Pippa Allsop

Pippa Allsop

Associate, Family Team, Michelmores LLP

Bio

Pippa is an Associate in the Family Team at Michelmores LLP. Born and bred in Cornwall, Pippa studied law at Southampton University and at the College of Law, Bristol. Pippa joined Michelmores as a trainee in 2012 and qualified as a Solicitor within the Family Team in September 2014.
Dr Miranda Brawn

Dr Miranda Brawn

Senior Business Legal and Diversity Executive, Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation

Bio

With a background as a banker & lawyer, multi-award winning Dr Miranda Brawn is recognised as a leading, global executive & business leader with significant expertise. She is also the Founder & CEO of The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation which made UK history in 2016. She has been named as one of the UK’s leading diversity champions having won an award from Prime Minister Theresa May MP. Her career has spanned the non-profit, legal, political and financial services sectors, to advocacy and service with a dedicated focus on advancing social justice issues like diversity and inclusion, educational access, and corporate responsibility. Hailed as a trailblazer & honoured numerous times for her achievements. Her Tedx Women Talk was released in 2018 & first book is out in 2020! www.mirandabrawn.com
Simon Brown

Simon Brown

Founder, The ESTAS Group

Bio

Simon Brown founded The ESTAS Awards in 2003. The award scheme was initially started to highlight estate agents who went out of their way to provide outstanding service to their customers. From the beginning the judging process was based purely on ratings received by clients completing a paper questionnaire (now an online survey). The ESTAS success soon saw the introduction of a letting agent category and today The ESTAS is recognised as a customer review platform for property professionals involved in the home moving process including conveyancers and mortgage advisors. Because winning firms are selected purely on ratings from customers it provides a powerful marketing message for firms who use the ESTAS review platform.
Michael Burd

Michael Burd

Partner and Chair Lewis Silkin

Bio

Michael Burd is the Chair of Lewis Silkin LLP and a partner in the Employment, Immigration and Reward department. He also sits on the Executive Committee of Ius Laboris, the global alliance of human resources law firms of which Lewis Silkin are UK member.

He advises on many aspects of employment and partnership law, with a particular focus on the resolution of high level disputes (including through mediation and arbitration), senior level departures, boardroom issues, business transfers and restructuring. He also provides advice aimed at preventing employment disputes and ensuring compliance with regulatory regimes.

Much of his work has an international element to it, dealing with both UK clients’ employment law needs globally and with UK issues for clients in numerous other jurisdictions.

He has been consistently listed as a leading individual in the Employment and Senior Executive fields in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories. He is listed in the top five Thought Leaders by Who’s Who: Labour and Employment 2018, for receiving the highest number of nominations by peers, corporate counsel and other market sources; and is also recognised for the 10th consecutive year in The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom 2018 for Employment Law. Michael is also listed in the 2019 edition of The Spear’s 500 guide.

He contributes articles to various publications and regularly speaks at client and industry conferences and seminars.

Vicky Clark

Vicky Clark

Managing Director and Co-founder, BCL Legal

Bio

Vicky has worked with a wide range of the UK’s law firms from international giants to niche firms in the regions. She’s placed over 500 lawyers into private practice and is often described as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of the legal marketplace, as well as having a high level of professionalism and integrity. Vicky’s dedicated to the legal community and also spends her time working with various colleges and universities speaking to undergraduates, students and clients to promote BCL Legal Graduates – a free legal graduates service.
John Cooper QC

John Cooper QC

Bio

John Cooper QC is one of the country’s leading Silks, who has been involved in a series of high profile an influential cases, ranging from Judicial Review’s into the death of Government Weapons Inspector, Dr David Kelly, the Government/DUP Deal, and advising the Mayor of London on the Worboy’s JR. He has an extensive Inquest and Inquiry practice, representing bereaved in the Manchester Arena Inquest, Deepcut Barracks, Jacintha Saldanha, the Royal Radio Hoax Nurse and advising the Labour Councillors in respect of the Grenfell Fire. His criminal and regulatory practice includes the ground breaking ‘Twitter Joke Trial’ redefining the criminal law in relation to the social media and representing the Occupiers outside St Paul’s Cathedral. He writes and broadcasts widely, having written a regular column for The Times for ten years. John has advised both the former shadow Attorney General and Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee in respect of the on going child abuse Inquiry. John was Special Advisor to Lord Bach in ‘The Right to Justice Report’ which considered public access to the law.
Dana Denis-Smith

Dana Denis-Smith

CEO, Obelisk Support

Bio

Dana Denis-Smith is an entrepreneur, former Linklaters solicitor and international journalist who lives in London, UK. In 2010, she founded Obelisk Legal Support Solutions, a London-based alternative legal services company built around flexible, highly-skilled professionals. Dana is passionate about building a world where work and personal lives can be balanced effectively and is an outspoken advocate for women returners, women entrepreneurs and women in legal tech.

