The day-to-day operation of our Law Centres is managed by our Senior Management Team, led by Patrick Marples, our CEO. Patrick is responsible to our trustees for the management of our Law Centre.
Our staff team is supported by our team of dedicated and talented volunteers, to whom we’re all very grateful.
Our staff team
Senior management team
Patrick Marples, CEO
Stacey Edgar, Deputy CEO
Katy Forkah, Head of Legal Service and Housing Solicitor
Fran Elliott, Senior Branch Administrator
Nikki Sheydayeva, Croydon Branch Administrator
Diane Sechi, Welfare Benefit and Community Care Solicitor
Jenny Rayner, Communications Manager
Community Engagement team
Rhiannon Hughes, Community Engagement Manager (South West London)
Eve Rogers, Community Engagement Manager (Surrey)
Crisis Navigation team
Florence Manders, Apprentice Solicitor
Sarah Forsyth, Employment Caseworker
Ash O’Keeffe, Discrimination Caseworker
Andrew Folkes, Billing/ Costs Manager
Nada Aboushama, Finance Assistant
Katy Forkah, Head of Legal Service and Housing Solicitor
Leena Jangra, Housing Team Leader Merton
Jeinsen Lam, Housing Team Leader Croydon
Paul Wallace, Housing Team Leader Wandsworth
Paul McManus, Housing Solicitor Kingston
Hajra Jafri, Housing Paralegal Wandsworth
Pradeep Kumar, Immigration Team Leader
Paul Keeley, Immigration Solicitor
Rajitha Kumar, Asylum & Immigration Solicitor
Bianca Valperga, EUSS Caseworker (on secondment to Here for Good)
Sabira Kashmiri, Immigration Solicitor (EUSS)
Joanna Sherman, Immigration Caseworker
Thomas Horrie, Immigration Caseworker
Money advice team
Roni Marsh, Money Advice Team Leader
Asia Martello, Senior Money Adviser
Lana Kaminskiene, Money Adviser
Shanice Danso, Money Adviser
Eunice Ashley-Kesson, Money Adviser
Ekua Blankson, Money Advice Team Assistant
Nicoletta Crivellaro, Volunteers and Pro Bono coordinator
Vanessa Ugbo, Legal Advice Clinics Assistant
Rhoda Anokye, Welfare Rights Paralegal
Hajra Jafri, Welfare Rights Paralegal
Our trustee team
Allan Blake, Chair
Allan was HR Director, Managing Director and Chair of UK, Australian and Russian aviation companies. He transitioned into the private sector after an academic career lecturing in Law and as a Business School Dean. Allan’s other non-executive roles have included: Independent Director/ Company Secretary of the Family Mediation Council, Founder Member of the Legal Aid Board, Chair of Preston Free Legal Information Service and Management Committee of the Legal Action Group.
Sarmad Qureshi, Treasurer
Sarmad joined the Board in 2020 and was appointed Treasurer in 2022. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has over 25 years of work experience, initially with a Big Four accountancy firm where he advised on delivering government projects and most recently as a regional Finance Director for a multi-national, where he was involved in finance raising and in implementing governance processes.
Sarmad also sits as Chair on the Community Monitoring Group of his local police force undertaking independent oversight of stop and search activities.
Clara joined the Board in 2016 and is a Solicitor at BDB Pitmans LLP in their litigation department. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer, Clara worked in project management at national charities such as Citizens Advice, Mind and The Prince’s Trust. Having worked in the charity sector (in the areas of homelessness, prison, mental health and support for court witnesses), Clara is passionate about volunteering and ensuring that disadvantaged groups are supported.
Marion is a solicitor advocate and joined our Board in 2015 after working in our pro bono clinics for many years. Marion has lived in south-west London for over 25 years and is passionate about supporting access to justice in the local community. In her role as Pro Bono Counsel at Dechert LLP she is responsible for managing their pro bono programmes across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She is a member of the Administrative Justice Council Pro Bono Panel and a member of the AJC’s Windrush Working Group. She serves on the management committee at the Asylum Support Appeals Project. Marion spent five years at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP leading their pro bono practice across the UK/US, Europe, Middle East and Africa. She trained at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, specialising in commercial disputes and took a leading role in the pro bono work at their London office.
Claire Gilbert joined our board in 2019. She qualified as a barrister in 2005, and has worked in criminal and civil courts, and tribunals. She spent more than eight years at global law firm Linklaters LLP, where she had a particular focus on managing sensitive high/level disputes involving global companies, including allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing and pay claims.
Claire has lived in south-west London for more than 15 years, and has been an elected member of Wandsworth Borough Council since May 2018. In terms of Claire’s work in Wandsworth, she has a particular interest in planning, housing, opportunities & facilities for our young people, and community safety. Claire has worked with a number of national charities in a variety of roles, including Working Families, the Anti-Trafficking Labour Exploitation Unit, and Maternity Action (where she is a Trustee).
Claire is passionate about people on low incomes being able to access justice, so they can solve difficult issues they face, for instance around housing. Claire was pleased to be invited to join our Board, having been impressed by our work locally, and that of the Law Centres Network across the UK.
John joined the Board in June 2014. He qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and in 1985 became a partner in City and International firm Trowers & Hamlins, specialising in litigation and arbitration in the private and public sector. Until his retirement in 2013, John was head of the Dispute Resolution department and a member of its management board. In 2013 John was appointed as a Deputy District Judge sitting in London County Courts. In 2016 John was appointed to another judicial role as Deputy Master in the Chancery Division of the High Court.
Simon joined our Board at the end of 2019. He has worked as a solicitor in private practice in Bristol and London, as well as in industry. In 2000 he became a partner at Clifford Chance, a long-standing supporter of law centres in London, including SWLLC. He was appointed a deputy high court judge in England and Wales in 2021. Simon also sits as a member of the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal, ensuring that the regulatory standards of the profession are upheld. In addition, he has held positions in national and regional sports governing bodies, with particular responsibility for governance. Simon has lived in south London for more than 10 years, and believes in ensuring access to justice for everyone. He came on board with us having witnessed at first-hand the effect of lack of legal representation on people’s rights, and lives. He sees a vital role for SWLLC, and law centres generally, in providing this fundamental protection to everyone in society.
Sarah joined our Board in 2014. She is a partner in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team at Russell-Cooke LLP. Sarah manages several pro bono personal injury and clinical negligence drop-in clinics at law centres, and advises clients on a wide range of issues including cases involving misdiagnosis of symptoms, negligent operations, road traffic accidents, and work accidents. Sarah also has experience in claims against local authorities regarding failure to care for vulnerable adults and children.
Sarah says: ‘I believe in access to justice for all and sadly, with the current government cuts to legal aid funding, there are far too many people now without access to legal representation. I consider my work at the law centre a small contribution that can make a big difference to our clients.’