Contributors to In Brief

A number of different writers have written articles for In Brief. They include a wide range of individuals, each with different expertise to bring to In Brief. Our writers have included practising solicitors and barristers.

Current Contributors

Currently contributing articles to In Brief are:

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola graduated from the University of Greenwich with a degree in law, before qualifying as a solicitor in 1998. With a passion for writing, she did as much writing as possible while still studying. Also a fully accredited NCTJ journalist, she left legal practice in 2007 in order to concentrate on writing full-time.

With more than 20 years experience writing on the law, Nicola has contrinuted to several national and international newspapers, legal organisations, law journals and law firm websites including Raconteur, LexisNexis, and The Telegraph. She has also written a book, entitled Supervision in Law Firms.

Lucy Trevelyan LLB

After graduating from the University of Greenwich with a degree in law, Lucy went on to pass the Legal Practice Course with commendation. Before studying at university, Lucy’s writing had already been published in various regional and national newspapers. As a journalist with NCTJ qualifications, Lucy decided to pursue a career in legal writing, and has been following this path for over 20 years.

As an editor, Lucy previously oversaw the work of the New Law Journal and Solicitors Journal, and helped manage the website of The Lawyer. She also contributed articles to several national and international legal publications, organisations and websites, such as the International Bar Association, The Law Society and People Management.

Past Contributors

The following people have previously written for In Brief:

Jonathan Swindlehurst LLB (Hons) LLM

Jonathan graduated from King’s College London with a degree in law, he then went on to postgraduate study of law specialising in sports law. Jonathan has worked for both FIFA and the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board). He also managed ticket sales at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009. He was head of our section on Sports Law.

Vidan Hadzi-Vidanovic LLB (Hons) LLM

Vidan graduated at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law and commenced his career at the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, one of the leading European academic institutions in the field of human rights and international law. He moved to England in 2007, and completed his Masters studies at the University of Nottingham School of Law. He was a holder of a prestigious Chevening Scholarship and he is currently a holder of two additional scholarships. Vidan published several books, brochures and articles in the field of international law and human rights. As a member of the Belgrade Centre’s litigation team, he acted as a co-counsel in several cases before the European Court of Human Rights. He is also a research assistant at the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre.

Vidan is particularly interested in human rights law, humanitarian law and international criminal law. He is also experienced in immigration and refugee law, criminal law, mental disability and guardianship law, employment and social security law.

Emily Drea LLB (Hons)

Emily graduated from the University of Manchester in 2005 with a 2:1 in Law. She then went on to complete her LPC at Nottingham Law School, where she achieved a commendation. Upon qualifying as a solicitor at DLA Piper in London, which included a secondment to ITV, Emily has gained 10 months post qualification experience working within a corporate/commercial department at a firm which predominately works for the NHS. She has also had the benefit of being seconded to the Social Enterprise Unit at the Department of Health.

Karen Nicholls LLB (Hons)

Karen has worked in the criminal law for over 21 years and recently completed a law degree coupled with the Legal Practice Course at Birmingham City University. She obtained a 2:1 law degree and a distinction on the LPC. Karen worked as both a Crown Court caseworker and Magistrates Court advocate in the Crown Prosecution Service and has an in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Karen currently prosecute cases in the Magistrates Court and deals with all first hearing cases ranging from murder to driving offences. She presents cases to the magistrates which in terms of guilty pleas involves opening the facts and pointing out relevant convictions and current court orders as well as addressing sentencing guidelines. In terms of not guilty pleas she would deal with mode of trial and, depending on the determination of the court, fix for trial or send/commit the case to Crown Court. Karen also prosecutes contested bail applications, breach of bail, exceptional hardship and removal of disqualification hearings. She regularly cross examines defendants and witnesses in relation to these hearings.

Alex Greaves LLB (Hons); Post Dip in Legal Practice

Alex graduated with a degree in Law in 1995 and then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course in 1996. Alex then spent over 10 years working as a lawyer for two of the country’s leading law firms. Alex specializes in Commercial Litigation and now runs a firm offering Commercial Debt Recovery Solutions. In addition to writing for In Brief Alex also writes for regularly on the importance of making a will.

Steven Harry Thomas Micklewright LLB (Hons)

Having graduated with a 1st class degree in law from the University of Wolverhampton, Steven went onto complete his Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Vocational Studies (Bar Finals) at the College of Law in Birmingham. Having completed his BVC, he was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in October 2009 and he is currently completing a LLM in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Birmingham.

