Coram Children’s Legal Centre employs lawyers and experts in children’s human rights. Want to join the team? Check out our current vacancies.
Neena Acharya, Senior solicitor
Neena is an accredited solicitor specialising in immigration and asylum law. She is experienced in representing clients at all stages of the immigration and asylum process, including initial applications, appeals in the First Tier and Upper Tribunals and the Court of Appeal. She has particular expertise and interest in judicial review challenges (her recent cases include challenges to the length of leave granted, refusals of fresh claims, deportation cases and unlawful detention).
Neena has experience representing children, young people and families, including vulnerable clients. She has expertise in working with victims of trafficking and other human rights abuses, clients with mental health and learning difficulties.
Neena qualified as a solicitor in 1997 at Edwards Son & Noice Solicitors (now Edwards Duthie) and has worked in immigration and asylum law since. Before joining CCLC Neena worked at Lambeth Law Centre. She started at CCLC in August 2018.
Rosalyn Akar Grams, Managing director of legal practice and children’s rights
Rosalyn Akar Grams joined CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit as the Head of Legal Practice in September 2019. She is an experienced solicitor specialising in asylum, immigration and human rights cases. She is an accredited supervisor under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme. She has acted for clients throughout the asylum process from the initial application stage through the appeal stages right up to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Rosalyn also has significant experience bringing judicial review and strategic challenges.
Prior to joining CCLC, Rosalyn was the Interim National Manager of the Medico-Legal Reports Service and permanent Manager of the Legal Advice and Welfare Service at Freedom from Torture. In 2017, she was shortlisted for Human Rights Lawyer of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards for her work promoting the rights of survivors of torture going through the asylum system.
Rosalyn is an experienced trainer. She has written articles on access to justice and has been consulted by organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Justice on issues related to the UK asylum system.
Previously, Rosalyn spent many years as a practising solicitor at Wilson Solicitors LLP, specialising in asylum and with a focus on survivors of torture, victims of trafficking and gender based violence and children and young people. She started her work in this field at the Refugee Legal Centre in 2002.
Her notable cases include MJ (Angola) v SSHD  EWCA CIV 557, R (on the application of Elmi) v SSHD  EWHC 2775 (admin) and KV v SSHD  UKSC 10 (with Freedom from Torture as joint interveners).
Vanessa Amankwah, Paralegal
Ayshea Azam, Supervising solicitor, KIND UK pro bono project
Ayshea Azam joined CCLC in November 2020 as a supervising solicitor for our Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND UK) project. Ayshea trains and supervises pro bono lawyers at Baker McKenzie and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who assist in the end to end casework involved in registering children and young people as British citizens.
Ayshea is a practising Solicitor since 2002, having initially worked in private practice and subsequently in the Not for Profit sector. She joins us from Consonant, where she worked for 9 years as an Immigration Solicitor/supervisor. She was responsible for caseworkers and solicitors across the legal aid, private and stateless teams.
Ayshea is a well-grounded and pro-active solicitor with experience in asylum, immigration, human rights and nationality law. She has represented clientele in complex casework, appeals and high court litigation both under legal aid and privately. Her specialism includes EU law, domestic abuse, and immigration relating to children and women’s issues including asylum.
Ayshea is committed to securing access to the law for migrants and improving awareness of legal rights and remedies. She delivered The Pathway specialist immigration advice service to homeless patients receiving NHS treatment and the NHS clinical teams. She also has experience of working in partnership projects and delivered the EU Advice Service, a specialist pro bono project exclusively for EEA nationals and their family living in Westminster borough.
Ayshea speaks Punjabi, Urdu and basic Hindi.
Machela Boampong, Senior paralegal
Machela is a senior paralegal with CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit. She started working with the Legal Practice Unit in July 2018.
Prior to her role as a senior paralegal she worked as a Legal Advisor with the Child Law Advice Service for two years, from June 2016 – June 2018. She started in October 2015 as a volunteer for the Child Law Advice Service. Her role was to provide advice to young people and parents on family, child and education law.
Machela obtained her LLB Law degree from the University of Essex in 2016. She went on to complete an LLM in International Human Rights at the University of Essex in 2016-2017.
