Dame Sue Carr makes history as the first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Last week at the Royal Courts of Justice, Dame Sue Carr became Lady Chief Justice, President of the Courts of England and Wales and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales.

She is the 98th person to hold this historic office and the first woman.

Law Society president Lubna Shuja explained: “Today is a historic and important day for progress in the legal profession… The inauguration of the first lady chief justice is very significant. It shows that although we have a way to go our profession is moving in the right direction and under your leadership we will continue to do so”.

Referencing Carrie Morrison who, on 18 December 1922 became the first woman to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, Ms Shuja recognised: “Representation inspires change. It was not long ago we celebrated 100 years since the first woman entered the legal profession. Now we are celebrating the first woman to ascend all the way to the pinnacle of our legal system and I hope you are the first of very many more”.

A few days after this appointment, I found myself in the Law Society, also shaking the hand of Ms Shuja as I was admitted to the roll of solicitors. It was notable how many women were among my cohort, perhaps inspired by our new Lady Chief Justice or perhaps Baroness Hale (former President of the Supreme Court), Baroness Butler-Sloss (the first female Lord Justice of Appeal), Baroness Haleh Afshar of the House of Lords, Helena Normanton QC (the first female barrister in the United Kingdom), or Baroness Kennedy KC of the House of Lords, to name but a few.

Congratulations Dame Sue Carr, you are an inspiration.

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