Aspire 4th March 2020
Mary Bonsor

Mary Bonsor was a property litigator in a top city firm before starting F-LEX in August 2016.

F-LEX is an online platform which connects pre-vetted law students and lawyers to law firms and general counsel for a flexible, on demand service. F-LEX has over 4,000 law students and lawyers on its platform and over 250 clients including magic circle firms, FTSE100 companies and SMEs. F-LEX won Legal Supplier of the Year 2018 in the Legal Business Awards, Legal Supplier Innovation 2018 in the LexisNexis Awards and Supplier Innovation 2019 at the Legal Week Awards.

Mary is passionate about the future education and diversity of the profession and how tomorrow’s lawyer will qualify. She sees the SQE offering a huge opportunity to get more diverse entrants to the legal profession by helping law students to get relevant work experience during their studies and is also very interested in how law firms can retain and attract the future generation.

Nnenna Ezeike
Marex Spectron

Nnenna Ezeike heads-up the Employment Legal function at Marex Spectron globally. Her career has included roles at KPMG, Slaughter and May and in industry. She has advised clients ranging from multinationals to smaller privately-owned businesses on a broad spectrum of employment law and HR issues.

Nnenna studied law at the University of Bristol and completed her Master of Laws degree at King’s College, University of London. She is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and is a member of the New York Bar.

Committed to improving diversity and social mobility in the legal profession, Nnenna has founded in-house work experience initiatives in partnership with Aspiring Solicitors since 2014. She sits on the Advisory Board of Aspiring Solicitors and assists aspiring lawyers by providing one-to-one mentoring and coaching. Nnenna won an “All Star” award in 2018 for her work with Aspiring Solicitors and the “Minority Lawyer of the Year” award at the inaugural Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: Europe 2019.

Angela Henshall

Angela runs the partners side of the 50:50 Project, the biggest collective action to increase women’s representation in BBC content that has ever taken place. Over the last year her project has rapidly expanded across the organisation with over 500 BBC teams now signed up to the voluntary initiative that uses a self-monitoring data system to drive change. It has grown beyond the BBC through sharing best-practice tools. To date, over 50 organisations have signed up as partners including Fortune, ABC Australia, Yle, Financial Times and many others. Before joining the project, Angela was a deputy editor and senior journalist for the features sites. She has been in news all her professional career and worked as a digital reporter in both the UK and overseas for Agence France Presse, Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

Samantha Skinner

Samantha Skinner is a Senior Corporate Counsel in Amazon's employment legal team. Prior to working at Amazon, Samantha worked as an employment and labour law specialist at Eversheds Sutherland LLP for 10 years.

Ian Watson

Ian Watson is a Senior Corporate Counsel in Amazon's employment legal team. Prior to working at Amazon, Ian worked as an employment and labour law specialist at CMS for 11 years.

Christina Blacklaws
Blacklaws Consulting

Christina studied Jurisprudence at Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She has developed and managed law firms including a virtual law firm and set up the first ABS with the Co-op. More recently, she was Director of Innovation at a top 100 firm.

She now runs her own consultancy business providing strategic advice particularly in the area of transformational change, technological developments and diversity and inclusion.

She holds a range of public appointments including chair of the LawTech Delivery Panel, chair of the Next Generation Services Advisory Group, part of Innovate UK, member of the Legal Support Advisory Group and of the Family Justice Council.

Christina was President of the Law Society of England and Wales until July 2019 and performed a huge range of ambassadorial and representative functions both domestically and internationally.

She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, technology and access to justice and uses every opportunity to advocate and progress positive change in these areas.

On diversity and inclusion, Christina developed and led a programme focussed on women in leadership in law. The project produced the largest ever global survey, two toolkits which supported over 250 roundtables in 22 jurisdictions and led to 3 insight reports and a Women in Law Pledge backed by the government and all legal representative bodies.

Christina is a multi-award winning (for innovation and diversity and inclusion) published author, speaker and lecturer and frequent media commentator.