Out of the 1000+ ex-City lawyers on the books of Obelisk Support, many are experienced and talented female and male lawyers who’ve taken a career break to start a family, entrepreneurs who’ve started a business or lawyers who are looking for a different work-life balance. Dana is also a prominent member of the London legal tech scene, championing start-ups and individuals who strive to disrupt the legal space in positive ways.

Aware that the legal profession is far behind its times in terms of gender diversity, she initiated the First 100 years project to celebrate the journey of women in the legal profession in the United Kingdom over the past 100 years and this project will celebrate the centenary of women in law in 2019.

In 2018, Obelisk’s founder Dana Denis-Smith was voted Legal Personality of the Year at the LexisNexis Awards 2018 and received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Worcester in England, recognising her achievements as an entrepreneur and philanthropist championing the rights of women in law. In 2018, Obelisk Support joined the top tier of three prestigious lists, the FT Future 100 UK, the FT1000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies and Inc. 5000 List of Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies. In 2017, Dana also won the WEConnect International Best Mentor and Role Model Award and delivered a TEDx talk on how to be remembered (based on her observations of the legal profession). In 2016, she was voted one of Britain’s five most inspiring mothers for juggling up a new business creation with family life, as she chooses to work flexibly in order to spend quality time with her young daughter.

Peta Dollar

Peta Dollar

Bio

Peta Dollar has more than 25 years’ experience of practising commercial property law.  She was a Real Estate Partner at the firm now known as Dentons for 17 years and has now been a full-time freelance lecturer, trainer and writer for more than 10 years, providing training on behalf of organisations such as Central Law Training and MBL Seminars as well as in-house training for major City of London, regional and Scottish law firms, property companies and local law societies. Peta is a member of the Consultation Board of Practical Law Company and the Editorial Board of Landlord and Tenant Review.  She regularly publishes articles in the Estates Gazette as well as in Landlord and Tenant Review, and has contributed a number of articles to the Property Law website at www.propertylawuk.net, for which she is a Site Editor.  Peta is the co-author of two books on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and writes the Mixed Use, Easements and Lease sections of Isurv (the information resource of the RICS). Peta was a member of the judging panel for the Solicitors Journal Awards 2017 (Commercial Property Team of the Year category) and has delivered a Blundell Memorial Lecture on the subject of judicial interpretation of documents noted on public registers.
Felicity Gerry QC

Felicity Gerry QC

Carmelite Chambers

Bio

Professor Felicity Gerry QC is an international QC at Carmelite Chambers, London and Crockett Chambers, Melbourne, largely defending in serious and complex trials and appeals, often with an international element. She is admitted in England & Wales and Australia and has had ad hoc admission in Hong Kong and Gibraltar. She was Legal Personality of the Year 2016 and has been recognised in the Legal 500 as a leading silk and as “Fearless and independent minded”. She led the appeal in R v Jogee in the UK Supreme Court which was described by the BBC as a ‘moment of genuine legal history’ and recently led a team of academics and practitioners who were given leave to file an Amicus Curiae Brief in the ICTY Radovan Karadžić Appeal. She is Professor of Legal Practice at Deakin University where she lectures in Criminal Law and Modern Slavery. She leads a small Indigenous Justice and Exoneration Project which recently submitted a successful petition for mercy and is currently a PhD candidate researching the use of technology to combat human trafficking.
Jean-Yves Gilg

Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor-In-Chief, Solicitors Journal

Bio

Lesley Graves

Lesley Graves

Professional Support Lawyer, Switalsksis Solicitors

Bio

Solicitor and Professional Support Lawyer Lesley Graves advises Switalskis’ teams on their internal processes to improve performance and help them deliver a first-class client service. Lesley joined the firm in August 2018 and works with several of Switalskis’ departments, concentrating on claimant personal injury services: Clinical Negligence, Child Abuse, Serious Injury and Costs.

Lesley qualified in 1994 and very quickly specialised in catastrophic injury cases, with a particular interest in litigation against the Ministry of Defence. She was a former Partner and head of Personal Injury law at two national law firms. Later in her career, using her knowledge of law firm management at the highest level, Lesley set up a national consulting law firm that advised law firms, banks and accountants on operational and financial performance and risk management. Lesley has worked with many high profile law firms assisting them with profit improvement and has also been involved in advising on some of the most high profile law firm failures.

