Partner Inez Brown, who leads the team at Medical Accident Group, sister company to Harrison Clark Rickerbys, has been inaugurated as president of Birmingham Law Society, the first black person to hold the post, and has committed herself to enabling talented students to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a legal career.
Inez, who herself came from such a background and did her law degree while working full time as a legal secretary for various Midlands law firms, with her husband paying her fees, said: “I had to overcome a number of obstacles in order to enter the legal profession, and I will set up a Diversity Inclusion Scheme to enable two students to take up that chance.”
Scholarships and funding have already been pledged by Inez’s own alma mater, the University of Wolverhampton, and also by the University of Law; successful candidates will also be supported with mentoring and advice by Harrison Clark Rickerbys and another Midlands firm.
Inez is a specialist clinical negligence lawyer, with many years’ experience; her first big case brought about a change in procedures for local doctors from other countries working in the UK. The case, David Gray v Dr Ubani, followed the death of Mr Gray after Dr Ubani, a German locum, administered 10 times the correct dose of diamorphine because his English was limited and he did not understand prescribing practice in the UK. Afterwards, an English language test and a competency test were introduced for all international locums.
Rod Thomas, managing partner of Harrison Clark Rickerbys, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Inez is the society’s new president; she has served them very well for some years and thoroughly deserves this honour. Her plans are inspiring and wide-ranging and I have no doubt that she will have a successful year.”
Inez spoke about her passion for diversity in the profession and beyond when she spoke to BBC Radio WM to mark her inauguration.