The Hearing – A Legal Podcast

Thomson Reuters

The Hearing is a legal podcast from Thomson Reuters.

Listen to insightful discussions with interesting people who have a connection to the law.

All Episodes

Yasmin's guest for this episode is something of an inspiration. I. Stephanie Boyce is the 177th president of the Law Society of England and Wales. But she’s the society’s first black office holder, and only the sixth woman to hold the presidency. And, as you will hear, she had to overcome lots of barriers to get there. Yasmin and Stephanie talk about her route to becoming president and her mission to make the Law Society more inclusive and diverse. Growing up, she faced a unique set of challenges, but kept fighting and kept a revolutionary mindset that informs her work today. Stephanie also discusses the campaigning she is doing on behalf of female legal professionals in Afghanistan and the efforts of the global legal community to help ensure the safety of our Afghan colleagues. Find out more at

Nov 22

35 min 52 sec

Bitcoin: bringing FOMO since 2013. What would your scream sound like if you had dismissed Bitcoin as a joke in your law class in 2013 at $100 dollars – when it sits at $60,000 today? Joe's guest this week is Houman Shadab, the Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School. He's here to tell us how lawyers can navigate, benefit from and translate today’s new wave of rapid technological advances. Houman talks us through the greenroom snacks at the US Capitol before he testified – what we really wanted to know. And, in a throwback to Mark Zuckerberg's uncomfortable testimony before congress ("Sir, we run ads"), he tells Joe about his experience of sitting in front of the US government explaining the implications of various securities laws on hedge funds. We're a curious bunch at The Hearing, so we asked Houman to tell us what lawyers and legal students can do to better enable themselves for success. The answer seems to lie in no-code. Houman explains what the heck this is and why it matters to the legal ecosystem. So, get your notepad and digital wallet ready and press play! Find out more at

Nov 8

41 min 15 sec

In this episode, Yasmin sits down with a former Chief Crown Prosecutor and formidable force for justice, Nazir Afzal OBE. Nazir, a practising Muslim, talks about the racism he endured as a child growing up in Birmingham and how this fuelled his determination to stand up for the most marginalised and victimised members of society. Nazir also chats about his illustrious career at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and how these roles and his commitment to fighting for others have fundamentally affected his life. This interview includes references to cases of sexual abuse and violence. So if these are sensitive issues for you, please listen with caution. Find out more at


Oct 11

36 min 12 sec

This week, Joe takes a break from legal futurology and tries his hand at being a pub singer. We’re here for it. And so (much to his horror) is Andy Wishart – Chief Product Officer at Agiloft and all round technology guru. Joe and Andy discuss the beginnings of Contract Express, Andy's 21 years in legal tech, and the changes and challenges he's seen along the way. They also chat about the power of document automation, how the legal industry has evolved alongside this technology and Andy's rather cool career journey. If you're one for tech leaders in band t-shirts, Scottish accents (good and bad) or just want to know more about lawtech’s underground karaoke scene, this episode is for you. You’ll also hear some rather excellent efficiency advice too. Find out more at

Sep 27

48 min 58 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – Back from our summer hiatus, in this episode Becky Annison examines the growing issue of non-consensual image sharing. Or, as it’s more commonly known, revenge porn. Becky talks to Elena Michael, a campaigner and co-founder of #NotYourPorn, and Honza Cervenka, a lawyer at the women’s rights firm McAllister Olivarius. They discuss the prevalence of image-based sexual abuse and the huge challenges that survivors face when seeking justice against perpetrators. In what ways are our legal systems failing to protect victims? And why are website operators so slow to protect people against this type of exploitation? Contributors:- Elena Michael, #NotYourPorn- Honza Cervenka, McAllister Olivarius Find out more at

Sep 15

45 min 52 sec

Breastfeeding is legal. Breastfeeding in public is legal. But did you know that taking intimate photos of a woman breastfeeding in public without her consent is also legal? In this episode Yasmin talks to new mother, designer and now women's and mother's rights campaigner, Julia Cooper. She's another woman warrior using political process to change the way the law treats women. Julia speaks about the shock of being photographed by a stranger whilst breastfeeding her child outside, their confrontation and the steps she's taken since to help protect other mums. Both Yasmin and Julia are new mums and care passionately about giving other mothers the confidence to breastfeed in public. The pair talk about Julia’s campaigning journey, the frustrations and early successes, and what it's like getting to grips with the legislative process. You can find out more about Julia’s petition here:

Aug 9

30 min 28 sec

The achievements of this episode’s guest have been celebrated by the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The New York Times, Forbes and Wired. Joe is talking to the founder of P-TECH, and author of Breaking Barriers, Stan Litow. They begin by discussing Stan’s early career – working for the mayor of New York City – which opened his eyes to issues in the education system. This stuck with Stan through roles in public service, the not-for-profit sector and into IBM – where he created “the private sector version of a Peace Corps”. P-TECH is a global programme that blends high school with higher education and on-the-job learning. It bridges the gap between employment and academic systems that lack the provision of workplace skills. These opportunities are available to all students, regardless of race or financial status, in a way that benefits the private sector as well as society. This episode is for lawyers who want to see change in the industry but aren't sure where to start. Find out more at

