is also Hollywood interest from film producers to produce a film on my life which is all rather exciting and humbling. I have the capacity for another corporate board role within a FTSE100 or S&P 500 company so watch this space.

10 | LegalWomen Women on Boards
Image by Armand Khoury on Unsplash Professor Miranda K. Brawn Charity Mafuba Multi award-winning diversity, inclusion and sustainability champion Professor Miranda K. Brawn is working to change the global boardroom. Charity Mafuba chats with her about her life moving from banking to law to the boardroom.

Gender Parity on Boards

Helen talks to Bhini Phagura, of Rayden Solicitors, about her view on gender parity on Boards.

Why do you consider gender parity on Boards is important?

Women are 50% of the population, it is therefore logical that they should hold 50% of the senior roles. It provides diversity of thought amongst other things. There is a great deal of research that shows Boards with Gender Parity outperform those which do not have it (McKinsey published another survey in April). The risk profile is more robust, challenge, debate and the dynamic greatly improved. From a role model perspective, it is also important. A myth for many years was that women are risk averse; this has not been proven to be the case, typically women take a more reasoned view, consider if there are any unintended consequences, pay attention to cultural nuances etc.

When I was a member of the Senior Executive Team in Grand Metropolitan, I was one of only four women in the cadre. This has now changed and GrandMet (now DIAGEO) is one of the leading companies in the FTSE 100 for Diversity (in all its forms) as evidenced in the recent FTSE Women Leaders’ Review.

Do I think I was disadvantaged as a woman - No! Did I feel I had to work harder to prove myself? Yes, but this was a selfimposed limitation.

What is your view on the progress of gender parity on Boards to date?

The progress has been good. I involve myself in a lot of initiatives that have supported the progress on Boards. A number of Boards have a 50:50 representation and have certainly hit the targets set by the Women Leaders’ initiatives.

When these initiatives first started the progress was woeful. Sir Mervin Davies, who headed the initiative, publicly named and shamed those Chairman who did not have a woman on their Board and challenged them to resign. It sent shockwaves throughout the system that a man would say these things and effectively challenge the, then ‘boys club’!

The area that worries me more is the pipeline, women tend to leave organisations as a result of the culture, lack of flexible working, etc. This reduces the available pool. The pandemic has proved that we can work different i.e., flexibly, remotely, hybrid etc, which has benefited those with caring responsibilities and enabled people to remain in the workforce.

The pipeline will determine whether we have enough women who can come through to the Board, promoting more suitably qualified women into key executive roles is vital and should

be a key KPI for any Chief Executive, Chairman or Senior Executive. Board Evaluation can shine a light on this. As a Board Evaluator I often find it is the Chairman who have daughters who have been most supportive of this.

What tactics should be adopted for greater gender parity? I don’t believe tactics work, there has to be a clear strategy. It will not work if it is a series of individual tactics, the strategy needs to be embedded into the business imperatives and it must be the responsibility of every single leader at all levels in the organisation.

You have held a number of high profile positions on Boards, how did you build your career towards that profile? I was purposeful about it. I have had several good mentors over the years (all male). I analysed my skills, sector experience etc (manufacturing, publishing, education, charity, food, drinks, legal) and created a pie chart, the segments were Law, Commercial, Education and Charity. This reflects the portfolio I have now. It meant I had clarity upon the roles I wished to pursue based on where I could add best value.

If female lawyers are interested in developing their CV in order to apply for Board positions, what steps should they take?

First and foremost, women should understand their transferable skills. It is true, lawyers are not the first port of call for a Chairman, however, the transference skills are, i.e. strategic, influencing, questioning, analysing, summarising asking good questions, drawing people out, are all skills that are needed on a Board. Presenting your material (CV) in that way will be of interest to a Chairman. Sector knowledge is also important.

Networking is also key and not a ‘nice to have’. It ensures connectivity to the right people and also increases our knowledge and insight if done well.

Participating in education around the role of Boards and Directors is also key. There are many programmes, INSEAD, IOD, Financial Times etc. I personally believe that it won’t be long before the regulators mandate that you cannot be on a Board without being appropriately qualified. CPD is also important as the roles and responsibilities of Directors are changing fast. Also, the liabilities for NED and Executives are exactly the same, understanding this is key.

LegalWomen | 11 Women on Boards
Bhini Pagura Helen Pitcher OBE was appointed as Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission in January 2023. Pitcher OBE Image by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Alternative Careershow to become a Non-Executive Director

Insights from Christina Blacklaws

When I finished as President of the Law Society of England and Wales in 2019, I decided I didn’t want to return to a full-time role and so I started to explore my options.

The positions that really attracted me were still in the legal sector but in a more independent, strategic and supportive role.

Four years on and with several Non-Executive Directorships under my belt, I can confidently and fully recommend this career choice to anyone.

I love the fact that I am actively helping and supporting my businesses (most of which are law firms) to achieve their goals. I am intimately involved and invested in these businesses- I really care- but it is not my responsibility to do the work to make success happen. I am there to monitor, challenge, support and feedback, but, ultimately, their success is their own. I am their ‘critical friend’ and this often means also acting as coach and mentor to senior executives in the business.

I’ve had opportunity to help develop strategies around issues about which I am passionate- such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, purpose and vision and innovation and technology. This gives great job satisfaction but also freedom in a way I had not experienced in all my many previous roles (although, please note, that NEDs have the same responsibilities as executives under Company law).

In this article, I want to help you to consider and, if it’s right for you, to successfully apply for NED roles.

How to become a non-executive director



• Strategic thinking

It is helpful to have the ability to evaluate goals and provide creative solutions that improve the business over the long term. A big part of this is developing clear and practical aims, working out how realistic they are and how long it might take to reach them, while also thinking about the possible outcomes, setbacks and opportunities.

• Diligence

A non-executive director frequently has control over internal audits and performance measurements. As a result, they have a high standard of diligence in carrying out their responsibilities and keeping up with industry standards. Successful non-executive directors have a thorough understanding of compliance and regulation, personal integrity and attention to detail.

• Objectivity

An outside viewpoint is amongst the most helpful things a nonexecutive director may provide. This helps to work out future corporate objectives and advancements. A non-executive director maintains objectivity and handles problems at a distance from the organisation.

• Creativity

Using creativity means finding new ways to solve problems or looking at them differently. In a dynamic corporate world, agility and innovation are essential talents. Non-executive directors may develop unique insights and ways of thinking through creative thinking, which helps an organisation become futureready.

From my perspective, those with a legal skill set are often very well placed to successfully apply for NED roles.

2.Prepare for the role

Be specific about the kind of organisation you want to work with. Governance is a huge part of the role, but this will vary significantly in terms of size and type of organisation. Smaller organisations might be more involved in operational matters. If you enjoy this, it might be wise to concentrate your efforts on smaller entities.

A non-executive director demonstrates an awareness of business finances and legal issues to oversee an organisation effectively. Normally, this results from your executive profession, but to be sure you have the skills necessary to analyse an organisation's, consider enrolling in a personal development programme.

3. Update your CV

As with any other job search, evaluate your career to date and check that it accurately captures your experience before applying for a non-executive director position. Remember that this position places a strong focus on personality and talent, not just your professional accomplishments. Make sure your CV demonstrates your independence and willingness to make judgements.

4. Get the right experience

The market for non-executive directors is quite competitive. It might be particularly challenging to land your first non-executive director role, but there are several preparatory steps you can take to increase your chances:

• Consider accepting a non-executive director position at a non-profit or charitable organisation. Not only might this be tremendously rewarding, but you will also gain useful experience.

12 | LegalWomen Women on Boards
Christina Blacklaws Image by David Smith using Midjourney

• Try to locate a mentor who currently serves on a board. Ask them to provide you with insights into how the board functions, suggestions, access to director networks and personal recommendations.

• Become a school governor. The obligations and responsibilities of a school governor are almost identical to those of a non-executive director. You become a more wellrounded candidate as a non-executive director when you combine your commercial skills with the ability to offer an objective viewpoint in operating a school.

5. Do your research

Before you apply for any job, get your facts straight. Become an expert on the company and the markets or the sectors it operates in. If you join the board of a company, it is a big decision with legal responsibilities so back it up with as much information as you possibly can. Act as if you were about to acquire the business and make your due diligence match the investment.

