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Find out about the people that make up the Centre for Access to Justice

 

Hazel Genn

Professor Dame Hazel Genn 

Executive Director

Dame Hazel Genn is the Centre's Director and a Professor of Socio-Legal Studies in the Faculty of Laws at UCL.  She is internationally recognised as a leading authority on access to administrative and civil justice. Her prize winning scholarship focuses on the experiences of ordinary people caught up in legal problems and the responsiveness of the justice system to the needs of citizens.  She has conducted numerous empirical studies on public access to the justice system and has published widely in her specialist fields.  She is author of Paths to Justice: What People Do and Think About Going to Law (1999) a seminal study of public access to justice which has since been replicated in 27 jurisdictions around the globe.

She was the Dean of the UCL Faculty of Laws from 2000-2017. She previously held a Chair and was Head of the Department of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Before joining London University, she held full-time research posts at Oxford University Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (1974-1985) and the Cambridge Institute of Criminology (1972-74). In January 2006, she was appointed an Inaugural Commissioner of the new Judicial Appointments Commission established under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and was a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life 2003-7. In April 2009 she was appointed to the Secretary of State's Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity. She has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000, a member of its Council 2001-2004 and was Chair of Communications and Publications Committee (2008-2011). In 2005, she was awarded the US Law and Society International Prize for distinguished scholarship and she holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of  Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Hull, Leicester, Keele, Kingston and York . She worked with the Judicial Studies Board for 12 years, serving as a member of the Main Board and the Tribunals Committee, and contributing to the design and delivery of training for the judiciary at all levels. She served for eight years as Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Grants Board. In recognition of her work on civil justice, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000 and appointed DBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2006. In 2006 she was also appointed Queen's Counsel Honoris Causa. In 2008 she was elected Honorary Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn.  

  

Sarah Beardon

Sarah Beardon

Research Associate
sarah.beardon@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah is the Centre’s Research Associate working with the UCL integrated Legal Advice Clinic. Her research focusses on the connections between legal problems and health, including the potential health impacts of legal advice and the integration of health and legal services.

Sarah graduated with a first class honours in Biology (BSc) followed by a Masters in Public Health (MPH). Her subsequent work has included research into patient experience, as well as work in population health statistics.

Jacqueline Kinghan

Dr Jacqueline Kinghan

Head of Teaching and Learning
j.kinghan@ucl.ac.uk

Jacqueline is the Centre's Head of Teaching Learning and a Principal Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Laws. She is a qualified barrister with extensive experience in clinical legal education, including establishing pro bono partnerships and projects. 

Her research interests lie in access to justice, legal education and progressive legal practice. Jacqueline is course convenor for the LLB Access to Justice Theory and Community Engagement course and the LLM Access to Justice: Theory and Practice course.

Rachel Knowles

Rachel Knowles

Head of Legal Practice
r.knowles@ucl.ac.uk

Rachel is the Centre’s Head of Legal Practice and Senior Teaching Fellow. She is responsible for the UCL Integrated Legal Advice Clinic (UCL iLAC) and supervises all solicitors and staff working from UCL iLAC.  She also runs her own caseload of Education and Community care cases, and supervises students undertaking this casework. She teaches on both our LLB and LLM courses and provides clinical supervision to LLB students undertaking their placement at UCL iLAC.

Rachel has been a practising solicitor since 2009 and has specialised in representing children and vulnerable young children directly to access the support they need from statutory services. Through her work at the CAJ, Rachel has also become interested in access to justice issues, in particular for children and young people. She has also developed an interest in clinical legal education and strategic litigation.

She joined the UCL Centre for Access to Justice from Just for Kids Law where she was head of the Education and Community Care Law team and had supervised UCL students undertaking casework with her there.

Reported cases include R(Tigere) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2015] UKSC 57 (responsible for drafting the intervention with assistance from UCL students), R(SJ and LJ) v Surrey CC [2014] EWHC 449 (Admin), and  SA v London Borough of Camden Independent Appeal Panel and H School [2013] EWHC 3152 (Admin).

In 2015, Rachel was shortlisted as a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year finalist in the category of Children’s Rights.

thul

Thul Khan

Housing Solicitor
thul.khan@ucl.ac.uk

Thul is the Centre’s Housing Solicitor. He works in the Centre’s legal advice clinic, UCL iLAC.

 Thul graduated from the University of Essex and qualified as a practising solicitor in 2009 in a not for profit law firm.  Since qualifying Thul has worked for the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux and Shelter.  Thul last worked in a busy private practice in North London where his role included representing tenants at the solicitor duty desk scheme at the Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court and volunteering at a local law centre.  Thul’s previous experience includes taking instructions on all types of homelessness and possession cases, including those involving warrants for possession, to trial. Thul has also specialised in housing disrepair and unlawful eviction and he has been successful in obtaining significant damages for clients in such circumstances. Thul additionally has experience in obtaining and challenging community care assessments and in cases involving the provision of services for young people under the Children Act 1989.

