Inspirational Women in Law Award Results

Published 29th November 2016

We are delighted to announce the winner and finalists of the First 100 Years’ Inspirational Women in Law Award. From the huge number of nominations we received from all over the legal industry, the First 100 Years team and our brilliant panel of judges were able to narrow the competition down to five finalists, from which Keily Blair of Morrison & Foerster was chosen as this year’s overall winner. Congratulations Keily!

The Award was in search of the brightest stories from the next generation of lawyers, to be included in the First 100 Years video library. The First 100 Years project will be running the competition annually until the centenary of the Disqualification (Removal) Act in 2019, by which time we will have named 10 women as the future’s most Inspirational Women in Law. As well as receiving one of the First 100 Years’ limited edition toilet rolls, Keily’s story (and those of our future winners) will be filmed as part of the video library project and featured here on the First 100 Years website.

Our judging panel included:


The panel of judges were given anonymised versions of our finalists’ entries, and a set of impartial criteria to judge by. The judges were unanimously impressed with Keily’s submission, and her commitment to be a mentor and champion of women in Law. Keily had this to say on winning the award:

It is a privilege to have won the Inspirational Women in Law Award 2016. 100 years ago the women who sought equal treatment to men in the social, political and professional spheres were trailblazers. In 2016, the path to entry into the legal profession for women is well trodden, however the outdated business and career models which hold back the progression of women in the law must be challenged. The responsibility to develop and champion women in the legal sector belongs to every person in the legal profession. Those at the top of our profession owe it to those who came before them and those than come after them to agitate for change. I will use this Award as a platform to continue promote the advancement of women in the legal sector and beyond.

Congratulations are also in order for our four runners-up: Georgina Wolfe (5 Essex Court), Annie Flower (Goldman Sachs), Gemma Pesce (Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council), and Claire Sng (DLA Piper). Each of our finalists received a diploma at the Spark 21 Conference on November 9th, presented to them by the Lord Chancellor Liz Truss, and will become ambassadors for the First 100 Years project. We can’t wait to hear more from these brilliant women as they continue their careers and their commitment to improving the future for women in Law.

If you would like to support Spark 21 and the First 100 Years project to continue recognising and shaping the future for women in Law, please visit our donation page. Donations of £50 or over will secure you a personalised place on the First 100 Years Donors’ wall.