JLD committee members

The following people are members of the JLD Committee:

Email juniorlawyers@lawsociety.org.uk to contact the executive committee.

Find out how to join the JLD committee

The following are JLD representatives on the Law Society Council:

Every month, the Law Society Gazette publishes an article written by a member of the Junior Lawyers Division. Read the Gazette articles.

Committee members

Charlotte Parkinson – chair

Charlotte ParkinsonCharlotte is an associate at Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds, specialising in commercial litigation. Before qualifying, Charlotte graduated from the University of Huddersfield's masters in law and practice course and then worked for three years as a paralegal before training at a regional firm. Charlotte then moved to Addleshaw Goddard on qualification.

Charlotte was previously a member of the JLD executive committee for three years and, after taking one year out, was re-elected as vice chair. She looks forward to continuing working hard to represent junior lawyers during her year as chair (2019/2020).

Manda Banerji – vice chair

Manda BanerjiManda studied biology at Nottingham University before completing her GDL and LPC at Nottingham Law School. After graduating, Manda started her legal career at a niche licensing firm in Nottingham where she worked as a paralegal for just over a year. Manda then moved to a regional firm in Nottingham where she trained and later qualified as a dispute resolution solicitor in 2015. Manda now specialises in construction dispute resolution at Freeths LLP.

Manda was actively involved with the Nottinghamshire Junior Lawyers Division for three years, initially sitting on the committee as marketing representative and subsequently on the JLD national committee as the representative for Nottinghamshire before being elected to the executive committee in 2017.

Manda is passionate about improving the profession for the JLD's members and is looking forward to working with the rest of the executive committee over the next two years to continue the JLD's significant policy work.

Adam Hattersley

Adam HattersleyAdam graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2010 before going on to achieve a distinction in his LPC at the College of Law, Manchester.

Adam previously was a paralegal in Manchester at DWF LLP and BLM before starting his training contract with McHale & Co Solicitors in August 2014. During his training contract, Adam spent time in the commercial and property litigation departments.

Adam qualified as a solicitor in September 2016 and is a real estate finance solicitor at Fieldfisher's Manchester office.

Adam currently sits on the JLD's national executive committee. Previously Adam was an active member of the Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group holding the roles of the social secretary and small firm secretary and currently also sits as a general secretary for the Manchester Young Solicitors Group.

Greg Smith

Greg SmithGreg graduated from the University of Warwick in 2004 with a BSc in psychology. He then spent over a decade working for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, most recently as an analyst in the policy unit. He co-authored the final report of the Independent Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care (chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp), which has been credited with changing government policy.

Whilst at the RCPsych, Greg competed an MA in history and politics, an LLM in law and political justice and his GDL all on a part-time basis. He completed the LPC/LLM at the University of Law's Bloomsbury centre, and commenced his training contract with Hempsons Solicitors in September 2017. Greg qualified in 2019 and works in the healthcare advisory team.

Greg is a keen writer and has been published in the Guardian, the Independent and the Lancet (as well as various legal publications). He hopes to use his experience of developing, analysing and communicating policy to promote the interests and objectives of the JLD and the broader Law Society, especially with regard to the forthcoming Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

Leah Caprani

Leah CapraniLeah read law with Hispanic law at UCL and spent a year of her degree studying Spanish law at Universidad Carlos III Madrid. After completing the LPC at the University of Law, Leah embarked on two solo worldwide backpacking trips before joining her current firm, Winckworth Sherwood LLP, as a law costs draftsman in 2016.

Leah now works as a paralegal within the firm's employment department and won Paralegal of the Year at the National Paralegal Awards 2019. Leah organises monthly rent arrears, family law and employment law clinics at Citizens Advice Southwark and sits on Winckworth Sherwood LLP's CSR and social committees.

Leah was previously the student representative for the JLD executive committee before being re-elected. She is the sponsorship officer for the Westminster and Holborn Law Society. Leah is passionate about lawtech and is a member of Legal Geek's Women in Lawtech group.

Leah can be contacted by Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mollie Ferguson

Mollie FergusonOriginally from Northern Ireland, Mollie studied law and German law at the University of Kent, graduating in 2015. This programme included an Erasmus year abroad at the University of Marburg, Germany. She subsequently completed her LPC LLM at the University of Law, Guildford before commencing her training contract at Cripps LLP. Mollie qualified as a contentious trusts and probate solicitor in October 2018, and joined Thomson Snell & Passmore in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in July 2019.

Mollie has always had a keen interest in extra-curricular legal activities, holding a number of roles during her time at university. She was elected to the JLD executive committee in November 2018, having previously represented the Kent JLD on the national committee as president in 2017. Mollie is also on the council for Tunbridge Wells & Tonbridge District Law Society and the committee for Kent Law Society. In July 2019 she was appointed onto the Law Society's Women Lawyers Division, where she looks forward to representing female junior lawyers.

Mollie is also a mentor for university students in Canterbury and is passionate about helping to set them on their own legal paths.

Mollie can be contacted on Twitter or LinkedIn with any concerns or queries relating to junior lawyers.

Hannah Bignell

Hannah BignellHannah studied a three-year law degree at the University of Kent graduating in 2013 and completed her LPC LLM at the University of Law, Moorgate in 2018 before commencing her training contract at Fieldfisher LLP in London in 2018. Hannah is now a second-year trainee solicitor having completed seats in finance, employment and currently she sits in corporate.

Prior to her training contract, Hannah worked as a paralegal in the financial services regulation department at Macfarlanes LLP for two years and then at JP Morgan as a legal analyst in the futures and options department for a year.

