About the international team

We work to represent, support and promote the interests of our members across the globe.

Our work includes:

  • supporting liberalisation of the global legal profession
  • lobbying foreign governments on behalf of our members to increase access or protect their rights
  • working with our counterparts globally, including other law societies and bar associations
  • practical support, training, events, information and advice for member firms and individuals exploring international opportunities
  • promoting England and Wales as the global jurisdiction of choice – promoting English legal services and the rule of law
  • defending human rights, especially protecting lawyers and their right to practise law

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Meet the team

Find out more about our team and contact us.

Mickaël LauransBefore his current position as head of our international department, Mickaël worked as head of the Law Societies' Brussels Office since April 2012.

He spent nine years as policy manager in the international department of the Law Society of England and Wales in London, where he worked on international trade issues and the EU internal market in legal services.


Donna EvansDonna leads a team of five regional policy advisers and three policy assistants. They’re responsible for monitoring and engaging in international regulatory developments that affect the legal profession. 

With over 10 years’ experience working in the international legal sector, Donna is an expert on international trade policy, market access and trade promotion.

Donna is a fluent Mandarin speaker, having studied modern Chinese studies at Leeds University. Before joining the Law Society, she worked in international policy since 2006 for the UK government. 

She’s been responsible for several regional portfolios including Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and, most recently, North Asia and the Pacific. She previously managed the lord chancellor's programme for young Chinese lawyers (LCTS) at the Law Society.


Marina BrilmanMarina holds a PhD in law from the London School of Economics (LSE), an LLM from University College London, and a master’s degree in law from the University of Leiden.

She was previously leading articles editor at the Leiden Journal of International Law and LLM adviser at the LSE, where she also taught property law to undergraduates.

Marina is a qualified solicitor/barrister in the Netherlands where she practised in litigation, international arbitration and commercial law as a senior associate at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (previously Linklaters & Alliance).

She was a board member and Latin America programme director of the Dutch NGO Lawyers for Lawyers, a visiting professor at the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia (teaching public international law and human rights to postgraduates), and worked for three years as a staff attorney of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Marina has published on human rights in English and Spanish and is a contributor to the International Law Reports, published by Cambridge University Press, on the Inter-American Court’s case law. 


Marco CillarioMarco joined the team in April 2020. He’s responsible for building and managing relationships with bar associations, law societies, firms, businesses and governments across Europe as well as supporting members accessing European markets and with our Brexit strategy.

He was previously chief correspondent at Legal Business magazine, covering the UK and international legal industries.

Marco holds a degree in philosophy and worked in Italy and Germany before moving to the UK.


Michael PaduaMichael joined the Law Society as international policy adviser for Europe in April 2020.

Before this, he was director of the Office of the Province of Alberta at the Canadian High Commission in London. The Alberta Office promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment links between the province and the UK and Ireland. In this capacity, Michael sat on the board of directors of the Canada UK Chamber of Commerce.

Michael worked for the government of Alberta for 16 years in areas including trade policy, US and Americas relations, advocacy, international policy and investment attraction.

Michael holds MBA degrees from the University of Alberta in Canada and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.


Catherine BrimsCatherine joined the team in August 2018. Before joining the Law Society, she was the programme coordinator for the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

She also has experience as a research officer and administrator in international law, having worked with the Law Council of Australia’s International Law and Business Law Sections, its International Division, and the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association.

Catherine has a Bachelor of Economics and an LLB (H) from the Australian National University. She’s an Australian-qualified legal practitioner, and entitled to practise in the Australian Capital Territory. 


Preeti SawhneyPreeti joined our international team in February 2020.

Before joining the Law Society, she was a trade commissioner (trade policy and market access) with the High Commission of Canada in India, responsible for its international business development programme, with particular responsibility for covering trade policy, market access and government-to-government bilateral instruments.

With over 12 years’ experience working in diplomatic missions, international organisations and the private sector, Preeti is an expert on development of market opportunities, international trade policy and market access.

She holds a masters degree in commerce from the University of Delhi, a postgraduate diploma in human resource management from Symbiosis University, India and a certificate in international trade from the Forum of International Trade Training, Canada. She has also pursued a diploma in French language from Alliance Française de Delhi.


Nathaniel HaywardNathaniel joined our international team in October 2019. In his role as policy assistant, he supports the policy advisers for the Americas and the Caribbean and Africa and the Middle East.

Before joining the Law Society, Nathaniel worked at the Britain-Australia Society based in Australia House, London.

He has a BSc (Econ) in international relations from Aberystwyth University and an MA in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth.


Serena ReynellSerena joined the Law Society in January 2020 and has experience working across commercial and charity sectors. Serena supports our work on human rights and the liberalisation of the legal sector in China.

She also supports our programmes manager, Lizzette Robleto De Howarth, on our Women in Law, Lawyers at Risk and Rule of Law programmes.

Serena has a degree in sociology and social policy from the University of Nottingham and has worked on high profile events such as the Nato Summit.


Joanna WalshJoanna has experience in the finance industry, where she was an underwriting team leader for GE Money Home Lending for six years.

She has also worked for a high street bank (NatWest) and a foreign international bank (Europe Arab Bank PLC) in Moorgate in various roles.

Before joining the Law Society, she worked in the public sector for local government (Barnet) as business support for a busy department within social services, supporting a team and as head of service for seven years.

Outside work, she has a keen interest in charity work and is a volunteer and ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital.


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