Next 100 Voices
spotlight on women leaders in law
Next 100 Years and series sponsor, Irwin Mitchell, are championing those in positions of leadership to encourage the next generation of aspiring lawyers to pursue their ambitions.
In this series of Next 100 Voices, 10 emerging leaders in law from minority backgrounds and a cross-section of the profession – private practice, in-house, the Bar and the judiciary – share how they got to where they are now, what they are doing to change their area of the profession, and what lessons they can give to the next generation.
Voice No.1: Abimbola Johnson
Abimbola Johnson is a criminal defence barrister at 25 Bedford Row with a focus on serious crime, professional discipline and inquiry work.
Last year, the National Police Chief’s Council enlisted Abimbola to chair a new independent scrutiny and oversight board to help tackle the lower levels of confidence between Black and minority ethnic groups, and the police.
Voice No.2: Ariel White-Tsimikalis
Ariel White-Tsimikalis is a partner in Goodwin Proctor’s Technology and Life Sciences group and Capital Markets practice.
As one of only a handful of black female partners at a top law firm in the UK, Ariel is passionate about contributing to a stronger pipeline of diverse lawyers in the legal profession and is therefore particularly active in the Diversity & Inclusion space both within her firm and externally as well as part of her broader ESG practice.
Voice No.3: Master Victoria McCloud
Master Victoria McCloud is a Master of the the Senior Courts, Queen’s Bench Division.
Victoria, a British judge, is the most senior public figure to have transitioned from male to female. In 2010 she became a Queen’s Bench Master, the youngest person ever to do so and only the second woman.
Victoria McCloud, a Master of the Senior Courts, Queen’s Bench Division, shares her story as a rising leader in law. Victoria, a British judge, is the most senior public figure to have transitioned from male to female. In 2010 she became a Queen’s Bench Master, the youngest person ever to do so and only the second woman.
Voice No.4: Leena Savjani
Leena Savjani is a partner at Irwin Mitchell specialising in medical negligence claims, an area in which she has specialised exclusively since qualification.
Leena was awarded Solicitor of the Year in the 2021 Inspirational Women In Law Awards. She set up a race diversity group at the firm’s Manchester office which has since grown into Irwin Mitchell’s national race diversity group which she co-leads. Her “Let’s Talk About Race” project has created a safe environment for colleagues to talk about race issues and driven change across the business.
Voice No.5: Christina Warner
Christina Warner is a family law, human rights and animal protection barrister at Goldsmith Chambers.
She often represents individuals who form part of alternative family structures, promoting their rights and those of their children as well as better visibility of the community before the family courts. Christina also works to raise awareness of social mobility and access to justice for those of marginalised and disenfranchised communities, in particular those of the LGBT and Spanish-speaking communities in London. Coming from a working-class, low-income, mixed heritage background, the topic of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession is one particularly close to Christina’s heart. In 2021, Christina was diagnosed with Stargardt disease (juvenile macular degeneration), a genetic condition that causes progressive sight loss and, in some cases, blindness.
Voice No.6: Marcia Longdon
Marcia Longdon is a partner at Kingsley Napley in the immigration team.
She joined this team in January 2014, having pactised in the area of immigration, nationality and European law since 1998. Marcia’s experience spans over 20 years in the industry. She has become a leading expert on corporate immigration covering mergers and acquisitions and continues to be listed in Who’s Who Legal as a Thought Leader in Corporate Immigration. a genetic condition that causes progressive sight loss and, in some cases, blindness.
Voice No.7: Millicent Grant KC (Hon)
Millicent Grant KC (Hon) is former CILEX President.
Millicent qualified as an Associate of the institute in 1978 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute in 1991, studying at evening classes and by distance learning to complete her qualification. In the intervening years she gained fee earning experience in many areas of law, in particular debt collection, insolvency and commercial litigation.
Millicent has worked as a chartered legal executive in the private, corporate in house and public sectors. The majority of work as a chartered legal executive in the private and corporate in house sectors was commercial litigation and contract work in the financial sector.
Voice No.8: Caroline Harrison KC
Caroline Harrison KC is a high ranking silk specialising in clinical negligence and medical law; complex personal injury litigation; related professional indemnity insurance; and health and safety claims.
The majority of Caroline’s work involves very complex medical or legal issues.
Voice No.9: Lubna Shuja
Lubna Shuja is the 178th person, first Asian, first Muslim and seventh female president of the Law Society of England and Wales.
She qualified as a solicitor in 1992. She is a sole practitioner at Legal Swan Solicitors in Birmingham, a firm she set up in 2007, where she now specialises in professional discipline and regulation. She has experience in dealing with family law, conveyancing, personal injury claims, wills and probate, and litigation. Prior to 2007, Lubna worked in a high street firm in West Yorkshire for 14 years undertaking litigation and personal injury work. She is also a mediator (CEDR accredited) conducting civil and family mediations.
Voice No.10: Landé Belo
Landé specialises in employment and labour law, providing tailored legal advice within a global framework. She has extensive experience in managing complex multi-jurisdictional projects and heading up global in-house teams of labour lawyers and ER professionals across a variety of industry sectors. Her focus is on developing and implementing strategy and practices, advising on structure and management techniques to improve efficiency and accountability and in recent times, she has also become involved in driving global diversity and inclusion initiatives.