Whilst at the University of Kent, Hannah was the founder and chair of the Kent Law Campaign Student Group, which raised over £50,000 towards building a legal advice clinic. Hannah was a Practical Law ambassador whilst at the University of Law and was on her firm's trainee social committee from September 2018 to September 2019.

Hannah currently gives ad hoc advice to pro bono clients at her firm and runs the CSR Reading Partners Scheme which involves her organising volunteers that read to children on a weekly basis at a local school. Hannah is also a mentor, particularly helping students interested in law, decide on their potential career routes.

Hannah is really pleased to be elected onto the JLD executive committee and is excited to work with the rest of the team. Hannah is particularly interested in improving mental health for junior lawyers.

Hannah can be contacted on LinkedIn.

Jonathan Hodge

Jonathan HodgeJonathan is a solicitor at a boutique commercial firm in Chelmsford, having qualified at a high street firm in October 2015. As he started his career working as a researcher and speech-writer in the Houses of Parliament, it is perhaps unsurprising that upon qualification as a solicitor Jonathan chose to apply his experience to dispute resolution.

Alongside his work, Jonathan has supported many law students in their efforts to access university and the legal profession, worked pro bono for local charities and residents, and trained multiple paralegals and trainees. For these ongoing efforts, Jonathan was named the Rising Star of the Year at the Modern Law Awards 2015, and in 2017 was Highly Commended as Junior Lawyer of the Year at both the Law Society Excellence Awards and the Solicitors’ Journal Awards.

Jonathan has obtained Higher Rights of Audience and considers greater integration between branches of the profession to be imperative for its future.

Oliver Grech

Oliver GrechOllie is a commercial property solicitor within the real estate and projects department of Devonshires LLP in the London office. He studied law at Keele University and completed his LPC at BPP in Cambridge.

Ollie has been involved with South Essex Junior Lawyers Division for the last three years, including a position as joint chairperson for two years. He is excited to get to work with the executive committee and represent junior lawyers across England and Wales.

Callum Reed – student representative

Callum ReedCallum studied law at the University of Exeter, completing the course in 2018. He is now studying the LPC LLM part-time at Cardiff University, alongside working at Geldards LLP as a knowledge management assistant.

Outside of work, Callum is an advocate for improving access to the profession. He is a brand ambassador for the Corporate Law Academy (a platform that helps students on their training contract journey) whilst also being an active member of Aspiring Solicitors.

Callum was recently appointed as the student representative for 2019-2020. He is looking forward to working with the team as he continues to ensure the profession is accessible to everyone – irrespective of their background.

Callum can be contacted via LinkedIn.

Council member profiles

Laura Uberoi (née McKoy)

Laura UberoiLaura is a real estate finance solicitor with Macfarlanes, having qualified with Farrer & Co in 2015. She was elected to the Law Society Council to represent qualified members of the JLD in July 2017 and is President of Westminster & Holborn Law Society.

Laura has Law degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Melbourne and completed her LPC at Kaplan Law School. As well as private practice, Laura has spent a significant amount of time as in-house counsel on secondment, and is keen to increase engagement between all junior solicitors developing their careers regardless of whether it is in private practice, in-house or otherwise.

Before her training contract, she worked with young people in detention facilities across the UK and separately on capital punishment cases for the Texas Defender Service in the USA. Laura is passionate about social mobility and access to justice – she mentors students to encourage participation in the profession and assists with local free legal advice centres. Laura has also lectured on human rights and war crimes in The Hague and taught law across the world, including in Cambridge and Melbourne.

Laura is very keen for all members of the Law Society to get in touch with any queries or suggestions and can be contacted via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.

James Kitching

James KitchingJames studied politics and American studies at the University of Nottingham, spending a year at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He completed his GDL and LPC at Bournemouth University.

He is a corporate finance solicitor at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and spent time on secondment at LV=. He previously worked as a paralegal in wills, trusts and probate, is a former president of the South Hampshire JLD and spent three years on the JLD's executive committee.

James has an interest in all things tech, especially developments relating to lawtech and how it will impact junior lawyers.

In July 2019, James was elected on to the Law Society Council as one of the two JLD (solicitor 0-5 years' PQE) Council member representatives.

Sinéad McGrath – LPC student/trainee representative

Sinéad McGrathSinéad studied geography at Edge Hill University before completing her GDL and part-time LPC at Liverpool John Moores University. Her interest in the energy sector led to Sinéad studying her LL.M focusing on the impact Brexit is set to have on the UK's energy sector.

Sinéad worked in a high street personal injury firm whilst studying her LPC, eventually progressing to a paralegal role at a national firm specialising in financial litigation. Sinéad is currently a paralegal at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP specialising in commercial real estate and has enjoyed the opportunity of a client secondment during her first year with the firm.

Sinéad was elected as student representative for the national JLD committee in 2017 and has spent two years in this role assisting the executive committee with events aimed at LPC students and graduates.

In June 2019 Sinéad was elected to the Law Society Council on behalf of LPC students and trainees for a two-year term. She looks forward to engaging with the exective committee of the JLD to ensure views are represented at Council.

Sinéad can be contacted via LinkedIn or Twitter to discuss any concerns members may have.

How to join the JLD committee

The JLD holds elections every year for positions on its executive committee. There are usually six vacancies, which include the position of vice chair, LPC student representative and four 'free' seats (not specifically designated seats). All the seats are for two years apart from the LPC student seat which is for one year.

Nominations open in September and usually close mid October with the new committee starting in mid November. Look out for information on the JLD website in September about the JLD committee elections.

The JLD Council member positions are managed through the Law Society’s governance team. Elections are not as frequent as for the JLD executive committee. Council seat vacancies will be advertised on the JLD website when they arise.