I was deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Sir Henry Brooke. In recent months, Sir Henry had become a good friend of Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC).
I was in regular contact with Sir Henry in the run up to HCLC’s most recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was only held in December. Sir Henry praised the HCLC annual report I wrote and, on the day of the AGM, in an email exchange with him to confirm his taxi arrangements, I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to also read the line: “I have just transferred £1,000 gross to (HCLC’s) bank account, with best wishes“.
Sir Henry Brooke was witty, funny, brilliant, kind and clever and cared so much about access to justice for the poor. He also really “got” race equality at the Bar. I so enjoyed reading this excellent blogpost he wrote about the work he carried out as Chair of the Bar’s Race Relations Committee. I wish I had known him then.
HCLC Chair Ian Rathbone has paid tribute to Sir Henry on behalf of the team here.
We will miss Sir Henry Brooke very much.
Giving a thank you speech on Tuesday 5th December at the 2017 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards where Haringey Law Centre and Debevoise and Plimpton LLP won the Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership award for our disability benefits appeals project (photo credit: Matt Cetti-Roberts).
A real honour to be featured as the London School of Economics Department of Management‘s December 2017 ‘Alum of the Month’ and share with the LSE community how my MSc in International Employment Relations (grad 2003) has assisted my career. You can read my interview HERE.
A few months ago, I joined the advisory group of the Tottenham Community Press (TCP), a fresh, exciting, new, independent, high quality newspaper aiming to tell the stories of the vibrant Tottenham community their way. To celebrate its 1st birthday and promote its crowdfunding campaign, TCP has made a fantastic 4 minute video. I am one of the people interviewed. You can watch it HERE.
I spent a wonderful afternoon in Parliament on the 18th of July, leading a delegation from Hackney Community Law Centre to the House of Commons for the launch of the issue 3 of Proof Magazine – ‘Why legal aid matters‘.
The publication, produced by The Justice Gap (for whom I am a commissioning editor) and The Justice Alliance – a coalition of charities, community groups, legal campaigners and trade unions who campaign against Government cuts to legal aid – tells the story of why legal aid matters promoting the campaign to highlight the devastating impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), which was introduced by the former coalition government in 2012. The magazine was funded through a crowdfunding campaign I ran in June 2016.
It was wonderful that Julius Holgate, a Hackney Community Law Centre client, came up to Parliament with my colleagues and I to speak about his terrible experience with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Julius is a double amputee with no legs who had been assessed ‘fit for work’ by the DWP. The DWP had argued that because he had arms, he could use them to ‘climb’ stairs and so had ‘mobility’. When his benefits were cut, Julius fell into debt and had to pawn his jewellery to survive. It was only when Hackney Community Law Centre got involved – despite there being no legal aid funding to do so – that the DWP overturned this decision. Continue reading “Proof Magazine Launch in Parliament”