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Women of Achievement Award for Chairman Brenda Long

Awards evening

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s chairman Brenda Long was a winner at the 2018 Southern Women of Achievement Awards, held at Reading Town Hall on 16 February.

Inspired by the charity’s founder, the awards celebrate women from across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire who have achieved success and stand out as a role model.

In 2015 Brenda became Blandy & Blandy LLP’s first female chairman/senior partner in the firm’s near 285 year history, and one of a relatively small number of women to occupy a similar role within the Thames Valley or indeed nationally.

Prior to taking on the role Brenda was the longstanding manager of the firm’s Family Law department, the only Family Law team based in Reading to be ranked in the top tier by both of the UK’s leading independent legal directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers UK Guide. According to the latter, "Brenda Long knows her stuff inside-out - what she hasn't seen is not worth knowing."

According to research, on average women comprise just 26% of partners at an average national or regional law firm in the UK. However, eight of Blandy & Blandy’s 18 partners are female (44%), a flagship balance that Brenda has played an important role in helping to nurture. Brenda said: “Many of the firm’s female partners and associate solicitors trained at the firm, me included, and have developed their careers with the support of colleagues. Blandy & Blandy offers flexible working arrangements and actively encourages a good work-life balance.” 

Perhaps most remarkably, while continuing to lead the firm in an exemplary manner as Chairman, Brenda fulfilled a personal ambition to act as a surrogate in 2017. She gave birth to a bouncing boy in November last year.

Joint managing partner Jonathan Gater said: “We are very proud of Brenda’s achievements and were delighted to be there to see her receive her award. Seven of our partners, joined by several guests, enjoyed a fantastic evening of fundraising in aid of Sue Ryder. Congratulations to all of the recipients and our thanks to the charity and event sponsors.”

The evening was hosted by former professional football and BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Ady Williams and sponsored by leading companies including Invesco, CH & Co Group and Savills.