Lady Hale, former president of the Supreme Court, has been named as the patron of The Next 100 Years, a project dedicated to achieving equality for women in law.
Over the next decade the new project founded by the team behind The First 100 Years, will be taking action to accelerate the pace of change in the legal profession, encouraging collaboration to tackle the inequality that still persists between men and women, improving the visibility of women in law and supporting the women lawyers of the future.
Lady Hale has long been a supporter of equality, speaking up for increasing diversity in the legal profession and the judiciary. In 1984 she became the first woman to serve on the Law Commission and in 1994 was appointed to the Family Division of the High Court, later sitting in the Court of Appeal. She was the first and only woman to join the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and became the first female president of the Supreme Court in 2017.
She played an important part in the celebrations surrounding the centenary of women in law last year which was also her last as the UK’s most senior judge. She was interviewed for the First 100 Years series of films, took part in the podcast series and in December 2019 spoke at the unveiling of a new artwork at the Supreme Court commissioned by the First 100 Years – the first ever to depict women. She described it as her ‘dream come true’.
Dana Denis-Smith, founder of The Next 100 Years and CEO of Obelisk Support, says: “Lady Hale is an inspiration to many of us and has long been a vocal advocate for women’s rights. Having her support is very important to us as we strive to be a force for change, bringing the profession together to look at how we can drive progress, giving visibility to the many talented women lawyers out there and supporting and inspiring those starting out in their careers.”
Lady Hale’s patronage closely follows the addition of The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) as a supporter of the Next 100 Years. The global legal association represents over 45,000 in-house counsel in 85 countries and joins the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) in supporting the project.
The Next 100 Years is powered by Spark21, a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in the profession.