Congratulations to our Legal Heroes 2024 shortlist

Legal Heroes is an opportunity to recognise the solicitors who have made the biggest difference to the lives of others, their local communities and society. We're proud to announce the shortlist of those who have made a lasting and tangible impact and brought distinction to the profession.

Sharon Benning is a white woman with long, wavy dark hair. She is smiling and wears a dark blazer and earrings.
Why Sharon was shortlisted

Sharon founded Justice in Fashion, an organisation that aims to mitigate the exploitation of women in the garment industry post-COVID. She dedicated her time and efforts to make sure the organisation achieved its vision and mission successfully. Sharon is also actively involved in anti-slavery and women's empowerment initiatives, volunteering and advocating for public awareness and legislative reforms to better serve survivors of domestic abuse and modern slavery.

Kishma Bolaji is a black woman with long braided black hair. She is smiling widely and wearing a black-and-white patterned blouse.
Why Kishma was shortlisted
Kishma's commitment to Birmingham Black Lawyers (BBL) has meant it has reached national prominence over the years. BBL promotes diversity and provides opportunities for aspiring black legal professionals. Her remarkable work has helped countless individuals secure work placements, training contracts and mini pupillages. Her dedication and influence are an inspiration, showcasing the power of hard work and determination.

Pauline Campbell is a black woman with mid-length, straight black hair. She is smiling and wears a black t-shirt and a silver locket necklace.
Why Pauline was shortlisted
Pauline is a principal lawyer, a published social justice author and a Windrush advocate. She chairs the Race Equality Network, created the Safe Space Clinic and worked on the ethnicity pay gap, mentoring and appraisal scrutiny groups. Pauline's pro bono work includes providing free legal advice to Windrush victims and as the legal adviser for Justice4Windrush.

Charlotte Clewes is a white woman with short, straight light brown hair. She is smiling widely and wears a white blouse.
Why Charlotte was shortlisted
Charlotte has passionately championed neurodiversity, dedicating her time and expertise to both the legal profession and broader society. She tirelessly advocates for neuroinclusion, extending beyond her 'day job' to voluntary work, social media advocacy and public speaking. Despite challenges, she fearlessly stands for neurodivergent empowerment, reflecting profound dedication and altruism.

Concetta Dalziel is a white woman with short, curly dark brown hair. She is smiling and wears a black-and-white tartan shirt, dark framed glasses and long dangly earrings, composed of pink circles, black triangles and yellow squiggles.
Why Concetta was shortlisted
Concetta has become a prominent advocate for neurodiversity in law after being diagnosed with autism in 2022 during her legal training. As co-chair of the Pinsent Masons Neurodiversity Network and Legal Neurodiversity Network, she's raised awareness through speaking engagements and co-organising events, notably contributing to the Buckland Review of Autism Employment. Concetta's personal journey inspires others and drives tangible change.

Tamara Egbedi is a black woman with short, straight black hair. She is smiling and stands with her arms crossed, wearing a white suit with a silver bangle and gold and silver rings.
Why Tamara was shortlisted
Tamara used her legal expertise to set up two organisations – Perceval and Knights Foundation and PachaMama Foods – to combat malnutrition in Nigeria. They provide vital support for communities where poverty, malnutrition and gender inequity are commonplace. Tamara's work has helped significantly decrease malnutrition rates, increase student retention and create job opportunities for local farmers and cooks.

Alexia Eliades is a tanned woman with long, straight black hair. She is smiling widely and wears a black cap-sleeve dress and a variety of silver earings.
Why Alexia was shortlisted
Alexia is a pivotal figure for both legal and charitable causes. She advocates for diversity, equality and inclusion and is an influential figure for change. Alexia founded a mental health network and contributes to strategies with global reach. She works tirelessly making impactful contributions, with volunteer posts at GOSH and Blood Cancer UK.

Stephen Kinsella is a white man with closely cropped dark hair. He is smiling widely and wears a black pinstriped suit and a blue-and-white striped open collar shirt.
Why Stephen was shortlisted
Stephen co-founded Law for Change to support people who would not otherwise be able to access justice. The initiative, combining philanthropy and strategic legal approaches, has enabled important cases to be heard. Through his work, Stephen exemplifies the profound impact that one individual, armed with compassion, expertise and determination, can have on the lives of many.

Andrew MacLeod is a white man with short, straight brown hair. He is smiling and wears a dark navy suit with an open-collar white shirt.
Why Andrew was shortlisted
Andrew revolutionised efforts to tackle overseas sexual abuse, securing parentage declarations and support orders through a team of pro bono lawyers. His tireless commitment, spanning continents and personal resources, has brought fundamental changes to affected children's lives and systemic deterrence against future abuses.

