As we approach International Women’s Day 2023, we want to take the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our female members at the junior and senior ends of the Bar, as well as the support team that help keep our three Chambers running so efficiently.
In recent years, there have been positive strides to support equal opportunities across the Bar. At Kings Chambers we have enhanced our already comprehensive suite of policies to embrace work life balance and wellbeing for all members, some specifically for our female membership at the various stages in their career.
At Kings Chambers, we’re proud of all our female colleagues and in the past 12 months, there have been many reasons to celebrate their success. Below are just a few highlights.
High profile appointments
In the last 12 months, Kings Chambers has had two female King’s Counsel (KC) appointments.
Planning barrister Sarah Reid, Head of Recruitment at Kings Chambers and member of the Executive Committee of PEBA and Women in Planning was appointed Silk in April 2022.
Clinical negligence and personal injury specialist Helen Mulholland was also awardedâ€¯KC status last year and will be sworn in at a ceremony at Westminster Hall later this month. Helen achieved another career highlight, being appointed as a Civil Recorder, sitting on the North Eastern Circuit.
Elsewhere, â€¯commercial chancery barrister Eleanor Templeâ€¯was elected to the Executive Council of R3, the leading trade association for the UK’s insolvency and restructuring professionals.â€¯
Employment barrister Rosie Kight, a former solicitor who transferred to the Bar in 2018, was recently appointed as a fee paid Judge of the Employment Tribunals Midlands & West region, as well as being appointed as junior counsel to the provincial panel of the Government Legal Department. These are testament to the strong and varied employment law practice she has built.
Sticking with the theme of high-profile appointments, Francesca Gardner, a specialist in all areas of health and social care, was appointed as a Deputy District Judge.â€¯ Francesca sits on the North Eastern Circuit within the Civil Jurisdiction.
Employment specialist Laura Gould was appointed as Chair of the Bar Representation Committee at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, an association of barristers that has been established for over 600 years. Laura represents Hall on the Advisory (Benchers) Committee, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Finance and General Purposes Committee, and the Planning and Development Group.
Barristers Lucy Wilson Barnes and Stephanie Hall were appointed to the Public International Law (PIL) regional panel with Lucy being appointed to A Panel counsel and Stephanie to B Panel. The panels comprise junior counsel who undertake public international law on behalf of all government departments.
Women of Influence
Junior barrister Constanze Bell was highlighted by leading planning title The Planner in its list of planning’s Women of Influence, nominated by readers of The Planner and assessed by a panel of judges that includes distinguished planners from across the UK.â€¯ Last year, Constanze was also awarded a Pegasus Scholarship, a scheme which allows barristers and lawyers to work in other common law system countries. The scholarship saw Constanze working withâ€¯Chapman Tripp, a leading New Zealand law firm. Chambers has a favourable sabbatical policy which enabled Constanze to benefit from this opportunity without adverse financial impact.
In the past year, our female barristers have organised conferences and played key roles at many networking events.
Brainchild of costs barrister Erica Bedford, the recent Women in Costs conference in Manchester saw more than 100 women attend a development seminar to inspire each other, network, share success stories and discuss best practice. Following its success, another seminar, taking place in London, is now in the planning.
In September Sarah Reid KC chaired the Women in Planning Inquiry Training Day in Manchester which attracted 150 delegates. Planning Barristers, Sarah Clover and Stephanie Hall acted as advocates during the mock inquiry.
These are just some of the amazing achievements of our female colleagues. We look forward to seeing more of their inspirational work.