Chair and Former President of the Law Society
I am the Chair of the Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Committee, and past President of the Law Society.
I qualified as a solicitor in 1978, and started working as a criminal defence solicitor in 1979. I set up my own firm in 1987, after the birth of my first child. By this time I was specialising in representing mentally disordered offenders in secure hospitals such as Broadmoor who wanted to have their need for detention reviewed.
As a result of my professional work I had cases in the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights. One of my cases was the first under the Human Rights Act to obtain a declaration of incompatibility and a remedial order, which resulted in the statutory test for release from detention under the Mental Health Act being changed.
As a result of setting up my firm I have a lot of knowledge about flexible working and work life balance. I am also interested in fair access to the profession. I believe that the talent and determination necessary to become a solicitor is evenly distributed across the population, and part of my work as President of the Law society is to help ensure that young people from all backgrounds have the same opportunities to make their way in the profession.