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October 2019

Welcome to this Months Blog.
September has been a busy month after a summer, straight into work and I cannot believe we are in October already.

The big news has been the ruling about prorogation of parliament.

Speeches & Inspiring Young People

I always try to do something to be a role model to young people and this month I spoke at Ernest & Young speaking at the EY Foundation to 100 young women about careers in law.
Where I met the brilliant girls gang. Image 1

One Million Mentors – Celebrated 1 year of them being in Manchester. “What a great organisation”

I was invited to but sadly missed a Girls Aloud dinner due to professional commitments but hope to attend next year. A great organisation founded by Jane Jenyon. Supported by Ellie Doolan and Rebecca Durrant amongst many others.

Finally I sit on the Criminal Bar Association Executive Committee the Social Mobility Committee. We will be speaking at pupillage fair at the end of October. Looking forward to giving up and hour or so amongst Joanna Hardy and Alexandra Wilson and others to help young entrants.

NPP Advocacy course

I thought next generation of advocates .

They were excellent. Had the opportunity to co teach with some brilliant tutors. Including our very own Mr Evans.


Women in the Workplace

Cardiff – Confidence Clarity and Connection

I spoke at this event for Women in the Law UK.

I love Cardiff and our colleagues in law here.
The issues that came through the Q&A session made me realise that there is still a lot of work to be done. Confidence plays such a huge part of how we feel and how we can progress, it can be the one thing that holds one back from applying for leadership roles or making the next move.
I know many of us suffer from a crisis of confidence after coming second on a case, so what can we do to have more confidence? This has inspired me to write a new book called the Triple C’s. (Out in December.)
It seems to me it’s just the same issues but in different sectors. Find out more.

Inspiring Women into Leadership

I spoke at a Jobs for the Girls event about the importance of board positions and committees as opportunities to develop quasi judicial roles.

I was invited as guest speaker at Pro Manchester round table with other business leaders including Erica Ingham. I contributed to the business case for all diversity in the work place including LGBTQ and neurodiversity.
This highlighted again the importance of all diversity and contributing to profits. I enjoyed relying on the McKenzie findings. (McKenzie is headed by Lady Vivien Hunt who I met earlier in the year, a fellow Companion of Chartered Management Institute) Black History month is in October – It celebrates the work of Black Britons or Black British people.
(The Athletics World Championship has really made Black History Month for me.)
I celebrate this every year by speaking on panels in the evenings so that there is visibility of black people from professions, this year I will be speaking at several universities including Lancaster University of Law, Black Solicitors Network and Manchester University (a great university with its brilliant chancellors Lemn Sissay poet and author of My Name is Why and Dame Nancy Rothwell.) Image 8 Pictured here are Black students in Scotland in 1915.
I believe this is either the African-West Indian Students Association or the African Races Association of Glasgow (ARA) which Dr Molema became President of in 1917, contributing to the debate on the future of South Africa and race relations.
In the centre is Clara Christian, third from the right is Dr Modiri Molema, third left middle row is Manasseh Mahlangheni, second left front is Richard Akiwande Savage Snr and top row far right is E.F. Gordon, Clara’s husband. #BlackHistoryMonth

I am humbled to be nominated to attend the Women of the Year lunch again this year, a fantastic opportunity to meet other inspiring women and role models I admire such as Kate Adie and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Supporting Women in Business

I am a huge supporter of women in business, business growth and entrepreneurship. I was delighted to be asked to present the Young Entrepreneur Category at the Forward Ladies Regional Women in Business Awards.

I love the opportunity to encourage more women to set up businesses and be entrepreneurial, this is why I enjoy the quarterly briefings at Bank of England Northwest briefings on inflation.


I am keen fundraiser whenever I can and this months news on charity are:
Manchester Legal walk. Walked for access to justice #NWLST / Walking 10k just like the London legal which Helena Kennedy QC and others walked at walkers in June, with over 400 walkers form the legal community. A Great walk and somehow got in front of Law Society Gazette.
Reminded me that I need to do more exercise and more physical wellbeing. I contributed to a total of £14k for access to justice, so thank you to those who sponsored me.

The London legal walk With some high profile walkers including Lucy Fraser QC the new minister for Prisons.

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McMillan coffee morning delighted to help court staff raise over £800 for Macmillan

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This month I attended smart workshop network with its patron the Duchess Sussex.

News and Books

I have written several books and articles.

Legal Books

  • read Sally’s chapter of Cyber Security Law and Guidance, published by Bloomsbury.

