Winners unveiled at the Women and Diversity in Law Awards

Bar Council vice chair Barbara Mills KC among array of individuals, teams and businesses honoured
Barbara Mills KC receiving her lifetiem achievement awards

(l-r) Awards judge James Stewart, Barbara Mills KC, awards host Natalie Gumede

Legal professionals, businesses, not-for-profits and teams from across the UK have been recognised for their achievements in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Women and Diversity in Law Awards.

Among those honoured at last night’s awards, which took place in London and were hosted by The Global Legal Post, were Bar Council vice chair Barbara Mills KC, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and FieldFisher partner Caron Heyes, who was named Woman of Year.

Law firm winners included Clifford Chance, Farrer & Co, RPC and Reed Smith while Aviva, Standard Chartered, the Law Society of England and Wales and the International Bar Association (IBA) were also recognised, among many other businesses and not-for-profits.

The evening culminated with the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mills, who was nominated by the 30-strong judging panel and last year became the first woman of colour to be elected as the Bar Council’s vice chair. 

Heyes, meanwhile, was recognised as Woman of the Year for the launch, in partnership with Mencap, of the Rachel’s Voice campaign, which works to reduce the avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability in healthcare settings.

Among the law firm winners was RPC, which was named Responsible Business of the Year, having aligned its responsible business strategy with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals while the IBA secured Gender Equality Initiative of the Year for a nine-year global project designed to uncover the root-causes of gender disparity at senior levels of the legal profession.

The evening, which was overseen by award-winning actress Natalie Gumede, featured a host of individual awards, whose recipients included Greenberg Traurig’s London managing partner Fiona Adams, who was named Law Firm Leader of the Year – Large Law Firm, Emma Wright, of Harbottle & Lewis, who secured the equivalent award for the small to medium-sized law firm category, and Matrix Chambers chief executive Rachel Holmes, who was named Responsible Business Leader of the Year.

The official charity for the evening was legal mental health charity LawCare. 

The 30-strong roster of judges included former Law Society president and recipient of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, I Stephanie Boyce; Sanjay Bhandari, chair of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion charity; Lesley Wan, the recently appointed general counsel of UK banking start-up All Africa Capital and founder of the Through the Looking Glass charity; and Uzma Hamid-Dizier, director of responsible business and inclusion at Slaughter and May.

Click here for a full list of the winners.

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