Gregg Burrough, Senior solicitor
Amy Constant, Paralegal
Amy joined the education law team in CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit in July 2021.
Before joining she gained education law experience at SV Law, where she worked between September 2019 and June 2021. Prior to this she experienced a range of claimant law at North Kensington Law Centre, working on the reception desk assisting with housing and welfare clients, and also assisting caseworkers with crime, employment and immigration casework.
Before embarking on her legal career Amy gained her BA in Classics and English from Oxford University and an MA in literature from UCL. She subsequently completed the GDL in 2019, and her LPC in 2021.
Keeley Creedy, Head of community care law
Keeley Creedy is a solicitor specialising in public law and community care law. She has a particular interest in public law, civil liberties and human rights.
Keeley has gained considerable experience in representing young people in age disputes. She also has experience in education law and represents children who have been excluded, are out of school and with respect to their special educational needs. She works closely with a number of children’s charities, in particular CCLC’s partner charity Coram Voice.
Keeley trained and qualified as a solicitor at Fisher Meredith LLP. She subsequently worked at Maxwell Gillott before joining Coram Children’s Legal Centre in 2014.
Pia de Keyser, Senior paralegal
Pia joined the education team in CCLC’s Legal Practice in January 2019.
Before joining the LPU she worked as a paralegal in Community Care and Education Law at John Ford Solicitors.
After completing her LLM Qualifying Law Degree at Birkbeck School of Law in 2017, Pia gained legal casework experience as a volunteer at Liberty and Advocate (formally the Bar Pro Bono Unit). She went on to undertake the Graduate internship at Camden Community Law Centre, where she advised on housing and welfare benefits issues, and represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support).
Since joining the LPU Pia has completed the Bar Professional Training Course, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2021. She has also qualified as a Civil/Commercial Mediator.
Before making the career change to law, Pia worked as a specialist educational needs teaching assistant, and as a visiting creative workshop leader in nursery and primary schools throughout London.
Fiammetta De Leo, Paralegal
Fiammetta joined CCLC in October 2020 as paralegal in the Community Care team.
Fiammetta is currently completing her Graduate Diploma in Law at The University of Law in London. She obtained a legal secretary diploma from the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA). Subsequently, as a paralegal she has assisted on criminal defence cases involving young offenders and family law cases, including cases relating to child care proceedings.
Fiammetta has joined Coram CCLC to develop a legal career in community care law and is working towards qualifying as a solicitor.
Having experienced the care system in the UK first hand, Fiammetta is a strong advocate for young people in need via the homeless shelter West London Mission. She also volunteers with Reach Out UK, to mentor young people in need of guidance and support.
Fiammetta speak Amharic and Italian.
Ishraq Denha, Solicitor
Ishraq commenced working at CCLC in July 2020.
She originally qualified as a Personal Injury Solicitor in 2005. After 3 years of dealing with litigated personal injury matters Ishraq moved on to qualify as a primary school teacher. Following a 10 year teaching career she decided to move back into law specialising in Education Law, combining her two passions. Before joining CCLC she worked at Stone King for over a year dealing with a variety of Education Law related matters.
She now deals with a variety of appeals including refusal to assess for EHCPs, refusal to issue EHCPs, appeals against sections B, F and I of an EHCP and where there has been a failure to implement an EHCP.
Madey Doku, Paralegal
Madey joined CCLC in August 2020 as Paralegal in the Education Law team.
Prior to joining CCLC, Madey worked as a Paralegal at John Ford Solicitors assisting fee earners with education, public law and community care matters. Before becoming a Paralegal, Madey trained as a Youth Advocate at Just for Kids Law where she formally advocated for children and young people with education, housing, immigration and community care matters. Madey also volunteered with Bexley Citizens Advice Bureau as an Adviser for three years. She has experience working with exceptionally vulnerable children and young people across the charity and public sector and currently serves as Governor at a local primary school in Bexley.
Madey graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in History, and subsequently went on to complete the GDL at City University. She is currently studying the LPC part-time.
Michelle Elcombe, Supervising solicitor, KIND UK pro bono project
Michelle Elcombe joined CCLC in May 2016 as the Supervising Solicitor for the Kids in Need of Defence (KIND) UK pro bono project, previously called the Children’s Pro Bono Legal Service. The service utilises the pro bono commitment of lawyers at DLA Piper and Allen and Overy to provide a free legal to service to children and young people to enable them to apply for and enjoy British citizenship. Michelle is responsible for training and supervising these lawyers and has been instrumental in developing the project and proving that this pro bono model works. The service has been recognised as a unique innovative model of pro bono provision of legal services.
Michelle was previously a Partner and head of Immigration at Leonard Canning’s solicitors in Southampton, formerly Leonard and Co solicitors where Michelle also trained and qualified. Michelle has over 13 years’ experience specialising in immigration, asylum and nationality law. Michelle has experience representing children, young people and families at all stages of the immigration and asylum process including initial applications, appeals and judicial reviews.
Kelly Everett, Senior solicitor
Kelly joined the Children’s Legal Centre in 2004 and assisted with the setting up, running and advising of what is now the Child Law Advice Line – a national telephone advice line which provides free legal advice over the phone and online on child, family and education law matters. She subsequently qualified as a solicitor in child law, family law, public law and education law in 2006.
Kelly was previously head of the family team before taking a career break to have two children. Now working part time, Kelly represents children, parents and carers in the area of child and family law where she has a keen interest in judicial review cases. Although Kelly undertakes work across the field of family and child law, her specialism is in representing children and young people in matters involving local authorities. Her particular interest lies in ensuring that homeless young people are accommodated and supported by the relevant authority, whether that be social services or the council housing department, bearing in mind the duties of those authorities and the wishes and feelings of the young person, in addition to ensuring that those young people who have been in care are able to access all their entitlements until the age of 21 or 25.
Kelly undertakes work on all areas involving the Children Act 1989 and Children Act 2004, including obtaining support services for children and their families from local authorities and placement moves for young people in care, leaving care legislation and contact and residence disputes.
She has been involved in a precedent case: Carla Edwards v General Register Office  EWHC 2380 (Fam), involving a declaration of parentage.
Kelly has written for Children & Young People Now and appeared on a number of regional and national television programmes and radio stations.
She works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is based in CCLC’s Colchester office.
Victoria Fernandes, Solicitor
Victoria is a solicitor specialising in immigration and asylum law.
Victoria joined CCLC in 2017 as a paralegal in the education law team and commenced a training contract in 2018, qualifying as a solicitor in 2020. She has gained experience in education, discrimination, immigration and asylum law.
Victoria obtained her LLB Law degree from the University of Reading in 2010. She went on to complete an LLM in International Human Rights, Conflict and Justice at SOAS in 2011-2013 and her LPC in 2017.
Sophie Freeman, Head of immigration and asylum law
Sophie Freeman is an accredited supervising solicitor specialising in immigration, asylum and nationality law. Sophie has experience representing children, young people and families at all stages of the immigration and asylum process, including initial applications, fresh claims, appeals and judicial reviews.
Sophie has particular expertise working with young people with mental health problems. She regularly represents victims of trafficking and young people at risk of persecution as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She also has a particular interest in representing young people facing deportation from the United Kingdom as a result of their criminal convictions.
Sophie also undertakes strategic litigation on behalf of the Legal Practice Unit. She, along with Jane Barrett, had conduct of CCLC’s intervention in the case of R (SM & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1144 (Admin) in which the High Court found the then Home Office policy on Discretionary Leave to be unlawful because it did not allow the proper consideration of children’s best interests when deciding the duration of leave to remain to be granted to them.
As well as her casework within the Legal Practice Unit representing individuals and families, Sophie works closely with the Migrant Children’s Project, contributing to the MCP’s policy work and training programs. She also speaks regularly at the monthly legal advice meetings held by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group.
In October 2016, Sophie wrote the immigration and asylum section of the Legal Action Group’s special publication entitled, ‘Use it or lose it: children and legal aid’. In July 2018, Sophie was named ‘Legal aid lawyer of the year‘ in the social and welfare category.
Sophie trained and qualified as a solicitor at Fisher Meredith LLP, where she gained valuable experience in children law and community care law, as well as immigration and asylum law. She joined CCLC in June 2012.
Whitney Hard, Trainee solicitor
Whitney joined CCLC’s Community Care Team as a Paralegal in October 2019. She is now a Trainee Solicitor undertaking seats in Community Care and Public, Immigration and Family Law.
Whitney previously worked as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher, teaching Spanish and French at secondary level. Prior to joining CCLC, Whitney worked as a Research Officer at Rights and Security International (previously Rights Watch UK), conducting legal and policy research into the repatriation of children from Syria, and the Prevent strategy. She also volunteered for the Street Law project, conducting sessions to provide pro bono legal advice to children and vulnerable adults.
Whitney graduated from the University of Hull with a first class degree in Law with Spanish Law and Language. She then went on to complete a postgraduate degree in Human Rights at UCL, and has completed the LPC at BPP University.
Jack Howes, Senior paralegal
Jack is a senior paralegal in the Education Law Team in CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit. He first joined CCLC in January 2019 following 10 months in a Paralegal role in a London law firm specialising in SEN law. Jack is working towards qualifying as Solicitor and left CCLC in September 2020 in order to study the Legal Practice Course full time at the University of Law. After achieving a distinction in his Legal Practice Course, Jack returned to CCLC in July 2021. Jack obtained his LLB law degree from the University of Greenwich in 2017.
Jack largely deals with advising clients on Education, Health and Care Plans and has assisted parents and young people with appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
Ban Hussein, Paralegal
Ban joined CCLC’s Immigration and Asylum Team as a paralegal in September 2021.
Prior to joining CCLC, Ban worked at Wesley Gryk Solicitors, a specialist immigration firm. She assisted solicitors with all aspects of their caseload, which had a particular emphasis on applications based on partnership, family and private life, EU law, nationality and asylum on the basis of sexual identity. Before becoming a paralegal, Ban was a Project Officer within CCLC’s Migrant Children’s Project. She also worked as an advocate for asylum seeking women in refugee camps needing to access maternity services, and volunteered both at a clinic which provided support to migrants needing to access NHS services, and a refugee support centre.
Ban graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics and International Relations. She then went on to complete a postgraduate degree in Middle East Politics at SOAS, and has recently completed the GDL at BPP University, with a view of qualifying as a solicitor.
VyVy Lewis, Solicitor-Advocate
VyVy is a dual-qualified UK/USA lawyer and qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales in 2005. VyVy specialises in representing children, parents, and extended family members in care proceedings.
VyVy undertakes her own advocacy and she has Higher Rights of Audience (Civil). As well as being a member of the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme (aka the Children Panel) she is an assessor and interviews applicants/marks re-accreditation applications. She has Specialist Resolution accreditation in the fields of Children Law (Public) and Domestic Abuse, she is a member of the London Committee of Resolution and she is a reserve Resolution assessor for the Children Law (Public) portfolio. VyVy is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Lawyers for Children as well as being a member of their Equality & Diversity Sub-Committee. She is also is a co-organiser of the London Children’s Lawyers.
VyVy has a Juris Doctorate and an LL.M from the University of Washington School of Law in the USA. VyVy remains an active member of the Washington State Bar Association. She worked as a trial lawyer in Seattle, Washington (USA) in the fields of Care, Juvenile Justice, Misdemeanours, Children-in-Need, At-Risk Youth, and Education law until she moved to the United Kingdom. She is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Qaisar Sheikh, Head of education law
Qaisar joined Coram Children’s Legal Centre in 2010 as a paralegal, for what is now called the Child Law Advice Service. He later joined the Legal Practice Unit (LPU) and subsequently qualified as a solicitor in 2016. Since April 2017, Qaisar has led the Education Law Team, a branch of our LPU. He is responsible for all operations of our education practice, including supervision and business development, both in terms of our legal aid work and private client services. He is part of the Coram Management Group which brings together key service managers across the group organisations, developing joint strategy and cohesive work.
Qaisar is highly experienced in education law, particularly special educational needs, discrimination claims, Upper Tribunal appeals and public law challenges related to schools and local authorities. He has a keen interest in health and social care matters that arise within SEN appeals. Although he primarily undertakes work in these areas, he has gained experience in child and family law matters. For his work in Education Law, Qaisar has been highly ranked in Chambers and Partners 2020, 2021 and 2022 (currently ranked in Band 1 with only two other solicitors).
