The Legal Director's Kirstie Penk shortlisted for Forward Ladies National Awards 2019 regional final

The FL (Forward Ladies) National Awards & Summit, now in its tenth year, has announced its anticipated regional shortlist for Yorkshire, North East and Scotland — and we are delighted to report that The Legal Director’s Kirstie Penk, who is based in Sheffield, is shortlisted in the Female Entrepreneur category.

Described as “the country’s biggest ever search for successful women in business” the awards are a national showcase that recognise and celebrate business enterprise, talent and innovation across all regions of the UK.

Forward Ladies Managing Director, Griselda Togobo, revealed the 56 shortlisted applicants who will now compete for ten prestigious awards, in categories across all sectors including Corporate Leader, Female Entrepreneur, Emerging Leader, Start Up, Charity/Social Enterprise, Mentor of the Year and more.

Griselda explained: “Since launching in 2009, these are the only business awards to recognise those leaders and organisations who have made the greatest impact on the regional and wider UK economy over the last 12 months.

“All of those who have been shortlisted this year can be immensely proud of their success and all they have achieved.”

The shortlisted women for Yorkshire, North East and Scotland will attend an exclusive awards regional final on Friday 20September at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle. The winners from this, and the other regional finals covering London & The South, North West, Wales & Ireland, and The Midlands, will then be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in Manchester in November, followed by the National Grand Final in Leeds on 29 November.

Lara Oyesanya, UK Counsel and Director, Legal at Klarna Bank AB, was last year crowned with the top award of Forward Ladies Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2018, after leaving the judges “amazed and highly inspired” by her “stunning career”.

Commenting on her triumph, Lara said: “The impact of the awards has been huge. This achievement has shone a spotlight on my career and inspired others. More importantly, the awards have enabled me to promote women's causes and to encourage women to consider all possibilities.”

The awards are delighted to welcome back one of last year’s judges Sahar Hashemi, Founder of Coffee Republic. Commenting on the event, Sahar said: “I absolutely love the Forward Ladies awards. I remember the first time I attended a few years ago and entering the room as the speaker – I couldn't believe the buzz and the energy… As a judge, I get so much inspiration and positive energy from meeting the incredible women shortlisted for these awards.”

Commenting on her Female Entrepreneur award shortlisting, The Legal Director’s Kirstie Penk said: “I am incredibly proud and humbled to have been nominated for this award and to have made the shortlist alongside so many other amazing women in my region and across the UK. Forward Ladies does fantastic work in encouraging the growth of women in business and recognising their achievements.”

Kirstie added: “At The Legal Director we are UK’s leader provider of part-time and flexible General Counsel services to businesses, having developed a successful business model whereby we provide businesses with high-calibre experienced lawyers to fit  in with each business’s needs. By delivering legal advice from the perspective of the client’s business, and by working as part of the client’s senior team, our lawyers can make a real difference to clients’ businesses. This they find incredibly satisfying and rewarding, while our clients benefit from better business outcomes and better value for money.”

Kirstie added: “Appropriately, The Legal Director’s business model presents particularly exciting and different career-refresh and career-return opportunities for senior female business lawyers. The way we operate and the opportunities we offer has great appeal to women who have taken a career break and who are now looking to return to work but in a way that gives them a better work-life balance and, very often, a more satisfying career all-round.”

The full shortlists for each region are available at




Posted Friday, July 26th, 2019 by Warren Ryland



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