Jul 19

40 min 15 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – In this episode Becky talks to Katie Fudakowski, a safeguarding specialist at Farrer & Co, and Sophie Beesley, a personal injury barrister from Old Square Chambers, to discuss the law around duty of care to sports people who suffer head injuries as a result of their profession. Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson is one of eight rugby players who recently revealed they’re suffering from early-onset dementia. Steve says he can no longer remember winning that 2003 World Cup. The eight players are suing for negligence. They claim the sport’s governing bodies failed in their duty of care to players, despite risks of concussions being "known and foreseeable". With some experts predicting the case will settle out of court, Becky, Katie and Sophie examine the legal rights our sporting heroes are entitled to. Find out more at

Jul 5

35 min 52 sec

This episode's guest doesn't give up: he didn't give up being himself, he didn't give up his desire for children and he doesn't give up fighting for others, even when that means taking the government to court. Yasmin is speaking to journalist, trans activist and father, Freddy McConnell. Freddy is a dad who gave birth. This story is excellently told in the film Seahorse, which documents his journey to becoming a single dad. Yasmin was also keen to talk to Freddy about his court battle to be named as the father on his son’s birth certificate. They discuss Freddy’s discovery of the legal realities for trans parents in the UK, and how the legal system views men who choose to give birth. Freddy's journey through the courts isn't over yet and he’s taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights next. He's part of a global LGBTQIA movement trying to use the legal system to help every family be recognised as their everyday selves. Find out more at

Jun 21

37 min 59 sec

Question: What do the Iranian national football team, NFTs, Hotel Rwanda and Andy Murray have in common? Answer: Stevie Ghiassi, Co-founder of Legaler and Legaler Aid. And Joe’s guest this week! In this episode, Stevie chats to Joe about his unlikely journey from running a chain of souvenir shops to becoming a legal tech entrepreneur. He also talks about the important work that Legaler Aid is doing, and ways in which legal tech and blockchain have helped them pivot after Covid took away traditional fundraising streams. Yet again we’re seeing innovative ways that cryptocurrency and blockchain are being used, and how they offer real opportunities for the legal industry. Find out more at

Jun 7

52 min 41 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – We, along with the rest of the legal industry, have talked at length about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our profession. But this time we concern ourselves not with the efficiencies of machine learning and automation, but instead with potential injustice and the need for vigilance in the face of seismic developments. AI is already being used extensively in areas like recruitment, policing and the courts – as it's often assumed that machines, unlike humans, are objective and neutral. But, as this episode discusses, computer algorithms can easily perpetuate and amplify human biases. Becky Annison and our three guests – who are each working to understand and fight against algorithmic injustice – discuss the causes as well as the cumulative and damaging effects of coded bias. The computer scientist and digital activist Joy Buolamwini describes this phenomenon as the "exclusion overhead" – the cost of systems that exclude and discriminate against those with experiential differences who are outside the code writing room. CONTRIBUTORS:- Sandra Wachter, Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford - Kristian Lum, Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania - Ivana Bartoletti, Technical Director - Privacy, Deloitte; Visiting Policy Fellow, University of Oxford Find out more at

May 17

35 min 55 sec

Yasmin's guest this week hardly needs introduction – we're speaking to feminist icon Laura Bates. Laura is founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, a catalogue of day-to-day instances of sexism and gender inequality. Laura talks us through the events that led to her setting up the project – events that were so everyday, so commonplace, that she almost didn't notice. On her website, Laura describes these types of incidents as “so-used-to-it-you-almost-just-accept-it sexism”. But, as she explains to Yasmin, she couldn't just accept it – and so one of the greatest feminists of our time got going! Yasmin talks to Laura about her work with the legal industry – an industry that often doesn't think it has a problem with sexism; that doesn't believe harassment and inequality can happen to lawyers. They also discuss her new book, Men Who Hate Women – a shocking exploration of extreme misogyny. Find out more at

May 3

40 min 52 sec

To those listening in the future, the level of excitement about our brief Easter hiatus to see friends and family might seem strange. But, future listener, these are strange times indeed. We don't even have hoverboards yet. Our future podcast friends might also find it strange that we're still discussing whether lawyers actually need artificial intelligence. Joe's guest this week is Andrew Fletcher, Director at TR Labs. He points out that the trust we place in our lawyers will soon begin to assume their ability to tap into a knowledge base far wider than can ever be gleaned from books. Lawyers will need AI and legal tech to tap into this information, interpret it and then join the dots on behalf of their clients. Andrew talks to Joe about how TR Labs is taking curation of big data to the next level, how to make sure an AI can be trusted, and the kinds of innovations that are just around the corner. Spoiler: there's still no sign of robot lawyers, but we do have a Joe-Bot. Find out more at

