Lincoln's Inn logo

The Inns of Court Alliance for Women (ICAW)

The Inns of Court Alliance for Women (Formerly the Temple Women’s Forum) was relaunched in December 2021 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first woman to be called to the Bar, Ivy Williams. The ICAW recognises the challenges and barriers to career progression and wellbeing faced by women in the law, and the intersectional disadvantage faced by women from ethnic minority groups and those with disabilities.

An entity between the four Inns of Court, the ICAW exists to support and encourage women who work in the profession, and increase diversity and retention.

It will do this by committing to the following:

  • providing a safe forum where issues facing women in the profession can be discussed to foster a culture of mutual support
  • supporting the Inns commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, and social mobility
  • taking an intersectional approach to talks and events to ensure the voices of women facing inequality are heard
  • promoting initiatives across the four Inns to support access, retention, and progression of women in the profession

ICAW Co-Convenors:

The Rt Hon Lady Justice Nicola Davies DBE (Gray’s Inn)

Leigh-Ann Mulcahy KC (Inner Temple)

Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara (Middle Temple)

Chief Master Karen Shuman (Lincoln’s Inn)

Upcoming events

The Inns of Court Alliance for Women: Cross-Profession Garden Party

The ICAW Garden Party is an opportunity for women barristers, solicitors, in-house lawyers, judges, legal academics and students of all backgrounds to come together socially and to network, sharing career and personal development experiences, challenges faced and to celebrate success with an eye on the future. Allies most welcome.

Ticket price: £40

How to book:
Please visit Inner Temple’s website, scroll beneath the Members Login box and click ‘Add Ticket’. Please email [email protected] with your guest’s names (as you would like them to appear on a name badge) by 17/06/2024.


Lincoln’s Inn Co-Convenor of ICAW Chief Master Karen Shuman features in BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action programme at the launch of the Alliance: Law in Action – Gender recognition – BBC Sounds

On 2 October 2023, ICAW hosted an event that cast a spotlight on the obstacles to success for Black female barristers. Titled Black Women Barristers at the Bar: Challenges Faced and A Fairer Future, chaired by HHJ Sapnara. Bibi Badejo wrote about the event for Counsel Magazine.

Diversity & Inclusion

Lincoln’s Inn is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, both within the barristers’ profession and as an employer. Read more about our EDI work here.