FOUR Yorkshire lawyers have returned from a visit to Uganda where they spent a week sharing their ideas and expertise with lawyers there.
The visit was organised by the Huddersfield Law Society’s Uganda Twinning Group.
Emma Pearmaine, Head of Family Law at Simpson Millar joined Huddersfield solicitors John Royle, formerly a partner at Eaton Smith; Nigel Priestley, a partner at Ridley and Hall; and Ruth Miller, an associate solicitor at Armitage Sykes on the journey.
Through a series of workshops and meetings, the team worked with more than 300 Ugandan lawyers who attended the training sessions to help them improve their practices and compete on equal footing with large, international firms operating in Africa.
As part of the programme, Emma and fellow family solicitor Ruth hosted a Women Lawyers Meeting in Kampala to explore equality issues in Africa. The event was sponsored by Simpson Millar on behalf of the Huddersfield Law Society and the Ugandan Law Society.
Emma said: “Of Uganda’s 1,700 lawyers, only a very small minority are women. This is not due to a lack of interest; quite the contrary. But women are driven out of private practices without any access to some of the most basic employment rights as soon as they have children.
“Being a woman lawyer in Uganda remains an uphill struggle and the experience brought home just how important it is that we continue to promote equality here in the UK.”
The Huddersfield Law Society’s Uganda Twinning Group is an informal sub-committee of the Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society (HLS).
It has helped to set up resource centres across Uganda since its first training visit in 2003, been involved in establishing a law library in the capital, Kampala, as well as presenting workshops to over 500 lawyers, focusing on management, ethics and skills.