We are committed to assembling a diverse panel who can speak to all the strands of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Alessandra is an experienced professional services marketer with a proven track-record in building corporate profile and driving client demand through an innovative approach to marketing, communications and engagement initiatives.
A passionate diversity and inclusion advocate, she is an advisory board member at the Black Business Institute, a BAME mentor and active participant in a number of women networks.
Currently Global Director – Marketing and Communications at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and a Further Education Governor, Alessandra has held senior positions at organisations such as Baker McKenzie, Linklaters, KWM and ABN AMRO.
Alexandra qualified as a solicitor in 1983, and was an equity partner at Linklaters (1990-2003). She now sits as a Deputy High Court Judge, Recorder and fee-paid First Tier Tribunal Judge. She is also the Independent Statutory Reviewer of Access & Participation Plans for the Office for Students, appointed by the Minister for Universities for the Department for Education.
Alexandra was a Judicial Appointments Commissioner for six years until January 2018, and a Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (investigating potential miscarriages of justice) for five years until October 2018. In 2008-09, she was Master of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors of the City of London, and President of the City of London Law Society.
Throughout her career, Alexandra has been keen to mentor and support young women, especially those within the legal profession.
Alexandra is currently a Council member of JUSTICE (the law reform and human rights organisation); a trustee of LawCare (the mental health and wellbeing charity for the legal professions and judiciary); and Chair of the trustees of Discover, Children’s Story Centre based in Newham. Formerly, she chaired Amnesty International Charity Limited; JUSTICE’s Executive Board; the Law Society’s Law Reform Board; and Prisoners’ Education Trust.
Alexandra received the Law Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016; was honoured with a CBE in 2017; and appointed an Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford in 2018.
Annabel is the Litigation and Disputes Management Lead for Accenture for the EMEA North region. In addition to that, since 2015, Annabel has been leading inclusion and diversity activities for the Accenture Legal team. She was the global sponsor for Legal Women focused on development and promotion. She is now the global I&D Lead for Accenture Legal working directly with the GC and the Leadership Executive Committee to set the vision, mission and strategic priorities to achieve Accenture Legal’s overall I&D objectives.
Annabel leads a global multi-disciplinary team across HR, legal operations, change management and communications that has been established to set objectives and help to operationalise the initiatives for each diversity dimensions (gender, ethnicity, pride and disability inclusion) as well as the central programmes such as our internship programmes, relationships with diversity associations, pledges and commitments, and shared initiatives with our outside counsel.
Annabel is half Chinese and half English, married with three teenage daughters and living in London.
Clare Murray is the founder and Managing Partner of CM Murray LLP, specialising in partnership and employment law.
Clare acts for US and UK professional services firms (particularly in the legal sector), and for equity partners in professional services and investment management firms.
She has particular expertise in the strategic handling of partner conduct and performance issues, partner exits, team moves and restrictive covenants, as well as partner discrimination and whistleblowing complaints and litigation.
Clare has advised on many sexual harassment matters in law and accounting firms, and in multi-national organisations, and has extensive experience of representing complainants, firms and employers, and those accused of alleged harassment. In March 2018 Clare was appointed as the specialist adviser to the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee in respect of its Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Inquiry.
Clare played a leading role in the creation of the Professional Practices Alliance. Clare is also regarded as a market leader in providing strategic advice to senior executives, founders, US and multi-national companies with UK operations, and US and UK law firms on their employment law issues.
Many of the employment law matters in which Clare is involved are cross-border. Clare was instrumental in setting up global employment law alliance, Innangard.
Entrepreneur and campaigner Dana Denis-Smith is the founder and Chief Executive of Obelisk Support. Having started the business in 2010, Dana has pioneered the concept of flexible working in the legal industry. Obelisk Support has grown to a network of over 1,000 legal consultants who deliver legal services to clients worldwide.
Dana studied at the London School of Economics before embarking on a career in journalism. Passionate about access to justice and equality of opportunity since she was a child, Dana then switched focus and trained as a lawyer with Linklaters. Finding that her time in practice didn’t provide enough of an outlet for her entrepreneurial energy, Dana started her first business, a global insight provider, in 2008. She then went on to set up Obelisk Support to provide flexible legal services to top companies and law firms, using lawyers who no longer wanted a traditional legal career.
In 2014, stunned to discover that women had only been able to practise law in the UK since 1919, Dana founded the First Hundred Years project. The project has captured the stories of pioneering women in the industry. As well as producing an exhibition, a book, “First”, detailing the history of these women leaders, and 65 films of leading women including Baroness Hale, Baroness Scotland and Dame Rosalyn Higgins, the project has commissioned a number of other initiatives. The most recent of these is a unique piece of artwork by Turner-prize nominated artist Catherine Yass, which has gone on display in the UK’s Supreme Court – the first piece of art representing women in the Court’s collection
Elizabeth started her working life as a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. She has been managing and developing charities in the mental health sector for over 15 years and joined LawCare as chief executive in 2014.
