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.

Email: mickael.laurans@lawsociety.org.uk

Debra joined the team in August 2023. She's responsible for the rule of law and human rights team at the Law Society. This work supports lawyers and human rights defenders at risk around the world. It also conducts capacity building and training for lawyers, civil society organisations and other human rights defenders to enhance their human rights and rule of law work.

Debra is a UK-qualified solicitor specialised in international human rights and holds a PhD in human rights law from the University of Bristol, UK.

Since 2000, Debra has worked globally to promote the implementation of human rights. Before joining the Law Society, Debra was deputy director of the Human Rights Implementation Centre at the University of Bristol, UK. She has also worked as a legal and policy adviser at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and as head of the UN and legal programme at the Association for the Prevention of Torture in Geneva, Switzerland. As well as conducting advocacy at the UN and regional human rights systems, Debra has led international research projects and published widely on international human rights, including on the prevention of torture, the implementation of human rights decisions and the African human rights system.

Email: debra.long@lawsociety.org.uk

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.

Email: donna.evans@lawsociety.org.uk

Will joined the international team in January 2023.

Prior to joining the Law Society, he worked in Beijing for five years on trade policy and market access, first as a policy analyst at the British Chamber of Commerce in China and then in the research team at Deloitte China.

Will holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from LSE and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Email: will.miller@lawsociety.org.uk

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.

Email: marco.cillario@lawsociety.org.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.

Email: michael.padua@lawsociety.org.uk

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.

Email: preeti.sawhney@lawsociety.org.uk

Arthur joined the Law Society in June 2022.

As a policy assistant, he works closely with the policy advisers responsible for monitoring and responding to important regulatory developments affecting our members across Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Americas.

Prior to joining the Law Society, Arthur worked as a Researcher at the Legal 500, a global rankings firm based in London.

He holds a master's degree in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Kent.

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