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Law Reformer, Lady Arden, interviewed by Brunel Honorary Professor of Law, Anthony Inglese CB

A Career in Law-04 smaller
Lady Arden and Professor Anthony Inglese on campus in October 2019

The November edition of Counsel magazine includes a two-page feature devoted to Lady Arden and her ground-breaking career as a barrister and Supreme Court Judge. 

In the interview by Brunel Honorary Professor of Law Anthony Inglese, the proud Northerner and ardent law reformer talks about her early years as a company barrister, custom and practice at the Supreme Court, and supporting the ambition of women and under presented groups at the bar.  

Lady Arden, who visited Brunel Law School last year, talked about her beginnings in the family’s law firm during the holidays before going to Cambridge. It was her father’s hope to add ‘& Daughter’ to the firm’s signage, but Lady Arden’s gifts and hard work were to carry her to the bar, because she says, “I was interested in how the law was made.” 

Lady Arden went on to secure a pupillage in one of the few corporate chambers at the time, working under Richard Sykes who remained a role mode throughout her practice. Eventually this work led to her securing her own tenancy in Chambers, running her own advisory practice.  

After seven years as silk, she was appointed to the High Court in 1993 as the first female judge to the assigned to the Chancery Division. There wasn’t to be another for 15 years.  

When asked what advice she would give to women and groups less represented groups at the Bar, she said: 

“You may often feel the imposter syndrome, that you are not as good as the next person. It can be difficult to overcome, but be more confident, forget about your worries, and be ambitious. When you arrive in the workplace, contribute in a way that gains the trust and support of those working with you.” 

Read the full interview with Lady Arden at

About the author: Anthony Inglese CB was head of legal in five government Legal Departments over a 38-year career, most recently as General Counsel and Solicitor to HM Revenue & Customs. A Bencher of Gray’s Inn, he now trains and mentors lawyers.