6. Prepare for the interview

It is critical to distinguish between promoting yourself as an executive and a non-executive director during your interview. Although you may discuss any relevant executive management experience career during your interview, try to focus on the knowledge you have obtained, the lessons you've learnt and how you might apply these to the organisation. In general, when interviewing for a non-executive director position at a big firm, emphasise your independence and ability to challenge things positively. In a smaller organisation, they may seek a decisionmaking partner with experience and empathy.

Not every organisation looking to hire a non-executive director has a functioning board or even a chairperson. In certain cases, forming a suitable board begins with the appointment of a non-executive director. This is especially true in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, where a foundermanaging director eventually realises they can no longer operate in a vacuum in terms of making strategic decisions. The process here may be much less formal.

7. Evaluate the opportunity

After the interview take the time to reflect on what happened and what you have learnt. What value could you realistically add to the board? Do you like the people who would be your colleagues? Could you work with them and would they listen to you? Would you be able to influence them in the way you would like? Having reviewed all of this, you need then to make the decision. Do you really want this role and are you ready to commit three years of your life to them - or more? Sometimes in major negotiations like this, the further down the track you are, the harder it is to walk away. Do not let this happen to you. Go back to the definition of the perfect role that you created at the outset and measure this role against it. Does it fit? If it does not, does it matter? Are you willing to compromise or are you in danger of taking something that is wrong? If it is wrong - walk away. Better to do that than to find yourself in the wrong environment.

8. Keep building your network

Maintaining and building relevant networks does not come easily to everyone. LinkedIn is a very powerful tool and you

can create opportunities to engage with complete strangers from the safety of your own keyboard. New directions require new networks so work out how you plan to join the circles that you would like to be part of. Opportunities generally come through people you know so make sure that you are visible and connected. Find the networking routes that suit you and your personality.

9. Stay current

Your executive role may have kept you one step away from changes in the way that business is done. There is no excuse for anyone today not to have an informed view on Social Media, understanding how it works and what value it can add to business today. Understanding technology and the impact on business, people and strategy is a critical part of anyone’s skill set.

10. Time commitment

A non-executive director invests a significant amount of time in managing the organisation. Make sure you can commit the necessary time (and a bit more) to the role.

Wishing you every success and hoping to hear that some of you are keen to join the ranks of NEDs!

former President of The Law Society of England and Wales, founder of Blacklaws Consulting and works with law firms on market intelligence, insight, and analysis.

LegalWomen | 13 Women on Boards
Christina Blacklaws Image by David Smith using Midjourney

Women on Corporate Boards

Asignificant milestone for gender equality in the UK was reached when it was announced in February 2023 that women now hold 40 per cent of FTSE 350 board seats, up from just 9.5 per cent in 2011. This was the key finding of a report published by the FTSE Women Leaders Review (WLR), a government-supported but voluntary business campaign that advocates for more women in the boardroom and in senior management roles.

For the past 20 years there has been a greater focus on women in business and on corporate boards, starting with the Davies Review in 2011. This independent review recommended more diverse and inclusive boards, including gender targets.

At the time, 152 of the 350 largest company boards did not have a single woman. By 2020, women were represented on every large company board in the UK. And after a little more than a decade, women now hold two out of five publicly listed board seats – or 1,203 women - three years earlier than expected.

This is a laudable achievement. But women are still greatly underrepresented in leadership roles, particularly in senior management or the C-suite. While progress has been made, considerably more work needs to be done before women achieve gender parity.

Voluntary Targets vs Mandatory Quotas

Progress in the UK has been achieved through voluntary targets, government prodding and public “naming and shaming” via disclosures in annual financial reports, rather than quotas. There has been a debate for years over whether mandatory directives, such as those found in Norway and France, are necessary to increase the number of women. According to the WLR the UK is now second only to France in female boardroom representation internationally, and just ahead of Norway.

Norway was the first country in the world to introduce gender quotas for all publicly traded companies in 2003. By 2006 it required boards to be 40 per cent female or be subject to sanctions, including possible dissolution. Other countries in Europe, such as Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, set similar quotas but with less severe sanctions. A recent European Union directive requires all member states to have at least 40 per cent women non-executive directors on large corporate boards by 2026.

The UK has demonstrated that voluntary measures can be effective, particularly with regard to directors in the largest companies. But the proportion of women on executive committees and direct reports to the executive committee is around one-third, even at the largest 100 companies.

For CEO and chair roles, the numbers are sobering. Women make up less than one in five chair roles, with only 55 women chairs and 21 female chief executives across the entire FTSE 350. Moreover, women in senior management tend to hold Human Resources Director or Company Secretary roles, rather than a Finance Director role, which is regarded as a stepping stone to becoming a CEO.

Benefits of Greater Inclusion on Boards and in C-Suites

Socially conscious investors who care about environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are increasingly pushing for diversity and inclusion in the companies they fund. Customers are demanding this too.

Some research suggests that companies with greater gender diversity on boards and in senior management are more likely to be profitable, among other benefits. More diverse leadership helps

organisations make better business decisions since they can draw on a wider range of opinions and viewpoints. Businesses become more open to change and develop less appetite for extreme risk. Companies which embrace diversity and inclusion also perform better because they attract the best talent. Besides the moral argument, including more women makes good business sense.

Next Steps

The WLR group is recommending that every FTSE 350 company have at least one woman appointed to the top corporate roles of chair, CEO, finance director and senior independent director by the end of 2025.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates listed companies, has also called for greater diversity. Last year it introduced new gender and ethnic targets for listed companies, along with an obligation to comply or to explain why they have not done so. The FCA now requires at least 40 per cent of the board be composed of women; at least one top corporate role be held by a woman; and at least one board member be from an ethnic minority background. These are important steps in the path to achieving diversity and should help reduce bias in the selection process for senior roles.

But achieving true equality will require going further. A change in corporate culture is needed so companies support policies that provide equal opportunities in the workplace. The pandemic paved the way for greater acceptance of flexible working, which had been requested by many working women for years - and which businesses managed to implement with remarkable speed when the bottom line required it. These more progressive workplace practices, along with recent government measures on flexible working, benefit all employees and create a stronger workforce. Businesses also need to do more to support women returning from maternity leave or career breaks. These changes can help ensure that there are more women in the pipeline for senior executive roles and that women do not fall off the corporate ladder -- thereby also helping to close the gender pay gap.

Companies should also make sure that women’s voices - and a broad range of voices - are actually heard, and not just present, in the boardroom. Women on boards are expected to be direct but to also display warmth and empathy, according to research published in January 2023 in the Harvard Business Review. Therefore, even when women have broken barriers to reach the boardroom, they still have to navigate gender stereotypes and expectations. Greater support of women from chairs and CEOs modelling inclusive practices, along with acceptance of different leadership styles, will help guarantee that women’s perspectives are considered – and that women are found at all levels of decision-making.

Attaining gender equality requires a long-term, sustained commitment. Tamara Box, Managing Partner, EME, at Reed Smith LLP and a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club – which campaigns for gender balance on boards and in C-suites globally - has been championing this issue for years. (see interview in this edition of LW). As she sums up: “Representation matters. And it requires constant effort until it becomes the norm.”

14 | LegalWomen Women on Boards
Image by David Smith using Midjourney

How can we evaluate potential?

Yale School of Management Finance Professor Kelly Shue studied almost 30,000 management track employees at a large North American retail chain. Her study of the chain's evaluation and promotion data found that women consistently got higher performance ratings than men, but consistently received lower potential ratings as well. Why was this?

Shue worked with colleagues Danielle Li (MIT) and Alan Benson (University of Minnesota). They described the evaluation process of the company as follows: "Managers use a “nine-box” grid—a commonly used tool at large organizations—to evaluate their employees, giving them a low, medium, or high score on their performance over the prior year and a low, medium, or high score on their potential for growth and development. The employees with high scores for both performance and potential—those in the upper right quadrant of the grid—are most likely to be promoted."

Their paper noted that while real-world metrics contributed to the performance rating, the potential rating was more abstract, and therefore at risk of bias from the evaluator. They expressed concern that characteristics such as assertiveness, charisma and ambition were commonly associated with leadership potential, while also being highly subjective and stereotypically associated with male leaders.

They also considered the possibility that evaluators were correct in their assessment that women were high-level performers but lacked the skills to be successful in different roles in the future (what the 'potential' rating implies). However, they found the opposite. They identified men and women with similar performance and potential ratings for one period, then looked forward to see how they diddid their potential ratings come true? They found that for the same potential rating, women tended to receive a higher performance rating in the next period as well (whether or not they had been promoted). And the cycle continued - women continued to receive lower potential scores even after they demonstrated through their performance that the previous period's potential score was inaccurate.

