International Women’s Day 2021

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Diana Cotton QC and Aparna Nathan QC have been in conversation with Kate Balmer and John Platts-Mills, sharing their routes to the Bar and the challenges they have faced.

In the first interview, Kate Balmer speaks with Diana Cotton QC, a former member of Devereux Chambers. Called in 1964, at a time when very few women practiced as barristers, Diana forged a highly successful career as a barrister and judge. In 1983 Diana was the 23rd female barrister to take Silk. Diana discusses her journey to the bar and the challenges she and other women faced as practicing barristers. She also provides advice for women who are considering a career at the Bar in 2021. 

In the second interview, John Platts-Mills speaks with Aparna Nathan QC. Called to the Bar in 1994, Aparna took Silk in 2019. She has a high-profile litigation practice, often involving millions, sometimes billions in tax, and represents clients in all forums including the Supreme Court. Aparna discusses her journey to the Bar and the potential barriers faced by women in the profession today. Aparna offers some solutions that barristers, chambers and the wider Bar can adopt to challenge such barriers, particularly those associated with parental leave.

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