Edwina Millward

Published 1st August 2014

Edwina’s career is made remarkable not only by her becoming the first woman president of the Association of District Judges, but also by the atypicality of her education. Her original diploma was in housecraft and needlework and, upon receiving it, Edwina became a teacher. However, she always harboured a nagging aspiration to become a lawyer. Recognising this, the headmistress of her school made inquiries into Edwina pursuing a part-time degree course in law, and she embarked on the beginnings of her prestigious law degree. She took articles at Gill Turner Tucker in Maidstone, where she developed the passion for family law which was to become a constant throughout her career, and by 1990 she had become senior partner of the firm.

Throughout her career, Edwina was a great champion of women, serving as national president of the UK Federation of Business and Professional Women between 1985 and 1987. So too, Edwina was a great female pioneer, forging a path right to the top of what was a very male dominated profession. By all accounts, though, Edwina’s isolated position as a female did not faze her. She became a deputy district judge in 1989 and was appointed a full-time district judge in 1995, before rising to presidency of the Association of District Judges in 2008.

Edwina’s interest in family law never dwindled, and throughout her time as a judge she continued to be involved in family cases, being heralded for her poise and thoughtfulness in particular. Edwina retired in 2013, but, after a distinguished career, her legacy to aspiring female judges is still very much tangible.