In search of Indigenous justice

The Big Issue: Women in Leadership

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders worked their whole lives without proper pay, and were treated like slaves by the state and their employers. It’s a very dark part of our history’

For nearly a century, between the 1880s and 1970s, Australia’s major industries and domestic roles – including farming, mining, fishing, and cattle ranching, as well as gardeners, kitchen staff, and many more – relied upon tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander labourers. Despite their undoubted contribution to growing the nation’s economy, Indigenous …

Breaking down the barriers facing female leaders

The Big Issue: Women in Leadership

Alison Eddy, Irwin Mitchell’s managing partner in London, on creating a female friendly environment which has allowed the firm to attract the best and brightest

When I joined Irwin Mitchell with two other partners in 1995, to set up the London office, I had five children aged between three and 11 years old and juggled bringing in work, looking after clients, and building a team. No one at that time talked about work-life balance or flexible working, something I would …

A battle-scarred Bar

The Big Issue: Wellbeing

John van der Luit-Drummond talks to barristers about stresses and strains at the independent Bar and the impact different work has on their wellbeing and mental health

‘It starts the first day you are sent to the magistrates’ court as a second six pupil,’ explained Red Lion’s Edmund Vickers QC. ‘Someone has been arrested overnight on a rape charge and you are there to fill out the legal aid forms and apply for bail. You have someone’s liberty in your hands and …

Cimate change risks now front and centre

The Big Issue

Increasing investor, regulatory, and community pressure is rapidly accelerating climate change related risks to business, write Elisa de Wit and law graduate Francis Meehan

The ‘School Strike for Climate’ movement, spearheaded by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, appears to have mobilised the sense of urgency around climate change, and as recently stated by BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie: ‘As we have seen from activism and debates from schools to parliaments all around the world, we see this period as an escalation …

How climate change affects fundamental human rights

The Big Issue

The scientific, economic, and environmental impacts of climate change are not the only aspects of the crisis we need to consider, say Dr Georgios Zampas and Oliver Elgie

Seventy-one years have passed since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations in the aftermath of the Second World War. Yet, human rights violations remain all too frequent, both in developed and developing countries. While the 1926 Slavery Convention confirmed that slavery is unlawful as a matter of international …

Where next for London as a disputes centre?

The Big Issue: Disputes

photo of london city

The capital must not rest on its laurels, as other innovative disputes hubs seek to take advantage of Brexit, writes Peter Hirst, partner and co-chair of Clyde & Co.’s global arbitration group

The first London International Disputes Week took place in May and successfully served to highlight why London is likely to remain a leading international disputes hub in the years to come – a huge concentration of talent across disputes disciplines, a favourable, popular and flexible legal system, the power of the English language, and much …

Evolve or get swallowed up

The Big Issue: Disputes

photo of cocoon

Robert Coffey, managing partner, and Sinead O’Callaghan, partner, of Cooke Young & Keidan consider what is next for litigation boutiques

The financial crash inevitably influenced the legal market and we saw, in the UK and the US particularly, a rise in law firms adapting to serve this changing landscape and increasing levels of banking litigation. Conflicts were one the biggest drivers behind the emergence of the boutiques – Magic Circle firms were not best placed …

How ‘well’ are you? Conceptualising a wellbeing programme

The big issue

illustration of mental health colour

Big Law does not have a great reputation for promoting good mental health, but Morgan Lewis’ management is looking to change that, writes Krista Logelin

Your wellbeing is not fixed. The extent to which you are thriving is something each of us has the ability to influence, which is why I’ve chosen to focus my career on enabling individuals and organisations to flourish. In my position as director of employee wellbeing, I am tasked with designing and implementing a custom …

The present business of law and mental health

The big issue

mental health illustration

Poor mental health won’t be solved until we marry the business of law with human design-specs, argues Dr Bob Murray

‘Ted’ was not old, maybe in his mid-60s. He was the managing partner of his mid-sized law firm in regional England. His colleagues told me that he seemed always bright and cheerful. Last month he committed suicide. About one in three lawyers of all stripes ideate suicide once a year. Criminal lawyers and barristers come …

Don’t trade your mental health for success

The big issue

jigsaw

Young Barristers’ Committee chair Athena Markides highlights the impact of judicial bullying, harassment, and poor wellbeing on the junior Bar

As chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee (YBC), one of my first tasks is to set the committee’s priorities for the year. Along with business as usual (e.g. Brexit and court reform), the YBC needs to identify key issues facing barristers in their first seven years of practice, and then to try and address those …