Senior Partner scoops prestigious Editor's Choice Award at the Powerwomen Awards

27th February 2019
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Image: Barbara Corbett started her legal career aged 37, after having had her five children.

Corbett Le Quesne’s Senior Partner, Advocate Barbara Corbett, has been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award at the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards.

The Awards have as their aim, recognition of individuals and companies who maximise the potential of women in wealth, thereby creating a platform for good practice to collectively exercise positive social influence in the sector.

Barbara had been shortlisted for the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award, but instead, she was surprised to receive the even greater recognition of the Editor’s Choice Award.

Karen Jones, Editor of CityWealth Magazine said: "I choose one person each year who has impressed me with their all round impressive approach to the industry so it is an editorial selection. Often the person is not in the contest but sometimes they are and it’s a decision based on talking to hundreds of people throughout the year about their activities, launches, business and plans." 

“To be recognised as someone who supports women in work is a huge accolade,” said Barbara. “My own career route was unconventional but has given me a good understanding both of what it means to be a working woman in the legal profession, and in my early professional life, the challenges of being a working mother as well, building a career at the same time as looking after and caring for a family. It is hugely important for women to have other female role models to show them that their dreams can be more than just dreams, and that they can have both a family and a successful career whilst forging ahead in what can be very male dominated environments.”

Barbara is passionate about supporting career opportunities and development for women, particularly within the legal profession.

Barbara entered the profession relatively late in life, having dedicated herself to raising her five children after completing a law degree in her early 20s. When her youngest children (twins) went to school she went back to University and completed a LLM in Welfare and Child Law, before completing her Legal Practice Course (LPC) and starting her legal career in family law, aged 37.

Barbara, in other words, understands the pressures of working women, and mothers in particular, better than most, and is well placed to take on the role of mentor to others.

The composition of the firm is a reflection of Barbara’s approach to diversity and opportunity.

Office Manager Lizzie Keogh has been supported hugely by Barbara, first by Barbara recognising her potential and securing her a job at Benest Corbett Renouf where she was a Partner at the time, and later employing her as Office Manager when she and Nicholas Le Quesne started Corbett Le Quesne in November 2017. When Barbara first met Lizzie, she had been struggling to find a place in the local jobs market for some time, having had a varied career in horticulture and childcare but lacking professional qualifications. Lizzie credits Barbara with having given her an opportunity to develop her skills, but most importantly, by believing in her, Barbara has helped Lizzie to develop a professional confidence she was lacking when they first met.

Likewise, the firm’s paralegal, Iselin Jones, formerly a journalist, entered the legal profession relatively late, like Barbara. Upon having children, she decided on a career change and completed her LLB through the Institute of Law whilst her children were very young. She was then in a position where she was looking for a job part-time, in order to balance the needs of her children with the beginnings of her new legal career, aged 34. Barbara could relate to this and with Corbett Le Quesne still in its infancy at the time, taking Iselin on part-time was a perfect fit. Since then the firm has committed to putting Iselin through the Jersey Law Course, in order to support her on the road to full qualification. She is hoping to complete her exams by July 2020.

Outside of the firm itself, Corbett Le Quesne is actively supporting young talent through work experience schemes, including Project Trident. Since its inception in November 2017 Corbett Le Quesne has provided invaluable work placements to 8 students, 7 of whom have been young women, giving them a taste of what a family law career might look like.

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