Highly regarded in the field of catastrophic injury law and an APIL Fellow Emeritus, Lesley was previously ranked in the Legal 500 UK guide as “a catastrophic and military expert” and “a respected brain and spinal injury specialist and has been involved in a number of highly publicised cases”.  Lesley was also a recommended solicitor for Headway, the Spinal Injuries Association, the Child Brain Injury Trust and a member The Law Society Personal Injury Panel.

As an award-winning Professional Support Solicitor, she also provides regular comment to the media and lectures, advising on personal injury claims, law firm management to the legal, banking and accountancy sectors. 

Melissa Hardee

Melissa Hardee

Solicitor and Consultant, Hardee Consulting

Bio

Melissa is a recognised expert in legal education and training, with some 20 years’ experience in practice, higher education and regulation. Melissa was training partner and training principal at CMS Cameron McKenna, and Director of the Legal Practice Course at City University, before setting up Hardee Consulting in 2008. Melissa has chaired the Legal Education and Training Group and the City of London Law Society Training Committee, and has been President of the City of Westminster & Holborn Law Society, as well as chair of its training committee. Melissa is also the author of the “Legal Training Handbook” and the “Legal Training Toolkit” published by Law Society Publishing.
Kenny Henderson

Kenny Henderson

Partner, Co-head of Competition Litigation, Stewarts

Bio

Kenny is a commercial litigator with particular expertise in competition litigation, having represented clients on some of the highest profile claims filed in Europe to date. Clients instruct Kenny repeatedly, recognising his strategic thinking and the practical solutions that he delivers. Kenny also has broad experience in general commercial litigation, in particular in regulated sectors including pharmaceutical and technology. Kenny has successfully litigated bet-the-company claims, including on expedited timetables to trial. Kenny also advises clients on seeking and defending injunctive relief. Kenny speaks and also writes frequently on the topic of competition litigation. He authors the competition litigation chapters of Butterworths Competition Law.
Sean Jones QC

Sean Jones QC

Bio

Since taking silk, Sean has quickly built a leading practice focused on complex and high profile cases. He acts for both claimants and defendants in claims covering the a wide range of Employment, Commercial Employment and Sport-related disputes.
Brian Littleton

Brian Littleton

Head of In-House - London, Chadwick Nott

Bio

Brian Littleton has been recruiting/head-hunting in-house lawyers for over 10 years and has been with Chadwick Nott for 7 years. Brian takes the time and effort to understand the culture and commercial drivers within a business prior to prescribing a potential solution. Repeat business from candidates and clients who are always inter-changeable is a key philosophy. Delivery is always key; alongside managing expectations at the outset. Key sectors include: industrial/construction, IT and financial services. Outside of work, Brian enjoys spending time with his 3 daughters including twins, tennis, skiing and supporting Gloucester RFC.
Paul Magrath

Paul Magrath

Head of Product Development and Online Content, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR)

Bio

Paul Magrath is Head of Product Development and Online Content at the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR). He trained as a barrister before devoting most of his career to law reporting and legal commentary. At ICLR he launched the Business Law Reports (Bus LR) in 2007 and ICLR Online (www.iclr.co.uk) in 2011. He is also a trustee of the Transparency Project and co-author of Transparency In the Family Courts (Bloomsbury Professional 2018). He is known to legal Twitter as @maggotlaw.
Leanne Maund

Leanne Maund

Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP

Bio

Leanne is a corporate lawyer at Mishcon De Reya LLP, specialising in private equity transactions and the sale and purchase of private companies for a wide range of clients, including those in the leisure, fashion, technology and healthcare sectors.

Leanne is a former chair of the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society (the JLD), representing the JLD’s entire membership, which ranges from LPC students to solicitors up to 5 years PQE. She now sits as the JLD representative on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Law Society and is also a member of the board of trustees of the Sophie Hayes Foundation, a charity which supports survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Lucy Morrison

Lucy Morrison

Managing Director, Central Law Training

Bio

Lucy Morrison practised as a commercial litigator at a large regional (now global) firm for 10 years, during which time she specialised in litigation involving directors duties. In 2011, she moved into legal training and has been managing director of Central Law Training since 2014. She has led the business through significant change, including the launch of market-leading interactive online courses. Lucy worked closely with the team at Solicitors Journal under its previous ownership and is delighted to see its successful relaunch.
Robert O’Donahue QC

