May, 2022

International law firm Wordley Partnership is pleased to announce the publication on 10 May 2022 of Bridget Wheeler’s biography of Ivy Williams, the first woman barrister to be admitted to the Bar of England & Wales, 100 years to the day that Ivy was admitted.  WP have sponsored this biography, which celebrates the achievement of Ivy in fulfilling her dream of becoming a barrister at a time when not only were women discriminated against by law and society at large, but by the male judiciary who persistently refused to accept a woman as a barrister.

Author Bridget Wheeler, an International Arbitration consultant with Wordley Partnership and a descendant of Ivy, says: 

“Lawyers like to look forward and to plan for the next step, but there is also a time to look back and take stock. Ivy was a personal inspiration for me in my journey in the law; what started as a private piece of family history investigation opened up a wider relevance to the place of minorities in the law and the barriers- often invisible- that they have to overcome. Whilst (rightly) it would be unthinkable today that anyone of the calibre of Ivy would be denied access to the profession it is a lesson to be on the alert for unconscious bias. Ivy never gave up. She battled around the initial refusal of the judiciary to acknowledge women as “persons” and found her way through public work, academic excellence, and sheer perseverance. That women did not even have the right to vote when she started her campaign shows how far we have come in the last 100 years”

Paul Wordley, one of the founding partners of WP said:

“We sponsored this book in recognition of the increasingly important role that women pl
ay in the legal landscape albeit with more to be done.  We hope that this book will inspire those starting or already in the legal profession, whatever their background. 

Wordley Partnership aspires to promote a legal profession where Ivy’s legacy will continue to clear the way for people to be judged on ability alone and nothing else and least we forget we have  named one of our trainee contracts after her.  Ivy was an extraordinary woman who refused to bow to prejudice to prevent her from achieving her rightful place at the Bar.”

“Ivy Williams” by Bridget Wheeler is published by Woodbridge Publishing

eBook Details

“And so it was that on 10th May 1922 Ivy Williams, aged 44, was called to Bar by Inner Temple, marking the end of the struggle for equality in the legal profession and opening the door to many other younger women set on a legal career.”

  • ​Bridget Wheeler
  • Release Date: May 9, 2022
  • ISBN: 9798201053659
  • Language: English
  • Download options: EPUB 2 (DRM-Free)
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