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12 June 2024 | Firm News | Article by Gwen Morgan-Evans

Rugby Sevens star powers up future leaders as firm wins changemaker award

Olympic Rugby Sevens player Jasmine Joyce has inspired attendees at the “Powering up your future” event in partnership with NatWest at our Two Central Square headquarters in Cardiff today. While, in a remarkable turn of events, our firm was honoured with a special 2024 DE&I Change Maker award by NatWest’s Cymru Board in Wales, recognising our commitment to diversity and fostering an inclusive work environment.

HR Director Di Brooks and Partner Gwen Morgan-Evans hold up the 2024 DE&I Change Maker awarded by NatWest's Cymru Board in Wales during the Powering up your future event

Capturing the spirit of the event, aimed at empowering female employees to reach their full potential, the sports star urged guests to “follow your dreams”, sharing the importance of maintaining a positive mindset and the vital support of those around you. The workshop also featured insights from role models in business, from both Hugh James and NatWest.

Among the speakers were Charlotte Fletcher, a Court of Protection lawyer at Hugh James, who has risen to Partner since joining the firm’s pro-bono scheme with Cardiff University 17 years ago, as well as Katherine Allen, Specialist Injury Partner at Hugh James and leader of the firm’s employee-led Gender Balance network. Contributing additional perspectives as male allies, we heard from Partner Matt Evans, the firm’s Training Principal, and Justin Smith, Regional Director at Natwest CMM.

Jasmine Joyce throws a rugby ball into the air at the NatWest "Powering up your future" event held at the Hugh James 2 Central Square headquarters

The workshop brought together colleagues from our London, Manchester, and Cardiff offices who have recently advanced into associate and senior associate roles as well as representatives from the firm’s employee-led Gender Balance network, alongside NatWest staff and clients from the public and private sector.

This event is part of the “Hugh James Potential” initiative and supporting the development and well-being of colleagues across the firm. With 31 promotions and the introduction of the legal director role to enhance progression opportunities in 2024, the ongoing work to inspire new skills for future leaders was acknowledged during the surprise presentation.

Attendees of the the NatWest "Powering up your future" event held at the Hugh James 2 Central Square headquarters gather in the office's Vista longue for drinks and a buffet

Presenting the award to HR Director Di Brooks and Partner Gwen Morgan-Evans, Jason Heath, Relationship Director, Commercial and Corporate Bank, Cardiff and South East Wales, commented:

“I am pleased and honoured to award Hugh James the 2024 DE&I Change Maker award. NatWest is thrilled to see the immense amount of work done by HJ to invest in their organisational culture. This award recognises the setting up of employee-led networks, new roles on the career ladder and a number of empowering events like today. It is remarkable what can be done with great leadership and culture.”

Speaking of the award, Gwen said:

“It’s a real privilege, as well as a big surprise, to receive this award from NatWest Cymru. It’s a recognition of the huge amount of work that goes into continuing the inclusive culture we’re proud of at our firm. There’s always lots going on behind the scenes, because it’s the right thing to do, and receiving this endorsement from one of our partners is a very special honour.”

Di Brooks added:

“This award is for everyone at the firm, and I want to make a special mention of our employee-led networks. Our employees are passionate about making change for the better and this award is a testament to all their hard work and dedication.”

Attendees of the the NatWest "Powering up your future" event held at the Hugh James 2 Central Square headquarters speak with Hugh James Partners who also attended the event

Key contact

Gwen Morgan-Evans


Gwen is head of environmental claims and one of the UK’s leading environmental lawyers. She has 11 years’ experience specialising in group actions on behalf of communities affected by various forms of environmental pollution.

Gwen has successfully concluded a number of large environmental group actions in locations throughout the UK. She has represented many thousands of individuals securing compensation, and more importantly to the claimants, an end to the nuisance.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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