Our judging panel​

Our judges for Totum’s Best Business Leaders Award represents the very best leaders from across the professional services sector. They will assess the shortlist, making the final decision before we announce our Best Business Leaders on 7th July 2022.

Sarah Walker-Smith, Group CEO

Sarah is the Group CEO of legal and professional services group Ampa, which includes property, business property and family law firm Shakespeare Martineau. A trained accountant, Sarah worked at PWC and Deloitte, before she joined Boots as Head of Internal Comms, gaining considerable marketing and branding experience. She then moved into the legal sector becoming Chief Operating Officer at Browne Jacobson before taking on the Chief Executive role at Shakespeare Martineau in early 2019, becoming the first female, non-lawyer CEO in the legal top 50. Sarah is passionate about levelling the playing field, encouraging everyone to bring their authentic selves to work, and is currently studying the relationship between leadership, purpose and trust.

James Hacking, Partner

James is one of five partners at Kindleworth, a legal managed services provider specialising in launching niche / boutique firms and providing them with ongoing operational services. Before joining Kindleworth, James worked within a range of operational teams in well-known law firms, including Business Development, HR & Training, Risk Management & Compliance and in Executive and COO positions. Today he takes the lead in launching new law firms and, once established, is often engaged to oversee a firm’s operational agenda as a COO to clients.

Kathleen Harris, Managing Partner

Kathleen is Managing Partner of Arnold Porter’s London office and Co-chair of the firm's Anti-Corruption practice where she represents companies and individuals in a wide range of regulatory/enforcement investigations and related proceedings. Kathleen was made head of the firm’s London office in June 2020, allowing her to focus on the firm’s growth and culture. She is the first black woman to have held the role at the firm, giving her an important opportunity to fulfil her ambition to make a difference in meeting the legal sector’s challenges ahead. Kathleen featured in The Lawyer’s 2021 ‘Hot 100’ list, with The Lawyer praising her ability to combine leadership with working on some ‘of the most high profile investigations and regulatory proceedings of our time’.

Rachael Heenan, Senior Partner

Rachael is Senior Partner at Capsticks Solicitors LLP. As well as leading the firm, she works with clients in the health and social care, regulatory and housing sectors on employment and governance issues as well as wider business strategy. Rachael is also a CEDR qualified mediator and mediates on behalf of clients in the public and private sector on workforce, partnership and governance issues. Ranked number 1 in her field. She works closely with Capsticks’ business function leaders and takes the view that recognition programmes are vital to support and progress talent in the industry.

Suzanne Liversidge, Managing Partner

Suzanne is the Global Managing Partner at Kennedys, and a member of the Global Strategy Board. She, with the Senior Partner, is responsible for the strategic and operational management of Kennedys’ global network of 42 offices in 22 countries. She spearheads the firm’s Women in Insurance network and Kennedys’ global D&I advisory group, and is on the board of Kennedys IQ Limited, Kennedys’ innovation business. She is a regular speaker around the world on issues such as diversity and senior leadership. She is the first-ever female global managing partner of a UK top 30 law firm.

Chris Lynch, Ex Global HRD

Chris Lynch is an experienced HR Director (HRD) as well as Non-Executive Director at Totum. She has spent 30 years working at senior levels in professional service firms, including most recently as Global HRD at Linklaters and, before that, as HRD at Herbert Smith Freehills. As HRD she sat on the main executive boards of two firms and throughout her time in such senior roles has taken personal responsibility for ensuring that firms have prioritised people strategy in their forward planning. Chris has a particular interest in high-performing teams, and as a Meyler Campbell-trained coach, in working with individuals to develop their leadership skills.

Dick Tyler, Executive Coach

Dick is a director of Tyler Wilson Limited which offers bespoke advice and executive coaching to law firm leaders. He is the former Senior Partner and Managing Partner of CMS Cameron McKenna LLP and Executive Partner (based in Frankfurt) of its European business. He has 30 years' experience as a practising lawyer, 14 years in leadership roles in a major multi-national professional services organisation and eight years as a coach helping senior leaders to become more successful. Dick is a member of the Faculty of Meyler Campbell, for whom he tutors coaching, and sits on the Council of the Rugby Football Union.