The authors also checked whether female evaluators would be less susceptible to this trend, but they did not find significant differences in the evaluation practices of male and female managers. It is possible that female evaluators fear being seen as 'unfairly' favouring other women, so are peer pressured into mimicking the sex ratios of their promotion cohorts as the wider organisation.

Overall, Shue describes a system where women get progressively lower potential scores relative to their actual future performance the higher up the organisation you go. The key takeaway of the research is that managers were consistently underestimating women's ability to perform in the future, resulting in a 'promotion gap'.

So, what can organisations do to close this gap? One solution would be to remove potential ratings from the evaluation system and promote based on proven performance. The advantage of this step is simplicity, but it could have other consequences. Shue's earlier research has shown that those performing best in their current role do not always perform as highly in the next role, especially when those roles have different responsibilities. As an intermediate step,

organisations could adjust the weighting they place on performance and potential, to rely more heavily on performance rather than 50:50. In an ideal world, organisations would employ data scientists to look for systematic gaps between performance and potential ratings like those in the study. They could also continue to identify other metrics that predict leadership talent, beyond manager evaluations. As investment in Diversity & Inclusion grows, organisations should consider using that spend on data scientists and specialists in organisational behaviour. With better insights, management should be able to make better decisions, which should give a better return on investment than motivational speakers.

Shue, K. et al (2022) "Potential" and the Gender Promotion Gap.

Shue, K (2021) Women Aren't Promoted Because Managers Underestimate Their Potential. Yale Insights.

Women Aren’t Promoted Because Managers Underestimate Their Potential | Yale Insights (

LegalWomen | 15 Article
ALCHEMIST BUNDLES Call us: 0333 0902 908 Create Legal Bundles. Instantly. • Dynamic Index • Hyperlinks   • Pagination • Monthly Contract • Unlimited Bundles   Dedicated bundling software Book a free demo today ‘
…characteristics such as assertiveness, charisma and ambition were commonly associated with leadership potential…

The Right Honourable Lady Justice Nicola Davies DBE

As told to Sally Penni MBE

Career of Lady Justice Nicola Davies

1992 -Took Silk

1998 - appointed Recorder

2003 – appointed Deputy High Court

2010 - appointed Justice of the High Court

2018 – appointed Lady Justice of Appeal

LJ Nicola Davies is the first woman from Wales to have held the roles of QC, High Court Judge, Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit (2013-2017), Lady Justice of Appeal, Treasurer of an Inn of Court.

Iattended the Royal Courts of Justice not as an advocate but to interview The Rt Hon Lady Justice Nicola Davies DBE and was greeted with a cup of tea and some rather nice biscuits which have done nothing for my waistline nor marathon training! The room was filled with books and folders as one might expect for a Court of Appeal Judge. Also present were tulips on the table and a sketch of Her Ladyship in her red robes presented to her by the staff of Cardiff Crown Court at the end of her years as a Presiding Judge in Wales and a photograph of three women judges sitting in Swansea as a constitution of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, a gift from the court ushers marking the historic moment.

I started by asking what significant changes there have been since LJ Nicola Davies was called to the Bar.

LJ: The significant changes relate to the recognition of the issues which women face, and continue to encounter. These issues include:

- Lack of support for those with caring responsibility, to an extent these have been addressed

- Recognition that caring responsibilities extend beyond those of children

- The fair and transparent allocation of work, the absence can result in a disparity of income as between genders

Some changes:

- the creation on most Circuits of a Women’s Forum. The Temple Women’s Forum was established in 2011, in February 2022 the Inns of Court Alliance was formed, all four Inns joined together to support and encourage women. These were not in existence when I was at the Bar.

I was shocked that when LJ Nicola Davies commenced her career, she was the only woman in chambers for seven years.

LJ: In the chambers where I did my first six months pupillage, my pupil master told me that as chambers had two women tenants they would not take a third. As a result I went to another set of chambers for my second six. I was offered and accepted a tenancy there. On that day, I was told by my then senior clerk that I would not be able to do civil work as solicitors would not be willing to instruct me. I did not have the confidence to challenge that assertion. I thought the way forward would be to do whatever work came my way. In fact, I was able to undertake personal injury work and, thereafter, I built up a practice in medical law.

Were there no women role models?

LJ: No. I was never led by a woman.

Do you see yourself or perceive yourself to be role model?

LJ: I have never seen or perceived myself as such.


LJ: silence

Have you just got on with it?

LJ: Yes, that is what I have done throughout.

I saw on your shelf the photo of you and two other judges sitting as the Court of Appeal in Wales

LJ: The judges are Mrs Justice Jefford, a Presiding Judge of the Circuit in Wales and Mrs Justice Steyn, the Administrative Liaison Judge for Wales.

I can tell you when I shared the article and photo on The Judicial Office website it got hundreds of views and many positive comments from women in law and men too. Did you think a day like this would happen?

LJ: In 2012, the then Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees, spoke to me about the lack of women applying for part-time and full-time appointments within the judiciary. I was then a Senior Diversity Judge. With the support of the Judicial Office, I instigated the first “Women and the Judiciary” event in Cardiff which was open to barristers, solicitors, legal executives and academics. Such was the success of the event that it was repeated on an annual basis in England, culminating in a return to Wales in 2017.

You are now also Treasurer of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn for 2023. What is the definition of a Treasurer? What is the role?

LJ: The Treasurer is the senior role within the Inn. As Treasurer I work closely with the Under-Treasurer who is the CEO of the Inn. I see the role of Treasurer as including:

- Supporting the work of the Education Department, meeting and talking with our students

- Calling students and transferring solicitors to the Bar

- Working with the Chair of the Management Committee on issues relating to the governance of the Inn

- Taking part in the events at the Inn and making (many) speeches

- Representing the Inn at external events both nationally and internationally

16 | LegalWomen Profile
Lady Justice Davies DBE

Gray’s held a Call Night recently. Why is it special?

LJ: To be called to the Bar, and to be able to call yourself a barrister, is recognition of real achievement for any person. It is recognition of years of work and effort, and of sacrifices made by the individual and their family and friends. It is a moving event, taking place as it does in the presence of family and friends. What is particularly special is meeting, not only the newly called barrister, but also their support network.

What are your themes and priorities for your year as Treasurer of Gray’s inn?

LJ: Inclusivity - as an Inn we seek to attract a diverse and talented student membership not least by means of our scholarships and outreach work done by our first-rate education department. As members of the Inn, it is incumbent on us to ensure that our welcome to those who choose to join the Inn feel it is inclusive such that all feel valued and respected as individuals, whatever their personal background, experience or characteristics. Inclusivity is one of my themes.

Women – consistent with my previous activities, another theme for this year is women.

Engagement and Master of Circuits - I am prioritising our engagement with those who live and work outside of London. I am proposing a Bencher whose role it is to engage with the Circuits and their activities on Circuit.

Researching for this interview I noticed the following events with female speakers coming up in Gray’s Inn calendar. The Mulligan Sermon will be given by the Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally; The Hon Dame Siobhan Keegan the Chief Justice of Northern Ireland will give the Barnard’s Reading and the Rt Hon Lady Dorian, the Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland will give the Birkenhead Lecture. I wondered if it was a happy coincidence?

LJ: No, they were my invitations. I am delighted that each of these highly distinguished women will be speaking.

LJ Nicola Davies describes students as being the lifeblood of the Inn. The role which Gray’s Inn plays in the education and support of students is central and she will do all she can in her year as Treasurer to promote this endeavour.

Her Ladyship is a strong advocate of the need for equality and diversity within the Bar and the Bench. While a judge of the High Court she was a lead judge for diversity. She is one of the four co-convenors of the Inns of Court Alliance for Women which was launched in Gray’s Inn in February 2022.

Tell me more about the Alliance as I noticed the Lord Chief Justice spoke at one of the Alliance events recently held at Gray’s inn?

LJ: In March 2023 the Alliance held an event to address the issue of judicial bullying. The Lord Chief Justice spoke and he was followed by a panel discussion addressing questions from attendees. The panel comprised: Lady Justice Simler; Natasha Wong KC; Lauri-Anne Power KC; Sam Mercer from the Bar Council, it was chaired by Amanda Pinto KC. The issue of judicial bullying is current and concerning, we do not suggest that the concern is confined to women. The event was well received. The next Alliance event will be held on 27 June 2023, a cross profession garden party to be held at Lincoln’s Inn.

