Meet this year’s judges!

10th October 2019
The Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2019 are now open! Make sure you nominate yourself or fellow inspirational women or male champions to be recognised for driving much-needed change in the legal sector to make gender equality a reality. You can find out how to nominate here.

We are pleased to announce the judges for this year’s Awards:

Susan Belgrave is a barrister at 7 Bedford Row Chambers (7BR) where she specialises in employment and discrimination law. Susan has served on the Bar Council’s Professional Conduct and Complaints Committee and is a member of Employment Lawyers Association where she has chaired working parties preparing submissions on government consultations. She is the author of ‘Nuisance and Harassment’ (1995) and has contributed to and edited many other publications. She provides training on diversity for barristers’ chambers, is a professional Champion for First 100 Years and a trustee of the British Foundation for the University of the West Indies.

Nilema Bhakta-Jones won the Inspirational Women in Law Awards, Champion of the Year 2018. She isChief Operating Officer, Farillio Limited and Founder of Courageous Leaders Event. Farillio helps SMEs to grow and thrive by delivering vital legal and business solutions on its platform. She was CEO of start-up Alacrity, and General Counsel of Ascential plc (250 FTSE) for 11 years. Nilema founded Courageous Leaders Event to empower women to find the courageous leader in themselves. The event fees fund an education project for adolescent girls to continue their secondary education in Zimbabwe. It is run by charity Plan International UK and supported by Dept Foreign Investment Development.

Kirsty Brimelow QC won the Inspirational Woman in Law, Barrister Award in 2018. Kirsty is the head of Doughty Street’s International Human Rights Team and part of the Doughty Street Equalities Team. She specialises in international human rights, criminal law, public international, constitutional and international criminal law. She is instructed in the most serious, complex and prominent cases nationally and internationally.

Catherine Calder is Joint Chief Executive of Serjeants’ Inn. Catherine draws on nearly 30 years’ experience in private practice, in-house and at the Bar, as a solicitor and in management and client relationship roles. She has worked in commercial, chancery, civil and public law. Clients quoted by Chambers UK note that she is “”seriously impressive and stunningly efficient”. Catherine is also a Trustee of Spark21, the charity that powers the First 100 Years project.

Millicent Grant is the Past President (2017-18) of the Chartered Institute for Legal Executives. Millicent entered the profession as a legal secretary in a firm in King’s Bench Walk, Temple, with the intention of qualifying as a Legal Executive, as it was an ILEX requirement (now known as the Chartered Legal Executives (CILEx)) at the time for students to be working in a legal practice. Millicent qualified as an Associate of the Institute in 1978 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute in 1991, studying at evening classes and by distance learning to complete her qualification. Millicent has worked as a chartered legal executive in the private, corporate in house and public sectors. She is a Director of CILEx Professional Limited She received a UK Legal Diversity as BSN Lawyer of the Year 2017 and was recognised as a 2017 Woman of Achievement by Women of the Year Awards. She is a Council member of JUSTICE, and chair of Knights Youth Centre, a youth work charity.

Sean Jones QC is a Barrister at 11KBW and an Employment Judge. Since taking silk, Sean has quickly built a leading practice focused on complex and high profile cases. He acts for both claimants and defendants in claims covering the a wide range of Employment, Commercial Employment and Sport-related disputes. Clients identify, variously, team-working, approachability, breadth and depth of specialist knowledge and effectiveness in cross-examination as the particular skills Sean has to offer.

Hilary Meredith won the Inspirational Woman in Law, Solicitor Award in 2018. Hilary is the Chairman and Founder of Hilary Meredith Solicitors. She is visiting Professor of Law and Veterans Affairs at Chester University, and a former Military SIG Co-ordinator. The past Managing Partner of a City centre law practice employing 300, Hilary launched her own firm in 2003 and established Hilary Meredith Solicitors as a market leader in the field of personal injury and Public Affairs.

Elliot Moss is a Partner and Director of Business Development at Mishcon de Reya. He worked for Leo Burnett for 12 years, joining as a management trainee in London. Elliot became Managing Director of Leagas Delaney London in 2005 and in four years he helped the business to grow by 40%. Elliot hosts Jazz Shapers on Jazz FM interviewing leading founders. He also sits on the Development Board of the London Symphony Orchestra. He was shortlisted for the Law Firm Management Individual of the Year in the Lawyer Management Awards 2013. In 2012 he was the first non-lawyer to be included in the FT’s 10 most innovative individuals in the legal sector.

Ruth Murphy won the Inspirational Woman in Law, In-House Award in 2018. Ruth is Legal Director of In Life and Product in BT. She sits on the Management Team of the Customer Solutions unit of Enterprise and leads a team of lawyers across the UK and Ireland that provide strategic, risk savvy, customer-centric advice on b2b commercial matters and all BT’s product launches. Ruth graduated in Law from Trinity College in Dublin and started her career as a solicitor in Eversheds before moving to BT. Ruth is a BT lead for Diversity and Inclusion and BT’s Partner Champion for Lean In Circles and is passionate about social mobility and STEM. She is Chairperson of the Judges for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, one of the largest science and technology exhibitions of its kind in the world, and is a Director on the Board of the BT YSTE.

Rachel Welch-Phillips is an associate in the International Aviation Group at Bird & Bird in London, where she acts for operating lessors, managers and airlines in a variety of international aviation transactions, and provides regulatory advice to the industry with a special focus on environmental matters. Rachel is the founder and co-chair of the BAME network at Bird & Bird, Embrace, and actively engages in intersectional diversity work both within her firm and in the wider community. Rachel dedicates a lot of her time to mentorship and volunteering. She is a mentor to a female law student through the firm’s Bursary Scheme, a Professional Ambassador in the Aspiring Solicitors programme, available for questions around the BAME female experience in city law, and informally mentors several young women in high school and university who aspire to law. In addition to mentorship, she is a regular volunteer at the South Westminster Legal Advice Clinic in Victoria, London, a free legal drop-in advice service helping those on low incomes with a wide range of legal matters. Rachel won the Under 35 Lawyer of the Year category in the Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2018, and since then has also been recognised in the EMPower Ethnic Minority Future Leader Role Model List 2019, the HERoes 50 Women Future Leaders list, and she was awarded the Future Leader Minority Lawyer award at the Chambers & Partners Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2019.

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