Chambers and Partners comment:
Qaisar Sheikh is very highly regarded in the field for his broad practice representing parents, children and young people. He frequently assists with appeals to the SEND Tribunal regarding school placement and the contents of Education, Health and Care plans. He is extremely passionate and has a very good technical brain in terms of being able to spot obscure points of law. Qaisar is personable, knowledgeable, and has a huge wealth of experience which shines across in his handling of education law appeals. He is a great tactical lawyer who knows when to push a point and when not to.
In May 2022, Qaisar was shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards in the category of public law, testament to his dedication to defending the education rights of children with special needs and disabilities.
Outside of work, Qaisar is a proud father of three very energetic children, organises weekly basketball sessions for his local community and enjoys spending time with friends. Qaisar is a committee member and Trustee for the well regarded Education Law Association.
Reported and notable cases:
- East Sussex County Council v KS (SEN):  UKUT 273 (AAC)
- M v Hertfordshire County Council (SEN):  UKUT 37 (AAC)
- F v Responsible Body of School W  UKUT 112 (AAC)
- London Borough of Southwark v WE (alternative person for OA):  UKUT 241 (AAC)
- London Borough of Redbridge v H O (SEN):  UKUT 323 (AAC)
- H (child) v London Borough of Hillingdon 
- London Borough of Croydon v K.A.  UKUT 106 (AAC)
Find out more about the services provided by Qaisar and our Education Law Team here.
Eleanor Simon, Solicitor
Eleanor is an accredited solicitor specialising in immigration and asylum law. Eleanor is experienced in representing children, young people and families at all stages of the immigration and asylum process, including initial applications, appeals in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, fresh claims, and judicial reviews.
Eleanor has a particular interest and expertise in representing vulnerable clients in their asylum and human rights claims, including victims of human rights abuses, victims of trafficking, unaccompanied children and care leavers, and those with mental health difficulties.
Eleanor started working as an accredited caseworker in immigration and asylum law at Wilson Solicitors LLP in January 2013, and went on to qualify as a solicitor there in October 2016. She joined Coram Children’s Legal Centre in May 2018.
Phuong Truong, Senior solicitor, family and child law
Phuong qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and has since specialised in family and child law. Her main area of practise is public child law care proceedings representing children both directly and through the children’s guardian and parents on applications for care orders and supervision orders. She has broad and extensive family experience which includes representing clients on applications for: discharge of care orders; deprivation of liberty orders; wardship proceedings; special guardianship orders; Section 8 orders such as child arrangements orders, prohibited steps orders and specific issues orders including permission to remove the child from the jurisdiction; and Family Law Act applications for non-molestation and occupation orders.
Phuong’s work at Coram now focusses on representing children, in both public and private law matters.
Phuong is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel and conducts her own advocacy. She is a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children. She is a supervising solicitor and has mentored and trained paralegals and trainee solicitors.
Liam Wells, Trainee solicitor
Jessica Whitehead, Senior solicitor
Jessica Whitehead is a solicitor specialising in community care and public law. She is experienced in representing vulnerable children and young people across the spectrum of community care law, including obtaining assessments of needs and provision of support and accommodation.
Jessica has successfully represented looked after children and children leaving care or custody who need support and accommodation. She has particular experience representing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children whose ages have been disputed, who have been unlawfully detained in adult immigration detention, or who have mental health difficulties, as well as victims of trafficking. She also acts for children who have been excluded from school, are not receiving suitable full-time education or have special educational needs. She works closely with a number of charities including CCLC’s partner charity Coram Voice and charities such as the Refugee Council.
Jessica trained at Fisher Meredith LLP, where she qualified as a solicitor in September 2008, having gained particular experience in children law, public services and education law. She later worked at Maxwell Gillott, where she developed her expertise in community care and public law, before joining CCLC in 2014.
Reported cases: VS v the Home Office  EWHC 2483 (QB); R (E) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1927 (Admin); R (N) v Staines Magistrates’ Court  EWHC 3081 (Admin).