Case highlights include:

  • Acting for a client with mental health issues in defending a possession claim.  The local authority agreed to discontinue the claim, ensure that a community care assessment took place and made reasonable adjustments when corresponding with the client in future.
  • Successfully obtaining an injunction from the High Court requiring the local authority to accommodate a homeless client where the local authority were refusing to accept a homeless application.
  • In a claim for disrepair Thul secured damages of £25,000 for his client where the property was suffering from severe penetrating dampness and mould.
  • Successfully challenging a Social Services department decision not to maintain the welfare of a 19 year old person who was previously looked after by the local authority.
  • In a possession case the local authority consented to a possession order being set aside after Thul made submissions to show that a client was entitled to housing benefit when he was absent from the property.

Thul appears in the 2017 edition of Legal 500 and is described as a “cool customer in a crisis.”

Outside of work Thul enjoys live theatre and comedy and following the mighty West Ham United.

 

Sarah Joy

Sarah Joy

Welfare Benefits Advisor
sarah.joy@ucl.ac.uk 

Sarah is a Welfare Benefits Adviser in the Centre’s legal advice clinic supporting people with disability benefit claims, reviews and appeals.

She has many years of experience working in welfare rights advice and social research roles in the UK Voluntary Sector including working with refugees and asylum seekers at the British Red Cross. Sarah also works for a local Citizens Advice, in their health outreach service, where she has worked in different GP surgeries and is currently based in a hospital working with Macmillan Cancer patients. She is a firm believer and advocate for the integration of legal advice in local health settings.

CatrionaMacdonald

Catriona Macdonald

Farha Social Welfare Solicitor (Qualified in Scotland)
catriona.macdonald@ucl.ac.uk 

Catriona works in the Centre’s legal advice clinic, UCL iLAC, primarily focusing on welfare benefits cases.

Catriona holds an LLB from the University of Edinburgh and qualified as a practising solicitor in Scotland in 2016. Her previous experience of working on pro-bono projects and access to justice includes volunteering with the University of Edinburgh Free Legal Advice Clinic. Following her LLB, Catriona also completed an internship with the Syrian Legal Development Programme, which focused on developing the organisation’s strategy for promoting human rights and the rule of law during the Syrian conflict.

Shiva Riahi

Shiva Riahi

Head of Projects
s.riahi@ucl.ac.uk

Shiva is the Centre's Head of Projects. She manages the Faculty's pro bono programme, developing new projects, monitoring outcomes and providing pastoral support for students. Shiva is also responsible for the day to day management of the CAJ, overseeing the Centre's finances, communications, development, and other operational matters across the Centre's activities. 

As a graduate of the UCL Faculty of Laws, Shiva was part of the Access to Justice and Community Engagement course pilot year where she undertook casework with Just for Kids Law. She also holds a BA in Philosophy and International Relations from Tufts University. 

Adam Riley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Adam Riley

Projects Coordinator
adam.riley@ucl.ac.uk

Adam is the Centre's Projects Coordinator. He assists with the management of the Centre's pro bono programme including developing and promoting projects, as well as monitoring outcomes and supporting students volunteering on pro bono projects. He additionally works part-time as a legal adviser at the UCL Integrated Legal Advice Clinic (iLAC), primarily on welfare benefits matters.

Adam holds a BA in History and MA in Medieval History from the University of Sheffield. Prior to obtaining his Graduate Diploma in Law and completing the Bar Professional Training Course he worked in social policy research, and subsequently as a programme officer for a national social mobility charity. During his legal studies he worked with a number of pro bono and legal oranisations in the field of civil liberties including as an advice and information volunteer with Liberty and as a legal assistant with Hodge, Jones and Allen LLP. He has additionally represented individuals at the First-tier (Social Security) Tribunal with the Free Representation Unit and the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust. After completing his Bar studies Adam volunteered with an asylum charity in Athens, where he set up and coordinated general advice clinics for newly arrived refugees. He also previously chaired RebLaw UK, an organisation which coordinates the largest annual student-led conference dedicated to public interest law, improving access to jutsice and Human Rights. He will commence pupillage in October 2020.

Jen

Jennifer Akinola

Clinic Administrator
jennifer.akinola@ucl.ac.uk

Jennifer is the Centre’s Clinic Administrator. She assists with the day-to-day running of the UCL Integrated Legal Advice Clinic in Stratford.

Jennifer holds a LLB from the University of Warwick. Since graduating Jennifer has completed a death penalty internship in Phoenix, Arizona. Whilst interning she completed a funded independent research project titled ‘Virtue ethics and US Capital Defence Attorneys.’ The aim of the research was to investigate whether Aristotle’s virtue ethics plays any part of Capital Defence lawyers work. Shortly after Jennifer was a Casework and Project Support Volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureaux Bermondsey in the welfare benefits team before working in accreditations at The Law Society.