Lady Lavender Patten worked initially in law related posts in publishing and in the courts. In 1988 completed her pupillage at the Bar and then practised family law in chambers in London.

In 1992 she accompanied her husband, Chris Patten, to Hong Kong. In addition to her many official duties as wife of the Governor, she became Patron of over sixty charitable and other organisations ranging from women’s and children’s welfare, health, disability, law, sport and the arts, promoting their work and their ideas.

Since returning to London, she has retrained as a mediator dealing with family disputes. She is also on the International Committee of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation, a charity that works for the disabled and is a patron of Hope for Children (a small charity that helps poor children in the developing world).