What advice do you have for Career Progression?

1. Believe in yourself.

2. Be prepared to take a risk even though you may fail.

3. Preparation is everything in terms of case work and preparation of applications for appointment.

4. Think ahead and consider the type of work which will better prepare you for such an application. All applications have to be evidence based. Build up a file of evidence that will support your application and show it to another person, a second pair of eyes is useful.

5. If in doubt, seek advice from someone whose professional judgement you trust.

What is next for you?

LJ: Getting through a year when doing two jobs!

With such a heavy job and many additional leadership roles I wondered, how she divides her time between London and Wales where her family still live and what she did for wellness.

LJ: I enjoy travel, art and music. I like to spend time with family and friends.

This year sees a time of change including a change of Monarch from Elizabeth R to King Charles III, the Senior Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn. In my capacity as an elected governing Bencher at Gray’s Inn, I am delighted we have a woman at the helm as Treasurer with much energy and experience in conducting the Inn’s affairs.

Lady Hale said there are many other women role models after her, and I think we may well have found one in Lady Justice Nicola Davies! ■

Sally Penni MBE is Barrister at Kenworthy’s chambers and 4 Bream Buildings.

She is the founder of Women in the Law UK an Author and Podcast Host of the Talking Law Podcast. Sally is on the Editorial Board of Legal Women Magazine. She sits in VTE Tribunal. She is an elected governing Bencher of Grays innTwitter @SallyPenni1

LegalWomen | 17 Profile


LW Likes

Women on Boards UK

Men and women should receive #equalpay for doing equal work but that is not always the case. We have partnered with @fawcettsociety to help those not being paid fairly by offering advice and assistance

This says it all. A simple & brilliant quote from Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and the first Black woman to head a Fortune 500 company. #WomenInLeadership #SundayInspo #InspirationalQuotes status/1647480004991672325?s=20

Read about how @kellyjeanne9 has helped @

My next @TheLawSociety President's Virtual Surgeries will take place on 4 May 2023 (am) and 6 June 2023 (pm). Open to solicitors. Appointments can be booked online at…. status/1646484074205179906?s=20

SIAmericanWomen to add over 1.7 million new words about American women to #Wikipedia! #SmithsonianWHM #WomensHistoryMonth #OpenTheKnowledge status/1635330162165420032?s=20

18 | LegalWomen LW Likes

LW | Recommends

The Chambermaid Director Lila Avilés

This is a compelling story of Eve, a chambermaid (as you would expect from the title). It is set in Mexico and is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Eve works with extreme care ensuring that her attention to the details ensures that the premier hotel will ensure it will live up to its reputation. She also hopes that her professionalism will ensure she gets the attention of the management and that she is promoted to deal with the hotel’s exclusive penthouse floor. As well as her hard work at the hotel, she attends literacy classes to help her chances of promotion.

The film is a debut for director Lila Avilés and she obtains touching performances from the actors which give quiet observations about class, privilege and exploitation. You can see a trailer here - The Chambermaid (2018) - IMDb.

Thanks to and @limerencia for image permission


Lessons in Chemistry

This book has been receiving rave reviews and has become a favorite for book clubs. It is set in the early 1960s and tells a story of a female chemist, Elizabeth Zott, who works in an all-male team. There is very little in the way of equality, save for one colleague, a Nobel–prize nominated loner.

Through some unpredictable twists, Elizabeth Zott becomes a star of a cooking show ‘Supper at Six’. Her unusual approach which includes referencing the chemicals in the cooking ingredients finds a significant following but is challenging to the status quo.

The book is quirky with some genuinely funny moments but it has a sense of realism which makes it a very worthwhile read.

Described by The Guardian as “that rare beast; a polished, funny, thought-provoking story, wearing its research lightly but confidently, and with sentences so stylishly turned it’s hard to believe it’s a debut.”


The Diary of a CEO is a series of talks with influential thinkers and experts with Steven Bartlett. One of these deals with the issue of imposter syndrome and challenges the idea that imposter syndrome is necessarily a negative experience.

He says: “Despite associating imposter syndrome with fear, I strongly believe that it is a good feeling to have. Growth requires us to step outside of our comfort zone, to push ourselves and expand our abilities. Each time you do this, the next time will be just that little bit easier. What people call imposter syndrome is a sign you're exactly where you are supposed to be.”

You can listen to the podcast here The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett: Moment 43 - The Key To Overcoming Imposter Syndrome on Apple Podcasts


Angelica Kauffman

I recently came across a female artist, Angelica Kauffman. She was a contemporary of Joshua Reynolds and a close friend during the time she spent in England. They even painted portraits of each other and were rumoured to be in love. She was a significant artist in the 18th-century London art scene, one of only two female Founder Members of the Royal Academy. At the time, Joshua Reynolds was President and Mary Moser was the other woman to be a Founder Member.

Angelica was born in Switzerland in 1741. Her Father was a painter and oversaw her lessons and she was quickly recognised as a child prodigy, with her portraits receiving attention from the age of twelve years old. She was widely recognised across Europe for her skill. At the time she was painting, women were not permitted to draw using nude models (as men often did) but used casts to draw the male figure and this is shown in one of her paintings, Design.

You can hear more about this artists and see her work here: The case for Angelica Kauffmann, artist and entrepreneur, 1741 - 1807 - YouTube

LegalWomen | 19 LW Recommends

LW | Recommends The play’s the thing ….

If you go to see Dixon and Daughters by Deborah Bruce, currently showing at the National Theatre, do make sure you buy a programme for £5. It contains not only the cast list and great interviews with actors and writer, but also a very readable essay written by Baroness Helena Kennedy KC about the ways in which the Criminal Justice System is failing women in relation to gender-based violence.

Kennedy contextualises the play by beginning her programme-essay with an account of misogyny as a “way of thinking” so deeply ingrained in our lives that women also internalize it, and thus seem complicit. Kennedy’s groundbreaking work to reform criminal law so that it addresses issues of misogyny, and her work with women in prisons, lends invaluable background to the experience of the play. Her books include Eve was Framed dedicated to women in prisons, 1992 and Hidden Healers: The Unexpected Ways Women in Prison Help Each Other to Survive

For theatre lovers, what is especially impressive about this production is that it’s a collaboration of the great - and the good; the National Theatre working with a small radical theatre company called Clean Break. So if you care for theatre, this will feel special.

Perhaps after all, only the medium of theatre can hope to capture the complexity of a gender-based violence story in a way that is compelling - rather than sensational or even alienating. Here is theatre at its political and artistic best where dark but humorous writing, direction and performance combine to give voice to that very complexity. Even the empty stage tells a story, about doors that burst open and close when no one is there. Frightening but intensely dramatic. ■

Volunteer positions at Legal Women

Currently, all of us are volunteers to get this publication going. If you would like to be involved in:

■ sourcing and checking copyright on images

■ working on events and following up funding opportunities

■ writing content for social media, blogs and magazine features

Feel free to email with brief details about yourself. ■

20 | LegalWomen LW Recommends

Managing my imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is characterised by an overwhelming and persistent feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt, despite evidence of one's competence, skills, and accomplishments. Individuals who experience imposter syndrome often fear being “found out” as frauds or incompetent, and they may struggle to accept praise, recognition, or success. The experience of imposter syndrome can be debilitating and can impact an individual's emotional, professional, and personal well-being.

I have suffered from imposter syndrome and it is a common feeling. I was telling a psychologist friend how I was feeling one day, and his response changed my life. Actually, let me rephrase that, I was complaining that I hated going to business development events or posting on social media because my imposter syndrome got in my way. My friend said: “Eileen, imposter syndrome doesn’t exist. It was a study in the 70s. You have low self-esteem…”

The Origins of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome was first identified in the 1970s by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes. They observed that some high-achieving women in academia experienced persistent self-doubt and feelings of fraudulence, despite their impressive accomplishments. The term “imposter syndrome” was coined to describe this phenomenon and has since been applied to a wide range of individuals in various fields and industries.

Individuals who experience imposter syndrome may not recognise the condition but can benefit from learning about it. Some common signs include:

• Persistent self-doubt and questioning of one's abilities

• Feeling like a fraud or imposter, despite evidence of competence and success

• Resistance to accepting praise, recognition, and success

• Downplaying one's accomplishments and attributing them to luck or external factors

• Fear of being “found out” as a fraud or inadequate

• Holding oneself to impossibly high standards

• Engaging in self-sabotaging behaviours. I absolutely had all of these signs and attributed not doing things to the feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’; I couldn’t write that article, I was concerned others would realise I didn’t know what I was talking about and so on.

