Trailblazing lawyer Lady Morris of Kenwood wins CBE for tireless charity work

15:00 28 June 2014

Ruth, Lady Morris of Kenwood, CBE, in her office at Manuel Swaden Solicitors. Picture: Polly Hancock

Ruth, Lady Morris of Kenwood, CBE, in her office at Manuel Swaden Solicitors. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

One of the first women to become a senior partner of a major law firm has been honoured by the Queen for her tireless commitment to the community.

Ruth, Lady Morris of Kenwood, was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for lending her support and dedication to numerous causes over the years.

The Hampstead resident, who lives in Fitzjohn’s Avenue, was made a CBE for services to the community, having combined her charitable efforts with a 53-year legal career.

She said “It feels amazing to be recognised in such a way and given this great honour.

“I got a letter through the post and was told not to tell anyone for five weeks – it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do!”

Lady Morris followed in the footsteps of her father Baron Barnett Janner, who was a Labour MP for Leicester from 1945 until 1970, as a leading member of the Jewish community.

Her charitable roles include being a trustee of the Jewish Youth Fund, which provides grants to Jewish youth organisations, and a patron of the Jewish Aids Trust, which supports Jewish communities affected by HIV and challenges the social stigma surrounding the condition, which can develop into Aids.

She has also travelled extensively with the charity Womankind Worldwide to visit and help with projects in India, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In her professional life, Lady Morris – whose “of Kenwood” title refers to an area of Sheffield rather than the estate on Hampstead Heath – is one of the longest continuously-practising members of the Law Society.

At the age of 81, she still works as a consultant for the West Hampstead firm Manuel Swaden Solicitors, in West End Lane.

In the 1960s, she quickly rose through the ranks as a solicitor, becoming one of the first female senior partners of a large law practice.

“I was 36 at the time and I was the only female amongst nine male senior partners,” she said. It was a real test for me.

“But my greatest achievement doesn’t feature in what I’ve done in my working life.

“It is the fact that I have raised four wonderful children who love and get on with each other. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

When asked if this award would change anything in her life, Lady Morris remained modest.

“I don’t think anything in particular will change for me. I’m too old for anything to drastically change in my life now,” she said.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society members. From left Amanda Carrara, Chris Currer, Mark Afford, Miriam Levin and Dave Winskill.

The fight for community ownership of Hornsey Town Hall continues, even though the council officially invited bids from developers last week.

Yesterday, 08:00
Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Yesterday, 08:00
Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Bridget Cherry pictured at Hornsey Tower

Bridget Cherry's book, Ivy-Mantled Tower A History of the Church and Churchyard of St Mary Hornsey has been published by The Hornsey Historical Soc. Picture: Nigel Sutton

In telling the story of a long-vanished parish church, architectural historian Bridget Cherry has delved into the heart of what was once Hornsey village.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Paul Young, 18, who won the Personal Journey award and was named Inspirational Young Person of the Year at the Camden Youth Awards. Picture: Dieter Perry

Paul Young struggled to cope after suffering mental health problems, being bullied at school, and having to care for his unwell mother.

Friday, November 27, 2015
Crouch End Festival Chorus at St John's Smith Square. Photo: Emily Soppet

The Crouch End Festival Chorus is taking a deep breath and running a 12-hour sponsored singing marathon this Saturday to raise funds for a major recording project.

Friday, November 27, 2015
Flowers on Parkland Walk

Police are investigating after live ammunition was discovered in Parkland Walk.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder