Our President.

Written By: Laura Pinkney
Edition: March 2019

This month’s message is all about inclusivity. Promoting equality and diversity was one of my themes for my presidential year and, to this end, I am delighted to confirm that we now have our very own Equality and Diversity Committee. The purpose of the committee is to promote and celebrate diversity with a view to creating a profession more reflective of those we represent. The Committee is being Chaired by Lauren Crow, Director of MJC Law and Tony Hills, Senior Clerk at Ropewalk Chambers. The Committee are currently working on a launch event and we will be bringing you news on this in the near future so watch this space.

In February, I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by the Midlands Asian Lawyers Association (MALA) to welcome their new President, Judge Afzal OBE. I was absolutely delighted to meet the charming Judge Afzal. He is the first blind District Judge, was the first in his family to go to university and received his OBE in 2008 for services to the judiciary and for voluntary services to those with disabilities.  He is also the father to five daughters, and as I know from being one of three girls, that deserves a medal in itself! The man is a true inspiration and role model. MALA do amazing work amongst the profession and community and they also know how to throw an excellent party! We will be hosting a joint event with MALA later this year.

I also attended the Midlands Launch of the Women in Criminal Law (WICL) event. The evening had inspiring and thought provoking talks from Mrs Justice Carr, Katy Thorne QC (WICL founder) and, Nottinghamshire Law Society member, Janine Smith (Head of East Midlands CPS). It was great to see males in attendance at the event too as, after all, gender discrimination is not a problem for 50% of it, it is a problem for 100% of us. As a criminal solicitor specialising in fraud, I have often found myself in courtrooms where I am the only female despite the fact I know many brilliant women that practise in this area and so I applaud the WICL team for raising awareness and providing a supportive network to inspire and mentor females working in the criminal justice system.

From left: Janine Smith, Head of CPS East Midlands; Mrs Justice Carr DBE; Katy Thorne QC, Doughty Street Chambers and Founder of WICL; Michelle Heeley QC, No5 Barristers’ Chambers and Mary Prior QC of The 36 Group.

If you are interested in joining our Equality and Diversity committee, please contact michelle.taylor@nottslawsoc.org

Best wishes