Everyone is different but I hope my approach might be useful. Increasing self-esteem has been a journey for me and it certainly hasn’t happened overnight. I’m also still very much on my journey! The first thing that helped was realising that if I didn’t want to feel like this it was my responsibility to make changes in my life. Previously, I had been blaming, what I perceived to be an external factor of ‘imposter syndrome.’

Image by John Noonan on Unsplash

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

It can be challenging to overcome but it is possible. I work daily on building my self-esteem and have outlined some of the things that have helped me. Several strategies can help individuals manage and overcome imposter syndrome, including:

• Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive, supportive messages.

• Set realistic standards and goals and celebrate achievements and successes.

• Accept praise and recognition and internalise positive feedback. You could even write a journal or have a gratitude diary. I found this to be particularly useful and write down 10 things I’m grateful for every day.

• Set better boundaries for myself. This could be anything from not taking on too much work to just stopping looking at my phone after a certain time

Everyone is different but working on my self-esteem has really helped me overcome the barriers that were keeping me back and keeping me up at night! This article is more personal than I normally would write but time and time again people tell me that their main issue with marketing and business development is confidence, so I hope this story was helpful and give you some views of how I managed to shake my negative thinking.

LegalWomen | 21 Article

Access to Justice on the agenda as the law sector unites for a 10km walk

On June 13th this year, the London Legal Walk will return to London. Organised by London Legal Support Trust (LLST), a charity that fundraises to support free legal advice agencies in London and the South East, who are already busy preparing for the biggest fundraising event in the legal calendar..

In its 19th year, this 10km sponsored walk through central London encourages walkers from across the legal community to come together to raise funds for frontline free specialist legal advice agencies.

There are two routes on offer (with a further two shorter routes available for those who require a shorter route as an adjustment), which take in the Capital’s most beautiful landmarks, with the ever popular ‘Parks Route’ a perfect choice for those wanting to take in the city’s fantastic green space. In 2022, the charity welcomed over 12,000 walkers who raised over £720,000 – a huge achievement and a real show of support for the lifechanging work free legal advice agencies do.

With the rising cost of living and funding cuts, the funds raised by the Walk will be even more vital for securing the future of free legal advice agencies and the communities they serve. Many people are facing serious issues and are in desperate need of free specialist legal advice. Debt, homelessness, unemployment and domestic violence are all contributing to the hardship faced by many. We know accessing justice makes a difference to people’s lives – for example, LLST’s 40 Centres of Excellence alone helped 187,101 people last year.

Lord Burnett- Lord Chief Justice- President of LLST, says: “The Walk has always provided essential funds for legal advice agencies to help the most vulnerable people in London and the South East. This year, the number of people needing that help is increasing rapidly. I hope we can respond to that need by increasing our fundraising once again and I look forward to seeing a huge turn-out on June 13th.”

One past Legal Walk participant says: “Legal representation must be accessible to everyone, and I truly admire the work done by LLST to support this cause.”

The Walk attracts a range of people, from advice agency staff, to lawyers, to law students, to high-ranking judiciary. On the Walk, everyone walks side by side and the camaraderie of the event is unmatched.

Aside from fundraising, the Walk is also a lot of fun! Once you’ve completed your walk, there is a fun finish and celebration of your achievements with a post-Walk street party, complete with street food vendors and entertainment.

There are already over 500 teams signed up. So don’t miss out on your chance to be part of this unique and significant event!

Get a team together and add the date and time to your diary: Tuesday 13 June 2023. Start walking any time between 3pm and 7pm.

To sign up for the London Legal Walk, visit https:// ■

22 | LegalWomen Legal Walk 2023
LegalWomen | 23 Legal Walk 2023

JJ+H Accounting Services and Quill consolidated solutions make annual accounting easy for law firms

Claire Ellis FCCA at JJ+H Accounting Services is a chartered certified accountant and legal cashiering troubleshooter who specialises in helping law firms to fix errors and anomalies with their bookkeeping. As part of the solution, Claire readily recommends Quill’s legal accounting software as an all-in-one complete practice management system. Longer term, she encourages her customers to consider Quill’s outsourced cashiering service.

JJ+H Accounting Services in operation

When practices sign up for Claire’s value-added, short-term accounting support, their book-related problems are as diverse and unique as the businesses themselves. Typically working with smaller-size law firms, Claire reviews their current finance processes, identifies areas for improvement then creates a plan to implement the changes and put the actions into place.

Claire explains:

“My role is to get my customers’ accounts in a good place. It’s rare for my projects to extend beyond twelve months. There’s one primary reason for this – cost. An accountant carries a higher rate than a cashier. The way I deliver true value, then, is by completing my work in the briefest-possible window and transferring into the capable hands of a more economically priced service from the likes of Quill.”

An example joint JJ+H Accounting Services-Quill customer

A law firm approached Claire to take over its legal cashiering role from its secretary, after having a previous bad experience with a bookkeeper without legal expertise. The practice was also keen to move away from its existing case management software, which was old, complicated to use and made remote working difficult.

Describing her involvement in the project, Claire states:

“From the word ‘go’, it was obvious the customer’s incumbent technology was ill-suited to its needs. In my experience, only software designed for law will suffice. The firm and I started a project to source new case management and accounting software. We chose MyQuill.”

The beauty of MyQuill is its comprehensive functionality comprising legal accounts and case management tools in a single system. From a bookkeeping viewpoint, there are all the features necessary for fee earners to log chargeable activity and case-related disbursements with time recording and e-chits tools; cashiers to manage accounts day to day easily with intuitive money and billing screens; managers to oversee the accounting function and avoid breaches with customisable reporting capabilities; and accountants to action year-end submissions and auditing with the free accountant’s licence.

Claire continues:

“Where this shared law firm customer is concerned, I’ve witnessed MyQuill working extremely successfully. With Quill’s software in situ and my cashiering support over the course of a year, every error from the past was put right and strong processes instilled for the future.”

The benefits of add-on cashier outsourcing services

Quill’s different in its provision of legal accounts software and outsourced cashiering services under one roof. For obvious reasons, Quill’s cashiers are the most proficient MyQuill users in the country. With its Pinpoint outsourcing service, customers enter daily records of monies in and out using MyQuill; its cashiers then process client-centric reconciliation, accounting and reporting tasks thereon in.

Claire says:

“When my contract came to an end, I advised moving onto Pinpoint for its accompanying advantages including taking the onus off solicitors, having continuous cover even during summer holiday season, being able to flex the service up or down for increased or decreased caseloads, and having complianceguaranteed accounts that are audit and inspection ready.”

“To top it all, MyQuill is just so easy to learn and easy to use. It’s a sole application for complete practice management.”

An accountant’s life simplified

Having an accountant’s licence for remote access to accounting data and financial reports in MyQuill, coupled with the knowledge of precision-managed bookkeeping via Pinpoint makes Claire’s period-end services much more streamlined and straightforward.

Claire concludes:

“Under SRA regulation, firms need to review their reports regularly to assess financial stability. Knowing practices are MyQuill and Pinpoint users gives me the reassurance of robust bookkeeping processes, transparent financial information and visibility of everything from afar. I’m able to collate reports effortlessly and efficiently, so partners can complete their monthly review.”

“I’m now supporting a new customer with SRA compliance and introducing MyQuill into the mix. I look forward to collaborating with Quill in the future.”

About Quill

Quill helps law firms run their businesses better by providing simple and easy-to-use practice management and legal accounts software, as well as outsourced legal cashiering, bookkeeping, payroll, typing and post room services. To learn more about Quill, visit, email or call 0161 236 2910. ■

24 | LegalWomen Advertisement Feature

Digital marketing for law firms: What it is and why you need it

When it comes to marketing your law firm online, many law firms struggle to find the right approach.

Should you start a blog or put yourself on social media? How much attention does your website need? Do you need to spend a lot of money and time to be effective?

It can feel hard to find the answers to these questions when times are good; in more challenging economic times, digital marketing can feel like even less of a priority.

While marketing budgets are often first on the chopping board, cutting out digital marketing is a mistake. Building a strong online presence is essential to surviving and thriving for all law firms.

Marketing helps firms stay front-of-mind among their target audience. If you’re seeking to improve (or begin) marketing online, here are some easy and low-cost tips to keep in mind.