I. Stephanie Boyce is a multi-award winning, highly experienced, approachable, inspiring and adaptable leader and the Immediate Past President of the Law Society of England and Wales.
In March 2021, after four attempts, she made history, becoming the 177th, the sixth female and the first person of colour to become president. During her tenure as president she successfully steered the profession through a number of world crises which challenged the legal sector like never before including the Covid 19 pandemic, holding the line in difficult times and helping the Law Society to define its core public value in the 21st century, whilst redefining how it delivered and remain true to those core values in a digital world.
She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at Women and Diversity in Law Awards in March 2023.
Partner in White & Case's Global Debt Finance Practice and director of the Firm's Africa practice, Josh advises corporates, governments, banks and other financial institutions on cross-border project development and finance transactions in Africa.
Josh has significant knowledge and experience of the African markets, and has worked on a number of landmark cross-border finance deals in the region. International in outlook and practice background, he has dual Ghanaian and British nationality, and works between the Firm's London and Johannesburg office.
Josh has been identified by Euromoney as "one of Africa's Rising Stars," the publication's list of individuals and power brokers who are transforming the financial, investment and business landscape in Africa. In addition, he has been named by Forbes as "one of Africa's most influential young business leaders." Josh has also been named a "Young Business Leader of the Year" by the African Union, and leading Africa-focused business publication The Africa Report has recognized Josh as "one of three individuals shaping Africa's economic future."
In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Josh was named among Britain's 100 most influential Black people by the Powerlist. He has also been listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 which features the most accomplished men and women from around the globe.
In 2018, Josh was selected as the only lawyer to join Prime Minister Theresa May on her trade mission to Africa.
In November 2018, Josh was appointed as a member of the UK-Africa FinTech Investment Group, following the UK Prime Minister's announcement of the formation of the UK-Africa FinTech Partnership.
In June 2019, Josh was appointed to the Global Britain Sub Group of the UK Board of Trade, promoting the UK's global trade and investment agenda with a focus on Africa.
In June 2019, Josh was appointed a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty The Queen in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2019. He was recognised for his services to the law, UK legal services, and for his contribution to UK trade and investment in Africa.
In January 2020, following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the formation of the UK Africa Investors Group ("AIG"), Josh was appointed as a member of the AIG chaired by Her Majesty's trade commissioner for Africa.
In April 2021, Josh was appointed to the U.K. Government's Africa Green Growth Advisory Council which promotes sustainable economic development between the U.K. and Africa.
In 2021, Josh was also appointed to the Advisory Council of the Queen's Green Canopy Initiative which was recently established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (as Patron) to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
With over 20 years of national, regional, and global experience, Julia’s work extends across the legal sector (Law firm, In-house, Law Company) and professional services.
Julia brings substantial experience re-envisioning strategy to capitalise on new market dynamics, with robust strategic implementation. She excels in guiding and coaching complex, matrixed talent-driven businesses during periods of growth, transformation, and crisis. She brings a wealth of expertise in empowering and aligning distributed leadership, organisational structure and behavioural change.
A particular passion is advising on how to incorporate Sustainability, and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) into strategy to drive growth and meet changing stakeholder expectations. She co-leads the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of the Corporation Project,” defining the corporate governance, leadership and stakeholder relationships required to advance purposeful sustainable businesses.
Clients particularly value Julia’s mix of progressive market insight, constructive challenge and relationship adeptness to influence change across diverse stakeholder communities, in a supportive and pragmatic manner.
Julia works with her long-standing strategic business partners Fairfax Associates (specialist international legal sector consultants) and KLI (specialist leadership and change consultants) to scale and provide specialist capabilities as required by her clients.
Julia’s consulting background started 20 years ago, as a partner in a global legal sector management consultancy for seven years (three in the US), culminating in an acquisition by Thomson Reuters. Beforehand, Julia was an internal consultant at Clifford Chance, focused on business planning and establishing its first global key client program.
Most recently, Julia was the Global Chief Strategy Officer and Global Executive Committee member at Baker McKenzie. Advising and working with four successive Chairmen and leadership teams over 12 years, Julia led strategic growth, leadership and business transformation projects. As Director of Marketing, Business Development and Communications, she also played pivotal roles in major global client teams and client-facing engagements.
