PLP Staff

Adrian manages the training and events, website, publications and comms at PLP.  Before joining the organisation Adrian worked as a Project Manager with Index on Censorship, the international freedom of expression organisation, where he headed their annual awards event and managed projects funded by the UNDP and the Arts Council, including the first international festival of homeless arts.  Previously Adrian worked at the University of the Arts Student’s Union and as the administrator of ‘Union Chapel Project’, where he got to see loads of great music.  In his spare time he is learning to roller skate (quads not inline).  He has recently discovered he is very short sighted in one eye.

Alexandra Sinclair has an LLB(hons) from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and an LL.M from Columbia Law School where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar.  Alexandra has worked as a judges’ clerk at the New Zealand High Court and as a barrister in Auckland, New Zealand. She was awarded the Cleary Memorial Prize by the New Zealand Law Foundation in 2015 for showing outstanding promise in the legal profession.

She is dedicated to public interest legal work, she was a member of  Columbia Law School’s Incarceration and the Family Clinic, she has worked as a legal intern at the Knight First Amendment Institute and she spent time as a Columbia Public Interest Fellow at the Center for Court Innovation in Manhattan.   She is particularly interested in the intersection of public law and human rights.

Alison is a barrister, and PLP’s legal director, overseeing the work of our casework and events teams. Alison is responsible for PLP’s legal strategy and leads our work on benefit sanctions, Brexit and access to legal aid. As well as advising and representing PLP and its clients, Alison  regularly speaks, trains and writes on public law and access to justice. Before joining PLP, Alison was in private practice at Doughty Street Chambers where she had a claimant-focused public law practice with a particular focus on migrants’ rights. She acted in a number of legal aid cuts cases, including representing PLP in its successful challenge to the proposal to introduce a residence for legal aid. Alison was awarded the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year in 2015 and was also recognised as Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards’ Public Law and Human Rights Junior of the Year.

Amélie is a recent Master’s graduate from New York University with an M.A. in International Relations and Politics. She also attended the Institut des Sciences Politique, Paris and received Bachelor’s degrees in History and International Studies from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining PLP, she worked in fundraising and events with different charities, including Human Rights Watch, London. She works all matters relating to communications, conference deliveries and other events planning.

Amélie will quite cheerfully discuss comparative politics, football, and Shakespeare until everyone in the room has expired of boredom.

Bijan is a barrister who joined PLP in 2019.  He was called to the bar in 2011 and later specialised in public law as a tenant at Garden Court Chambers.  He has acted in cases at all domestic levels up to and including the Supreme Court, as well in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.  At PLP, his work has predominantly concerned Brexit and, in particular, the EU Settlement Scheme.

Chris has been a senior manager leading on charity finance and operations since 2009 when, as Assistant Director, Chris helped the Restorative Justice Council grow from two to twenty employees. Chris joins PLP from Age UK where he assisted the partnership affairs department develop a new strategic plan in a period of rapid change. At PLP he holds responsibility for finance and back office functions and is moving to focus further on developing the charity’s infrastructure. Chris read Law at University of Wales, Aberystwyth where he received subject prizes for corporate governance, information law and contract law.

Daniel is a solicitor and will be leading on PLP’s legal aid focus work. He joined PLP from the Migrants’ Law Project at Islington Law Centre, where he worked on judicial review claims brought by NGOs concerning the rates of asylum support, the ‘Detained Fast Track’ asylum process and the Immigration Rules for adult dependent relatives.

More recently, he has focused on family reunion for asylum seekers in the context of the European Refugee Crisis. This began with representing unaccompanied children in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp and developed into a multi-year project involving collaboration with various partners to assist scores of vulnerable individuals across Europe and beyond.

Daniel also has a broader interest in the criminal justice system and the rights of people who encounter it. During his training contract he conducted advocacy before the Parole Board, advised families regarding deaths in custody and pursued civil claims against the police and prison service. Following qualification, he provided legal outreach services in drug and alcohol treatment centres.

Daniel is a trustee of the Immigration Law Practitioner’s Association and a member of the advisory committee to the Legal Aid Practitioner’s Group.