Apr 19

1 hr

Did you know the moon landings were faked? Or that The Beatles never existed? And do you remember when conspiracy theories were much more innocent? In this episode, Becky talks to Will Moy, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Full Fact, about the perils of misinformation in the digital age. Full Fact is a British charity that checks claims made by politicians, public institutions and journalists, and claims made by viral content circulating on social media. Will believes “bad information ruins lives” by promoting hate, damaging health and hurting democracy. He and Becky discuss how the law and lawyers have been caught up in this problem, and what we can do to help tackle it. Find out more at

Mar 22

38 min 40 sec

Here at The Hearing HQ we've really missed travelling. So being whisked (virtually) to Buenos Aires for this week's episode was a real treat! Meet Joe's guest, Federico Ast, the CEO and founder of Kleros. He's deeply intelligent, thoughtful and one hell of an aggravator in the world of justice. Federico has a philosophy-centred approach to improving judicial systems around the world, and talks to Joe about how deliberative democracy can fast-track access to justice. Kleros is an online dispute resolution system based on blockchain, crowdsourcing and game theory. We hear how Federico has used his experience of the Argentinian economic collapse of the 90s to problem-solve dispute resolution for the internet age. Find out more at

Mar 8

55 min 33 sec

Imagine being fired, by voicemail, after telling your boss that you're pregnant. It seems like something from a different era, or at least, akin to a bad dating story. Yet this is exactly what happened to this week's guest, Joeli Brearley, the CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed. Joeli sits down with Yasmin to talk about how her high-risk pregnancy prevented her from taking legal action and how this lit the fuse for Pregnant Then Screwed. They talk about taking the government to court for discriminating against women in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the (very relatable) stress dreams that came with it. Joeli is a powerhouse with a huge social media following, and this episode also looks at what it’s like dealing with trolls and how she wants to change the workplace for mothers, no matter how messy it gets or how many people it upsets. Find out more at

Feb 22

37 min 42 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is giving many of us hope right now. But are vaccines about become the next divisive issue to affect our professional and personal lives? Companies might well see vaccines as the golden ticket to getting staff back to a normal working environment, or indeed back to work full stop. But what happens when employees choose not to receive the vaccine, or refuse to disclose their vaccination status? In this episode, Becky talks to Joe Nicholls, from Wards Solicitors, and GoodCorporation’s Debbie Ramsay about this new wave of legal and ethical issues that businesses, and society as a whole, must grapple with. CONTRIBUTORS:- Debbie Ramsay, Director, GoodCorporation- Joe Nicholls, Partner & Head of Employment, Wards Solicitors Find out more at

Feb 8

57 min 14 sec

On The Hearing, we've talked to people at the top of their game about their experiences of lockdown. We've gained advice from experts on how businesses can best weather these unprecedented times. And this week Joe chats to Karim Sabbidine, an associate at Thompson Hine, about what COVID-19 means when you're at the legal coalface. Pre-pandemic, life as a New York litigator was a heady mix of high pressure and excitement – tiring yet fun. But for Karim it quickly transitioned to being cramped in a small apartment with two equally busy flatmates, while trying to navigate a virtual trial. Karim has an international and multicultural background, and has an enviable résumé of on-the-job training. He talks to Joe about the realities of being a litigator, the benefits of writing every day, and why it's important to always dress the part. Find out more at

Jan 25

50 min 35 sec

Join Yasmin, fresh from our short Christmas hiatus, as she gets to know Lady Hale – often described as the UK’s answer to the USA’s late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Former President of the Supreme Court and an advocate for diversity in the legal profession, Baroness Hale of Richmond (as she’s formally known) can leave people rather starstruck. And Yasmin is no exception. Lady Hale chats to Yasmin about the impact teachers can have on the lives their pupils, and what it's like being famous for so many firsts. The pair also discuss that headline-grabbing prorogation case, as well as some of the other landmark judgments that she is particularly proud of. Find out more at

Jan 11

31 min 11 sec

You may have watched as Mark Zuckerberg explained the internet to Congress in a way that felt a bit unnecessary. Well, this episode is sort of the opposite of that. Joe Raczynski is joined by legal and mathematical macroeconomics genius Doug Pepe, to take us through blockchain, tokens and cryptocurrency in a way that’s genuinely enlightening. The legal industry is sometimes accused of not keeping up, but we know that’s not true. Lawyers are occupying this space now. Their clients are very active and they have a crucial role to play in the serious policy issues being debated. Doug, a partner at Joseph Hage Aaronson, started his blockchain journey by building gaming computers with his young children, and then teaching them how to mine bitcoin. Fast forward and Doug is now an expert on blockchain privacy, smart contracts and digital identity. Find out more at

