Our Third Ambassador - Lady Justice Anne Rafferty

I am always looking for opportunities to inspire and interest you in as many different ways that I can. I know you love our videos, our makeovers and our our Street Style Fashion features and (some of my) blogs. I also know that you love our philosophy of only showing real older women who have lived, loved and laughed and this shows in their faces.

A while ago I decided that it would be fun to seek out and interview some higher profile older women who might inspire you in other ways. Our first two Ambassadors showed very clearly that life can take an unexpected and exciting direction even if you are in your fifties or sixties. Sandra Howard went from being a top model in the 1960s to being a political wife in the 1990s to becoming a published author at the age of 65, whilst Nicky Griffin at 56 has become the poster girl for the older generation as a model in fashion campaigns both here and in the USA.

Our third Ambassador is inspirational in a very different way.

A few weeks ago I was working in our office when Caroline, LFF Customer Services Manager, said "Did you know that one of our customers is a High Court Judge?!" We googled 'Lady Justice Anne Rafferty' and discovered that she is very eminent, one of the very few female Appeal Court Judges, the Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, and she had placed several orders for LFF! So I emailed her and explained about our Ambassadors programme and asked if she would like to be interviewed as part of it. I had a really delightful email back saying (in capital letters) "I WOULD LOVE IT".


Anne was born in 1950 and entered the legal profession in the early 1970s at the urging of her mother who was a headmistress.

Since then she has had an extremely distinguished career, becoming a QC (Queen's Counsel) in 1990 on the same day as her husband, His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC to whom she has now been married for 39 years. Anne was the first woman to become Secretary then Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. In fact, it is clear from her career profile that she has been the first woman to hold many of the positions she has held. It was her idea to allow children and young people to give part of their evidence by way of video recorded interview, and recently by the whole of their evidence being done in a briefer episode, separated from the trial and with fewer people involved. She was made a High Court Judge in 2000 and was promoted to Lord Justice of Appeal in 2011.


Anne's stellar career in the legal profession is even more impressive when you realise that women judges account for just 8% of the higher judiciary.

Somehow Anne has also found the time and energy to give birth to four daughters. Her second child, Davina was born with Downs syndrome but was thought to be physically well. It was therefore the most terrible shock when, at the age of two, she died suddenly and without warning when Anne was pregnant with her third daughter. You will hear in the interview just how much this tragic event impacted on Anne's life and how it still reverberates to this day.

I very much enjoyed my conversations with Anne, both when she came into a studio for the photo shoot, and subsequently when I went to her home in London to film the interview.

I do hope you also enjoy the video we made. Anne's sharp intellect is very evident, and so is her humour, compassion and the great love she feels for her family. I also think that she looks fabulous and is a wonderful third Ambassador for LFF.

In the interview you will hear that it was not Anne's choice to enter the legal profession. As the academic only child of a headmistress she was told what she must do. My mother was similarly 'persuasive' and I became a school teacher. Anne feels that her mother was right, however that wasn't true in my case and I left teaching at the earliest opportunity. Anne and I were teenagers in the 1960's at a time when opportunities for girls were very limited and few were expected to have a career.

What was your experience? I'd love to hear whether you also felt any pressure to take a particular direction in your life as a teenager.

Fabulous Forever Women - In Conversation with Lady Justice Anne Rafferty