Marian Shaughnessy, Senior solicitor
Marian Shaughnessy joined Coram Children’s Legal Centre in December 2019. Marian has over 15 years experience in community care and education law and over 20 years experience in public law.
Marian trained at TV Edwards and Islington Council and she qualified in 1990. She has also worked at the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE), Levenes Solicitors and prior to joining CCLC, for several years at John Ford Solicitors. At John Ford Solicitors Marian gained a wealth of experience representing clients and regularly undertaking Judicial Reviews of local authorities in respect of community care and education decisions. She also represented clients in claims for disability discrimination.
Marian has acted in the Court of Protection for a number of family members of vulnerable adults. Marian has also represented clients wishing to challenge the contents of their Disclosure and Barring (DBS) and Enhanced DBS certificates and represented the Claimant in the leading case of R (L) v The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, which went to the Supreme Court.
Marian has co-authored “Education Law & Practice” by Lexis Nexis that is a leading textbook on education law (both the 3rd and 4th (2016) edition).
Child Law Advice Service
The CLAS team
The Child Law Advice Service is staffed by fully trained paralegals specialising in family, child and education law. They all hold a legal qualification, having completed law degrees, legal practice courses or specialist paralegal courses. Our staff come from a variety of backgrounds including having worked in Citizen Advice Bureaux or other legal firms. All our advisers are trained in customer service, call handling and digital communication.
For information and advice on issues of Child, Family and Education Law please the Child Law Advice Service’s dedicated website www.childlawadvice.org.uk.
Migrant Children’s Project
Afia Ahmad, Outreach solicitor
Alison East, Senior solicitor
Alison East is a solicitor working Tuesday – Thursday answering queries on immigration and welfare matters by email for the Migrant Children’s Project Legal Advice Line.
Alison trained as a social welfare lawyer at Hammersmith Law Centre and has a broad-based legal background encompassing welfare rights, community care, housing and public law as well as immigration.
Chloe Evans, Immigration adviser
Chloe Evans is an immigration adviser accredited under the IAAS at level 2 and at level 3 of the OISC in asylum and immigration. She has experience working with children, young people and families at all stages of the immigration and asylum process. She also has experience working with clients held in immigration detention.
Chloe is currently working on our outreach project at Hackney Migrant Centre and our outreach programmes in South London, providing advice to young asylum seekers and refugees.
Chloe started working as an accredited caseworker at Elder Rahimi Solicitors and then went on to work at Wilsons Solicitors LLP, before joining CCLC in October 2018.
Rosalind Hodder Compton, Senior legal and policy officer
Rosalind is a solicitor specialising in immigration, asylum and nationality law and issues relating to access to support, housing, health care and education for children, young people and families affected by immigration control. Rosalind is experienced in working with children, young people and families at all stages in immigration, asylum and nationality processes, including in initial applications, appeals and judicial reviews.
Rosalind does outreach work across several London boroughs, offering legal advice to children, young people and families on immigration, asylum and nationality law.
She trained at Fisher Meredith where she worked in immigration, housing and police and prison law, before joining CCLC in October 2013.
Rosalind was seconded to the Greater London Assembly, working on the Citizenship and Integration Initiative, for a year from April 2018 to March 2019.
Anita Hurrell, Head of the Migrant Children's Project
Anita Hurrell manages CCLC’s Migrant Children’s Project, which promotes the rights of children and young people affected by UK immigration control, and is responsible for providing legal guidance and delivering training to professionals in the statutory and voluntary sectors. She contributes to CCLC’s policy work, particularly on the issue of legal aid.
Anita has worked in the field of immigration since 2008, including as Senior Researcher at the think tank Policy Network and as a Caseworker at the legal charity Refugee and Migrant Justice, where she primarily represented clients in detention and unaccompanied children.
Anita was seconded to the Greater London Assembly, working on the Citizenship and Integration Initiative, from April 2017 until April 2018.
