Women lawyers – and many of their male counterparts – are today marking the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which enabled women for the first time to qualify into the legal profession.

The Act was part of the gradual emancipation of women that gathered pace after the First World War, and followed a series of unsuccessful attempts by women who brought court proceedings to try and to establish their right to qualify.

The first woman to achieve full qualification anywhere in the United Kingdom was Glasgow solicitor Madge Easton Anderson, who was admitted to the profession in 1921. However only in recent decades have women made it to the upper ranks of the judiciary; the centenary coincides with the retirement of Lady Hale, the first woman Justice of the UK Supreme Court and its first woman President.