DLA annual conference "Activist lawyers, discrimination and positive action" February 2021

Date published: 
2 March 2021

The DLA’s 2021 annual conference reflected on the current state of equality in the context of recent events such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable. With the work of lawyers having recently been undermined by government ministers, it provided a platform for discussing what being an ‘activist lawyer’ means and how the challenge of achieving equality can be progressed. 

The conference was conducted as an online meeting with seven 90-minute sessions of presentations, questions and answers held over ten days. The speakers addressed discrimination in their fields of expertise

and included: 

  • Karon Monaghan QC, barrister, Matrix Chambers who summarised the ‘state of the nation’;
  • Liz Davies and Nick Bano, barristers, Garden Court Chambers, addressed housing;
  • Catherine Casserley, barrister, Cloisters Chambers discussed goods and services;
  • Matt Jackson, barrister, Albion Chambers, Rosalind Burgin, membership secretary at Legal Sector Workers United, and Ryan Bradshaw, solicitor, Leigh Day, who discussed employment;
  • Chris Fry, solicitor, senior partner, Fry Law and Kate Williams, campaigner for Afro hair equality in schools, mother of Ruby Williams, plus Steve Broach, barrister, 39 Essex Chambers who addressed education & higher education;
  • Aarif AbrahamMira Hammad and Christian Weaver, barristers at Garden Court Chambers North, whose topic was ‘organising / lobbying / protests: know your rights’;
  • Professor Kevin Brown, Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University, Meghan Finn, Advocate, 621 Group, Johannesburg, South Africa, Nomfundo Ramalekana, Lecturer, Public Law at University of Cape Town, South Africa and Professor Iyiola Solanke, Chair in EU Law and Social Justice, Leeds University conducted the final session on ‘international connections/ solidarity’.
As part of the DLA's commitment to improving access, live captioning was available for all the sessions thanks to generous sponsorship by solicitors Edwards Duthie Shamash

You can view the flyer here.