A qualified lawyer, Julia practised law at regional firm Shoosmiths, and as a secondee for the in-house legal department at what is now Walgreens Alliance Boots.
Julia is a NED for the Foundling Museum, the UK’s first children’s charity and an inaugural Advisory Board member of Thomson Reuters UK Transforming Women’s Leadership in Law Forum.
Julia holds an MBA (Manchester Business School), as well as having Certificates in Sustainable Business Leadership (Cambridge University, Institute for Sustainable Leadership) and Organisational Behaviour & Design (Columbia NY University). A qualified lawyer she completed Law Society Finals (College of Law), a law degree (Essex University) and is a qualified Meyler Campbell executive coach since 2007.
Justin is the CEO of Herbert Smith Freehills, overseeing its client, people, practices and growth strategies.
He works closely with the firm’s largest clients, both in his personal practice role and as a regional and global business leader, and leads the firm’s 5,000-plus team of talented people.
During his 23-year career with Herbert Smith Freehills, Justin has overseen the growth of many successful businesses, including the firm’s market-leading Disputes practice and rapid expansion in Asia.
A thought leader and skilled practitioner in arbitration and dispute resolution, Justin has appeared before tribunals around the world and regularly sits as arbitrator.
The founder of the firm’s first LGBT+ network in 2007, Justin is a strong advocate and active supporter of diversity and inclusion in the firm and the wider community.
He currently chairs the firm’s Global Executive and is Executive Sponsor of IRIS, the firm’s global LGBT+ network.
Kawsar is a barrister, solicitor (non-practising), and a CEDR Accredited Mediator. He enjoys a diverse practice working on matters spanning from civil and commercial to regulatory, employment and public law. He has appeared before a range of courts and specialist tribunals and is regularly instructed in complex matters, often beyond his level of call.
He is Visiting Lecturer in Law at the University of Law and a Guest Teacher in Law at the London School of Economics.
Before becoming a barrister, Kawsar was a solicitor at ‘Magic Circle’ law firms Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy in London, where he specialised in financial services regulatory law acting for some of the world’s largest corporate and financial institutions on a range of high-profile, international and cross-border matters. He also worked on high-value international commercial arbitration and mediation matters, complex banking and finance transactions, and in forming private funds.
He is passionate about the law, legal practice, diversity and social mobility. He holds various unpaid leadership roles including as a Trustee of the Wembley National Stadium Trust, a Governor at Morpeth Secondary School in East London, and an associate member of the UK’s National Muslim War Memorial Trust, which is supported by Her Majesty’s Government and the Chief of the Defence Staff. In 2020, he founded the ‘Take the COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign’ to encourage vaccine update amongst BAME communities and was praised in Parliament.
As the youngest of seven siblings, Kawsar was the first in his family to go to university. He graduated with first in law from the London School of Economics (2HC Scholar), before completing the BCL at Oxford University (OCIS Scholar), and then the LLM at Harvard Law School (Fulbright Scholar). In 2009, he was a Global Fellow of the Prime Minister.
Lesley has been a voracious champion of D&I throughout her career. In her previous role at Lloyds Banking Group, she supported all strands of diversity by fostering a positive culture where people’s different backgrounds, views and values are given appropriate respect at work. She led the hugely successful Breakthrough Mentoring programme to promote and retain female talent – the success of which she then used to raise the profile of other diversity initiatives including, the Rainbow Network.
Lesley is on the board of EurOut at London Business School and is a regular keynote speaker on LGBT+ issues. She is the Founder and CEO of Through the Looking Glass Charity (which provides less affluent students with rare insight into City professions) and Founder and President of The Eagle Club (which helps women in leadership positions to realise their potential and build strong support structures).
In her senior leadership role at FBN Bank, Lesley is committed to promoting equality and meritocracy across the organisation. She uses her influence as General Counsel and Whistleblowing Officer to create a positive working culture for employees and to build trust and confidence with the FCA, the PRA and the legal and consultancy firms that she works with.
Nina Goswami is Clifford Chance’s first Head of Inclusion UK. She is responsible for developing and implementing the global law firm’s inclusion policies and campaigns within the London and Newcastle offices.
Before Clifford Chance, Nina was the BBC’s Creative Diversity Lead and headed up 50:50 The Equality Project. The multi-award-winning initiative uses data monitoring to ensure media content better reflects society.
It is the biggest ever collective action on increasing women’s representation in BBC content. During Nina’s tenure, 50:50 expanded beyond gender to drive change in relation to disability and ethnic minority representation too.
As part of the BBC’s Creative Diversity Unit, she led their work around inclusive language and supported BBC News with its diversity and inclusion strategy. She also launched impact-driven partnerships such as Reframing Disability with the Media Trust.
