Lisa is a communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience of devising and implementing communications strategies in highly scrutinised environments spanning business, politics and the public sector. She is currently the Director of External Affairs at Mishcon de Reya LLP.
David is a Partner and Insolvency Practitioner with KPMG LLP; where he heads the market leading Contentious Insolvency team. David leads a range of insolvency and high profile bankruptcy appointments. He also has extensive expertise in International fraud and asset tracing assignments.
Over 25 years in the legal profession Catherine Calder has worked in private practice, in-house and at the Bar, and as a lawyer and in management.
She is Director of Client Care at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, which specialises in public law cases, often involving important ethical, social and political issues. Work of particular – although of course not unique – interest to women includes the first FGM prosecution, an important decision this year concerning the legal standing of a child in utero and the forthcoming Deepcut inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James.
Serjeants’ Inn Chambers is the only set of barristers’ chambers to be shortlisted for The Financial Times 2015 Innovative Lawyer Awards and The Lawyer’s Business Leadership Awards. It won three of the six awards available to the Bar at The Lawyer Awards, and Chambers of the Year at the Halsbury Legal Awards this year. It is a finalist for three awards at the forthcoming Chambers and Partners awards, including Client Service Set of the Year.
Catherine was previously Director of Client Care at Radcliffe Chambers. Originally appointed in 1999, she was one of the first solicitors to work in a management role at the Bar. She worked with others at Radcliffe to take the set to “the forefront of a minor revolution at the Bar which has seen the profession take on some of the trappings of modern customer-focused businesses” (Chambers and Partners).
Earlier in her career, Catherine trained and subsequently worked as a solicitor at Macfarlanes. She later moved to work for a client in the Saatchi Group, dealing with the Halifax plc and Amnesty International accounts.
Catherine is described by Chambers and Partners as “charming and clued up”. She is a committee member of the Legal Practice Management Association.
The support and friendship of other women at work has been invaluable to me throughout my career and, having first become involved in equality and diversity issues at university, the First 100 Years project is one I believe in strongly.
Great progress has been made but there is still so much more to achieve, as was most recently illustrated by the study published in July which revealed a 42% pay gap between male and female solicitors in Scotland.
The First 100 Year project challenges the attitudes underlying such statistics with stories of amazing trail-blazing women, such as Rose Heilbron. Born before women had the vote, she was a working mother who (with Helena Normanton) became the first female barrister to take silk, the first to lead in a murder case, the first woman recorder and the first woman to sit at the Old Bailey. As chair of the Heilbron Committee, she made the recommendations that rape victims should remain anonymous and be protected from unnecessary cross-examination about their sexual history, which we now take for granted as law.
Rose Heilbron is just one of an ever-growing number of instructive and inspiring female role models that the First 100 Years project will bring to life in its ambitious, exciting campaign to celebrate the past and change the future.
Dana Denis-Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, leading campaigner for equality, TEDx speaker and philanthropist. Dana is the CEO of Obelisk Support, a legal services provider offering flexible legal solutions to FTSE100 companies, law firms and growing businesses, UK-based or multinational. Obelisk’s remote worker platform has over 2,000+ lawyers, many parents needing to work flexibly around their family commitments.
A TedX speaker, Dana regularly speaks at industry events and in the media on gender equality, entrepreneurship and legal technology. She has won numerous awards, most recently in 2019, when she was recognised by the Legal 500 for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services, and, in 2018, she was voted Legal Personality of the Year at the LexisNexis Awards. She holds an honorary doctorate in laws from the University of Worcester.
In 2014, she founded the First 100 Years, a national campaign to celebrate the first 100 years of women in the legal profession in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The campaign culminated in centenary celebrations on 23 December 2019 and now focuses on the next 100 years, campaigning around key issues for women in law.