Kevin McManamon is a white man with short, wavy auburn hair tinged with grey. He is smiling widely and wears a navy suit, open collar white shirt and a gold chain.
Why Kevin was shortlisted
Kevin's dedication to supporting families with special educational needs and disabilities shines through his pro bono work, workshops, webinars and offering vital legal guidance and empowerment. Being partially sighted himself, Kevin has a genuine appreciation of the difficulties faced by both children and adults with disabilities. He mentors colleagues and provides free training, embodying resilience and compassion, significantly impacting countless lives.

Duncan McNair is a white man with short dark grey hair. He is smiling and wears a dark grey suit over an open-collar white shirt.
Why Duncan was shortlisted
Duncan has lead groundbreaking efforts to protect all vertebrate species, including Asian elephants, and combat dangers to humans. Through Save The Asian Elephants, he mobilised global support, resulting in the landmark Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act. Duncan's personal commitment, spanning media engagement, political lobbying and legal expertise, has been instrumental, dedicating hundreds of hours annually since 2014.

Hilary Meredith-Beckham is a white woman with long, straight blonde hair. She is smiling widely and wears a dark grey suit over a white open-collar shirt.
Why Hilary was shortlisted
Hilary's groundbreaking legal work for armed forces members spans landmark cases, campaigns and support initiatives. With over 1,000 hours of pro bono support in two years, she leads trials against the Ministry of Defence, advocates for veterans wrongly accused of war crimes and creates systemic change for better post-service support.

Reena Parmar is a woman of South Asian heritage with long, straight dark brown hair. She is smiling widely and wears a navy jacket, dark-framed glasses and a gold chain necklace.
Why Reena was shortlisted
Reena is the chair of the Law Society's Disabled Solicitors Network and a leading figure in promoting disability and neuroinclusion in the legal profession. She mentors and supports others while raising awareness through panels, legal press articles, networking and social media. Her influence extends beyond the profession as she also seeks to drive inclusive change in the financial services industry.

Kirsty Richards is a white woman with long, straight blonde hair. She is smiling and wears a black sleeveless top with a ribbon of gold medals around her neck.
Why Kirsty was shortlisted
Kirsty is an exceptional legal professional who is committed to making a positive impact. As the director and head of family at the National Legal Service (NLS), she provides legal aid advice for domestic abuse cases in England. Kirsty conducts pro bono work, runs a prison family law advice clinic and established an academy within NLS. She regularly shares her knowledge through publishing articles and webinars, inspiring aspiring legal professionals.

Siobhan Taylor-Ward is a white woman with long, wavy blonde hair. She wears a pastel blue and pink patterned shirt, a silver septum piercing, a silver lip piercing and a silver chain necklace
Why Siobhan was shortlisted
Siobhan's legal expertise has helped secure necessary changes and support for those affected by housing issues and homelessness in Liverpool, including securing an ombudsman decision and numerous successful legal challenges. Apart from her relentless efforts on behalf of her clients, she has also collaborated with other organisations, such as healthcare professionals and front-line advice and support organisations who assist the city's homeless population, to bring the council's attention to structural issues within its housing division.

Michelle Waite is a white woman with short, wavy dark brown hair. She is smiling and wears a houndstooth jacket with dark-framed glasses and red lipstick.
Why Michelle was shortlisted
Michelle established the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) Clinic at the Liverpool John Moores University, helping clients access the civil legal aid scheme. She has a 100% success rate in applications submitted to the Legal Aid Agency. Michelle is a role model who has devoted much of the last 10 years of her career to working on ECF, including completing doctoral research alongside part-time practice as a legal aid housing solicitor.

Michael Walker is a white man with cropped dark blonde hair. He is smiling and wears a dark grey suit, white shirt and grey and purple patterned tie.
Why Michael was shortlisted
Michael's London Irish Lawyers Association Trailblazer Programme aims to improve social mobility by providing young people in Ireland from lower income backgrounds with insight into a legal career. Despite his job as a commercial dispute solicitor, he has created opportunities for young people to showcase their talents. His dedication to pro bono and community work is exemplary and inspiring.

Jonathan Whettingsteel is a white man with cropped dark brown hair and a short brown beard. He is smiling widely and wears a navy suit, white shirt and a dark blue, white and red striped tie.
Why Jonathan was shortlisted
Jonathan's immense impact spans legal advocacy, community engagement and mentoring. He invests time in family law, mentors students and fundraises for Romsey Opportunity Group. He spearheaded Winchester University's pro bono clinic, advocates for grandparental rights and fosters a supportive culture within his firm.

Khalil Yousuf is a man with short, wavy black hair. He is smiling widely and wears a light brown suit and a white open collar shirt.
Why Khalil was shortlisted
Khalil's pro bono work supporting refugees in Thailand and Sri Lanka has had a significant positive impact on more than 1,300 refugees fleeing persecution in Southeast Asia. He has spearheaded training, met with UNHCR officials and influenced policy revisions, offering hope and practical support. Khalil's selfless commitment, exceeding 500 annual hours, epitomises his dedication to justice beyond his legal role.
Looking up to your stars
Looking up to your stars
Two solicitors smile and talk at a conference.
Two solicitors smile and talk at a conference.