Non Legal Books

  • A Sense of Purpose, Advice to your Younger Self
  • Beyond the Law
  • Triple C

Series of books called, Penni on… (Out in December)

  • Penni on Data Protection
  • Penni on employment rights for women
  • Penni on Triple C’s –  Confidence, Clarity, Connection

I gave a speech at the Cheshire Connect Literary Lunch talking about my book for charity Inspirational, Fabulous and over 40.
Here I met the most wonderful authors, Sheryl Browne author of The Marriage Trap, Sarah Norris author of The Baby Detective and Amanda Prowse (@MrsAmandaProwse)

A lovely day and great opportunity to hear their inspiration to write – fantastic speakers and inspiration to women everywhere.

I attended with my friend author Scarlett Cole (@ItsScarlettCole) who have up a high profile corporate job to become an author. As a global success, I felt my imposter syndrome setting in as I was just little author.


I host a podcast Talking Law using my cross examination skills I interview people trying to question not cross examination or grill people about their careers and any advice and tips.
Who knows BBC look out, John Humphries has retired as has Paxman so time we had some more people. Who is next on the Podcast?
I looking forward to interviewing some more brilliant people including including Sarah Bellew touch rugby star, Trish Keating but next up to be recorded is Gina Miller and next year Lady Hale.

Women Who Inspire Me

Lady Hale
Wonderful response to my comment about her inspiring women and men everywhere. I wonder if she knows how she inspires us all?
I got 38k views of my post on linked in and several hundred comments. Clever and inspirational, I suddenly felt she was an undiscovered icon. Read my interview in Counsel Magazine with her.

Men Who Inspire Me

Andy Burham is an another example of someone that admire.

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I met Andy again for the fourth occasion here at a breakfast briefing at AJ Bell stadium. Invited by Fred Stone and the KC Club guests. I like his passion for Greater Manchester and for curbing homelessness through his charity A Bed Every Night which inspired Vincent Company’s (the former Man City Captain) Tackle4MCR charity.

I attended the inaugural charity.


I attended the historic game of Man City Women vs Man United Women, over 30,000 people attended to watch the game.

Red Card? – Let’s give gender pay gap and bullying the red card.
Racism is on the increase, I am giving it a red card! Image 27

Inspiring Quote

I like these these as it’s sets me up every day

Wellbeing – Proof that my optimistic outlook is linked to performance.

Image 28 Mental wellbeing is so important I have taken up meditation although it’s hard to meditate everyday.
I was delighted to see Ant and Dec launch ITV’s mental health campaign #BritainGetTalking on Britain’s Got Talent.

I am passionate about mental health and wellness and as a mother of boys it’s important for us to get bits especially to talk more, especially with such high male suicide rates, something else I am very worried about.

I love clothes, but why have I decided to donate my old clothes to Smart Works?
Because they help women who are unemployed to look for new work

Careaux is a made in Manchester brand of sustainable dresses made by the Beattie sisters for whom I am a brand ambassador along with  Dr Marnie Millard, Yvonne Harrison, Simone Roche MBE and Vanessa Valley OBE.


I will be really sad to see Sarah Frankcom leave the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, she will be so missed. Reminds me of my interview with her and Maxine Peak in 2017 at the Royal Exchange.

New Artistic Directors from November 2019.

All change now and I was delighted for the board to meet the new Artistic Directors Brionny and Roy. #diverse


Excited to see my housing board start the autumn winter season.

Emmeline would be proud of…

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I love this solidarity.

“He booked Ella and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. Ella said “after that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”

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Finally, Impact of Mentoring

This month two of my mentors moved firms, and one has become a deputy district judge. This is Lisa. She said I inspired her to apply to become a part time judge and without me she could not have done it. It meant so much to me. She was the first in her family to go to university. Dad a builder ,mum house wife. Proof that all of us can achieve if we believe. Dream the impossible. Remember to be authentic.

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It meant so much to me to hear this because I work hard to balance my work and diversity work. I am not trying to do everything. On the contrary, I do very little . Quality not quantity.  The work I do is often voluntary and financially unrewarding work. But just sometimes you see the impact of ones work and it is truely powerful impact and effect on others and I feel like I am a leader in my own right.  “Holly molly”, i thought to myself when Lisa Nobu told me her brilliant news, “I may have accidentally become a grown up an #influencer, change maker and leader in my own right. Perhaps Through my extra curriculum activities I am inspiring after all

How did that happen?!!!

Take care and until next time.

To book me to speak at your event or to train your team in leadership, confidence please complete the booking form at

But for now, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Oscar Wilde.

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