By: 22 February 2024
Rachel Roche stands out among London dominated awards shortlist

Lawyer Rachel Roche believes that legal innovations being delivered in Yorkshire can help shift perceptions about the profession’s London-centric view.


Rachel’s own work has led to her being shortlisted in the Innovative Leaders category of The Women, Influence & Power in Law UK Awards. These awards honour top female lawyers who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in 2023. Rachel, the only lawyer from the North of England, stands out in the 11-strong shortlist, which is dominated by large London-based businesses.

Rachel, owner of York-based Roche Legal, has just graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme in a ceremony at the Saïd Business School, Oxford.

She was the only lawyer in a group of 70 chosen after a stringent vetting process for the four month course under the guidance of Gary Lumby MBE, the former UK director of SME banking for Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank.

She credits the input from Gary Lumby on the Goldman Sachs course for inspiring her to continue evolving Roche Legal and stated: “The programme has given me an incredible network involving diverse businesses and I was the only lawyer amongst the 70 people in our cohort. You apply and they do warn you that they only accept around 20 per cent of the fastest growing businesses in the UK involved in the group.

“There are three residential courses, one in Manchester and two in Oxford, zoom calls, homework and ultimately you end up with a business five year growth plan tailored to you. You work with a growth advisor, I had Gary Lumby, and he was excellent. He is now taking a step back as we were his last cohort after 12 years of working on the programme.

“Now, it is about implementing that plan and I am very excited about the challenges ahead and I would recommend the course to anyone who is serious about business growth. I have been concentrating on being an educated business owner rather than just a lawyer who has her own practice.”

Gary Lumby added: “I live in the North East and spent a lot of my career running the Yorkshire Bank in Leeds and I am passionate about getting more people from the North involved and that is why it was so good to see Rachel, from York, on the programme.

“I am a growth expert and Rachel was the only lawyer this time around. Rachel is a not only a very capable lawyer but also a business woman, highly intelligent and was a really big contributor to the group.”

Image: Rachel Roche, Roche Legal. 
Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.