Judge, QC and top Yorkshire solicitors line up to share insights at Women in the Law UK Leeds summer networking event

  • Event also marks Yorkshire launch of Women in the Law UK Charter

27 June 2019: Women in the Law UK, the national professional development and support organisation that held its official Leeds launch last autumn, has announced the line-up of speakers for its annual summer drinks and networking get-together in the city. A host of leading lights from the region’s legal scene will address guests at the event, which will be held at the chambers of Park Square Barristers on the evening of 17 July.

The event will also see the official Yorkshire launch of the Women in the Law UK Charter. The Charter recognises barristers’ chambers, law firms and legal businesses that are actively trying to bridge the gender gap in the legal profession and actively promoting employee wellbeing.

Other criteria for awarding the Charter include actively promoting the retention of female talent in the legal profession, actively promoting the progression of women from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and demonstrably supporting the activities of Women in the Law UK.

Speakers confirmed so far for the Leeds summer networking event include the highly respected criminal barrister and deputy head of chambers at Park Square Barristers, Kama Melly QC and Her Honour Judge Sophie McKone, who was appointed a circuit judge earlier this year.

Guests will also hear from Kirstie Penk, co-owner and director of The Legal Director, a law firm that provides part-time in-house lawyers to medium-sized businesses. She will share insights into how to build a career as in-house counsel.

Jay Bhayani, managing director of Yorkshire-based Bhayani HR & Employment Law will give a presentation on the subject of, “Setting up a Law Firm.” Rachel Roberts, managing partner at the Leeds office of Stowe Family Law, will share her tips on how to get the top job at a firm of solicitors, and what to do when you become the boss.

Other speakers will include Sharon Needle, managing partner of the Leeds-headquartered international commercial law firm Needle Partners, along with Clare Riches and Erica Baron from translation service TheBigWord.

Sally Penni, founder of Women in the Law UK, and the organisation’s ambassadors Jodie Hill, managing director of Thrive Law, and Caroline Wood of Park Square Barristers, will also be in attendance.

The event will take place from 5.00pm to 8.00pm on 17 July 2019 at Park Square Barristers, 6 Park Square, Leeds. Tickets are priced at £15 for members, £20 for non-members and £10.99 for students and should be booked at www.womeninthelawuk.com/webevents.

Sally Penni, practising barrister with Kenworthy’s Chambers and founder of Women in the Law UK, said, “This promises to be a fabulous evening, with crucial insights for lawyers at all stages of their careers. It’s also going to be a great networking event, giving the region’s lawyers an opportunity to meet up and celebrate all the great women forging legal careers in Yorkshire and beyond.

“I would like to thank Park Square Barristers for hosting us, and, of course, all of the speakers for taking the time to come and talk to us. I would also like to thank all the firms that have supported us since our Leeds launch last year, including Weightmans, Grant Thornton, Eversheds, Stowe Family Law, Lupton Fawcett and Womble Bond Dickinson.

“I am also really looking forward to launching our Charter in Yorkshire, which both recognises the achievements made by forward-looking firms and provides a benchmark to which others can aspire. I would encourage all legal businesses that are serious about gender diversity to apply, and I look forward to a time when whether a firm has achieved the Women in the Law UK Charter is a key consideration for all female lawyers thinking about

a career move.”

Women in the Law UK’s events are held under the Chatham House Rule, enabling speakers and audience members to speak freely and learn from each-others’ experiences in a confidential environment. Previous events have covered subjects including career progression, why lawyers need to sit on boards, how to network and make it work for you, and what lawyers can learn from inspiring businesswomen.

Women in the Law UK was founded in Manchester by the award-winning barrister Sally Penni to provide support to women at all stages of their legal careers and to address the gap in female representation in leadership roles within the profession.

The organisation runs a wide-ranging programme of events in the North West and over the past year has held its first formal gatherings in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Edinburgh. It held its first events in Birmingham and Glasgow in June and plans to launch in more UK cities over the course of 2019.

To book places at Women in the Law UK events readers should visit www.womeninthelawuk.com  or book directly via www.eventbrite.co.uk. Individuals and businesses that are interested in joining Women in the Law UK or applying for the Charter should email womeninthelawuk@gmail.com.


– Ends –

Notes to editors

About Women in the Law UK

Women in the Law UK was founded by the award-winning barrister Sally Penni and exists to support and encourage gender diversity in the legal profession. The not-for-profit organisation has more than 700 members and hosts regular events to promote its message and raise money for a range of charitable causes.

Based in Manchester, the home of the Pankhursts, Women in the Law UK has events planned around the country for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. Members and ambassadors are drawn from a broad range of fields and, in addition to its events, it carries out research into reasons why women leave the profession and operates a mentoring programme to provide female solicitors and barristers with the support they need to remain and thrive within legal practice over the long term.

For further information please contact:


Sally Penni

Founder and chair, Women in the Law UK

Practising Barrister at Law: crime and employment

Co-author, Cyber Security Law (Bloomsbury)

Vice Chair, Association of Women Barristers

Non-executive director


Web: https://womeninthelawuk.com/

Email: womeninthelawuk@gmail.com

Twitter: @womeninthelawuk




Stuart Anderson

Alpha Public Relations

Email: sanderson@alphapr.co.uk

Tel: 0161 791 0811

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