Dec 2020

51 min 34 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – Although we're being playful with the title, there are some comparisons to be drawn between this episode and Gabriel García Márquez's classic novel Love in a Time of Cholera. We're covering issues of epic proportions, and it does feel like Brexit and Covid have both spanned several lifetimes. Our host Becky Annison isn't one to romanticise, but she does look at the positives and opportunities for legal teams with her guest experts, Moni Mannings and David Thorneloe. At the time of recording, we're a few short weeks away from the final Brexit deadline. There's been good news globally about potential COVID-19 vaccines and many are looking forward to the end of the year that was 2020. This episode aims to help businesses bring the year safely into the Brexit harbour in the face of depleted resources and unknown challenges. Contributors: - Moni Mannings, FTSE100 Independent Non-Executive Director - David Thorneloe, Legal Director, Pinsent Masons Find out more at

Dec 2020

34 min 50 sec

Star Trek gave us prototype mobile phones. In Back To The Future, Doc Brown and Marty McFly predicted voice recognition technology. And, as this episode discusses, it was Minority Report in 2002 that foresaw predictive policing. This week, Yasmin chats to Christina Blacklaws – a strategic consultant and the 174th president of the Law Society. Christina is also an expert on legal technology and chair of the MoJ's LawTech Delivery Panel. She describes the transformation happening in the legal sector and how computer algorithms are already being used in profound ways that impact our justice system. Legal tech aside, Christina and Yasmin discuss how a majority of women entering the profession becomes a minority of leaders, and the work being done to address this. They also examine how COVID-19's impact has made technology, flexible working and mental wellness even better companions. Find out more at

Nov 2020

44 min 19 sec

In this special US election instalment of The Hearing, Sanaz Asgharzadeh talks politics with Joe Raczynski. Sanaz used to be an attorney at a major firm and now heads her own practice, Atlas Law Firm. With the caveat that at the time of recording a victor had not yet been chosen, and with the votes continuing to be counted in several swing states, Joe and Sanaz describe the current mood of the US as it waits to find out who will emerge victorious. Sanaz talks about her background as an Iranian immigrant in the US, and how that shaped her interests in the law and political process. She takes us on a deep dive of the US electoral college system and discusses the potential for post-election litigation and the impact it could have on the outcome. Sanaz also takes us through hypothetical scenarios involving the incumbent that might once have seemed unlikely, but in these unprecedented times are worthy of consideration. Finally, she discusses the importance of counting all of the ballots and the need for transparency in the process. Find out more at

Nov 2020

45 min 8 sec

How is sexuality considered in the modern workplace? How has the LGBTQ+ community been affected by COVID-19? What practical steps can people take to be an active ally beyond Pride and rainbow lanyards? This week Yasmin talks with Reed Smith Partner, Honorary QC, global thought leader on diversity and inclusion and founder of the InterLaw Diversity Forum, Daniel Winterfeldt. Yasmin and Daniel talk about how the InterLaw Diversity Forum focuses on cultural change in the workplace to foster inclusion for diverse talent in the legal sector and promote meritocracy across all sectors. They also discuss the need for law firms and businesses to follow through on their commitments to cultural change in the legal workplace and how this can lead to wider systemic change for all. Find out more at

Nov 2020

42 min 46 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – On The Hearing, we hear from so many who have entered the legal profession with bold ambitions to change the world for the better. This week's guests may just do that. Becky talks to three determined lawyers about their involvement in a legal pro bono project to fight climate change. The Chancery Lane Project brings together legal professionals to create practical solutions to help reverse climate change. Their vision is a world in which every contract and law enables and encourages businesses to have a positive impact on the environment. They talk through perhaps one of the biggest issues when confronting the climate crisis: its scale. The effects of climate change are incredibly complex and somewhat abstract. Translating that into tangible solutions is a huge challenge that The Chancery Lane Project is addressing through legal hackathons and collaborative problem-solving. Contributors:- Matthew Gingell, General Counsel, Oxygen House Group- Yasmin Waljee OBE, International Pro Bono Director, Hogan Lovells- Dan Summers, Commercial Lawyer, Environment Agency Find out more at

Oct 2020

35 min 32 sec

In this week's episode, we showcase a conversation between Ron Levine, General Counsel at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, and host Joe Raczynski. Ron, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, speaks as a thoughtful realist, proponent for good, and a practitioner of what he preaches. He bears witness as a 40-year litigator, discussing the fascinating dealings of what happens behind the class action suit scenes, describing a lack of transparency, and what he would do to improve the system. Ron dives into the importance of technology, as a crusader for others in the field. Specifically, in the eDiscovery space he stresses the importance of tools, AI, and being smart about (of all things) the use of email. He also discusses what the future of litigation might look like with prediction modelling and big data. Find out more at

Oct 2020

38 min 16 sec

In this episode Yasmin chats to renowned equality and human rights lawyer Chris Fry. His Sheffield-based firm, Fry Law, represents people who have been treated unfairly by a service provider due to their disability, age, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Chris talks about the landmark cases that have put him and his team of lawyers at the forefront of some profound changes, particularly for people with disabilities. He also outlines the huge impact the knock-on consequences of COVID-19 have had on certain groups; for example, by restricting their access to basic necessities like food. Chris opens up about the work he and his fellow campaigners are doing to empower those people, and he reveals the fuel behind his unrelenting drive for justice. Find out more at