Make sure your website stands out

A massive 96% of people who seek legal advice search online as their first port of call. As such, it is essential that your website is up to scratch and up to date when they come looking. Key things to pay attention to are: Is the site easy to navigate? Does it contain easy-to-understand language? Does it work well on a mobile phone?

Pay attention to your online reputation

Clio’s 2022 Legal Trends Report showed that client reviews are the most important factor when clients are considering hiring a law firm—substantially topping other major considerations, such as location, billing type, and office type. Incentivise positive reviews by asking clients proactively to review you. Be sure you make it easy for them to leave a review and build this step into your existing processes.

Embrace content marketing

Content is king when it comes to digital marketing. Creating regular content can help you to demonstrate your firm’s expertise, build trust in your firm, and increase your website’s position online. An easy way to start is by publishing a law firm blog, making sure you also share your articles across other channels (such as LinkedIn and Facebook).

Get your social media approach right

There are five cardinal rules when marketing your law firm via social media:

1. Avoid bragging or begging

2. Don’t forget about hashtags

3. Create curated legal content

4. Showcase firm activity outside of representation

5. Demonstrate your personality

Taking just these simple—and low-cost—steps can help your law firm to thrive. Want to learn more?

Clio’s ‘A Guide to Online Marketing for Law Firms’ expands on all of the above steps to give you a playbook for online law firm marketing without breaking the bank. Download the guide for free at Legal Women : ■

LegalWomen | 25 Advertisement Feature
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.
To advertise in Legal Women, please call Catherine McCarthy our Business Features Editor on 0151 236 4141 or email catherine@ Would you like to feature in Legal Women? Legal THE UK MAGAZINE FOR ALL WOMEN WORKING IN LAW | MAY 2023 Women Women on Boards  How to be an NED  Imposter Syndrome  Reignite your career

Reigniting Legal Careers

Lisa Unwin is co-founder and CEO of Reignite Academy whose mission is to help female lawyers have fulfilling, long term careers. On a day to day basis, Lisa is actively involved in all recruitment and coaching activities. She leads training for lawyers on how to ‘future proof’ their careers and regularly speaks at events on how to navigate a non-linear career.

Lisa was named as one of LinkedIn Top Voices for her writing on women in the workplace and diversity in general. I spoke to Lisa about the Reignite venture.

I'd like to begin by asking you about a recent platform you held at Sidley Austin that I attended, and that was very successful I thought! It was an anniversary celebration of Reignite Academy four years on. So just tell us a little bit about that, and what it meant for you.

Well, what it meant was, that we were able to reflect on what we've learned over the last four years. We set up four years ago with the hunch that there were many experienced female lawyers who had dropped out of private practice and who wanted to return. We've proven that to be the case, and I think it's only after this period of four years, that we have been able to confirm the success of this venture.

A significant event then!

Yes. We also held an event in Sidley Austin in March 2020, where we were celebrating two years of being in business, but shortly afterwards, we all went into lockdown and thought we would not survive. In effect, we have done more than survive, as Covid has helped people realize that you can work from home. It's made everybody accept a lot more flexibility.

And you got some really good feedback at the event, one point beautifully made by Fatema Orjela of Sidley Austin was that: as women become more senior their female peergroups shrink. What about that?

That's an important point to make because in the law, women are definitely 50/50 with men at the junior level, but still their law firms are losing women as they get more senior. It’s an issue not just for the women who leave, but for the bonds that are left behind. Fatema was saying that the younger generation suffer because they don't have any role models, but the older generation suffer because they have no friends. So there are more dimensions to this problem than just getting somebody a job, as it impacts on the wider ecosphere.

I see. There was a young woman who came in boldly with the assertion 'there's no skills gap', what did she mean as that was received with warm laughter?

So that was Charlotte, she was a restructuring lawyer who had been at Freshfields law firm before leaving to join her family. She loved being a lawyer however, and wanted to return to it after a five year gap – potentially a five year ‘skill gap’ – but her point is, one of the things we know about lawyers is that they are good at learning law. So even if there were some legal changes in that five year period, all she had to do and indeed did, was get up to speed with the law. And she brought her five years of experience outside of private practice with her – that is; of being on the board of a limited company, of being responsible for governance issues, and of being responsible for managing a workforce. So she returned as it were, with further skills gained by doing a different role. She was framing the point that in effect there can be huge skills gain as against gap.

What about the sector’s recognition of soft skills that we see increasingly, and how that is often associated with women?

I think women naturally will, through their life experience, gain some skills that you don't necessarily gain in other walks of life such as in a professional job for example. I don’t like the term ‘soft skills’ as often the so called soft skills such as negotiation, and managing conflict – are quite hard to perform. …but because they're not technical, they're deemed ‘soft’.

Towards the end of the platform, I was interested in your own point, that Reignite is not just about private practice, but also in-house law practice. Can you unpack that for us?

When we began as an organization, our members were private practice law firms, but over the years we have placed people into in-house roles too, and we know that a lot of women who come to us might have trained in private practice, but really, they're looking for something different and they're quite attracted by the thought of going in-house. So we're trying to open up more roles for those women. In fact, one of the things I should mention is, we are working with the Centre for Legal Leadership to design and deliver a one-day course for people who are attracted by the idea of pivoting into an in-house commercial role but are not quite sure if it's possible. So we've organised a day's training to give people as much information and knowledge as we can, to give them the confidence to make that move.

One man from the panel raised the matter of the work-life balance in relation to shared care responsibilities, which you followed up with a point about Reignite not being only about women. What do you mean?

I mean, we have men coming to us as candidates and we have given lots of advice to men. We had one man for example recently, who had relocated with his wife to Australia for three or

26 | LegalWomen Article
Lisa Unwin Fatema Orjela: 'as women become more senior their female peer-groups shrink'

four years and had needed to take time out for that. Another man had gone to do humanitarian work in Moldova and took time out for that. So men are making life choices too, and need to take career breaks. It’s a gender-neutral matter in this sense, though of course, it has been more common for women to experience this issue but no doubt will become more common for men too, in the future. Men want to take paternity leave. Men want to parent their children, so I think there is slow change, but it is changing.

In terms of the industry today, in your conclusion you talked about the ‘contemporary moment’ and you said there's a tendency in the industry to revert to what is known “in times like these” you said, “Reignite has to pursue firms even harder”. What was that about?

Well, there is a felt sense that we are potentially facing recession and law firms are quite conservative. So, this time last year the recruitment market was booming. Firms were all chasing candidates; it was relatively easy to get job. It's completely the opposite now. There are more candidates than there are roles.

Can you tell us any success stories you have had?

A lovely woman who was an energy lawyer at Herbert Smith, in the corporate energy team had then gone to work for Shell. So as an in-house lawyer, she had worked for some big corporate energy firms in legal private practice, and had then taken some time out to have twins, but wanted to return. She wanted to do city quality work, keep a work-life balance and have her expertise in corporate law recognised. Not easy you might think – and yet she has found a place as a corporate senior associate with Bates

Wells B Corp law firm, where she met the new Human Resources director who valued her corporate expertise. That was one of our most more recent placements.

Yes, and I wonder then, what are your plans and thoughts for Reignite over the next four years?

Goodness! Well, we need to place more people, we need to do more in-house recruitment. We want to help women have long term sustainable careers. One of the things we're working on is to put on a developer programme for lawyers, bringing in interesting external speakers to provide information and inspiration. To be delivered to female lawyers of in-house and private practice. To encourage networking.

I see. Lovely. And you, yourself, you write Lisa. Tell us, just a couple of things that you've been writing about in the newsletter or elsewhere?

Just my own thoughts and then occasionally I also post on LinkedIn in a personal capacity case. Where I'm just saying, here's what I wrote. For example it's International Women's Day.

Is there anything you want to add, Lisa?

Just that the significance (of what we are doing at Reignite) doesn’t always come across in a tangible way, but take the meeting tonight, for example, there's 20 other people at the centre, and we're all getting together for a drink, but the joy in seeing those women whom I first met - nervous, freshly divorced, thinking they couldn't do it, now three or four years on… .more confident, maybe still nervous, still having imposter syndrome, but having fun too, you know, I can't tell you how satisfying that is.


We're friends with each other and talking about getting people back into this field…. The women see they are not in isolation. I see

It’s the power of networking!

