Management Today, which publishes this list annually, describes those named as “confident, passionate and in control” and describes the way in which they are “blowing a fresh breeze through British business.” Management Today cites the “positivity and passion” of these women, which “keeps them striving to get to the top.” Shelley White is a chancery / commercial barrister, elected to the Bar Council in 2007. She is a member of the Young Barristers’ Committee and has campaigned to retain the wig and gown for barristers. An Oxford graduate, she is also on the England Ladies’ Pool team and has won world, European and national championships. Shaheed Fatima is a barrister specialising in public law, human rights and commercial law. She has been called a future Star of the Bar by Times Online, and in 2007 she was named Liberty / JUSTICE Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. She was educated at Glasgow, Oxford and Harvard
Melissa Lesson is a partner at London law firm Mishcon de Reya. She is a barrister in its family practice. Educated in Paris and London, Lesson was nominated for Spears Wealth Management’s Future Lawyer of the Year award and was shortlisted for a Women of the Future award in 2007.
Chairman of the Bar Council, Tim Dutton QC said:
“It is a sign of a changing Bar that its female members have made such a strong showing in this list of high achievers. The Bar Council has made great strides in recent years to ensure equality of access to the profession to both sexes. The Bar has a reputation for entrepreneurialism among its members both in private practice and in employment and it is this spirit that Management Today has identified.” Chairman of the Equality and Diversity Committee Ingrid Simler QC said: “Shelley, Shaheed and Melissa are to be congratulated on their remarkable achievements which have been recognised by Management Today. All three give the lie to the notion that the Bar is a ‘boys club’. The positivity, ambition and tenacity displayed by these women is an example to all young women training for the Bar – of which today there is a greater number than men.”