Celebrate. Inform. Inspire. Women in Law.



Spark21 is a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in the professions. (Registered Charity Number 1167825)

The charity manages the pioneering “First 100 Years of Women (2014-2019): Women in Law”​ campaign to mark 100 years since women have joined the professions, including law.

The objectives of Spark21 are for the public benefit to:


Catherine Calder
Over 25 years in the legal profession Catherine has worked in private practice, in-house and at the Bar, and as a lawyer and in management. She is Director of Client Care at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, which specialises in public law cases, often involving important ethical, social and political issues.

David Standish
David is an insolvency practitioner and partner at KPMG LLP. He was appointed joint trustee in the bankruptcy of Martine McCutcheon in 2013.

Dana Denis-Smith
Dana has worked as an International journalist and is a former Linklaters lawyer. She founded Obelisk Support in 2010 to keep ex-City lawyers working flexibly, around their family or other personal commitments. She won the Strategic Leadership Award at the MPF 2014 awards and was a finalist in the Legal Innovator of the Year of the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2012. In 2010 she was named as one of 35 inspirational women in business under 35 in the UK by Management Today.

Kerry Jack
Kerry is co-founder and chief executive of specialist legal communications consultancy, Black Letter PR and has been working in PR and communications for 20 years. She started her PR career at a specialist legal services PR agency. She then went on to work for a number of large PR agencies, where she led accounts for clients such as Royal Mail, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, BDO Stoy Hayward and City & Guilds.

Lisa Tremble
Lisa is a communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience of devising and implementing communications strategies in highly scrutinised environments spanning business, politics and the public sector. She is currently the Director of External Affairs at Mishcon de Reya LLP.


Join First 100 Years for our flagship event, the SPARK21 conference, on 9th November 2016, with confirmed chair of the day Dame Jenni Murray from Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

This one-day conference is being hosted by Simmons & Simmons with a series of panel debates chaired by Dame Jenni Murray.

Dame Jenni, who has presented Woman’s Hour since 1987, received an OBE in 1999 for services to radio broadcasting, and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2011. A feminist with an unabashed approach to seemingly difficult topics, Dame Jenni is a published author and patron of several charities including the Breast Cancer Campaign and Family Planning Association.

See below for details of the evening and for the latest confirmed panels and speakers. Click here for details on how to purchase your ticket.

2016 Programme Structure:

8.45 – 9.20 Registration and refreshments followed by housekeeping remarks
9.20 – 9.30 Opening Remarks by Spark 21 Founder Dana Denis-Smith followed by a short film.
9.30 – 10.15 Keynote followed by Q&A with Baroness Kingsmill
10.15 – 10.45 Coffee Break
10.45-12.00 Panel: Women Leaders in Law Hear from some of the most inspirational women currently working in Law on the importance of female role models in the industry.

  • Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, Bar Council
  • Christine Kings, Director at Outer Temple
  • Linda Ford, COO at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Vanessa Davies, Director General at Bar Standards Board
  • Sarah Davis, Group Commerical Legal Director at Guardian Media Group
12.00 – 12.45 Interview with Sarah Wood, CEO of Unruly and Dame Jenni Murray
12.45 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.30 The role of men in women’s equality: How men have helped, and can continue to help, women in the profession

  • Nigel Boardman, Slaughter & May
  • Eduardo Reyes, Features Editor at Law Society Gazette
  • Ian Woods, GC at Virgin
  • Nick Hill, Chair at the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks
14.30 – 15.30 Lessons from other professions: Perspectives on women in Law from those outside the profession.

  • Emma Crewe, Social Anthropologist at SOAS
  • Beverley Cook, Curator at Museum of London
  • Katherine McMahon, Author and magistrate member of the Judicial Appointments Commission
  • Caroline Criado-Perez, Campaigner
  • Christine Youldon, Painter
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 – 16.45 Inspirational Women in Law Award: This year’s winner(s) of the Inspirational Women in Law Award to be announced and presented by the Secretary of State for Justice, Lord Chancellor Rt Hon Liz Truss MP.
16.45 – 17.15 Closing comments: Dame Jenni Murray closing comments for the day.
17.15 – 18.30 Drinks reception.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 9th!

Spark21 Team