Tuesday 28 January 18:30 - 20:00

Nash Lecture Theatre
2nd Floor, King's Building
Strand Campus
King's College London

Tickets Unavailable
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Gender Equality in the Legal Profession: Maintaining the Momentum for Change


In the first discussion of this year’s lecture series, our distinguished and highly successful panel members talk candidly about gender equality in the legal profession today, some of the lessons they learnt in their own personal paths to the top of the legal profession and future challenges and opportunities for the profession in terms of maintaining the momentum for change.


For this highly relevant and important debate, the panel will be comprised of:

  • Master Jennifer James (the first ever female Costs Judge/Taxing Master at RCJ and now also a Costs Officer sitting as required in the Supreme Court)

  • Dr Victoria McCloud (the youngest ever and second female Master of the Senior Courts, Queen's Bench Division, Deputy Costs Judge/Taxing Master and ad hoc acting Admiralty Registrar)

  • Lynne Townley (Chair of the Association of Women Barristers, criminal barrister, a senior policy advisor, author and lecturer)

  • Christina Blacklaws (former President of the Law Society with 25 years’ experience as a children and family solicitor and mediator)

  • Penny Miller (Partner at Simmons & Simmons LLP, Financial Services Regulation Practice).


This talk will take place between 6.30pm and 8pm on Tuesday, 28 January 2020 at the Nash Lecture Theatre, King’s College London, Strand Campus.  Drinks reception to follow.

Speaker Bios:

Master Jennifer James: Master James studied Law at Lancaster University (LL.B(Hons)) and Criminology at Edinburgh University (LL.M) before training with a small niche practice and being admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in September 1992. Moving to London in 1996, Master James ran the Costs Department for a Central London firm. Master James left private practice in 2003 to move into education, delivering training to law firms and then from 2007 onwards as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Law. Master James was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2016. Master James became a Fellow of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen in 1999 and was on the Education sub-Committee of the Association of Costs Lawyers for several years. She was appointed as a Deputy Master in 2003, and in September 2015 became the first-ever full-time female Costs Judge/Taxing Master sitting in the SCCO. She is now also a Costs Officer sitting as required in the Supreme Court.

Master Jennifer James 2

Dr Victoria McCloud: Master Victoria McCloud (Dr McCloud) is a Master of the Senior Courts, Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in London. As a full time judge she tries and case-manages High Court claims in various areas of Queen’s Bench Division civil litigation. She has previously been the acting Admiralty Registrar. As part of the celebrations of the first 100 years of women practising law in this jurisdiction in 2019 she was chosen as one of the 100 women whose biographies were published. She obtained her doctorate in 1993 from Christ Church, Oxford University, in Experimental Psychology. She is a Chartered Psychologist, qualified in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. She has been an editor of Civil Procedure (‘the White Book’) since 2000 and is the author of various legal books, as well as academic papers in fields. In 2018 she presented the second Queen's University Belfast Pride Law Lecture.

Dr Victoria McCloud 2

Lynne Townley: Called to the Bar as a Harmsworth Scholar in 1996 (Middle Temple) and by the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland (2018), Lynne is a criminal barrister and lecturer on the Bar Professional Training Course at City Law School, University of London. From 2003 – 2015, Lynne held a number of posts in the Crown Prosecution Service, including as a Crown Advocate, Advocacy Assessor, and Advocacy Manager for CPS London. She was also a Senior Policy Advisor, and was CPS national policy lead on homicide; honour-based violence/forced marriage, and FGM. Lynne has been a member of the Ministry of Justice’s Murder Review Advisory Group and the Legal Advisor to NHS Health Education England. Lynne is the current Chair of the Association of Women Barristers and was a Committee Member of the South Eastern Circuit Bar Mess. She is the co-author, along with HHJ Kaly Kaul QC, of a report on bullying and harassment at the bar.

Lynne Townley 2

Christina Blacklaws: Christina studied Jurisprudence at Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She has developed and managed law firms and set up the first ABS with the Co-op. More recently, she was Director of Innovation at a top 100 firm. She now runs her own consultancy business providing strategic advice. She holds a range of public appointments including chair of the LawTech Delivery Panel, chair of the Next Generation Services Advisory Group, part of Innovate UK, member of the Legal Support Advisory Group and of the Family Justice Council. Christina was President of the Law Society of England and Wales until July 2019. On diversity and inclusion, Christina developed and led a programme focussed on women in leadership in law. Christina is a multi-award winning (for innovation and diversity and inclusion) published author, speaker and lecturer and frequent media commentator.

Christina Blacklaws 2

Penny Miller: Penny is a partner in Simmons & Simmons' financial services regulation practice which forms part of the firm's financial markets practice in London. Penny specialises in a wide range of UK and EU regulatory matters. Penny is involved in navigator – the Simmons & Simmons online regulatory subscription service which provides information in relation to over 100 jurisdictions - her key focus is on navigator: securities and navigator: derivatives. Penny regularly presents to clients on key aspects of current regulatory change and is closely involved in trade association discussions and responses to EU and other regulatory bodies. Penny is a member of the firm’s Brexit team. Penny is a member of the firm’s LIBOR steering group, focused on guiding clients through the IBOR transition and remediation process.

Penny Miller 2

About The Future of Legal Practice lecture series

Following the success of the series last year, the Professional Law Institute at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London is proud and delighted to be hosting a new lecture series on ‘The Future of Legal Practice’.

 The way we practice law is changing. Business needs are evolving rapidly. In a globalised and strongly competitive market, clients require lawyers with a deep understanding of the way they operate. They need creative and dedicated lawyers who know how to harness the law, their skillsets and, increasingly, technology to make their business thrive.  This is a call for us to rethink the nature of legal services - to be imaginative. What will our clients, now and in the next decades, require from us as (aspiring) legal professionals? How can we best learn to fully understand our clients' needs and help them navigate the law in a way that makes most sense for them? And how do we legal professionals thrive and meet individual and systemic challenges in this ever-changing world?

 To explore these and other related questions with us, the Professional Law Institute is inviting students, academics, practitioners, and members of the public with an interest in the subject to attend our lecture series: The Future of Legal Practice.


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