Sep 2020

39 min 26 sec

We've all heard of the tragic Harry Dunn case, and that's because of this week's guest, Radd Seiger. He took the case on simply because he was a concerned neighbour of Harry’s grieving family. Radd talks to Becky about his motivations, and what's involved in working to get justice for a client, in this case, a family. For international legal cases, such as this, it can be easy to get mired in the complexity of the politics, diplomacy and international relations and forget that for the client, all they want is some form of justice and to find the best way to move forward. A lot of lawyers enter the profession because they have a passion for justice, doing right and making the world better. Becky and Radd touch on how to reconcile that mission with the day-to-day tasks of being a lawyer and the impact it can have on mental health. They talk about the capacity and skills that lawyers have to open doors for their clients and to bring them on a journey. Find out more at

Sep 2020

48 min 55 sec

In this episode Joe is joined by David Brown, Legal Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF). TLDEF is a transgender-led organisation fighting for transgender rights through litigation and other legal avenues. Working with numerous law firms, David and his team bring lawsuits to demonstrate how statutes are unequal and discriminatory. David tells Joe how his family inspired him to want to fight injustice. And he explains how TLDEF strategically selects cases with the ultimate aim of moving the law and the equality agenda forward, while also ensuring they authentically represent transgender people's lives. David talks about the importance of finding commonalities when discussing transgender people and the discrimination they face. Like anyone, transgender people want a nice place to live, a steady job and access to healthcare. But in many parts of the world, such fundamentals of life are often denied. David and Joe also discuss intersectionality, and how transgender people of colour are even more likely to face discrimination due to greater distrust and fear. Find out more at

Aug 2020

35 min 34 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – In this episode Becky hosts a discussion on the role of lawyers as ethical leaders and their relationship with racial justice. She's joined by Abimbola Johnson, a criminal barrister, and Carlos Brown, a senior VP and GC, to examine racial issues from UK and US perspectives. Lawyers have a unique position, enjoying a status as trusted professionals who give advice and provide solutions to an array of issues, yet they're not generally thought of as ethical leaders. And while lawyers frequently deal with various systems of justice, the connection between this work and justice can often be obscured by the detail of day-to-day tasks. Carlos, Abimbola and Becky speak about the current relationship between the legal profession and racial justice, the fundamental nature of justice in society, how it differs from due process, and why the law is always running a few steps behind justice and ethics. Contributors:- Carlos M. Brown, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Dominion Energy- Abimbola Johnson, Barrister, 25 Bedford Row Find out more at

Aug 2020

48 min 31 sec

For this week's guest, threats to her life, staying away from restaurants and supermarkets and covering her face to go outside has been a reality since long before lockdown. Yasmin sat down with justice campaigner, Gina Miller for a wide-ranging chat that covered the abuse of women of colour in the media, the importance of dialogue and empathy, and the lessons in resilience she's had from her father and daughter. Since she entered the spotlight following landmark legal rulings over Brexit, Gina has faced incredible scrutiny and has become, as one newspaper put it, “an easy target” for abuse. However, she talks about how she has been able to use her position to speak to many of her critics and hopefully help to transform their opinions and prejudices. Find out more at

Jul 2020

48 min 1 sec

This week we’re taking you across the pond to talk privacy, piracy, and intellectual property. Before lockdown, Joe Raczynski sat down with Chris Mohr, VP for Intellectual Property and GC at Software and Information Industry Association. Working at the heart of the US federal government in Washington DC, Chris tells us about life as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill and how he navigates the challenges posed by different global approaches to intellectual property. He also talks about the intersection between IP and privacy law and the Constitution, as most data is effectively speech for Constitutional purposes, there are fundamental conflicts when people’s privacy rights are at stake. Ever the futurist, Joe and Chris talk about where AI might be taking us and what IP implications there may be, as they ponder whether machines are legally allowed to be inventors. Find out more at

Jul 2020

34 min 42 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – We looked at the business and economic impact of COVID-19 in the first Cross-Examination episode. This week we're turning to its impact on our working culture. Becky speaks to an occupational psychologist, diversity consultant and a head of knowledge management, to find out more about how lawyer's working and personal lives are being affected by lockdown. Interestingly, she learns that many of us have become more efficient, more productive and more caring. But of course, there are exceptions. She asks how lockdown has changed the way we look at mental health concerns in the profession, whether COVID-19 could derail the diversity and inclusion agenda, and what senior colleagues can do to assist trainees and junior staff at this time. This is a fascinating discussion that touches on mental health, the disappearing veneer of corporate identities, and the pressing need to better understand all our colleagues regardless of their background or position. Contributors: - Jens Näsström, Occupational Psychologist & Researcher - Geoffrey Williams, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant - Caroline White-Robinson, Head of Knowledge Management & L&D, Shoosmiths We'd love to hear your comments and suggestions! Follow us on Twitter @HearingPodcast. Find out more at

