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Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law

Challenging Barriers Towards Balanced Representation

Tuesday November 02, 2021 | 8.30-16.25 GMT

This November, the Thomson Reuters Institute is proud to host Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law: Challenging Barriers Towards Balanced Representation – an annual event aimed at addressing systemic barriers for women in the legal industry – at the Biltmore Mayfair London.  As the turbulence of the pandemic continues to fray the long woven rope of equality, the timing of this programme is paramount. Join us as we consider crucial themes for our current climate within an interactive and inclusive setting for advocates, allies, and impassioned professionals in law firms, corporate legal departments, government institutions, academia and beyond.

Save the date. Online registration now available.


Event Details

London, UK


For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700 or email us at

Why You Should Attend

  • Our programme pivots upon collaborative, actionable and sustainable opportunities for personal and organizational transformation
  • Our content reflects diversity of thought, representation and format presentation to maximize educational opportunities
  • Attendees will expand their professional networks and depart empowered to take the next step in their professional careers

Who Should Attend

  • Solicitors and barristers
  • Legal business professionals
  • Diversity and inclusion champions and advocates
  • Male allies and mentors

Chair(s) and Faculty

More Information





Event agenda

(all times local)

Tuesday November 02, 2021

08.30 Registration & Breakfast
09.15 Welcome

Lucinda Case, Head of Legal Professionals Europe, Thomson Reuters

09.25 Opening Remarks

Helen Randall, Partner and Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Trowers and Hamlins

09.35 Toward a Common Goal: Key Insights in D&I Research

This opening session will explore trends and takeaways from recent diversity and inclusion research conducted by Acritas.


Jo Summers, Global Client Director, Thomson Reuters

09.45 The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession (Fireside Chat)

A year-end series of polls in the UK found that racial discrimination, despite an international focus upon it, is increasing. This, coupled with the lingering sting of an international #Metoo movement, created a bleak outlook for protections put in place for underrepresented populations worldwide. This opening session explores the current state of diversity and inclusion, bringing into focus the commonalities in our differences and the changing concerns of creating an equal future for all.


Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large, Reuters


Clare Beresford, Chief Executive Officer, Laurence Simons Search
Stephanie Boyce, President, The Law Society of England and Wales
Tiernan Brady, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Clifford Chance
Laura Empson, Professor, Bayes Business School, University of London

10.25 Keynote: A Leading Institution? An Examination of Gender Balance and Diversity in the Nation’s Highest Court

With the retirement of Lady Hale of Richmond, DBE from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in January 2020, the scales of gender diversity on the Court tipped slightly further from true gender equality. Moreover, one also cannot help but notice that there is also no racial diversity represented on the current court. Now, as Lord Reed succeeds Lady Hale, there are renewed calls for a diverse bench, even coming from the new President himself. Join us as we discuss the future of the UK’s highest court and how the visibility of diversity (or lack thereof) affects the nation’s legal industry.

10.55 In Times to Come: Exploring the Future of Work in the Legal Industry

Recent events have shifted the way employers look at the nature of work.  The necessity of remote work coupled with a continued strengthening of technically enabled collaborative and analytical tools have helped employers consider a permanent adoption of new hybrid ways of working. While the fiscal and operational benefits of these new models are apparent, it is important to explore their effects to organisational diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry. This session welcomes the results of an exploration conducted by the Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law Programme over the past year to better understand new working models, changes to compensation & benefits, the evolution of organisational culture and commercial approaches to new ways of working.


Lucie Allen, Vice President – Head of Sales, Client Management & Productivity, Global Large Law, Thomson Reuters
Desmond Brady, Strategy and Insight Director, Thomson Reuters
Karen Ngo, Senior Director, Customer Proposition, Thomson Reuters
Agustin Sanchez, Director, Strategic Business Development, Thomson Reuters

11.35 Morning Break
11.55 In Solidarity: Practical Exercises to Amplify Others (Breakout)

Amplification is a process by which colleagues support one another in professional situations when their ideas might have otherwise been overlooked.  It has been utilized and documented as a successful process of encouraging inclusivity in a variety of industries in different parts of the globe. The process is proven, but what are the actual methods one uses to employ it and how does one go about gaining support for it within their own organisation? This session will invite participants to explore opportunities to amplify the ideas of others in a scenario-driven exercise.


