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Staff

Sue James, Director

Sue  joined the law centre in 2007. She is Director and solicitor at Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre and a specialist in housing law. Sue has worked in a number of law centres and private practice where she has specialised in advising vulnerable clients in possession proceedings. She continues to be an advocate on duty possession days at the county court.

In 2017 Sue won the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY`s) Outstanding Achievement Award. She is a founding trustee at Ealing Law Centre which opened in 2013 and is joint vice chair of Law Centre Network. 

Sue also writes a regular column for Legal Action Magazine and writes articles for other journals. View examples of her work. She is co-editor of the Legal Aid Handbook 20/21.

In 2018/19 Sue travelled through Australia and Canada as part of her Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship looking at Health/Justice Partnerships and other multi-disciplinary ways to deliver legal services.

Housing Team

Sara Taylor, Housing Solicitor

Sara is the Housing Team Leader. She has worked in Law Centres since she was a trainee and has practised as a housing solicitor for 12 years.
Sara’s practice covers all areas of possession and homelessness. She also regularly gives training to third sector organisations. She is a very experienced advocate and appears as the duty solicitor at Wandsworth County Court. Sara has a particular specialism in human rights and public law defences and in representing clients with mental health problems.

Renata Burns, Housing Solicitor

Renata joined HFLC in 2016.

Renata completed her training contract at a leading legal aid firm in London, where she specialised in housing and community care law. She has extensive experience of assisting vulnerable clients in possession proceedings and regularly represents defendants as an advocate at housing possession court duty schemes. Additionally Renata is knowledgeable in all aspects of homelessness law and in assisting clients in homelessness-related judicial review proceedings.

Renata is a committee member of Junior Housing Lawyers Practitioners Association.

Poppy Bourke, Housing Solicitor

Poppy joined HFLC in 2018. She advises clients on a wide range of issues including homelessness, possession proceedings, disrepair and judicial review. Poppy has a particular interest in the provision of accommodation and support for children and young people. 

Poppy recently took a sabbatical to volunteer for the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, where she assisted with a desk review of Cambodian Domestic Legislation and its compliance with International Law, and helped draft a response to the Royal Government of Cambodia’s submissions made to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Poppy volunteers at the London South Bank University Advice Clinic.

Immigration Team

Farah Palekar, Supervising Solicitor, Immigration

Farah joined the law centre in June 2020. Having been qualified now for over ten years, she has gained experience in a wide variety of complex cases within the different areas of Immigration law.

Experienced and willing to act under extreme time pressures her aim is to ensure that justice is achieved for her vulnerable clients.

Farah is a member of the Law Society, authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is accredited as a Senior immigration Law practitioner as well as a Senior Immigration Supervisor.

Farah further has significant experience dealing with clients in detention, those claiming asylum, unaccompanied minors, victims of domestic violence and those who have psychological issues including victims of torture and trafficking. She has previously been an important part of the legal team that has embarked upon a series of judicial review claims challenging the Detained Fast Track scheme.

Rajwinder Sahota, Immigration Solicitor

Raj joined the Law Centre in August 2017. She is an accredited Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme. She specialises in complex asylum and human rights claims, trafficking cases, and applications based on domestic violence. She has experience of litigation in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber as well as bringing judicial review challenges.

Raj read law at the University of East Anglia and holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham. Her interest in human rights theory and practice led to attend a summer programme on ‘International Human Rights Law’ at Oxford University and volunteer as a Country Coordinator for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua at Amnesty International UK. I am an accredited supervisor.

Deborah Acquaah, Immigration Caseworker

Deborah joined the law centre in January 2020. She is leading our EU Settlement Scheme project assisting clients, particularly vulnerable individuals, to submit applications for immigration status.

Employment Team

Charlotte Harwood, Employment Solicitor

Charlotte joined the H&FLC in January 2021. Prior to joining, she practiced as an employment solicitor at Plumstead Community Law Centre in South-East London.

Charlotte’s practice covers the breadth of employment law. Within this, she specialises in claims of discrimination and harassment in employment. She regularly advises clients on issues such as race, pregnancy and maternity discrimination and sex discrimination.

Her current practice includes advising clients on claims arising from coronavirus, including health and safety related dismissals, furlough related problems and redundancies.

Charlotte advises on the sexual harassment advice line for the charity Rights of Women. She is an active member of ELAN, the London-based Employment Law Advice Network. This includes being on their working group examining plans for a Single Enforcement Body for employment rights. She is also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Discrimination Law Association.

Alexandra Goldenberg, Trainee Solicitor

Alex joined HFLC in January 2020.

Alex is a trainee solicitor and has joined the Law Centre as part of the Legal Education Foundation’s Justice First Fellowship.

Prior to joining the Law Centre Alex has experience working as a paralegal in housing, immigration and asylum law.

Finance and Administration

Brianna Hendry, Finance Officer

Brianna joined HFLAW in 2017.

She relocated to the UK from Australia in 2012, and gained experience in various finance roles before joining the law centre.

Simone McGlynn, Receptionist

Simone joined HFLC in 2008. She is the first point of contact for all our visitors.

Simone has travelled extensively and worked in many other industries. Her last role was as a receptionist for a private immigration solicitor.

Bianca Hines, Office Administrator

Bianca joined the law centre in October 2019. Prior to joining the law centre Bianca has worked as an administrator in the prison service, probation service and a primary school.

Other members of our team

Kate Evans, Crisis Navigator

Kate has recently joined HFLC as the Women’s Crisis Navigator. She will be providing a holistic service for clients that have experienced domestic abuse and will be working to offer practical advice and support to those in need.

Kate has received training from the National Centre for Domestic Violence and has previous experience volunteering at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau where she advised clients on a range of areas, including debt, housing, and immigration issues.

She has also recently completed her LPC at the University of Law and aspires to work as a solicitor.

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