Funke Abimbola FRSA, General Counsel & Company Secretary at Roche UK
Funke is a senior leader for Roche, the world’s largest biotech. She leads the legal, corporate compliance and data protection functions supporting Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. A multi award winning solicitor, she is also an award winning diversity campaigner and has received both national and European recognition for her diversity work. She speaks regularly at conferences in the UK and abroad including to school students as part of Speakers4Schools and to University students as a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors. She is an existing WILL Champion and is also a Project Champion for the First 100 Years Project (a digital library celebrating 100 years of women lawyers in the UK). In 2015, she founded the Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law network, supporting the international pipeline of female legal talent within the life sciences sector. An expert mentor and sponsor, Funke is also a proud working mother juggling the demands of career and home. She advises working mothers on achieving life balance. Passionate about the law, diversity, education and healthcare, she is also a regular media commentator, a keen fundraiser for various charities (including Cancer Research UK) and has twice served as school governor and as a board director. She was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, recognizing the positive impact and outstanding contributions that she has made to British society as a whole.
Co-Founder and Deputy Chair
Who are we?
Philip Goodstone, UK Head of Law at EY
Philip is the UK Head of Law at EY, having joined EY in September 2014. He started his career in the Law over 25 years ago and has spent most of that time as a corporate lawyer with a particular focus on the real estate sector. Prior to joining EY he was Head of Corporate at Addleshaw Goddard. Philip is married and has 3 children and together the family enjoy travelling and a variety of sports.
Fatema Orjela, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP
Fatema is a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, formerly a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, having trained and qualified at Lovells LLP (now Hogan Lovells International LLP). She has experience on all areas of corporate law, in particular the structuring of private equity deals and leveraged buyouts, strategic mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, equity growth investments, equity and debt restructurings, and management equity plans, as well as related advisory work. Fatema is a co-founder, and previous member of the committee, of Women in Law London (WILL). In addition, Fatema is avidly involved in various other women’s networks, such as Oxford Women in Law (OWL) (as a member of the Advisory Panel), City Women’s Network (as a member of the Professional Development Committee), 85 Broads (having co-founded the Oxford chapter), Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) and Level 20. Fatema is also a champion of the First 100 Years project and has spoken at diversity conferences and events including Oxford University, LSE and those hosted by various law firms.
Co-Founder and Current Chair
Nicholas Cheffings, Chair of Hogan Lovells (London)
Nicholas is the global Chair of Hogan Lovells which has approximately 6,000 staff across almost 50 offices in 28 countries. Nicholas also maintains an active practice. In addition to heading up the firm's leading real estate disputes (property litigation) team, he specialises in surplus property and leasehold liability transactions, outsourcing and major project work.
Nicholas is committed to increasing diversity and social inclusion and was a founding member of the Senior Leaders Forum of the Lord Mayor's Power of Diversity initiative. He is also a committee member-elect of the newly created REAL Estate BALANCE association which was formed by a group of senior women from different organisations engaged in real estate, who are passionate about addressing the gender imbalance in the UK real estate sector. In Morocco, in May 2015, Nicholas launched Hogan Lovells' three year commitment to "Empowering Girls and Women" as part of the Clinton Global Initiative. Hogan Lovells is a signatory to the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles. Nicholas is the Chair-elect of PRIME, a company established to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Nicholas is a Trustee of ISLP-UK which provides pro bono legal services to governments, NGOs and other institutions to promote human rights, sustainable economic development and the rule of law. Nicholas is also member of the Council of Heart of the City.
Hogan Lovells is also an official partner to the British Paralympic Association.
Frances Stocks Allen
Alison Levitt QC, Partner and Head of Business Crime at Mishcon de Reya
Alison was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1988 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2008. After twenty years in private practice at leading London defence chambers she was head-hunted to become the Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions. There she advised on some of the most significant cases of the time, as well as appearing as counsel in the Court of Appeal. Throughout her career as a barrister Alison has appeared in key cases in the Court of Appeal and has written many reports, including the Crown Prosecution Service's highly praised in-depth review of their previous conduct of allegations against the entertainer Jimmy Savile. She has been a Recorder of the Crown Court since 2006 and is a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. She is a former Chair of the Young Bar and has also been Secretary of the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales.