In a new series, litigators share their thoughts, lessons learned and progresses made to promote diversity in the practice of international litigation

Since December 2016, as part of our commitment to promoting equality and inclusivity in the workplace, we have been hosting a Women in Business Series in our London office, where we ask inspirational women speakers from various areas of business to speak about their work. We hope to create a dynamic forum where business relationships can be forged and where opportunities can be created and shared.

When I started to think about the idea of hosting a series of women-in-business events, I was inspired by our first speaker, Kathyrn Sargent. In 2016 Kathryn smashed one of London’s most enduring glass ceilings. Kathryn was the first woman who had her name ‘above the door’ in the world-famous Saville Row’s 213-year history. Kathryn, who has dressed clients ranging from members of the royal family to politicians, launched her premises on Savile Row. The launch caused a media storm: it was a great story. On the day of her launch, I heard Kathryn speaking on the BBC. I had just started at Brown Rudnick and I was inspired by Kathryn’s description
of how she had made history. She spoke with  the high energy of someone who is motivated and doing something they are good at and love. As a new neighbour, I emailed her congratulations. It says much about Kathryn that, despite being overwhelmed by the media and the demands of her launch day, she took
the time to email back.

Our offices extend across a house that was built in 1720 for a wealthy landowner, who commissioned its very lavish staircase painting in 1722. Throughout its long life, it has served as the premises for tailors. I was therefore thrilled to kick-start our Women in Business Series with Kathryn’s story of how she had built her global business. I was determined that this was not going to be a one-off event and I am happy to say that, since 2016, we have had the pleasure of being joined by some excellent speakers, including: Amber Rudd (while she was Home Secretary); Cressida Dick (Metropolitan Police Commissioner); Cath Kidston MBE (English fashion designer); and Inga Beale DBE (CEO, Lloyds of London). On 18 April 2019, the 100th anniversary of women in law in England and Wales, Christina Blacklaws, the President of the Law Society, will be our speaker.


Jane Colston

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