Cake & Counsel networking event

Inclusion Networking – 24th February 2020

Cake & Counsel have been hosting events for aspiring lawyers since June 2017. Founded by Ruth Reid, criminal barrister and Equality and Diversity Officer at 3 Temple Gardens Chambers, based upon her experiences in establishing a career at the Bar.

You are invited to their inclusion networking event on Monday 24th February. The Legally Disabled team are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the research findings and meet attendees.

From Ruth:

We focus on hosting ‘less formal’ and more peer-based networking events for those who may not know established lawyers to give them more access to and comfort in networking with such. It focuses not only on succeeding in career pursuits, but on our welfare when doing so. Our main large events are “Speed Networking” events; aiming to bring together large numbers of practitioners with aspiring lawyers. Many individuals embark upon a legal journey without having a lawyer in their family, mentor or their network who they can turn to for support and advice.

Last year we held a collaborative event with KCL’s Bar, Mooting and Debating Society – “Networking with Black and Asian barristers”. It was a great success and it was thanks to the overwhelming support and attendance of many barristers and students (special mention to Eleanor Tack, who was fundamental in the execution. This year, Sabrina Stewart and Hollie Hamblett at KCLBMS continue the agenda with their team). It was great to see so many barristers from underrepresented groups, across all areas of law in a room together.

This year, with the fantastic addition of Queen Mary’s Bar Society (in particular Alexi Norris, Holly Pickerell and Sarah Johansson); we aim to bring together even more barristers (with some solicitors and judges, we like to always have a bit of variety) from all walks of life, embracing and showcasing practitioners across ‘inter-sections’. Queen Mary’s Bar Society finds that there is a heavy emphasis in the law school on those interested in becoming solicitors and not enough focus on careers at the Bar. Collectively, all three organisations seek to encourage and demonstrate to aspiring barristers that they can enjoy a great life at the Bar, no matter their background or circumstances.

As a black woman, from a working-class family in a small(er) city, I have experienced certain obstacles regarding Inclusion. Attending many events and engaging in discussions with friends, colleagues spanning all of the protected characteristics has highlighted that Inclusion is so much broader than just sex, gender, race (the more “obvious ones”). At times we don’t see the struggles/battles that others unlike us face. It could be something as “simple” or “inconvenient” as a broken lift at court. Who could climb 2 flights of stairs unassisted? Who has been confused for the court staff (nothing wrong with that) or a defendant/relative, instead of a barrister because they do not fit the societal stereotype of what a barrister looks like?

This year’s event seeks to explore and introduce even more invisible intersections within the UK Bar and justice system in which we live and work.

We are really pleased to host the upcoming event and hope it will be the first of many, each year bringing a more and more reflective group of individuals together, who are representative of our wider society.

Event Title: Inclusion Networking

Date: Monday 24th February 2020

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Location: The Octagon, Queen’s Building, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS

Event Bio: An opportunity for students to network with barristers from all practise areas and all walks of life, reshaping the image many students have of the Bar.

Event Structure:

18:30 – Registration

18:50 – Introduction

19:00 – Guest Speakers – Courtenay Griffiths QC, Maryam Syed, Lyndsey Sambrooke-Wright and Natasha Hirst

19:55 – Speed Networking (we encourage attendees to speak with at least 6 different barristers) and Refreshments.

Sponsors: A huge thank you to Atkins Chambers, The Commercial Bar Association (“COMBAR”), 20 Essex Court, Francis Taylor Building (“FTB), Queen Mary School of Law, Blackstones Chambers and our other sponsors for making this possible!

Collaboration: Queen Mary Bar Society, KCL Bar & Mooting Society and Cake & Counsel.

Anybody interested in attending, please secure your FREE ticket via Eventbrite.

You can find out more about Cake & Counsel via