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Maximising potential through professional development, networking and support for women on the Midland Circuit

Chair of Women's Forum

  • Esther and Sophie set up MCWF in 2018 and are both involved in a number of initiatives aimed at assisting women barristers to remain and progress at the Bar. Sophie is chair, and Esther a committee member, of the Bar Council Retention Panel which aims to increase the retention of women in practice.

The primary aim of MCWF is to help women barristers on Circuit maximise their potential in all areas of their professional lives.Sophie Garner

The 2016 report, “Women at the Bar” states that, as of 2015, only 33% of the self-employed Bar are women; for those over 20 years’ call, the figure falls to just 25%. Only 15% of heads of chambers, and 13% of QCs, are women. MCWF’s aim is to increase these figures, by supporting women barristers to remain in practice, and to progress to become QCs or judges, or to become involved in chambers management, if they choose.

Set up in July 2018, MCWF’s aim is to encourage and help every woman barrister on the Midlands Circuit to stay at the Bar, and to help them progress and fulfil their potential as juniors, QCs and judges. The committee includes silks and juniors from a number of different chambers and practice areas across Circuit.

MCWF brings together women from all areas of law – from crime and family, to civil and commercial – and all levels of seniority. We recognise that there are very different challenges facing women working across these disciplines at all call levels, but MCWF’s hope is that by pooling and sharing the wealth of information that women barristers on Circuit have, we can maximise the potential of all, and strengthen our position, individually and collectively, within the profession.

The primary aim of MCWF is to help women barristers on Circuit maximise their potential in all areas of their professional lives. With this goal in mind, as well as running a mentoring scheme MCWF organises professional development events (e.g. for silk and judicial applications) as well as networking events, where junior and senior members of the profession and judiciary can get to know one another and exchange ideas. All MCWF events are open to all members of Circuit. You can contact us at [email protected]

MCWF Committee

MCWF's Committee is drawn from Chambers across the Midlands and includes barristers of a wide range of calls and practice areas

Upcoming Women’s Forum & Mentoring Events