Nina also worked as a journalist. She was a reporter for national newspapers – The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph – as well as for the legal press. This was prior to her work at the BBC, where her roles included TV News Editor. During the coronavirus pandemic, she returned to the BBC newsroom as a TV output editor and senior producer to support critical news services.
Her work to create culture change through data-driven initiatives was recognised at the Women in Governance, Risk and Compliance Awards 2021, where she was short-listed for GRC Ambassador of the Year. Nina has also featured in the Top 20 Global Diversity List as a Champion 2021 and Diversity Professional 2020.
Peter co-chairs Norton Rose Fulbright’s diversity and inclusion committee alongside EMEA Chair Farmida Bi. He is also a member of the City of London Corporation’s socio-economic taskforc.
Coming from a state school education and being the first generation in his family to attend university, social mobility is a priority for Peter and he is a senior sponsor of Advance, the new UK social mobility network at Norton Rose Fulbright. Peter is also a leading antitrust and competition lawyer who focuses on all areas of contentious antitrust work, where he has represented clients including HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vodafone, Santander and Mercer.
Phoebe’s mission is to contribute to the elimination of inequality globally by supporting all people to recognise the negative impact of gender inequality and to appreciate the benefits of gender equity and equality. She strives to enable individuals to recognise their rights and achieve their potential, and to clarify, across industry and across the globe, the opportunities that those individuals should not only have access to but should be supported to thrive within.
She is a Consultant and Director at Optimising Potential. OP creates and facilitates reflective spaces for individuals, teams, and organisations, supporting them to identify impactful and sustainable strategies to optimise their, and their stakeholders’ potential.
Two-time winner of Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35, she is also an Assessor at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Sustainability Leadership (a course called ‘Women Leading Change: Shaping Our Future’) and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire on the foundations of gender equality. Phoebe is a Leadership Fellow of the prestigious Aspen Institute.
Her professional background is as a corporate investigator, specialising in complex litigation and arbitration support, asset tracing and recovery, and enforcement. As part of being entrenched in the legal sector, she is Chair of the Board of a highly popular non-for-profit organisation called The Female Fraud Forum, through which with her 22 committee members, she spearheads the support for and encouragement of the advancement of women.
Professor Sara Chandler KC (Hon) is a solicitor in London South Bank University’s Legal Advice Clinic, and was a Council Member of the Law Society of England & Wales (LSEW), representing solicitors in the voluntary sector from 2002 to 2021. She is also active in local law societies and is Past President of Westminster & Holborn Law Society and Past President of South London Law Society. She was Chair of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee from 2011 to 2015 and continues as an active member with particular responsibility for Colombia.
Sara has a background in free legal services having worked for 15 years in Law Centres, 5 years in legal aid firms, 9 years in the University of Law Legal Advice Centre, and joined London South Bank University in 2012. Her work in the Legal Advice Clinic involves training and supervising law students to give free legal services to members of the public.
In 2016 Sara was made Honorary QC for her work in human rights, pro bono and clinical legal education. During 2003 to 2012 Sara worked pro bono in training programmes of the Law Society of England & Wales with the legal professions of Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and the Eastern Caribbean on access to justice, promoting legal aid schemes and free legal services.
From 1982 to 92 she worked in North Lewisham Law Centre as a welfare rights worker and in 1995 she qualified as a solicitor, working in a legal aid firm assisting homeless people as a solicitor specialising in Housing Law.
Sara has been a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Federation of European Bars (FBE) since 2006, and in 2011 she became President of the Human Rights Commission until 2015, when she joined the FBE Presidency. She is currently the Secretary to the Commission.
In 2017 she became the first female President of the European Bars Federation (FBE), and campaigns for Women in Leadership in the Law. Since 2018 she has been the Chair Law Society’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is working to achieve a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.
Sanjay is the Chair of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion charity. In this role, he is a frequent public commentator and recognised thought leader on issues related to discrimination and equality.
Sanjay is also a Board member at the Lawn Tennis Association and Greater Sport (the Local Active Partnership for Greater Manchester) and is part of the Government-sponsored Parker review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards (focusing on FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies). Sanjay was also a member of the Premier League’s Equality Standard Independent Panel for four years.
Sanjay enjoyed a 30 year business career in law, technology and compliance including 12 years as a Partner at international consultancy business EY where he was also the partner sponsor for award winning race strategies. Since 2019, Sanjay has been pursuing a portfolio career. Sanjay is a Board Member at the law firm Travers Smith and the Serious Fraud Office as well as a number of charities. Sanjay is also Chair of the Satellite Applications Catapult which acts as a hub for innovation in the UK space technology industry.