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South West London Law Centres is managed by an independent Board of Directors, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting from members of the public, or co-opted as necessary in accordance with our organisation’s Articles of Association.
The Board of Directors is required to have regard to the independent status of the Law Centre (as are all members of staff).
The Board of Directors has overall managerial responsibility for the Law Centre, its staff group, the services that are provided and all other legal responsibilities of the organisation. In practice, the staff are responsible for day-to-day management, subject to review and approval by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors usually meets every two months for formal meetings and at other times as necessary.
SWLLCs constitution is available upon request.
The Board of Directors elected to serve in 2016-2017 are:
James was appointed to the Board in February 2009 and has been Chair since January 2010. James' background in the advice sector includes work as Chief Executive at the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau (2006-2010), serving on the Board of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (2009), and on the Board of Lewisham CABx Service (2010 to date). James' governance experience includes establishing the Volunteer Centre for Tower Hamlets (in 2008), as well as Chairing the regional charity Greater London Volunteering (2003-2008) and serving on the Board of Wandsworth CVS (2006-2009).
In addition to being a former Wandsworth resident, James also has experience of working across the other boroughs covered by SWLLC having been the Volunteer Centre Manager in Richmond upon Thames (2003-2006), during which time he Chaired the sub-regional Volunteer Centre Network and sat on the South London Change Up Consortium. James is now Director at London Funders.
Was appointed to the Board in 2011, and has recently taken on the role of Treasurer. Peter is a Chartered Accountant who has extensive experience with law centres. He was Honorary Auditor of Brent Community Law Centre and has acted as auditor in the past for a number of other Law Centres. Peter has worked in a senior role in several posts within the voluntary and government sectors, most recently as Director of Special Projects in the Finance Services directorate of the Metropolitan Police and as Budget manager at the Greater London Authority. His previous posts include Finance Director of Centrepoint and Financial Controller of the Arts Council.
Peter has always combined his employment with voluntary sector work and as well as the Law Centre is also currently on the Board of the Ridiculusmus Theatre Company.
Derek Sutton has been involved with the various changes which the law centre service in Wandsworth and adjoining boroughs have undergone for the past 31 years. He has been Chair of the law centre and served on the board for most of these 31 years except for a break of 8 years as a Wandsworth Councillor. Currently Derek is Secretary of South West London Law Centres. Derek is also a representative of Battersea & Wandsworth TUC on the board.
Derek for the past 5 years has been employed by Peabody Housing as a Welfare Benefits Adviser. For the 12 years before that he was employed by Wandsworth CAB as a Generalist Adviser, Service Manager and Project Manager.
Carol joined the Board in 2012. Carol has extensive experience on managing service delivery and development. She was previously a service manager at Richmond Citizens Advice Bureaux Services, a Coordinator of a generalist advice service with community languages support as part of an advice services partnership in a London Borough. She is currently a Training and Development Officer with Bromley CAB. Carol is a Chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and specialises in human resources issues.
Dave joined the Board in 2012. Dave is an Administrative Officer working in the Central Family Court dealing with divorce cases. He has previous worked for government bodies including the Parole Board and the Home Office. He is a magistrate sitting in the south west London area.
Florence was appointed to the Board in May 2014 and has lived in Wandsworth for over a decade. She is a solicitor specialising in litigation and employment law, and now runs her own legal practice, Bellevue Law. Previously she worked for the international law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (1998-2006) and Debevoise & Plimpton (2006-2008), and was responsible for establishing and managing pro bono schemes at both firms. She has also been a lecturer at BPP law school (2008-2013). She is a past trustee of the Royal Courts of Justice Citizens Advice Bureau (2004-2008) and volunteered at legal advice clinics in both London and Hong Kong for many years.
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 sector - especially in the Middle East - and public sector - housing. Until his retirement in Dec 2013 he was head of the Dispute Resolution department and also a longstanding member of the firm's management board. Earlier in 2013 John was appointed as a Deputy District Judge sitting in London County Courts. He is also a member of the Human Resources sub committee.
Nirmalan was appointed to the Board in 2006 and was Treasurer from 2007-2012. He worked with a Refugee Community Organisation for 5 years as a Finance Manager. He holds an MBA and PG Dip in Charity Financial Management. He currently works as Head of Finance and Operations at SHARE Community Ltd, where he has been since 2007. He is skilled and experienced in strategic and operational planning, contract management, and leading the finance function. He also has an incisive grasp of finance, governance, a strategic mindset, an understanding of the development of growing organisations and an impressive array of generalist skills. He has a passion for enabling more people to turn their lives around.
Sarah was appointed to the Board in 2014. She is a partner in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team at Russell-Cooke LLP. Sarah manages five pro-bono personal injury and clinical negligence drop-in clinics at law centres and advises clients on a wide range of claims, including cases involving misdiagnosis of symptoms, negligent operations, road traffic accidents, work accidents and tripping accidents. Sarah also has a particular interest in claims against local authorities regarding failure to care for vulnerable adults and children.
Marion joined the board in 2015. She is a solicitor advocate with a background in commercial disputes. She currently works for Herbert Smith Freehills LLP where she manages their pro bono practice for the UK, US and EMEA. Using technology to support pro bono work in the access to justice field is a particular interest. She has lived in South West London for over 25 years. In her previous role as a commercial disputes lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP she was responsible for managing a number of their pro bono schemes including their Tuesday evening legal advice clinic at Tooting and then Croydon Law Centre where she was a regular advisor. Marion is also a member of the UK board of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.
Clara is a Trainee Solicitor at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP and is currently based in their Charities team. Prior to this Clara worked in project management at national charities such as Citizens Advice, Mind and The Prince's Trust. In her last role, Clara was the Contract Manager for the Witness Service which supports witnesses in all criminal courts in England and Wales.