Robert O’Donahue QC

Barrister, BrickCourt

Bio

Robert O’Donoghue QC is a barrister with Brick Court Chambers practising domestically and internationally.  He has extensive experience of competition law, EU law, utility regulation, and related aspects of commercial and public law.  Clients include British Airways, Google, Glencore, Telefónica, ASDA, Samsung, and Pfizer, as well as competition authorities and sectoral regulators in the UK and overseas.   He has appeared in major cases in the High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, EU Courts, Irish courts, international arbitral bodies, and in oral hearings before competition authorities and sectoral regulators in these matters, in the UK and elsewhere.  He is also involved in giving expert evidence on EU and competition law in foreign courts in class actions in Canada and Israel, as well as litigation in Sweden.
Dr Tunde Okewale MBE

Dr Tunde Okewale MBE

Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers

Bio

Dr Tunde Okewale MBE is an award-winning barrister, who practices at the Doughty Street Chambers, he was listed in The Sunday Times 2017 ‘Alternative Rich List’ identified as having enriched the lives of others. Tunde established his practice in general and serious crime. A string of serious and high profile cases have earned him a reputation as meticulous, diligent and. Tunde regularly undertakes appellate work in the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court. In a case, the first of its kind, Tunde set a precedent by working with a Cardiff University innocence project who referred to the case of Dwaine George to the Court of Appeal. The conviction was subsequently quashed.

Tunde is heavily sought after in areas of business and financial crime. He has advised many high profile individuals as well as companies about money laundering and anti-corruption regulations. His practice varies and sees him undertaking work in an array of fields. Tunde was a finalist for Young Legal Aid Barrister of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2012. He then went on to win a number of high profile awards for his work in law and also for his sustained social involvement. Some of the awards include, Junior Chamber of International London Ten Outstanding Young People Award in 2013, named as Diversity Champion at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2014 and in 2015 won the inaugural Chambers & Partners award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Diversity’.

Rachel Rothwell

Rachel Rothwell

Freelance Journalist

Bio

Rachel Rothwell is a freelance legal journalist. She is editor of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers’ magazine PI Focus, and editor of Litigation Funding, published by the Law Society. She is a columnist for the Law Society Gazette and also writes news, features and analysis for a range of titles, including the Gazette and The Times.

Before becoming a freelance journalist, Rachel was news editor at the Gazette.

Beatrice Roxburgh

Beatrice Roxburgh

Tutor, The University of Law

Bio

Beatrice Roxburgh joined the University of Law in March 2018, after a career practising competition law in London’s “square mile” – first as a competition lawyer at Linklaters, then Lovells, advising major corporates, governments and public bodies on all aspects of European and UK anti-trust law (including its application to international mergers, joint ventures and other transactions).  Beatrice then joined the UK’s competition law authority, where she oversaw dawn raids and investigations as a competition law enforcer.  This was followed by 15 years as senior in-house competition counsel with BT Group plc, where she led a variety of cases and investigations before the European Commission, the Competition and Markets Authority, Ofcom, the Competition Appeals Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. She also led the competition team advising one of BT’s boards on a range of matters including competition law compliance.
Mark Solon

Mark Solon

Chairman Wilmington Legal, Wilmington plc

Bio

Mark Solon is the director of Bond Solon and Chairman of Wilmington Legal.  Mark is responsible for ensuring Bond Solon delivers the best products to its customers. He has organised the training and conferences for tens of thousands of experts. He started his career as a solicitor in the City of London, then had his own practice in Greenwich and was the founder of Bond Solon Training in 1992. He is a prolific writer on issues around evidence and frequently appears on TV and radio. He founded the Expert Witness Institute in 1996. He also founded La Touche training in Dublin 1995. He was trained with Clyde & Co. He served as Chairman of the Legal Division at Wilmington plc since July 2014. He has written numerous articles and several books relating to evidence and he frequently appears on television and radio dealing with evidential and legal education issues. Mr. Solon has an MSc in Shipping Trade and Finance from the City University and is an Attorney at Law in California (1991).
Damian Taylor

Damian Taylor

Partner, Slaughter and May

Bio

Damian Taylor is a partner in the dispute resolution department of Slaughter and May.

Damian’s practice covers a wide range of civil and public law disputes and investigations including competition, fraud, bribery, pensions, judicial review, sports law and general commercial disputes. Damian is co-head of the firm’s arbitration practice and sits on Slaughter and May’s Africa practice group and energy law group, which develop and direct the firm’s strategy and business development initiatives across Africa and the energy sector respectively.

Julia Thackray

Julia Thackray

Independent Member of the Parole Board

Bio

Julia Thackray is currently an Independent Member of the Parole Board, conducting hearings to assess risk and consider the progression and release of prisoners from prison. For many years she practised as a family law solicitor in London specialising in private law children work, financial cases and international cross border movement of children. 

Julia then set up a mediation practice working with separating couples and worked in legal training, delivering and directing a family law programme of continuing education for qualified lawyers and writing training materials for students qualifying as legal executives.

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