Lisa also does a regular newsletter on LinkedIn as Lisa Unwin

LegalWomen | 27 Article
The Reignite Academy Team: Melinda Wallman, Alicia Roscoe, Lisa Unwin and Tanja Spittal Audrey Doline associate at Baker Mckenzie, speaking about her return to work after a break

‘Don't Doubt Her’

Creative and conscientious Hard working And strong

People doubt her Don’t know her strength But see her shine And watch her success


Inspiring women Are all around The underdogs Make us proud

They've had a tough road Many challenges To forego

But they are the role models We look up to

A reminder Of what we can Aspire to

28 | LegalWomen Poetry Corner

Belfast Wednesday 7 June 2023

18.00 (in person event)

Legal Women is delighted to be working with The Law Society of Northern Ireland to hold this event. you can find out more and book for free here:

Many thanks also to Caldwell & Robinson and Donaghey & Chance Ltd for its support of the event.

Manchester/ online: International Women’s Day

LW celebrated International Women’s Day with Hill Dickinson in Manchester by holding an online discussion on the UN theme #EmbraceEquity. The recording is on the website and can be accessed here - International Women's Day #EmbraceEquity | Hill Dickinson

The session was chaired by Coral Hill. All three speakers are outstanding champions of diversity and inclusion:

- Jane Eme-Power (FCIPD)

HR Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University (26)

Jane Eme-Power (FCIPD) | LinkedIn

- Jonathan Andrews associate at Reed Smith. (26)

Jonathan Andrews MUniv | LinkedIn

- Lesley Wan General Counsel at FBN Bank (UK) Limited (26)

Lesley Wan | LinkedIn

The panel reflected on #EmbraceEquity, highlighting the difference between equality and equity, the importance of male allies and how to embed a culture that embraces equity in the workplace. ■

LegalWomen | 29 Events
Jane Eme-Power Coral Hill Jonathan Andrews Lesley Wan

Queen’s University Belfast: Women in Law

After the success of its inaugural event last year, QUB Women in Law hosted a networking event on 14 March with the aim of empowering females in the legal profession. The event brought together students starting their legal journey and women from various sectors of law to share their experiences and learn from each other.

The highlight of the event was a keynote speech from The Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan, who shared her journey to becoming the first female Chief Justice in Northern Ireland and offered tips on how to succeed in the legal profession.

“I am thrilled to see so many women in the legal profession come together to network and learn from each other,” said Tamara Duncan, QUB Women in Law Committee member and organiser of the event. “Our goal was to create a space for women to share their experiences and challenges in the legal profession, and I am proud to say that we achieved that.”

The event also provided ample opportunity for attendees to network, who were able to meet and connect with other women in the legal profession, build relationships, and share their experiences.

“As a young female solicitor, I find events like this incredibly helpful in navigating the legal profession,” said Aoife McColgan. “It’s always great to hear from other women who have gone through similar experiences and know that I’m not alone.”

QUB Women in Law plans to host more events in the future to continue to support and empower females in the legal profession.

For more information on upcoming events, follow:

Instagram - @qubwomeninlaw

Twitter - @QUBWomenInLaw

LinkedIn - QUBWomeninLaw

Contact: Tamara Duncan


LinkedIn: ■

Photographs: QUB Women in Law Committee members and guests including Lady Chief Justice The Right Honourable Siobhan Keegan.

30 | LegalWomen Events

Edinburgh: The Law Society

The Law Society of Scotland worked with Legal Women to host the event ‘Embracing Equality In The Workplace’. The panel, made up of Brianella Scott, Amina Amin, Naomi Pryde, and Mandy Rawlinson, was chaired by Coral Hill, Founder and Editor in Chief of Legal Women.

It was a fantastic opportunity for members of the profession to meet in an informal setting and it was gratifying that the decision to hold it over lunchtime (with wonderful refreshments) was much appreciated. The discussion was wide-ranging and looked at the impacts of maternity leave, the gender pay gap and how this particularly affects ethnic minority women, the importance of highlighting the "unseen" work women do, and the effects of imposter syndrome in the workplace (amongst many more great conversations).

We can’t capture the full discussion but here are some of the highlights:

Brianella Scott gave some context to the discussion with global statistics and covered the difference between equality and equity. Amina Amin discussed the importance of mentoring and the experience of imposter syndrome. In the subsequent discussion a podcast on changing your perception of imposter syndrome to see it as a positive sign that you are stretching yourself was suggested. This is one of the LW Recommends for this edition. Both Brianella and Amina will be publishing some of their views on the Legal Women blog Blogs (

Mandy Rawlinson talked about the importance of embedding equality of child rearing at work and at home. A key aspect is men and women having access to paid parental leave for equivalent amounts of time so that choosing who should take time away from work is a real choice and not a simple financial one. It also creates greater equality in recruitment as often recruiters take maternity leave into their calculations.

The fourth panel member, Naomi Pryde, emphasized that she wanted to change the narrative that makes some women say, “I don’t want to be a partner because I want a family”. She discussed how differently things can be arranged to make both ambitions compatible. She also highlighted the impact of nonbilling work which women tend to do more of and ideas on how to measure contributions.

The event was such a success that we hope to build on this for future events in Scotland. Many thanks to everyone who was involved; your contributions were invaluable. ■

LegalWomen | 31 Events
First Photo: (top L to R) Sheila Webster, Amina Amin, Brianella Scott, Coral Hill, Diane McGiffen CEO, The Law Society of Scotland (seated L to R) Naomi Pryde, Mandy Rawlinson.

Mann And Proctor On The Law Of Money

8th Edition


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

What a book for bankers! “Mann and Proctor on the Law of Money” has been with us for a long time, being first published in 1939, and now appearing as the eighth edition from Charles Proctor. We are most grateful to Oxford University Press for continuing to publish this work as it has a special standing in monetary law for both lawyers and economists.

The title remains the premier work on monetary law obligations and monetary conduct now for the eighth edition in 2023. It’s the only comprehensive treatment of both public and private law of money from English, European, and international law perspectives, providing a single source dealing with all issues relating to monetary law. We believe it will be of interest to both experienced lawyers and those new to monetary policy for its fresh insights on money.

The book reviews current and controversial legal matters in detail. It includes a formidable analysis of the issues which arose from the shameful financial crisis, such as the legal aspects of quantitative easing which remains a hot topic of fiscal controversy- how we would all love to print as much money as possible to get ourselves out of debt (by increasing it). It is a carefully structured book examining all the main topic areas, permitting advisers to obtain direct access to sections which will be relevant to their interests and the problems of their clients.

Charles Proctor has included some useful information for the practitioner here with the eighth edition. He has updated the material to explain most recent developments in the law of money, such as the award of interest by way of damages following the decision in Sempra Metals as just one example of many detailed caselaw authorities.

Practitioners are also given an excellent analysis of the consequences of Brexit for monetary law which educates rather than pontificates on this generational change in the UK’s position within the global community. We found that there is a useful discussion of the impact of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin on the definition of 'money'- currently a controversial area for many economists.

The book also considers 'currency wars', and a further analysis of legal restrictions against the manipulation of the international monetary system. It offers coverage of issues concerning central banking with significant updates on both the continuing role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) in relation to the Greek crisis. There is a most useful examination of the monetary law consequences of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). ■

The Art And Craft Of Judgment Writing

A Primer for Common Law Judges


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

The title of this excellent book from Globe is “The Art and Craft of Judgment Writing”, with the subtitle “A Primer for Common Law Judges”- and it is just that! The author is a Irish judge called Max Barrett. All the usual judicial suspects are present in the book including my favourites, Lords Denning, and Reid. If you have ever wondered how judgments materialize, then this is the book for you.

As the author says, judges are increasingly aware that the best way of enhancing public confidence in court systems is not only by providing a quality service but doing so compassionately and respectfully. And the Lord Chief Justice has just reminded the judiciary of this approach!

For the twenty-first century, the art and craft of judgment-writing is a critical element of this process. This title from Globe Law reviews the judgments of historically great judgment-writers from across the world: the USA, UK and the wider common law world covering Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, and New Zealand. The book is written not from the perspective of what the Judge Barrett can teach but with the aim of “identifying essential elements of good judgment-writing in great judgments and insightful commentary”. And he does it brilliantly.

The author is Dr Max Barrett, who is a judge of the High Court of Ireland. The work contains individual chapters which focus on subjects such as judgment purpose, length, style, and structure, concurring and dissenting judgments, judgment-writing for children and vulnerable parties, as well as more general lessons in good writing offered by great authors from George Orwell (UK) to Mark Twain (USA).

