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The Review Edition

The Review Edition

  • Fudia Smartt
  • 18th December 2019

December 2019 Newsletter – The Review Edition

Welcome to my first blog post in what feels like an eternity! For the not-so-new subscribers, you will see that the website has been given a makeover.  I am very pleased with the new look of the website and send a special thanks to JPP designs who did the redesign.

I have entitled this update, the “Review” edition, since a lot has happened since my last blog post.  Following a year of maternity leave, I returned to the world of work at the end of September.  I also have joined a new firm called Spencer West LLP.  It’s an innovative, multi-disciplinary firm based in the Moorgate area.  If you are around, please let me know and we can have a coffee!

I have also officially started working as a coach for both individuals and teams; using my MBTI and DISC training to help create healthy work environments.  I will be providing more information on this in due course so watch this space, but in the meantime please check out my website for further details.

While I enjoy change, I also find it exhausting and the last few weeks have definitely been tiring.  Dealing with endless colds caused by the infestation centre also known as nursery, getting to grips with new IT systems as well as trying to find some clothes that I can actually now fit into post baby has taken its toll.  It was therefore very cathartic to write about why adaptability is the secret to success in modern workplaces and how we can all develop this skill.

What have I been up to?


I attended the Women’s Lawyers and Mothers (WLAM) event, “They said she couldn’t so she did” on 4 November at Squire Patton Boggs offices.  All of the speakers were excellent, and it was encouraging to hear from mothers who had found ways to have fulfilling careers in law on their terms.

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by Victoria Dele, host of the “Mummy means business” podcast and all round PR guru, where I shared my views on how I was finding the juggling act of motherhood and a career in law.  It would be good to gain other parents’ perspectives on this – all tips are welcomed!

On 7 November 2019,  alongside my fellow partners Samar Shams and Anne Mannix, I discussed the employment and immigration issues in the lifecycle of a sponsored worker.  We were fortunate to have such an engaged audience.  We are likely to be running more events in the New Year (IR35 anyone?) so I will keep you posted!


I have recently written three articles for People Management.  My first article was on the France Télécom case, where seven former executives are accused of having intentionally created a toxic work environment to force workers out and in turn speed up their restructuring plans, which subsequently led to staff killing themselves.  A sombre subject matter indeed and, depending on the outcome of the case, could lead to increased corporate manslaughter cases being brought in the UK. My second article was on the ethnicity pay gap and whether – taking into account the findings of the Office of National Statistics as published in July – ethnicity pay gap reporting is now required.  On a more light-hearted topic, my third article was on tattoos and whether they are still are taboo in the workplace.  What are your thoughts on this?

I have also written a piece for Employment Law Journal on discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief following two recent cases.  In Conisbee v Crossley Farms, vegetarianism was not held (surprisingly in my view) to be a philosophical belief protected under Equality Act 2010, but instead a lifestyle choice.  In Mackereth v DWP a Christian doctor’s lack of belief that people can be transgender was not protected either.  The question I posed was whether – given the recent cases – our laws provide sufficient protection.  I would be interested in getting your thoughts on this.

Fudia recommends

  1. Employment law: Following the #MeToo movement, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance for employers on the use of confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases. Worth a read by all.
  2. Coaching: If you are feeling stuck and want to effect change, I would highly recommend  Marie Forleo’s latest book, “Everything is Figureoutable”: An inspiring yet practical call to arms on how to create the life you want.  I have found reading this book whilst in the midst of  all the change over the last few months has been encouraging.
  3. Public speaking: A great Ted talk that I have watched several times, particularly before doing any public speaking.  Thank you, Mr Treasure!

In the New Year I am determined to start producing more video content.  I’m stating it here so I can be held accountable!

Until then, wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas break!


  • Fudia Smartt
  • 18th December 2019