Tonight The First 100 Years will launch its latest film featuring Clare Montgomery QC of Matrix Chambers. Described by Chambers & Partners in 2016 as ‘the most formidable member of the bar’, she is a highly respected barrister specialising in criminal, regulatory and fraud law and has acted in numerous high profile matters including representing Augusto Pinochet in the House of Lords.
In the film, she recalls wanting to be a lawyer from an early age when, as an ‘extremely argumentative and competitive’ child, her parents said the profession would suit her.
She recalls being aware of ‘standing on the shoulders’ of the women barristers who had gone before her and how being ‘the odd one out’ amongst male barristers convinced her to demonstrate how good she was at the job ‘to make things better for those who come after me’.
She recounts the ‘sheer terror’ of standing before seven law lords when acting in the Pinochet case and discusses the danger for barristers of getting distracted by the press and the scrutiny associated with high profile cases, when what matters is the job of persuading the jury or judge.
She reflects on the difficulties presented by barristers’ reliance on referrals, for women who take time off for maternity leave and how she was able to divide childcare responsibilities with her husband in a way that made it possible for her to have the freedom to continue her career at the Bar.
You can view the full film here. The film is kindly sponsored by Macfarlanes.