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Charity directors

Learn more about the Law Society Charity trustees:

Company secretary: Vincent Barry

Trustee biographies

Sara Chandler

Sara is visiting professor of clinical legal education at London South Bank University. She is a supervising solicitor for student volunteers in the University's Legal Advice Clinic, which provides free legal advice to the public.

Her practice is in housing law (landlord & tenant) and she works with two solicitor colleagues in the Legal Advice Clinic, a social welfare law practice, giving advice on employment, asylum and immigration and social security.

Sara has general experience in training international pro bono lawyers, and a particular interest in Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria where she has worked with local Law Societies, Law Schools, NGO's and others in establishing networks of legal aid providers, and legal aid schemes.

She is an active member of CLEO (the Clinical Legal Education Organisation) and participates in the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conferences. She also participates in the Global Alliance for Justice Education, Society of Legal Scholars and the Association of Law Teachers. Her special interest is in the teaching of ethics.

Her education was at Swansea University, Newcastle University, London School of Economics, South Bank Polytechnic, and City Polytechnic. She completed articles and 3 years PQE in legal aid firms (Glazer Delmar in Peckham, and HCL Hanne & Co in Battersea), returning to the Law Centre movement before joining the College in 2003. In 2012 she joined London South Bank University

Sara is a member of the Law Society Council and Chair of the Law Society Human Rights Committee with responsibility for Colombia. She led the UK section of an international delegation of lawyers to Colombia in August 2008, 2010 and 2012 to investigate the situation of human rights' lawyers, and is the current chair of the Colombia Caravana, a charity formed to support human rights lawyers in Colombia.

Sara is president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federation of European Bar Associations, which represents over 800,000 European lawyers

Sara is a trustee of the Graham Turnbull Trust, Central London Law Centre and is the Law Society´s nominee on the Board of Trustees of the Access to Justice Foundation.

David Merkel

David Merkel was admitted as a solicitor in 1976. He has over 21 years of experience in local government statutory law enforcement, specialising in environmental health and related matters.

David is now a consultant trainer, lecturer and regular conference speaker. He is a visiting lecturer at King's College, London, and the Universities of Wales, Salford, Edinburgh, Greenwich and City College Norwich. He is a course presenter for the Law Society's Local Government Group and at Nottingham City Council, Guildford Borough Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council.

He is also a consultant trainer to the Combined Services Training Unit at Ash Vale, Aldershot.

David is accredited as a teacher in further and higher education with the experience of setting and marking degree level papers. He is a council member of the Law Society.

Geoffrey Sandercock

Geoffrey was appointed a trustee of the charity in 2002 and was a Law Society council member between 1995 and 2006.

Admitted in 1973, he became a partner in 1974 and senior partner from 1987 to 2006 at a high street practice in Gwent with six branch offices and extensive legal aid involvement.

He has been a children panel member from 1986, and qualified for advocacy rights in the higher courts for civil proceedings in 2002. He practised mainly in civil litigation and public law children cases with some probate and trusts.

Geoffrey has also served as honorary secretary to Monmouthshire Law Society from 1985 to 1995, and became its president in 2000.

He also sat as the chair of the Practice Management Committee from 1996 to 1998, and was vice chair of the Audit Committee from 1999 to 2002, as well as treasurer and main board member from 2002 to 2005.

Geoffrey was the director of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund between 2004 and 2006 and a lay member of the disciplinary appeals committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants between 2005 to 2006.

Since leaving the Council he has continued to act as the chair of the Higher Courts Advocacy Rights Appeals Committee.

Geoffrey sat as a deputy district judge from 1993 and was appointed full-time district judge in 2006. He sits in south east Wales dealing with civil and family cases.

Nicola Evans

Nicola was appointed a Law Society Charity trustee in 2009.

She trained at Herbert Smith, qualifying as a solicitor in 1996 into the Trusts and Charities group there. Since 2005, Nicola has been the lawyer for the Charities group at charity law specialists Bircham Dyson Bell.

Nicola was elected to the executive committee of the Charity Law Association in 2008. She is a regular contributor of articles and commentary to journals and the legal press on charity law issues.

Alison Stanley

Alison is a partner in Bindmans LLP specialising in immigration law, about which she has lectured and trained extensively.

She has written numerous articles on immigration issues and co-wrote 'Putting Children First – a guide for immigration practitioners'(LAG 2002).

She is a founder member of the Refugee Women's Legal Group and of the Law Society's Immigration Law Committee and is the immediate past chair.

Alison was also a member of the advisory group that produced 'Working with children and young people subject to immigration control: guidelines for best practice '(ILPA 2004), co-wrote 'Representation at Immigration Appeals: a Best Practice Guide' (ILPA 2005) and was a member of the advisory group for the policy paper 'When is a child not a child? Asylum, age disputes and the process of age assessment' (ILPA 2007).

She is chair of the Immigrants Aid Trust and the vice-chair of Paddington Arts.

Contact us

For further information about the Law Society Charity, please contact the Company Secretary, Andrew Dobson, 020 7316 5631 or email us:

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