Liverpool Law Society’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee invites everyone to attend their ‘How To Be An Ally in the Legal Workplace’ event on Friday 28 May from 1-2pm!

The event will look at the challenges faced by colleagues and how we can all be allies to each other.


In light of recent events and tragedies, we have heard the word “ally” a lot. How can we be better allies in the workplace? This event, arranged by Liverpool Law Society’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee, will look at the challenges faced by colleagues and how we can all be allies to each other.

Attend this event to hear from Liverpool Law Society’s speakers about their own experiences, hints and tips including how to open up conversations in the workplace.

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Welcome & introduction from LLS President Julie O’Hare, Chair

Introduction to Hays – Oliver Gibbons, Senior Business Director, Hays

Why is diversity & inclusion important? – Yvonne Smyth, Hays
→ Why a commitment to D&I is no longer a nice to have, but rather an essential part of planning for success
→ To what extent are the events of 2020/21 a catalyst for meaningful and sustainable D&I change

How to support inclusion of ethnic minority colleagues – Lubna Shuja, Vice President of The Law Society
→ What are the difficulties faced by ethnic minority lawyers
→ How to be a Leader and an Ally on race equality

Issues a female in law may have faced – Alison Lobb, Managing Partner, Morecrofts
→ At a time when women have been significantly disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, it is more essential than ever that we support talented women to reach their potential in the workplace
ideas to help and support women across training, recruitment & promotion, to help them reach their goals.

How to be a LGBTQ+ ally – Victoria Jackson from BLM LLP
→ Understanding of what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and why it’s important to have visible and active allies in the workplace
→ Top tips on how to be a better ally

Panel Q&A/discussion for remainder of hour

Speaker biographies:

Julie O’Hare was elected President of Liverpool Law Society on 10th December 2019 and this position was renewed for another 12 month term in December 2020. Previously, Julie was Chair of Merseyside Junior Lawyers’ Division. Julie is a Team Manager and practising Solicitor in the Defence department of Carpenters Group.

Oliver Gibbons trained with Eversheds Sutherland, qualifying as a commercial property lawyer in 1998 before joining Hays Legal in 1999. His career with Hays has involved both setting up and managing a range of offices outside London. Throughout this time the North West has remained his core market and Oliver has played a leading role in many high-profile partner/associate hires and team moves across the region. In addition, Oliver advises firms on their strategic direction and merger possibilities

Yvonne Smyth is Group Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Hays and lead Hays’ commitment to the active promotion and realisation of true business diversity and inclusion. She spearheads Hays’ commitment to ensuring that our major recruitment linked activities and insights are designed to positively promote and create more diverse workforces and inclusive workplace cultures. Yvonne leads the expert Hays Human Resources and Hays Legal recruitment teams across the UK&I. Previous to her recruitment experience, she practised as a litigation lawyer with international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Lubna Shuja is the Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales. She will become the first Asian President in October 2022. She has been a Law Society Council member since 2013 and is the chair of the Law Society’s Membership and Communications Committee as well as a member of the Law Society Board. Lubna is a solicitor with her own practice, Legal Swan Solicitors, in Birmingham. She specialises in professional discipline and regulation. She is also a mediator.

Alison Lobb is Managing Partner of Morecrofts solicitors, a multi service firm with 6 offices throughout the Liverpool City Region. She is a past President of Liverpool Law Society and has received significant recognition in the profession, including being named ‘Woman Solicitor of the Year’ at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019, as well as other local business and legal awards. She is an Ambassador for Women in the Law UK, Chair of the Policy Committee at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the Liverpool branch of the IOD, a member of the LEP Professional Services Board, and a trustee of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

Victoria Jackson is an Associate Solicitor and Co-Chair of BLM’s LGBTQ+Allies Network. She featured in the Top 100 OUTstanding LGBT Future Leader’s List 2020 sponsored by Yahoo and has been shortlisted as a Top 10 Future Leader in the 2021 British LGBT Awards. Victoria is heavily involved in the development of EDI strategies within her firm, Liverpool Law Society and the insurance industry. She works tirelessly to educate allies, raise awareness, and support those who identify as LGBTQ+.

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