Rob Booth, Head of Marine Assets, The Crown Estate
Jemma Tagg, Chief Executive Officer, Twenty Essex

Alone on the Inside: Addressing the Growing Mental Health Crisis in the Legal Field (Breakout)

A survey by the Law Society of England and Wales noted that almost all solicitors complain of job stress, with 17% pointing to the extreme nature of the stress. The highly detailed nature of legal work coupled with longer than normal work hours and performance pressure from clients creates a potential tinder box for every professional in the field. Given the preponderance of potential mental health issues for legal professionals, it is important for those in the field to understand the warning signs of poor mental health. This session joins experts in both the medical and legal fields to discuss what legal professionals and legal leadership can do to raise mental health awareness, while helping themselves and others in the process.


Emma Codd, Global Inclusion Leader, Deloitte
Henna Malik, Associate, Trowers and Hamlins

Leading Forward: Opening Opportunities within the C-Suite for Women and BAME (Breakout)

Though professional service industries are doing more to improve the pipeline for women and underrepresented groups, there remains very little movement in continuous progression towards leadership for both. While many organisations have been doing more to bolster recruitment and retention progression into middle management, can change be more effective from a top-down model? How can firms encourage change from within for a more diverse executive team? What role do clients play in these changes? This session welcomes discussion around how to increase diversity and inclusion at the leadership team of the firm.


Susan Bright, Global Managing Partner for Diversity & Inclusion and Responsible Business, Hogan Lovells


Priya Lele, Legal Operations Lead, Client Solutions, Herbert Smith Freehills, She Breaks the Law

12.50 Report Out – Workshops
13.00 Networking Luncheon
14.00 What’s in a Number?: Eradicating Misperceptions Based On Ageism (Breakout)

The Equality Act 2010 expressly forbids employers from discrimination against age unless employers have ‘objectively justified’ reasons. Though this law attempts to promote the fair employment of aging employees, ageism is much more than an issue of numbers. Along with misconstrued beliefs around experience (or lack thereof), comes fallacies around abilities, both intellectual and physical, as well as assumptions that an individual is defined by the qualities of their generation. Our panel will explore the issues in seeing an individual through a generational lens. Our panel will also discuss how organisations can help drive the conversation in order to encourage a workforce of ideas, talents, and skills rather than a workplace built upon age limitations.


Daniel Greenberg, Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons


Claire Clarke, Managing Partner, Mills Reeve
Stéphanie Hamon, Head of Legal Operations Consulting, Norton Rose Fulbright

The Road Less Travelled: Exploring Alternative Legal Career Pathways (Breakout)

Upon entry into law school, most new students were traditionally led to law firms or the Bar. However, given the growth of the legal field, legal competitors, in-house legal departments, and the rise of technology in the field—these other paths are quickly becoming only one of many options for a legal career. Our session welcomes professionals who are involved in other areas of the legal profession to speak about their experiences and to explore the alternative career pathways one might take when considering their next step.

A Seat at the Table: Best Practices in Board Opportunities for Women (Breakout)

The 30% Club has set the global recommendations for organisations to achieve 30% in gender diversity at the Board and senior leadership levels. While some organisations have met that goal, others have a gap to fill.  However, what is clear is that there is a universal push towards welcoming more women to board roles. With that in mind, how might women begin to work towards gaining a role on a board? What are the professional costs and benefits of joining a board? This session will welcome female board members whom will share their best practices and lessons learnt in obtaining a seat at the table.


Michelle Bramley, Consultant


Yasmin Sheikh, NLP Practitioner, Diverse Matters
Suzanne Szczetnikowicz, Senior Associate, Milbank

14.50 Report Out - Workshops
15.00 Afternoon Break
15.20 Better Together: Law Firm Support of Client D&I Goals

The current climate has motivated most corporations into further action around supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives. Whether it be internal self-appointed mandates to revisit their own brands and promotional practices or external opportunities to help encourage equality in their communities, corporate clients are clearly determined to do more. Given the variety of arenas in which corporations have strong influence, what can their law firm counsel be doing to support their D&I goals? Our session brings together in-house counsel and law firms to discuss how client and counsel can better partner around motivating corporate goals for the better.


Dana Denis-Smith, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Obelisk Support
Clare Wardle, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Coca Cola European Partners

16.05 Final Remarks - Chair
16.15 Closing

Lucinda Case, Head of Legal Professionals Europe, Thomson Reuters

16.25 Reception

The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR Hotels & Resorts

44 Grosvenor Square
Mayfair, London W1K 2HP
United Kingdom

Please be advised, Thomson Reuters has not secured a room block for this programme. Interested parties may contact the hotel directly for available rates.

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