Dame Janet Gaymer is an eminent employment lawyer with both public and private sector experience.
Dame Janet is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Excello Law Limited. She is also a member of the Advisory Panel for the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation being conducted by Professor Stephen Mayson of University College London.
Until September 2018, Dame Janet was a Non-Executive member of the House of Commons Commission and Chair of the House of Commons Administration Estimate Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and Members Estimate Audit Committee. From September 2013 she was a non-Executive member of the Management Board of the House of Commons before becoming the Acting Chair of the Management Board in September 2014, pending the implementation of governance changes in the House of Commons in 2015. She served as an Independent Lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority between 2011 and 2016.
Other Recent Main Activities
She was the Co-Chair (together with Sir Mark Potter) of the Consultation Steering Panel for the Legal Services Education and Training Review, set up by the Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority and Institute of Legal Executives Professional Standards (IPS). The Report which resulted from the Review, entitled “Setting Standards. The Future of Legal Services Education and Training in England and Wales” was published in June 2013. More information about the review is available at www.letr.org.uk
Until 2013 she was a member of the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited.
Between 2006 and 2010, she was the Commissioner for Public Appointments in England and Wales and a Civil Service Commissioner. During the previous five years she was the Senior Partner of Simmons & Simmons, a top international law firm, based in the City of London.
As an employment lawyer Dame Janet has been described as the “doyenne” of employment lawyers. She has also been described by her peers as "the foremost female solicitor of her generation" and, by "Legal Business" magazine, "a matriarch of the legal profession". She was ranked as the “top Employment Lawyer in Europe” in Chambers' Guide to the Legal Profession (2000 to 2001). She has twice been voted the Experts' Expert in “Legal Business” surveys. In 2004 she was awarded the CBE for services to employment law and as Chair of the Employment Tribunal System Taskforce. She founded and led the Employment Law Department of Simmons & Simmons which has been the consistent market leader in employment law since its inception. Dame Janet herself has been practising and researching employment law for over 35 years.
In 2018, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law Society in its annual Excellence Awards. In 2012, she had received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Annual Europe Women in Business Law Awards organised by Euromoney Legal Media Group and, in 2006, the City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2008 she was appointed Queens Counsel (Honoris Causa) and also named by “The Times” as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers in the UK. In 2012 she was elected as an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. In the following year she was named as one of London’s Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers in its inaugural UK edition.
She was a member of the “Justice” Committee which reviewed and made proposals for the reform of the procedures, jurisdiction, constitution and expertise of Industrial Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 1987. She was a Member of the Council of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and Chair of its Audit Committee between 1995 and 2001. In 2001 she was invited to chair the Employment Tribunal System Taskforce set up by the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry and also became an independent member of the
Steering Board of the Employment Tribunals Service. The Taskforce's Report entitled “Moving Forward” was published in the summer of 2002.
Between 2004 and 2005 she was a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission's General Formal Investigation Advisory Board into
She has chaired the Law Society's Committee on Employment Law and the Employment Law Sub-Committee of the City of London Solicitors Company.
Pregnancy Discrimination and was a member of the Commission's Advisory Board, which considered the transformation of work and reported in 2007. Between 2004 and 2006 she was a member of the Steering Group of the Sino–British Co-operative Project to Improve China's Labour Dispute Resolution System (through a partnership between the Chinese Academy
of Labour and Social Security and The Great Britain China Centre).
She was the Founder Chairman and is now Life Vice-President of the
UK Employment Lawyers' Association. She is also the Founder Chairman and now Honorary Chairman of the European Employment Lawyers' Association.
She is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, an Honorary Doctor of Laws of Nottingham University, the University of Westminster, BPP University and of the College of Law, and an Honorary Doctor of the University of Surrey. She has been a “Special Professor” of Nottingham University and was a Governor of the London School of Economics between 2007 and 2015..
In 1997 Dame Janet was the winner of the “The Times” Woman of Achievement in the Law Award. In 1997 she was designated as one of the “100 Lawyers of Influence” by the “Lawyer” magazine. In the following year she won the Partner of the Year Award in the annual “Lawyer/HIFAL” Awards. In 2006 and 2007 she was one of the 100 individuals of influence named by "Human Resources" magazine.
As an advisor and thinker on management and partnership issues she is well-known for her innovative thinking in relation to law firm management and modelling. In 2008 "The Times" noted her pioneering of good practice on flexible working, partnerships and childcare that set the path for many other law firms.
During her tenure as Senior Partner of Simmons & Simmons between 2001-2006, Simmons & Simmons continued its international expansion. When she stepped down as Senior Partner in the summer of 2006 the firm had 20 offices in 14 jurisdictions around the world, concentrated in Europe, the Gulf and North Asia . The reported global turnover for the firm's financial year 2005/06, was £227 million – an increase of 16% on the previous year's turnover of £196 million.
In 2004 Dame Janet was named as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Britain by “Management Today”. In 2005, she was a finalist in the “Lawyer” Management Team of the Year Award and was nominated as the “Legal Week” Partner of the Year. Also, in 2005 Dame Janet was a finalist in the CBI/“Real Business” First Women Awards. Between 2008 and 2014 she was an Honorary Visiting Professor in the practice of Strategy and Human Resources in the Faculty of Management of Cass Business School in the City of London.
In 2010 Dame Janet received The International Alliance of Women "100 World of Difference Award" for her public service in helping to promote the economic empowerment of women. In the same year she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire also in recognition of her public service.
In 2013, Dame Janet was named as one of the 30 Most Inspirational Women on Boards by Brummell magazine.
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