SILF launches new group to support women lawyers

Zia Mody

The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) has introduced the SILF Lady Lawyers Group (SLG) to support women, including associates, partners and managing partners.

Zia Mody, managing partner of AZB & Partners, will lead the group as chairperson, while Justice Prathiba Singh, a judge of Delhi High Court inaugurated the SLG.

Mody will play a vital role in the events planned in Mumbai and Bangalore in October 2023, where “the role of lady lawyers in the development of corporate laws of the country” would be highlighted. Eminent women judges of the high courts are slated to be invited.

Lalit Bhasin, president of the SILF, said, “The SLG is the largest organised group of lady lawyers in the country, and it is set to create understanding, harmony, intellectual interaction and sharing of information.”

He added that, “Even though lady lawyers form the majority at law firms, they do not get effective and proper representation in the management or on the boards.

“They are also underrepresented at law conferences and events even though they are the largest contributors to the corporate work handled by law firms.

“The SLG would take up these issues and hold independent events in different parts of India where lady lawyers would be properly and adequately represented. They would also discuss issues concerning career progression within law firms and this will be a formidable voice.”

Under the SLG, groups will facilitate region-specific events and discussions, championed by the chairperson in collaboration with the SILF president. Regional heads will be appointed in due course.

Established in 2000, the SILF is India’s apex body aimed at safeguarding the interests of law firms. It addresses the historical lack of representation for firms, uniting 125 top firms to enhance technology, skills and infrastructure.

“The SLG would help young female lawyers in adjusting their lifestyles without affecting their professional commitments. Young female lawyers get married and [may] also need maternity leave, etc. There should be a built-in mechanism at law firms to treat these milestones not as concessions but as a part of their condition of employment and as a matter of [meeting] their rights,” said Bhasin.