Iona Sinclair

Learning and Development Manager (Mayer Brown International)

Iona SinclairI qualified as an employment lawyer in 1999. Whilst practising, I also wrote for a number of publications, regularly delivered legal training to clients and colleagues and taught a Masters level employment law qualification. I formally moved away from fee-earning and into learning and development when I joined Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

Whilst at Norton Rose Fulbright, I designed and delivered training to all levels of legal and non-legal staff globally and to clients of the practice. I have always been interested in diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias so I applied successfully for a secondment into the HR team to manage diversity for a year. Throughout my 6 years at the practice, I also designed and delivered equality and diversity training in the London office, including at partner level.

I joined Mayer Brown International LLP in May 2014 to manage their Professional Skills Learning & Development Team. I am also responsible for diversity training and am actively involved in the firm’s diversity networks and initiatives. I am a mentor to local students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are keen to practise law and am a Professional Ambassador to and also a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors.

Diversity is incredibly important to me on both a personal and professional front. It makes sense on every level for the legal profession to be accessible to all, irrespective of background. Coming from a less advantaged background myself, I wish the likes of Aspiring Solicitors had been around in my day to advise, support and assist me in the early days. Being on the Advisory Board of Aspiring Solicitors will ensure that I stay close to the live issues being faced by the next generation of lawyers and to see how firms and organisations can encourage and support students with potential from every background. I hope that by the time my young son enters the job market, that attitudes have shifted, unhelpful stigmas have been removed and that work environments are more inclusive.