February – Every Penni Counts

This month I ask – How to deal with negativity? 


I cannot believe it is end of February as we are  almost in February half term. 

February has been hard month of working all around the country. 


I attended the Silks parties celebrating those who have been appointed as silks QC.  A tradition of many years. It’s a tradition to invite Barristers, solicitors abd anyone who has helped you to celebrate ones appointment.

Firstly, it might be jealousy it might not ? 

But instead  of commending the work I do in spare time to encourage others, I get asked oh what magazine are you in this week? 

No it was not meant in gest. We have all faced negativity. 

I am someone who is quite self deprecating and use humour to deal with sexism, racism negativity I receive in my professional life. 


I ought to and wish I had said  in my usual polite and courteous way ……,,,well …………as far as know I am yet to be featured in Vogue or Forbes (which is my dream) but I said well as far as I know I am only featured in legal magazines. Given I have 3 children and write books I am just doing small kind acts to inspire the next generation

Of lawyers and young people. 


Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We always think about what we should have said afterwards don’t we.  How one deals

With adversity or negativity is so

Important. Life is simply too short to allow negative comments to age t ones life. 


Racism is another kettle of fish. When I experience racism. I try called it out. 



So how does one deal with negativity? 

I would advice being the company of the amazing people who do appreciate you and your work.

Do not let small minded negativity affect your positive global outlook. The great British public are tolerant kind people. We all need to say sorry when we get it wrong. My advice, move on and forget about it as there is always a positive person around the corner. 


By way of example, as I was leaving the Party a senior Barrister came over to me to say that they had bought my book Fabulous Inspirational and  over 40 and enjoyed the chapter Every penny counts. She had seen it in Chesire life magazine. All profits from the book go to a childrens charity. A lovely woman.


The second was a man who came to say he liked my hat and bee scarfe and loved what I was doing in the profession with women in the law uk and encouraging young people. 


I was hugely flattered and emotional. I told him it meant so Much to me and thanked him. I did not tell him about the negative comment before . 


Advice to others 

When you receive or see negative comments think about positive work you do. Remember 


For example, Thank you Phillipa Hill from Grant Thornton London for calling me an inspirational woman in her interview recently. She posted this on linked in. we are all so busy with our own professional lives and work and juggling family that it’s hard to find time to breath never mind write to others. 

I receive many linked in messages asking for careers advice and I give it when I can. It is always wonderful when people take the time to write and say something kind. 


God placed us on this earth to do good. I use my time to be a good mother. A good barrister practicing law. The rest of the time, 

I spend speaking to children in schools about the law. To further education colleges to young people there and speaking at Universities to law students women and men about the law and career in law. 

I also speak public ally about encouraging women into business and using my board skills as a trustee and non executive director. As an ambassador for women on boards, I do my best to get more women into FTSE boards and discuss women in the workplace. 


Finally I set up women in the law uk to collaborate not compete with other brilliant organisations. I set it up to inspire the next generation of lawyers. Men and women. 

We focus on issues affecting our legal profession such as wellbeing, retention, career progression and diversity in the law.  It is really having a huge positive impact of the lives of women and men in the law. 

It’s hard work with little support or funding . I hope that in this new decade more firms will get involved and host more Masterclasses, more brands will work with us and give us discounts, more universities will conduct research on our behalf. We are getting ready to conduct phase to of the Penni Report which will look at how women at the top have managed to progress. Tips and advice and best practice so we have a report on Best practice and guidance that firms and professions can use. 

In 2020 We will Commission a report on the cost of retention crisis on the economy. 

What is The cost to the legal sector then the economy.  As part of our diversity and career progression work, 

We will commission a report to look at what happens to BAME attainments and candidates in school. Often high achieving in education but progression in the work place is slowed down. Is this a combination of biases conscious or unconscience? Report to look at this.  We are also looking at the disparities in progression of BAME.


In conclusion, 

So when times are tough and negativity maybe it’s jealousy maybe it’s not. But if you don’t have anything positive to say or kind to say please don’t say it. 


I am an authoritative energetic positive professional woman trying to do something positive in the law. Leaders are not born but they are made. 

I am trying to bring others with us. I hope you will join my army of positivity not negativity. Mindset is so important for well-being.


Round up of my activities

I have not been Not as much due to work commitments and now I am happily ready for half term holidays. 


Ripples of hope business summit. 

Wonderful to take time out and meet the most amazing leaders and support this festival

Which is coming to my city of Manchester in Feb 2021. 

I Mwt Jude Kelly of Wow festival, the former Danish prime minister and some other amazing leaders including head of HsBC




Speaker at Kent Law Society inspiring 

It was wonderful to speak at Kent law society and Canterbury Christ church university. Giving a keynote and then Q AND A ON A PANEL. Thank you to their President Emma Palmer for inviting me to keynote along with I Stephanie Boyce the next Vice President.

This was especially lovely to have solicitors in the room but also my niece and nephew who have not heard me speak before. 








