The Oxford Women in Law network feels workplace mental wellbeing is a very important topic for everyone. This event was open to alumni, students and staff.

The panel for the discussion:

Kate Armstrong, author of The Storyteller  

Kate is a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and also a literary novelist. Kate completed a doctorate in English at Oxford where she was a lecturer at St Hugh's; she then joined McKinsey in 2007. She has served clients across geographies and sectors, including in financial services, healthcare, construction, international development, retail, and the wider pubic sector. She is also a Himalayan mountaineer. In 2011 Kate had a very severe breakdown and was unable to work for two years. In that period she wrote a novel based on her experiences, which was published in 2016 as 'The Storyteller'. Since returning to work, still at McKinsey, she has focussed on finding a sustainable balance for her life - building resilience at work as well as in her writing and mountaineering, and has become an advocate for better knowledge of mental well being in the workplace and beyond.

Emily Clark, Tax Partner at Travers Smith

Emily trained at Travers Smith and is a partner in the tax group. She specialises in the taxation of asset managers and investment funds, acting for private equity houses, debt funds, infrastructure, venture and real estate funds. She advises on all aspects of fund formation.  She advises a number of asset managers on the tax issues which affect their own businesses helping them navigate the constantly changing tax landscape. She also advises a number of institutional investors – pension funds, funds of funds and family offices – as they invest into alternative asset classes.  Emily is a member of the British Property Federation’s tax committee, a member of the Invest Europe’s International Tax and Tax Reporting Committee and is the author of the LexisPSL guide to the taxation of investment funds. Emily is also co-head of graduate recruitment for Travers Smith. 

James Petkovic, Barrister from One Essex Court

James joined One Essex Court in 2010, having read for the BCL at Christ Church, Oxford. His practice covers the broad spectrum of commercial and company work in litigation and international arbitration.  That experience extends to work raising issues from a range of international jurisdictions, including (but not limited to) New York, Singapore (where he spent 8 months focused on a variety of domestic litigation and arbitration), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran and Malaysia.  James has also gained exposure to financial services regulation, having historically been seconded to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), following which he was engaged in redrafting its handbook upon the division of the FSA into the FCA and the PRA.

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO LawCare

Elizabeth has been managing and developing charities in the mental health sector for over 15 years.  She joined LawCare in September 2014 from the Institute of Group Analysis, a membership and training organisation for group psychotherapists. Before that she was  Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, a worldwide federation of Alzheimer Associations. Elizabeth started her working life as a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence, practicing at Leigh Day.

Judith Freedman, Panel Chair​

Judith is Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law, a Fellow of Worcester College and Co-Director of the MSc in Taxation in the Oxford Law Faculty. She participated in the establishment of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and is now its Director of Legal Research and a member of its Steering Committee and Advisory Board.  She has served on a number of Law Society, DTI and Inland Revenue Committees and advisory groups and was a member of the Company Law Review's working party on small companies. She is a member of the Office of Tax Simplification Consultative Committee on Small Business Taxation and was on the Tax Avoidance Study Group appointed to report to the Exchequer Secretary on the question of a General Anti-avoidance Rule. She is a member of the Council and the Tax Law Review Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Sutudies, and was one of the few lawyers contributing to the Mirrlees report 'Reforming the Tax System for the 21st Century. Judith was appointed a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for her services to tax research and as an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in January 2015. In 2016 Judith was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. 

Oxford Women in Law (OWL) was founded in 2014 as a network for graduates (men and women) of the University of Oxford working in the law to discuss career issues, especially those facing women, to share experiences, and to enhance their relationship with each other and the Oxford Faculty of Law. Please see the OWL webpage for more information.


We were grateful to Travers Smith for hosting this event.