Among the primers gleaned from great common law judges are these: a good judgment possesses an ability to rise above immediate facts and to see a problem in its wider perspective; a sense of empathy/ sympathy for those faring badly is always important, and that there is nothing wrong with language that is occasionally flowery and ornate. Although we are rightly advised that the best judgments are “crisp and persuasive”, and generally they are.

Celebrated authors such Twain suggest these tips: every element of a judgment should be necessary to that judgment and any unnecessary element excised; any person or event included in a judgment should be included for a reason, and that a judge should always use the right word for what she wants to state, ‘not its second cousin’.

Globe Law and Business notes that the book is “intended for novice superior court judges, their more seasoned colleagues and all with an interest in legal writing (including legal practitioners, law teachers and law students)”.

In the lower courts where cases start, the judiciary are required to write judgments which are not necessarily in the law reports but the judges should find the book of great value. And, as our colleagues agree, judges at all court levels should find the additional chapter on ex tempore judgments of help. ■

32 | LegalWomen Book Review

Pease, Chitty

And Cousins Law Of Markets



7th Edition


Manual Of Housing Law 11th



An appreciation by

The first edition of this excellent work appeared in 1899 and was published by Charles Knight and Co. It was originally entitled “A Treatise on the Law of Markets and Fairs” by J G Pease and Herbert Chitty.

The second edition appeared much later, in 1958. This new seventh edition for 2020 has been written and edited by Edward Cousins and Graham Wilson. The current authors quote from the original edition, the aims of Pease and Chitty which is “to state in a book of moderate size the whole of the English law of markets and fairs”. For 2020, the work continues the tradition of providing a practical handbook for “clerks of urban authorities and other persons concerned in the management of markets”. Cousins and Wilson also state that owing to the original authors’ “perspicacity, erudition and insight one hundred and twenty years ago, this work still remains of considerable relevance and value today”. They add, encouragingly, that “it is relied upon by many” in this “somewhat esoteric area of law”. The book remains of great use to local authorities who deal with markets, lawyers, and members of the public.

The new edition is now published by Bloomsbury Professional Law who took the title over from LexisNexis and Tottel. It continues to offer an indepth commentary and analysis on the history of market and fair rights together with current developments in the law relating to franchise and statutory markets in the United Kingdom. We consider that this book remains the leading authority covering what is a complex area of law in the UK.

Today, the authors centre on specific aspects of practice and procedure, it provides practical guidance for local government and land law practitioners in the UK, and in Ireland, for local councils, and for private market officers. They offer useful legal analysis of all relevant UK and European legislation and case law.

For practitioners, the work covers these main areas: the practice and procedure in relation to rival markets and car boot sales by use of the tort of disturbance; United Kingdom regulation and control by means of byelaws, street trading and the laws relating to pedlars, tolls and stallage, and highway obstruction; and an important section on the law of markets, fairs, and street trading in the Republic of Ireland which we found useful for comparative studies.

Cousins and Wilson a practical toolkit of model byelaws and precedents for market officers and local authorities, in addition to a short review of EU implications post Brexit and the devastating effects of Covid-19 which are continuing. They point out that the virus has caused us all to question so many aspects of the way in which we live and go about our daily routines with the possible closure of around 400 Markets in the UK. Thank you very much for the new edition at a difficult time for many people. ■

An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

The Legal Action Group comments that when the first edition of what is now the “Manual of Housing Law” was published in 1978, it was known as “Housing: Security and Rent Control”. The title developed with the second edition, becoming “the Manual” as we now know it.

Today, the eleventh edition has been written by Andrew Arden QC and Andrew Dymond. The aim of the work as a “singular text” is to bring “together housing law as a subject for practitioners starting out in housing law, non-specialist practitioners who need ready access to the subject, lay advisers and students both of housing studies and of law as well as officers of local authorities and housing associations”. The authors succeed admirably with their mission and make our lives as practitioners much easier into the bargain!

The manual is designed to enable the reader to understand housing law as a whole and to apply it, whether it is to do with problems of individuals, or the policies and practices of landlords and local councils. That is its central message of the authors: that housing law is “a subject not to be studied in the abstract but to be applied”. We found the book to be an invaluable reference guide for busy practitioners who need a quick answer or source of reference at their fingertips. That is exactly what you get with this manual.

The “Manual of Housing Law” throughout its editions brings a history and wealth of experience. Andrew Arden has been writing about housing law for over 40 years. He is recognised as being at the forefront of the development of housing law, contributing to, and helping to shape the subject through practice in leading housing cases in the senior courts. He has variously been described as the ‘pre-eminent expert’ on and ‘godfather’ of the subject: impressive titles indeed.

Andrew Dymond, also a founding member of Arden Chambers, is a leading expert on housing law and we are grateful for his expertise. Together, “the two Andrews” provide us with the most authoritative introduction to this area of law, taking the reader through the complex landscape in a clear and accessible style.

Contents for the eleventh edition cover these areas: classes of occupation; security of tenure and eviction; rent and other charges; other terms and rights; protection against rogue landlords; anti-social behaviour; domestic breakdown; regulation of social landlords; mobile homes and houseboats; homelessness and allocations; disrepair: contract and tort; and, finally, housing conditions including standards, environmental health, overcrowding, multiple occupation, and licensing.

The manual remains an outstanding and invaluable guide to the changing nature of housing law in England and Wales for lawyers, advisers, and students of housing law: in fact, “anyone who masters this book has mastered housing law”. Thank you. ■

LegalWomen | 33 Book Review

Poppy’s second chance at love

Poppy’s owner first contacted her local rehoming centre and said she needed to hand Poppy, a four year old Chihuahua cross, over to us as she had sadly recently been given a diagnosis that she had a terminal illness. She was advised to apply for a free Canine Care Card and nominate a Dog Guardian; someone she trusts to sign over the care of Poppy to Dogs Trust should she need it. She’d then be able to spend the most time possible with Poppy and feel reassured that she’d be given the best possible care at Dogs Trust when they could no longer be together.

When Poppy’s Dog Guardian contacted us to advise that her owner was now receiving palliative care and that they needed to activate her Canine Care Card, Poppy was collected by Dogs Trust the very next day. After a vet and behavioural assessment we decided the best place for Poppy would be a loving foster home. We were able to advise the foster carers of all the information we’d been given by Poppy’s owner regarding her life, diet and routine to enable us to make this transitional period as stress-free as possible for Poppy.

Within almost no time, we were able to find very affectionate Poppy a lovely new home for her second chance at love.

Poppy’s story is one of many we come across at Dogs Trust.

Many owners are growing increasingly worried about gradually losing their independence or their health deteriorating. Dogs Trust want to offer owners peace of mind that we will be there at this difficult time to care for and rehome their four legged friends should the worst happen.

Therefore we’re pleased to announce that we have extended our Canine Care Card service. Dogs Trust will care for your dog should you move into a care home, become seriously ill or pass away.

For more information on our Canine Care Card service and how to register your dog please type in this link where you will find our online application form and more information on our free service.

If you have any queries regarding the Canine Care Card please email or call 020 7837 0006 and we will be happy to help. ■

Who’ll keep her happy when

34 | LegalWomen Advertisement Feature We will – as long as your client has a Canine Care Card. It’s a FREE service from Dogs Trust that guarantees their dog a second chance a life. At Dogs Trust, we never put down a healthy dog. We’ll care for them at one of our 21 rehoming centres, located around the UK. One in every four of your clients has a canine companion. Naturally they’ll want to make provision for their faithful friend. And now you can help them at absolutely no cost. So contact us today for your FREE pack of Canine Care Card leaflets – and make a dog-lover happy. E-mail Or call 020 7837 0006 Or write to: FREEPOST DOGSTRUSTL (No stamp required) Please quote “334975”
All information will be treated as strictly confidential. Service only available for residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands & Isle of Man. A dog is for life, not just for Christmas® Registered charity numbers: 227523 & SC037843 © Dogs Trust 2021
client’s gone?

Let lawyers do the job they love.

Attracted by the option of flexible, hybrid or fully remote working, highly skilled lawyers are looking to join forward-thinking law firms that put technology at the heart of their business.

LEAP, the cloud-based legal practice productivity solution, enables firms to offer genuine flexible working opportunities to help create a highly productive and loyal workforce.

Scan the code to download our recent white paper on overcoming the skills shortage and retaining talent in the legal sector.

36 | LegalWomen Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Find out more