Firm Champions The First 100 Years Project

29 Okt 2015

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has announced their support of The First 100 Years project by hosting the first annual conference to mark the initiative

2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of the first female lawyer in the UK. Simmons & Simmons’ support is pioneered through their women’s network, ‘The Number One Club’ (‘TNOC’), whose own objectives of championing women in business, educating and inspiring future generations, and celebrating the achievements of women in the legal profession are also channelled through this fantastic initiative.

There is an extensive programme of activities and events planned as part of the First 100 Years project, over the next four years. An online video library of 100 short stories of women who have shaped the legal profession will be created and produced by former BBC documentaries producer Naomi Jones, and will be archived at the British Library.

The initiative has already gained further support from Former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs; the director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti; June Venters QC; former Simmons & Simmons senior partner Dame Janet Gaymer; and Rosemary Martin, general counsel at Vodafone; who have already signed up to film their short story videos.

There will be a conference each year at which women’s roles in the profession (and generally in business) will be discussed. The first of these will be hosted by Simmons & Simmons at its CityPoint office in London on 02 November 2015.

The one-day conference will be chaired by Dame Jenni Murray from Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. The keynote speaker is Professor Dame Carol Black, a retired doctor, who is chair of the health policy think tank and policy adviser on work and health to the government (amongst many other achievements). Dame Jenni and Dame Carol will be joined by a distinguished line up of speakers including Hilary Heilbron QC, Supreme Court Justice Lord Hodge and BT’s General Counsel Dan Fitz.

Ania Rontaler, partner and co-chair of TNOC, commented: “We are very proud and excited to support The First 100 Years project, and to have the honour of hosting the first annual conference in the lead up to 2019.’’

Penny Miller, partner and co-chair of TNOC, continued: “This is a fabulous initiative celebrating the achievements of women in law which will help to educate and inspire future generations.’’


Notes to editors:
1. We are a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working through offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and bring experienced professionals to some of the most active growth markets today. Our focus on a small number of sectors means we are able to understand and respond to our clients’ needs. Our industry sectors are: Asset Management & Investment Funds, Financial Institutions, Life Sciences and Telecoms, Media & Technology (TMT). We also focus on the E&I market, in particular through our international projects and construction teams. We have a track record for innovation and delivering value to clients through new ways of working.

2. Simmons & Simmons is an international legal practice carried on by Simmons & Simmons LLP and its affiliated practices. Accordingly, references to Simmons & Simmons mean Simmons & Simmons LLP and the other partnerships and other entities or practices authorised to use the name “Simmons & Simmons” or one or more of those practices as the context requires. The word “partner” refers to a member of Simmons & Simmons LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or to an individual with equivalent status in one of Simmons & Simmons LLP’s affiliated practices. For further information on the international entities and practices, refer to

3. Visit our website at or our award-winning online legal service at

4. The Number One Club (‘TNOC’) is the firm's women's network. retain our female talent. TNOC aims to assist the firm in attracting and retaining female talent through opportunities and supporting the development and implementation of the firm's diversity and inclusion strategies, a key part of the firm's business plan. The objectives of the network are focused on providing both an external client focus and an internal focus. Externally, we look to develop relationships with our female clients through our ‘Plus One’ events, and internally we focus on supporting women across the firm through the firm’s commitment to the development and retention of talented women in all business areas and levels of the firm.

5. For more information on The First 100 Years project, visit

6. For further information, please contact Heather McMaster, Senior Communications & PR Executive on +44 20 7825 3962 or at, or Lauryn Mann, Communications & PR Executive on +44 20 7825 3764 or at