Steven specializes in crime including regulatory, motoring, human rights and international criminal law, with a keen interest in war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

In practice, Steven works as a legal advisor for a progressive chain of funeral directors advising on a wide range of issues such as employment, health and safety, contracts, debt recovery and regulatory procedures relevant to the funeral trade specifically.

Christopher Bleakley LLB (Hons)

Christopher graduated in law in 1998 from Manchester Metropolitan University. After 12 months’ volunteering for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Christopher moved to Prague where he has been a support lawyer for a major Czech-origin law firm. Christopher is also a legal advisor to a not-for-profit Czech cultural exchange program and assists a Czech translation company with translations of legal documents from Czech to English. He has also lectured on elements of English law at the Charles University in Prague.

John Pollitt

John Pollitt is a Partner at Pearson Legal, on their specialist Medical Negligence team. He has been practicing clinical negligence law since 1990 and is a tireless campaigner for the rights of patients and the individual, fighting hard to bring in millions of pounds worth of compensation for those who need it most.

As well being a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel he also sits on the Referral Panel of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA).

Nahied Asjad LLB (Hons) LLM

Nahied is an experienced Crown Advocate and has worked for the CPS since qualifying as a Solicitor in 2002 and transferred to the Bar in 2007. She has prosecuted in all courts, including the Magistrates Court and the Youth Court and currently works as a Crown Court advocate, dealing with serious offences. Nahied is a trained Pre-Trial Witness Interviewer and Proceeds of Crime Specialist and was the lead lawyer in the largest money laundering case in Leicester leading to a £5Million confiscation order. Nahied reviews offences at the police station and decides upon charge and prepares cases in the office and makes decisions as to whether or not to prosecute.

Pamela P. Azicate G.Inst.Lex

Pamela graduated from ILEX (Institute of Legal Executives), specializing in Wills and Probate. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines majoring in History with a minor in Political Science. She was previously the Operations Director for a Social Science research company in the Philippines. Her voluntary work placements exposed her to criminal law and personal injury but felt that Wills and Probate was her calling. She is currently the Membership secretary for the ILEX Greater Manchester Branch.

Celia Rasbach LLB (Hons)

Celia spent from 1985 to 1999 practising law in Toronto and this including a decade working at the Canadian Department of Justice. Between 1999 and 2001 she practiced law in the Turks and Caicos Islands as Senior Crown Counsel.

She is an experienced Canadian barrister and solicitor who has lived in Britain for several years. During her time in the UK she acquired an extensive knowledge of English law through her work as a teacher of law and business studies.

Sarfraz Syed BA (Hons)

Sarfraz has a degree in English Literature. He has worked for the regulatory body for solicitors in England & Wales (The Law Society/The Solicitors Regulation Authority) for over six years, where he gained knowledge and experience of regulatory issues affecting the solicitors’ profession and has extensively contributed to reform.

Nia Elizabeth Godsmark BSc (Hons) MA

Nia is a qualified business solicitor working with a range of organisations on business and employment issues.

She has a Masters degree in Law and is regularly involved in assisting small businesses during their start up phase with a range of employment, commercial and general business issues.

Nia has been practising for several years in a number of Law firms across South and West Wales. She has gained extensive experience in all areas of business law including both contentious and non-contentious employment law.

She is a fluent Welsh speaker whose hobbies include riding and long distance running. In addition to her legal work, she is a partner in a company offering translation services. She is also a former member of Great Britain Under 21 Polo squad.

Hazem Edmond Abu-Ghazaleh LLB (Hons)

Hazem completed his LLB (hons) Law at Bournemouth University, and went on to achieve a grade of ‘Very Competent’ for the BVC at the College of Law in Bloomsbury, London. Following this, Hazem was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in November 2009. His expertise is primarily in the areas of criminal law and human rights. Hazem has demonstrated his academic excellence through consistently high achievement in LLB coursework, and was awarded the highest mark in the year for Advanced Criminal Litigation during the BVC.

Hazem has previously worked as a Team Leader at a Crown Court, and as part of a legal team at a prestigious Travel company.

Divya Srivastava LLB (Hons)

Divya has extensive legal knowledge gained through experience of legal work, not only in UK but across the globe. She is a Law graduate and in the year 2009 she was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn. She has a key interest in Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Human Rights issues, Employment Law and Immigration Law.