Oxford University Faculty of Law 

Thank you Oxford Bar society and Oxford womenin law society for inviting me back to speak on an amazing panel on diversity in the legal profession with the brilliant 

Dr Miranda Brawn from Miranda brawn foundation . Doing great things 

Zoe Johnson QC

Sarah Lee partner at Slaughter May 

And rashida Abdulai Hogen Lovells 





Mental health and Wellbeing lecture to young Barristers 

I gave a lecture to traineebarristers on looking after their well-being . Please email me for my slide notes. I finished of by reminded them that they are talented and great advocates but to remember to balance, Enjiy and have time out. Because this job is a marathon not a sprint and burn out and retention are on a massive rise. 

I wished them sucess and told them about the different areas of help including Lawcare. 

The advice is applicable to all of us not just the young. 





Women in business 

I always love supporting women in business. 

I was delighted to see Jennie Johnson MBE has sold her beloved children’s nursery . Will

Be interesting what she builds next. Jennie is. Past speaker for women in the law law and buainess series. 


Women I admire.

Retention of women in the work place.

2 brilliant organisations I discovered this month are 

Mother pukka all in flexible working 

And nanny company which provides student nannies between 4-6pm. 

Have you heard of this lady? Runs a campaign on flexible working. Really vocal trying to keep women in work and trying to get companies to offer flex https://www.motherpukka.co.uk/flex/



And Tracey Blake founder of student Nannies. 


When I grow up, 

I would love to be a philontropist when I grow up. Ofcourse a judge, and a QC and some kind of senior leadership 

My radio show on allfm will be back soon. With 25k listeners in the drive time slot it’s a perfect place to reach out and combat loneliness. 



I have decided yoga e a hobby dog like my boys want.


Charity fundraiser 

As you know I am a keen fundraisers. 

Training for my big marathon walk for McMillan 

A new decade has started.

We are out of the EU. 

Need new challenges awaits me…..,,

Please help #sallysparkles  do the #mightyhike on13 June2020 in North Yorkshire

in December 2019 I raised money for charity by wearing sparkly clothes through December . We raised a total of £1000.

So I am doing a tougher challenge for charity. Walking 26 miles.

Help ! This wilbe tough and may have stopped my love of life, Prosecco. Please donate to support my brilliant charities.

mcmillan cancer support who so amazing things.

In practice I will be doing the following runs

Half marathon on 18 March

manchester half marathon in April

manchester greta run 24 May

then the mighty hike 13 June

thank you for your support.

You can help me raise money for this great cause by donating directly to my fundraising page – https://www.justgiving.com/Womeninthelawuk2020


JustGiving sends your donation straight to Macmillan Cancer Support and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Thank you in advance for your support!


Bartister of the Year 2030 Award by Modern Law Magazine 

I missed out on barrister of the year. I got highly commended.

Ofcourse I was disappointed but humbled by all the messages of congratulations on 


Thank you and congratulation to the Barrister form number5 chambers Nabila who won. 


Thank you Sarah Deacon abd Michael Goodwin for picking up the award. 




What’s next…..

International women’s day is 8 th March 2020

I will be supporting it in many ways and remembering that we have Male allies and I have two sons. So hooray to men and boys who support IWD. 

Come and say hello if you hear me speak at an event. 

I will be speaking at the following events: 


Cheshire Connect 4 march 


Law society round tables with Wesleyan for



Pro Manchester breakfast 

Along with Kate Vokes feom Bruntwood at Freshfields


Manchester Legal awards, 


UCLAN cilex Lancashire Branch, Preston on confidence and clarity.


I am an amabassador for Women of the year Luncheon Birmingham launch event at Freeths LLP London, 


I will be raising aspirations by giving a speech at Wythenshawe Forum


I will be at the women on boards event in Manchester in my capacity as an ambassador for their work trying to get more women on FTSE boards. 


Other events I will be supporting are:


Northern power women Awards 16 March 2020 AWB retirement dinner for


Lady Hale retiring president of the supreme the court 


Paralegal Awards 27 March where I was judge and will be presenting the awards to amazing finalists. 


Looking forward to speaking at the Lambethschoolspartnership soon



Speaking at Bar council Justice  week 24 February 2020. 



To book me to speak an event please email my 



My Book

Finally my book will be available via amazon on international womens day. 

Talking Law 

Is a book about past present and future challenges in Law.  With interviews showcasing the variety of areas and work women practicing in the law and working with lawyers. Talking law book is a great read with advice and tips at the end of each interview on well-being and progression in the law.  With a list of women to watch . The women in the law future POWERLIST of women and  men to watch.  Male allies and make champions who support our work with sale proceeds going to 3 women’s charities. But the book now. 

If you buy the book from me direct it will come with a bookmark. 





You can listen to the lastest podcast episode with Dame Helena Kennedy QC her long career in law and her work outside the law. Also Miriam Gonzalez Clegg


Here Host of Talking Law Podcast,

Subscribe here 

https://www.womeninthelawuk.com/podcasts-women-in-the-law-uk/  Link Here Apple podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talking-law/id1446876356?mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7gmkAYOSodacIe9b8b6e9C?si=U1kmAOjfS76vzY3nx8aXbg

The podcast page – which allows you to listen off any browser: http://talkinglaw.libsyn.com/





20 year anniversary Invitation 















This year marks 20 years as a barrister practicing law 

I would love to celebrate with all of you. 

Celebrating because I am grateful to be alive, healthy and for all my friends and colleagues. 

Look out for my celebration drinks invitation via email 


You can follow my work my connecting on

Linked in



Twitter @sallypenni1



Until next time