Jun 2020

35 min 33 sec

With Black Lives Matter protests taking place around the world once again, this week’s episode is a great opportunity to better understand the anger, grief and action of recent days. We also have exciting news to bring you as we welcome our new host: a lawyer, disability advocate and founder of Diverse Matters, Yasmin Sheikh. Yasmin spoke to Hashi Mohamed, a barrister who first came to the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee, about his new book, ‘People Like Us’. Weaving into his story, issues around race, class and identity, Hashi speaks of the importance of understanding one’s own context in defying an upbringing beset by poverty and hardship to gain the resilience, drive and confidence needed to radically transform his life. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! Follow us on Twitter @HearingPodcast. Find out more at

Jun 2020

45 min 40 sec

We’re taking you Stateside this week as our very own legal futurist Joe Raczynski is joined by Reuters General Counsel, Gail Gove. Gail takes us behind the scenes of the case that grabbed the world's attention in 2018: the incredible story of Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were imprisoned in Myanmar while investigating reports of mass murder. Gail talks to Joe about the all-encompassing nature of the work and what it's like to work with one of the most famous lawyers in the world, Amal Clooney. Starting out as a civil rights lawyer, Gail speaks of the importance of looking at legal issues through a wide-angled, global lens, the minefield of media laws around the world and the importance of having robust journalism. We’d like to hear your comments and suggestions. Follow us on Twitter @HearingPodcast If you’re interested in finding out more about how US law departments are navigating the new business landscape and adapting to the needs of 2020, download our complimentary report at

Jun 2020

25 min 58 sec

Isolation and IT problems are on the agenda this week, though, refreshingly, Lord Neuberger is talking about life in his judge's chambers rather than Corona lockdown. Former President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, speaks candidly to Kevin about his feelings of failure in his early career as he went from being a scientist, to City banker, before landing on his feet as a barrister. We hear about Lord Neuberger's rise up the judicial ranks, why he initially turned down a High Court judgeship, and the regrets he had at becoming a judge. Lord Neuberger speaks about the unique challenges associated with the Gina Miller Brexit cases, the politicisation of the judiciary, and the media scrutiny he, his family and fellow judges have had to endure. For more news, insights and best practice on important trends impacting the legal industry, visit Legal Insights Europe: For more information to help support you and your business, visit the Thomson Reuters COVID-19 resource centre: Find out more at

May 2020

54 min 6 sec

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION – Welcome to our first "The Cross-Examination" episode of The Hearing! We're taking big issues and examining them through a legal lens. And where else to start but with COVID-19? Becky Annison, a commercial lawyer and Practical Law Senior Editor, talks to an economist, insolvency practitioner and business leader to look at how COVID-19 is impacting the legal and business landscape, and its future implications. You'd be forgiven for thinking we've transported to a pre-corona Friday night drink with friends – there's an unlikely link to non-lawyer Natalie Portman as we discuss Black Swans, a trip to the pub and good old-fashioned football chat. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please let us know your thoughts! Contributors:- Stephen Allinson, Chairman of the Board, The Insolvency Service- Lucinda Case, Head of Legal Professionals Europe, Thomson Reuters - Alexis Crow, Global Head of Geopolitical Investing Practice, PwC For more information to help support you and your business, visit the Thomson Reuters COVID-19 resource centre:

May 2020

24 min 22 sec

To celebrate our 50th episode, we're taking you down memory lane as we showcase some of the best bits with some of our favourite guests on The Hearing so far. Reminisce with Dame Fiona Woolf and Cherie Blair, who talk about the incredible women in the legal profession, as well as the ongoing challenges with gender inequality. Diversity and inclusion were the order of the day when Yasmin Sheikh joined us, while Brie Stevens-Hoare QC talked about a feeling of not belonging. Highlighting the diversity of discussion that we've had on The Hearing, World Bank Vice-President Sandie Okoro talked to Joe Raczynski about the benefits of working at an organisation that embraced multiculturalism, while former Blur drummer Dave Rowntree spoke about swapping the rockstar life for a career in criminal law. Criminal barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC regaled us with many a colourful tale about some of his more infamous clients. Alastair Campbell opened up about the Hutton Inquiry and his views on the government, while Ken Clarke talked to us about his posh accent and Cambridge education. We've got plenty more great guests—and some new ideas—to bring you. But for now, enjoy our celebratory 50th episode and, of course, stay safe! Find out more at

Apr 2020

47 min 18 sec

Shopping trips, designer sweatshirts, dynasties and staying in shape. No, this isn't Legally Blonde the podcast; this week we're discussing the glamour and grunt work of the clerking world. Kevin gets the lowdown on life as a clerk from Old Square Chambers’ Paul Adams, also known as Cliff! They discuss the range of skills needed to be a successful clerk, how the profession is keeping up with modern times, and sandwiches. Recorded in the good old days before Coronavirus lockdown, when crisis management meant filling up a barrister’s diary after an early settlement, Paul talks us through the many quirks of clerking. Enjoy—and stay safe! Find out more at

