Celebrating 100 years of women in law.

December 23rd 2019 marked a historic day; the 100th anniversary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 receiving Royal Assent. This law opened the legal profession to women.

Helena Normanton, who had lodged a petition at the House of Lords when her application to become a pupil in 1918 was refused, reapplied on 24 December 1919 and was admitted to Middle Temple. The first female magistrates were appointed soon after. Dr Ivy Williams was the first woman to be called to the English bar in 1922. However, she never took up practice and instead, was the first woman to teach law at a British university.

Three years later, in December 1922, Carrie Morrison was the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor. She was aged 34. In the years immediately after qualification she spent much of her time working as a “Poor Man’s Lawyer” in the East End of London, providing legal help to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. She was also a strong advocate of Divorce Law Reform.

The profession has made great strides over the past 100 years. Women now make up just over 50% of practising solicitors and over 60% of new entrants.

Whilst there is still a way to go; reports show that many women in law are struggling to break through the glass ceiling and reach senior positions. However, at Bevirs Law, we are proud to say 50% of our partners are female and 72% of our fee earners are women. We have many talented women in our firm and will continue to champion them and support them throughout their career progression.

Heather Reilly 23.12.2019

Bevirs Law attends Headway’s Annual Awards

Nicola Heales, Hayley Tarrant and Luke Flavell
Jackie and Luke Flavell, Finalist for Headway’s Carer of the Year 2019

Nicola Heales and Hayley Tarrant had a wonderful afternoon attending the Headway Annual Awards 2019. They were joined by their guest, Dr Henderson Slater, Consultant in Neurological Disability and Rehabilitation, at the Awards Luncheon held at The InterContinental, Park Lane in London on Friday 6th December.

Every year, Headway’s members, friends and supporters come together to pay tribute to the very special brain injury survivors, carers, volunteers and campaigners whose personal achievements have earned the respect and admiration of everyone around them.

Their incredible contributions were moving and inspirational, and we were honoured to be part of the celebrations marking their outstanding achievements.

We were lucky to sit alongside Jackie Flavell, her husband and son. Jackie was nominated for Headway’s Carer of the Year Award. Jackie’s son Luke sustained a traumatic brain injury following a car accident in July 2012. Against all the odds, and with intense treatment he pulled through but when Luke returned home it was clear that life would never be the same. Jackie became Luke’s full-time carer and listening to their journey first hand left us feeling that Jackie couldn’t be more worthy of the prestigious award.

Jackie was presented with a finalist certificate by Ryan Mason, a former professional football player who retired from competitive football in 2017 after sustaining a brain injury while playing football. Ryan talked about how his life changed in an instant as a result of his head injury and the challenges he has faced in rebuilding his life. We wish Ryan every success in his new role as the Under 19 Academy Coach at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

The event is the highlight of Headway’s year when everyone comes together to show their appreciation and to be inspired by the many dedicated individuals making a difference to the lives of those with brain injuries.

Bevirs Law, Head of Personal Injury and Trustee of Headway Milton Keynes, Nicola Heales said: “The Headway Awards Luncheon is always a must-attend event for everyone working in the field of brain injury. It is truly inspiring to see the highly deserving winners take to the stage to be recognised for their contributions and to prove beyond all doubt that there is indeed, life after brain injury.”

To learn more about Headway, visit: www.headway.org.uk

Pensions on Divorce:

A recent survey has found that a third of married couples were unaware that they could benefit from a share of their spouse’s pension upon divorce.

A pension is often the second most valuable asset of a marriage, next to equity in the family home and in some cases is the only asset of the marriage.  It can therefore be a valuable resource and if not taken into consideration, parents in particular, who have taken career breaks to raise children, may be at risk of selling themselves short when looking at securing a fair share of the assets of their marriage.

Pension sharing orders were introduced back in 1999 and although they have been available to divorcing couples for 2 decades, they are still overlooked by some people.  The orderis only effective upon decree absolute and will divide a pension scheme so that each spouse will hold their own pension fund entirely independent of the other.

Almost any pension can be shared, including additional state pensions and pensions in payment.

The family team at Bevirs Law can advise you in relation to your potential entitlement to a share of pension funds and any other assets, following a marriage or civil partnership breakdown, we can refer you to an independent financial advisor who can search the market to find the best place for you to invest your pension credit.

If you require any advice on the above topic please don’t hesitate to contact Michelle Bowyer or any member of the team on 01793 532363.

Michelle Bowyer, Associate Solicitor – Family Team