Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division Committee members
Chair: Koser Shaheen
Koser Shaheen is a Law Society Council member for the Ethnic Minorities Constituency. Her main role in this position is to represent and provide a voice for black and minority ethnic solicitors in England and Wales. Koser is also chair of the Law Society's Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division and a Law Society social mobility ambassador.
Koser has had an unconventional journey into law. She left school aged 11 and had no GCSEs or A levels. She went on to work as a mushroom picker, cleaner and clothes packer. She did not give up and finally won a place at university as a 32-year-old single mother. In 2007, Koser was awarded a first class law degree and went on to complete her training contract at a prestigious law firm. Koser's achievements in law have been widely recognised and she was included in the Debretts list of Most Influential Lawyers of 2017.
Vice-chair: Evelyn Ofori Koree
Evelyn is an award-winning solicitor-advocate (All Higher Courts) and principal of Descartes Solicitors. She graduated with a first class LLB (Hons) from London South Bank University and was a Wolfson Scholar of Lincoln's Inn, where she was also called to the Bar in 2001. Evelyn also holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge and is also an attorney of the State of New York, USA.
Evelyn was elected to the Law Society's Council in 2017 and is also a member of the Law Society's Immigration Law and Regulatory Processes Committees.
Council member: Nwabueze Nwokolo
Nwabueze was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1978, and as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1995. She was chair of the National Black Solicitors Network in 2010 and co-chair of the Minority Lawyers Conference 2010/2011. She is a certified mortgage specialist and holds the Institute of Financial Services’ Commercial and Mortgage Lending Diploma.
Sundeep specialises in employment law and has his own law practice, Beaumonde Law Practice, in Harrow, North London. He also handles privately funded criminal defence work and road traffic matters. He is both a solicitor advocate with higher rights of audience in the criminal courts and an accredited mediator.
From 1995 to 2018 he was a duty solicitor at police stations and magistrates courts. He sits on the Employment Law Committee of the Law Society and has been a Law Society Council member, for the Minority Ethnic Constituency, since 2010.
Sundeep was the first BAME solicitor, of the modern era, to chair a Law Society board, the Regulatory Affairs Board, from 2016 to 2018. He was also chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers from 2008 to 2010. Sundeep is married to Namita and has twins, a boy and a girl.
Angeli is a solicitor at Keoghs Solicitors and vice-chair of the Hindu Lawyers Association. Her primary role on the committee is to promote the interests of Hindu lawyers and encourage them to engage with the Law Society. She also has a strong interest in supporting south Asian women in the profession.
Michael is a solicitor advocate at Lincolns Solicitors and heads the criminal law department. Michael has extensive experience in all areas of criminal law, regularly appearing in magistrates and Crown Courts. He has expertise in representing young people and his unique approach helps achieve the best for his clients. Michael is a representative of the British Nigerian Law Forum on the Ethnic Minority Law Division of the Law Society.
Outside of his legal work, he is a councillor for the London Borough of Southwark where he has helped drive changes to the use of stop and search powers locally.
Akilah Jeffers is an in-house risk and compliance lawyer at Clyde & Co. She trained at Clifford Chance where she undertook an international secondment in Hong Kong.
Akilah is very passionate about diversity and equality issues, and is a committee member of the BAME caucus at her firm. A former secondary school teacher, Akilah is also a school governor. In her spare time, Akilah enjoys travelling and teaching dance.
Hekim Hannan is an associate solicitor and costs lawyer at Browne Jacobson based in Nottingham. He has previously been chair of the Junior Lawyers Division, chair of the University of Law’s Student Associate Governing Board and is currently a committee member of Nottingham Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Committee.
He has a strong interest in social mobility and equality. Outside of work, he enjoys running and completed four marathons last year.
Susanta is a solicitor-advocate and director-owner of SKB Legal. He practises all aspects of criminal defence work including regulatory and business crime having done so at various national law firms.
Over the years he has carefully followed the interests of young people particularly those suffering with mental health issues to offer support. In addition he has worked closely with community centres, outreach programmes including temples and other local agencies, assisting those from minority groups. He has also recently given talks on an Asian radio forum to explain financial orders and court enforcement procedures. He is passionate about promoting the interests and concerns of BAME lawyers countrywide.
Ruihua is a senior in-house lawyer at Tradeweb Europe Limited, an electronic trading platform provider for financial products. She is also vice-chair of the UK Society of Chinese Lawyers. Born and bred in Shanghai, China, Ruihua underwent a remarkable transition from a Chinese lawyer to an English solicitor at the age of 30.
Having trained at a top law firm, Linklaters, she understood the challenges in admission and career progression faced by ethnic minority law students/lawyers and aims to help others in similar situations.
Dr Sam De Silva
Dr Sam De Silva is a partner at CMS, based in London. Sam specialises in complex and strategic IT, outsourcing and telecommunication projects and regularly advises on data protection, privacy and cyber-security issues. Sam is the Law Society’s representative on both the EU Commission’s Expert Group on Cloud Computing Contracts and the IT Law Committee of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).
Sam is a former chair of the Law Society’s Technology and Law Committee and is on the Data Law Committee of the City of London Law Society. Sam is recognised as a leading individual for IT in the most recent edition of the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories. Sam is named in the Who’s Who of Information Technology 2020, the Who’s Who of Data Privacy and Protection 2020, and the Who’s Who of Data Security 2020.
He has also been listed in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Global Elite 2020. As well as being a qualified English law solicitor, Sam is also a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia, having worked at leading law firms in New Zealand and Australia for five years. Sam is passionate about BAME issues and is one of the BAME Partner Champions at CMS.