Kobie Jayne Child LLB (Hons)

In May 2009 Kobie was given Admission to the roll of solicitors in England and Wales. This was after a career as a lawyer in Australia where she had roles ranging from dealing with Immigration and human rights to dealing with offshore companies and property. She is now working as a Solicitor in Maidenhead, England.

Joelle Wahnon LLB (Hons)

A former president of the Gibraltar Student Law Society and a University of Leeds law graduate, Joelle Wahnon took the Bar Vocation Course (BVC) in Bristol. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2009.

Joelle is former colleague of Gibraltar’s Minister of Justice, Daniel Feetham, who describes her as being both hard working and intelligent. She speaks fluent Spanish as well as basic Russian and was captain of Gibraltar’s international basketball team. Joelle is also a former writer for the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Saima Haq BA.LLB (Hons)

Samia has extensive legal experience in addition to her formal qualifications which include a bachelor’s degree in English, a law degree, and the Bar Vocational Course. She specializes in in Debt and Mental Health issues.

Stefan de Beer BA. LLB (Hons)

Stefan is a British citizen born and raised in South Africa. In 1994, Stefan graduated from Rhodes University, South Africa, with a degree in English literature before starting out in a career as a high-school English teacher. Moving to the UK in 1999, he completed his Bachelor of Law Degree through the University of South Africa while in full-time employment at intellectual-property law specialists Rouse Legal in London where he gained extensive knowledge in anti-counterfeiting and trade mark enforcement.

Stefan now works for American Attorney Services in Bristol dealing with Florida probate cases, property disputes and litigation. In his spare time Stefan enjoys writing, exercising, golf, playing guitar, watching rugby and cricket, cooking, and spending time in the Somerset countryside.

Alex Hocking BA (Hons)

Alex took his A levels at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School Sixth Form College before studying for a Bachelor of Arts at >University College London. Upon concluding his studies he worked as a researcher and writer for Chambers and Partners, working on major legal publications in both the UK and USA. As well as contributing articles to In Brief, Alex occasionally writes for The Big Issue and Sandman magazines.

Victoria Barrat LLB (Hons)

Victoria graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in law. Following this she took a Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Chester gaining a distinction.

She has experience in a wide range of practice areas with a significant bias towards corporate law including general company administration, establishment and winding up of companies, asset finance, assisting with AIM listings and off-shore company structures and general corporate finance. Acting for a wide range of clients including international corporations, banks and owner managed business. Victoria has contributed to ‘Legalink Summary of Laws Around the world’ with extracts of advice on Manx employment law. She is a qualified dance teacher and plays netball for her local team.

Eileen C Menguito LLB. MA

As well having a legal background and possessing a post-graduate degree in law, Eileen is also an accomplished writer. She has worked for a number of legal publications and was editor-in-chief of ‘The Communicator’ when the publication was awarded ‘Best University Magazine’ by ‘Penstroke’ in 2003.

Eileen received academic recognition for her research into the rights of indigenous peoples. She has seen employment in a range of legal positions and has also been a writer for academic films. In 2007 Eileen was actively involved in the monitoring of the Presidential elections that were being held in the Philippines. She safeguarded the will of the electorate through legal interventions and issuing election documents

Shauna Lewis BA LLB (Hons) LLM

Shauna’s first degree was in Political Science and History. Following this she studied law at the University of Warwick and is now a qualified barrister. She currently works in the South of England.

Sophie Charara BA (Hons)

Sophie graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Classics from King’s College London. This was followed by time spent as an Editorial Intern at the Sunday Times Magazine and Ethical Consumer Magazine. Sophie has a broad range of interests in addition to English law, including the arts, music, current affairs, fashion, and technology. She is also active in campaigning on behalf of Friends of the Earth to local MPs on a range of environmental issues.

Sophie contributed articles to In Brief and regularly writes for a number of other publications and websites.

Rebecca Pearson LLB (Hons) LLM

Rebecca completed her education and legal training, consistently ranking amongst the highest academically, and benefited from two prestigious scholarships.

Following this she became a member of the civil department of Cobden House Chambers. Her particular interest was in personal injury claims but also undertook a wide range of housing related matters. These included possession claims, injunctions, and unlawful eviction. Rebecca has acted equally for both tenants and landlords. She also has experience in employment, criminal, and commercial law.

Rebecca is an experienced barrister who has spent more than a decade at the Bar.