Mar 2020

42 min

Politics and scandal have shaped the career of this week’s guest. Cash for Honours, MP’s expenses, phone hacking, he was there for it all — on the right side of the law, of course!Kevin sits down with Gerald Shamash, whose remarkable and diverse career has led to him being described as a celebrity lawyer, Labour Party lawyer and a legal aid lawyer—but he could have been a dentist! In this brilliant discussion, Gerald shares some great anecdotes about driving home with Alastair Campbell and representing Gazza—yes, that one—and he speaks incredibly passionately about his ardent commitment to public work despite the cuts to the legal aid budget in recent years. This isn’t an episode you’ll want to miss! Find out more at

Mar 2020

55 min 35 sec

Justice, mindfulness, biscuits! You’re in for a real treat this week, as Kevin sits down with his friend and CEO of LawCare, Elizabeth Rimmer. Though Elizabeth started her career in zoology, her international upbringing combined with a sense of justice led to a career change. As a solicitor, Elizabeth could stand up for people and give them a voice. She gives her insights into being a medical negligence solicitor and talks about why she questioned whether the legal system was designed to deliver the kind of justice that her clients really wanted. As CEO of LawCare, the charity that promotes and supports good mental health and well-being in the legal community, Elizabeth has does incredible work not only to raise awareness of these issues, but to tackle them. While originally focused on drinking culture at law firms, LawCare has evolved to work with lawyers on mindfulness and looking after their mental health as much as their physical health. Elizabeth is also a passionate advocate for ensuring that legal education includes education on looking after mental health. Finally, Elizabeth talks to Kevin about Fit for Law, a new initiative designed to promote emotionally healthier ways of working within law, as well as her desire to build an army of people who want to do something about improving mental health and wellbeing in the legal profession. Find out more at

Mar 2020

39 min 36 sec

It really is a career of two halves for David Winnie, the ex-professional footballer who now heads up the Sport Law department for Charles Douglas Solicitors. In this week’s episode, David talks to Kevin about his love of football—and studying—from a young age, and his desire to become a professional player. David recalls having to make a big decision when he was 16 – and then dreaded telling his mother on the bus home. The journeyman defender went on to win the Scottish Cup and captain St Mirren FC, before plying his trade Iceland and Australia. David talks about his brief coaching and managerial career in Iceland and Scotland and the pressures placed not just on footballers who live their life under great public scrutiny, but also managers who are only as good as their last game. As his football career came to a close, David went to university and, after methodically deciding what he didn’t want to study, chose law. He talks about the day-to-day sports law issues that arrive on his desk, whether it be contractual negotiations, tax issues or getting compensation for wantaway footballers. David tells Kevin about recently setting up a sports agency, and how his experiences as a professional footballer help him to empathise with, and occasionally mentor, his clients, particularly when it comes to mental health safeguarding. Find out more at

Feb 2020

43 min 21 sec

In this week's episode, Joe Raczynski is joined by the pre-eminent thought leader in legal tech, and Chief Knowledge and Client Value Officer at Shearman & Sterling, Meredith Williams-Range. Taking us on a journey from her small-town, rural upbringing just outside of Memphis (where you'll find the absolute best bbq) to the bright lights of New York, Meredith tells how family tragedy and a decade-long lawsuit led to a career in law. Meredith talks about her career at Baker Donelson, where she worked with colleagues steeped in American history, including President Reagan's Chief of Staff, and eventually became involved with legal tech. The hustle led to a fascinating new position at Shearman & Sterling, a position that Meredith notes was designed on a napkin! The firm's great vision and wonderful people meant that Meredith knew from the start that she could do great work there… and have the best geeky conversations. In a fascinating discussion about the growth – and the daunting pace of growth – of legal tech and big data analytics, Meredith and Joe consider the biggest legal tech changes of recent years, and talk about the exceptional new tools that serve a true need, with the added bonus of giving the enormous power of data to lawyers. Find out more at

Feb 2020

35 min 30 sec

It's the weekend, you're in Ibiza, you're ready to party, and a lawyer takes to the stage… Best. Night. Ever! Of course, it helps when that lawyer is superstar DJ, 'Judge' Jules O'Riordan. In this episode, Jules sits down with Kevin to talk about how he went from reading law at university, putting on illegal raves with his friends, to being one of the world's best-known DJs, and now an entertainment lawyer with Sound Advice. We hear how the combination of getting older and juggling a family life with the exhausting DJ lifestyle, contributed to a career change that has sparked plenty of curiosity among his legal peers. Jules tells Kevin what he loves about practising law and talks about the contrast between being a successful, self-centred artist and a lawyer focused primarily on his clients. Jules speaks passionately about fighting the good fight, and how that mentality continues to drive his legal career. And he tells of his efforts to pass on his expertise and experience in helping young artists avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that he encountered early in his music career. Find out more at