Marianne Lagrue, Policy manager
Marianne Lagrue is policy manager at Coram Children’s Legal Centre. She works in CCLC’s Migrant Children’s Project and contributes to CCLC’s policy work on Brexit, children’s rights and access to justice. She has authored Uncertain futures: the EU settlement scheme and children and young people’s right to remain in the UK (2019) and co-authored Rights without Remedies: legal aid and access to justice for children (2018) and ‘This is my home’: Securing permanent status for long-term resident children and young people in the UK (2017). She is also responsible for CCLC’s digital content, the monitoring and evaluation of the MCP’s programmes, and the operation of the project’s training programme. Marianne manages youth involvement in the work of the MCP, and runs CCLC’s Youth Rights Trainers scheme. She is also an immigration adviser accredited to OISC level one and does outreach legal work on the EU settlement scheme.
Marianne has past experience as a Parliamentary researcher in the House of Lords, as an assistant caseworker for an MP and as a political consultant. She has an MA in Media and International Development. Marianne joined CCLC in September 2015.
Aayad Lami, Children in care immigration solicitor
Joyinola Layonu, Legal and policy assistant
Joyinola initially joined Coram in January 2020 as a legal and policy intern within the Migrant Children’s Project (MCP) at CCLC. During that period, she supported the MCP’s outreach and EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) projects. She was also involved in policy initiatives such as a report on the EUSS in July 2020. Following her internship, Joyinola returned to the MCP as Legal and Policy Assistant. In her new role, she is responsible for liaising with vulnerable clients, drafting Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) applications, referring cases for representation once ECF is obtained and general legal and admin support. Until recently, she managed referrals into the MCP’s EUSS project and facilitated the allocation of cases to team members.
Joyinola is passionate about human rights advocacy at domestic, regional and international levels. Prior to joining CCLC, she interned at the Immigration Advice Service and volunteered with Islington Law Centre, where she was exposed to various aspects of the UK immigration system and its impact on vulnerable people. She has also previously completed an internship with the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, where she advocated for the rights of human rights defenders at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Joyinola holds an LLB Law degree and an MSc in EU Politics. Alongside her work at the MCP, she is currently undertaking the Bar Practice Course at the University of Law, London with a view to becoming an immigration, asylum and human rights barrister.
Stewart MacLachlan, Senior legal and policy officer
Stewart MacLachlan is Senior Legal and Policy Officer for the Migrant Children’s Project, part of Coram Children’s Legal Centre. He leads on the project’s training and legal guidance, as well as contributing to the policy work of the project. He is co-author of Seeking Support (fifth edition), a guide to working with separated children and young people.
Stewart is a practising Scottish solicitor, qualifying in 2010, and was accredited as a level 2 supervisor under the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme in England. He previously worked at an immigration firm in Nottingham, and worked for over 4 years in law centres in Scotland. He is on the Board of Trustees at the Scottish Child Law Centre.
Antonella Stonehouse, Children in care immigration adviser
Nisa Tanin, Solicitor
Nisa is an accredited solicitor, specialising in immigration, asylum and nationality law.
She has experience working with children, young people and families at various stages of the immigration and asylum process, including initial applications, fresh claims, appeals and judicial reviews.
Nisa is committed to assisting vulnerable clients and has represented victims of human rights abuses, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, victims of trafficking and those with mental health difficulties. She trained at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors in immigration detention, police law and inquests. She qualified in 2016 and has since been practising immigration and asylum law. Nisa joined CCLC, originally as part of the Migrant Children’s Project, in July 2019.
Nisa is a native Dari/Farsi speaker and fluent in French.
Youth Rights Trainers
Sheree Clark, Legal cashier/Colchester office manager
Sheree Clark is Legal Cashier and Colchester Office Manager. Sheree joined Coram Children’s Legal Centre in 2008 as an accounts assistant for the charity. Sheree has a number of years’ experience and has spent her career in finance-based roles. In 2011 Sheree took over the role of Legal Cashier for CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit and in January 2014 has taken on the additional role of Office Manager of CCLC’s Colchester office.
Sam McDonald-Tavernier, Legal administrator
Maddy Verrier, Receptionist/Administrator
Maddy Verrier is Receptionist/Administrator for Coram Children’s Legal Centre Colchester office. She joined the charity 2015 where she has completed her NVQ in Business & Administration. Maddy works alongside Sheree in the Finance Office and is the voice you will hear when you contact the Colchester office.