International Women's Day logo

Pacing Your Career

Strategies for re-organising, re-charging, and re-entering legal careers

As part of International Women's Day, join Oxford Women in Law on Wednesday 4 March as we explore the challenge of pacing your career, which many working across the legal profession - from solicitors, barristers, and in-house counsels to academics and policymakers - are faced with.
Not all careers in the legal profession run according to a set plan: many lawyers need or want a break in their career, some may be looking for different ways of working, and others will seek new directions and challenges. For many, the lack of a clear way of pacing their career remains one of the toughest hurdles in their professional lives.

Be part of the conversation with chair Professor Judith Freedman, who will be joined by 
  • Kathleen Russ, Senior Partner at Travers Smith
  • Helen Mountfield QC, Principal of Mansfield College and barrister at Matrix Chambers
  • Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings, Partners at Baker McKenzie
  • Stephanie Dillon from Reignite Academy

The panel will share their varied experiences of pacing their careers and discuss strategies such as managing a successful return to the workforce and developing support networks, as well as policies, including job shares and flexible working commitments, which employers can implement to shape a supportive work environment.

This event is open to all Oxford alumni, students and staff. For any enquiries concerning the event or the event registration process, please contact the alumni team
Registration has now closed for this event as we have reached full capacity. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please email the alumni and development team.
DateWednesday 4 March 2020
Time18:00 to 21:00
LocationTravers Smith, 10 Snow Hill, London, EC1A 2AL
Dress code

Smart/business attire



Kathleen Russ

Kathleen Russ was appointed Travers Smith’s Senior Partner on 1 July 2019, having been a partner in the Tax Department since 2001, and Head of the Tax Department from July 2007 to January 2017.

Kathleen specialises in private equity transactions and has experience acting for both institutional investors and management teams. She was a member of the BVCA Tax Committee from 2002 to 2017 where she was regularly involved in discussions with HMRC on the BVCA's behalf. She sits on the Board of the Office of Tax Simplification as a Non-Executive Director, providing advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system.

Kathleen has occupied a strategic and leadership role in the firm helping shape and execute Travers Smith’s business strategy for a number of years, initially as a member of the firm's Partnership Board, and currently as its Chair. As Head of Travers Smith's Tax Department for almost ten years, she grew the department into one of the firm’s key business areas. Her mentoring role and promotion of gender equality is particularly evident in her own department, where six of the nine partners are female. Kathleen is also the first woman to hold the role of Senior Partner. Reflecting Kathleen long-standing commitment to promoting equality and diversity in the legal sector, she is also Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Board at Travers Smith.

Kathleen has recently been elected a member of the CBI London Regional Council. The three-year term starts on 1 January 2020.

Helen Mountfield QC

Helen Mountfield QC is an experienced and award winning barrister specialising in constitutional and administrative, human rights and equality law. She is a member of Matrix Chambers, and also Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford (home of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights).  

Helen has appeared more than 30 times in the Supreme Court/Privy Council/House of Lords/European Court of Human Rights, in a wide range of interesting and important cases, including Miller No 1 (the Article 50 case) and the Northern Ireland Abortion case.

Helen co-chaired the Independent Commission on the Future of Work in the Digital Economy with Tom Watson MP, and is a trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work and of the Equal Rights Trust. She is also a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn, a judge in many jurisdictions including being a deputy judge of the High Court of England and Wales, and a judge of the Courts of Appeal of the Channel Islands. She has three daughters.

Helen Brown

Helen is a partner in Baker McKenzie's IP and Technology team in London and co-heads the Digital Commerce, Advertising and Marketing practice. Helen advises on all aspects of offline and online sales to consumers, including issues relating to platform regulation, geo-blocking, consumer purchase flow compliance, sales promotion, direct marketing and advertising with particular focus on the fashion retail and digital media sectors. She has extensive experience of advising and negotiating distribution, agency and franchising agreements. She also advises clients in their dealings with consumer regulators in the UK and EU.

Helen first joined Baker McKenzie in 1999 as a junior associate, leaving in 2005 to look after her three small children. She returned 6 years later in 2011 as a professional support lawyer and then transitioned back into a fee earning role as a senior associate.

She has worked part-time in a job-share with Julia Hemmings since 2013. They made a joint application for partnership in 2019 (a first for Baker McKenzie) which became effective in July 2019.

Julia Hemmings

Julia is a partner in Baler McKenzie's IP and Technology team in London and co-heads the Digital Commerce, Advertising and Marketing practice. Julia advises on a broad range of consumer retail and commercial matters. She regularly advises on consumer, marketing, e-commerce, platform regulation, promotions and privacy issues in the context of online and offline business activities. Julia’s practice focuses on consumer transactions, particularly in the retail sector and on the technology side of fast-moving consumer products.

Julia also assists clients in their dealings with both UK and EU regulators in relation to unfair terms legislation, misleading practices and advertising codes in order to improve compliance and reduce the likelihood of future breaches.

Julia joined Baker McKenzie in 2001 as a trainee and qualified into the IPTech team in 2003, subsequently spending 2 years in the Sydney office. Julia took parental leave twice (in 2010 and 2012) and returned to work on a part-time basis.

In 2013, Julia began job-sharing with Helen – both working three days a week with an overlapping day. They were promoted to Of Counsel in 2015 and made an application for joint-partnership in 2019 (a first for Baker McKenzie) which became effective in July 2019.

Stephanie Dillon

Stephanie Dillon is Co-Founder of the Reignite Academy and Founder of Inclusivity Partners. Her earlier career was spent working with multinational recruitment companies across London, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2015 she launched Inclusivity to provide opportunities for so many candidates, women in particular, who were failing to make shortlists, largely due to recruitment processes that reject people with non-linear CVs. She has since run many returner programmes for, and placed returners back with, blue chip companies across sectors as diverse as Financial Services, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas. Stephanie co-founded the Reignite Academy to champion career returners amongst the legal profession.

We are grateful to our sponsors Travers Smith for generously hosting this event.