Jan 2020

39 min 38 sec

This week’s distinguished guest is Sandie Okoro, the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the World Bank. Sitting down with Thomson Reuters futurist Joe Raczynski, Sandie talks about how, from an early age, she learned that when someone limits your ambition it can become something to fight for and drive you on to enormous success. In this inspirational episode, Sandie talks about the work behind the World Bank’s goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and also behind their efforts to promote the rule of law and access to justice. And she brings to light some of the incredible work done to tackle gender inequality and rebuild post-conflict societies. Discussing the exciting evolution of her career, from a barrister to a solicitor and then general counsel, she explores the similarities and differences, and speaks passionately about the tangible outcomes in the public sector, where she sees the life-changing effects of her team’s work. Finally, she shares her fascinating insight into the interplay between culture and the law, and how social movements change the law and, in turn, change cultural attitudes and drive social progress. Find out more at

Jan 2020

46 min 7 sec

Workers unite! Have you ever considered the crossover between sex workers and paralegals, or questioned whether Kevin is the enemy? In this eye-opening episode, the answers to those questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Kevin is joined by Zachary Whyte and Molly De Dios. A second-year trainee at Hodge Jones & Allen, Zac co-founded Legal Sector Workers United, an affiliate of United Voices of the World, where Molly sits on the Executive Committee. In this passionate discussion, Zac and Molly speak out against what they call the exploitation of paralegals. And they outline the work being done to ensure the best possible conditions for all legal sector workers, from barristers and solicitors to cleaners and security staff. We hear about the immense challenges of securing the London Living Wage for a range of workers at the Ministry of Justice, and their campaign to restore the legal aid budget. Finally, Zac and Molly make a stirring case for all in the sector to get involved to help improve the justice system. Find out more at

Dec 2019

47 min 48 sec

In this episode, we talk to Labour MP, Alistair Darling, about how his Aberdeen law degree helped to shape his political career (spoiler alert: lawyers should be lawyers, not politicians). Although Alistair does admit that law is a solid discipline that enables you to ask critical questions, which are useful skills for politicians. Alistair gives us his thoughts on the deeply divisive nature of referendums, including his take on Brexit and the inherent problems with a hard border. He talks about the success of his memoir, ‘Back from the Brink’, which spent 1,000 days at number 1. He also divulges why he wouldn’t write another book for fear of picking fights. Now away from frontline politics, we pose the question: would you be quick to return if there were to be another Scottish referendum? His answer may surprise you. Find out more at

Dec 2019

29 min 38 sec

From a young age, Ann Olivarius saw that men ruled the world. A mother whose potential was left unfulfilled. A male-dominated college where sexual harassment was rife. An investment bank where no amount of talent and expertise could ever make her part of the team. It was a message she received time-and-time-again. In this week’s podcast, you’ll hear how she turned that message into her motivation to make the world better through the power of law. Our first returning guest, Ann chats to Kevin about her life and storied career, during which she consistently uncovered, called-out and addressed inequality. Ann talks about coining terms like sexual harassment and date rape, but delves beneath the terminology to discuss the necessity of change, the importance of paying privilege forward and how her ‘scary side’ has driven her to take on the institutions she once trusted. She also talks about her recent work in the UK, navigating the challenges of our connected world. You’ll hear how Ann combines her influence with an underdog spirit to tackle issues like cyberbullying, cyber rape and regulating the internet. From Alexander v. Yale to an innovative new way to help young people take action in response to revenge porn, it’s essential and inspirational listening. Find out more at

Nov 2019

40 min 31 sec

How does a construction barrister based in London, end up in Sierra Leone, advising local government on faecal sludge? After 19 years as a Construction Barrister, Lucy Garret QC, was getting a little bit bored and wanted a change of scenery. So, she did what most of us can only dream of and took an 18-month sabbatical. Leaving London, and travelling over 4,000 miles south to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to take up a new opportunity with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Currently working with the elected Mayor of Freetown, Lucy talks about how her skills and experience as a high-flying barrister have transferred to her new role, helping the local government to enhance their effectiveness, in order to deliver reforms or projects for the people of the country. But, with her sabbatical coming to an end, and plans to return to take up her old life in London, Lucy reflects on her time in Sierra Leone, talking to Kevin about the life lessons, new skills and experiences she’s picked up along her journey and how these will help her transition to the next chapter of her life. Find out more at

Nov 2019

34 min 58 sec

In this episode Kevin meets with Freshfields knowledge lawyer, Lloyd Rees, to discuss his refreshing three-part blog series, addressing his own anxiety and depression. Lloyd talks frankly about his decision to publish such private struggles, going right back to his teens. He shares his own experience with chemical depression, his recovery at The Nightingale Hospital and the amazing turnaround from rapid decline to a sustainable and positive mental health state. As a huge plus point, we’re also joined by Kristina Adey-Davies, Senior Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Freshfields. She talks about the importance of employer support with mental health in the workplace and the resources employers can draw on. Interestingly, she also tells us why the prevalent self-oriented perfectionism trait in many lawyers can lead to mental health struggles. Find out more at

Oct 2019

54 min 17 sec