Elaine joined PLP in July 2018, as their Administrative Officer. She supports the Events, Finance and Administrative teams.
Elaine read Politics and Psychology a long time ago at Aberdeen University. Before starting at PLP she started and ran several creative businesses including: Little Badger (children’s clothing mail order), Glen Scott Properties and Property Facelift (interior design). More recently she took some time out to travel and volunteer in China, Morocco and Sri Lanka. As a result of her travels she decided to work in the charity sector and is about to embark on a part-time diploma in Criminology with the OU. She lives ridiculously near the office.

Emma is a Research Fellow at PLP and a PhD student at the University of Exeter. Emma has assisted the University of Exeter to set up an Exceptional Case Funding clinic. She is also involved in developing other areas of social research to inform PLP’s policy work and capacity building in the advice sector. Prior to starting her PhD, Emma worked for UK-based human rights organisations, including a refugee charity where she managed the drop-in centre. Her ongoing doctoral research focuses on improving access to immigration advice in the context of proliferating legal aid deserts.

Hannah joined PLP in August 2018 after completing her LPC & LLM at the University of Law. Hannah directly supports PLP’s Deputy Legal Director, Sara Lomri, and provides casework support to all other members of the casework team.  Hannah is also the first point of contact for new enquiries, helping the team to manage and provide signposting advice to enquirers.

Hannah has previously worked in housing and as a legal billing assistant. Hannah is committed to pursuing a legal career that challenges injustice and protects individual’s rights, and during her studies also volunteered with Amnesty International.

Hannah loves Ashtanga yoga and will happily promote the benefits of yoga to anyone that asks, because everyone can and should practice yoga!

Jack is a researcher at PLP. He is particularly interested in how technology is changing the way government makes decisions about people and the channels by which they can challenge those decisions. Jack has a Bachelor in Civil Law from the University of Oxford, and degrees in law and philosophy from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Before coming to the UK, Jack worked as a government lawyer in Australia, specialising in administrative and constitutional law. He was also a policy committee member at Liberty Victoria, one of Australia’s leading civil liberties organisations.

Jo Hickman was appointed PLP’s Director in 2015. She is a public law specialist with a background in both the private and voluntary sectors.  Immediately prior to her appointment Jo was Head of PLP’s Casework team where she developed and led the pioneering legal aid project, and acted in a number of seminal cases. She is widely recognised for her strategic expertise, having been historically named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year and Times Lawyer of the Week. Most recently she was shortlisted as 2017 Lawyer of the Year at both the Legal Business and Solicitor Journal awards.

She is a member of the Law Society Access to Justice Committee, a Board member of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, and sits on the Civil Justice Council.

Jo is a Research Fellow at PLP and a PhD student at the University of Exeter. Her work at PLP focusses on online courts and tribunals and related access to justice issues. Jo’s ongoing doctoral research explores the legal geographies of immigration bail hearings and video links. She is particularly interested in courtwatching methodologies and procedural fairness in remote hearings.

Joe is PLP’s Research Director. He is also Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of York and a member of the Wider Core Team at the UK Administrative Justice Institute. He completed an LL.B and Ph.D in law at the University of Manchester, and has held visiting positions at King’s College London and Osgoode Hall Law School. He researches widely on public law, and particularly the administrative justice system. Joe’s work has been published in leading journals and been funded by a range of organisations, including the ESRC and the Nuffield Foundation. His work has been cited by a variety of bodies, including the Ministry of Justice, the All Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law, and the House of Commons Library. His work (with Professor Robert Thomas) on administrative review will also form the basis of a Law Commission project. Before joining the PLP, he worked in the President’s Chambers of the EFTA Court, at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, and as Legal Assistant to Gerard McDermott QC.  At PLP, he is currently leading the development of a new research strategy.
John Little joined PLP in September 2018 as the Finance Manager.  He works with the Practice Manager to monitor and oversee finances within the Charity and provide reports for the Board and other stakeholders . John has enjoyed a long career in finance within the not for profit sector.  This has included roles in the charity and the university sector, working in areas such as internal audit and management accounting.  John’s other interest has been studying, with the completion of a part time Masters in Global Politics from Birkbeck University in 2017.

Luke Robins-Grace is PLP’s Communications Director. He is responsible for developing and implementing PLP’s comms strategy; telling the world what we do, and why. He has worked in communications and public affairs for over ten years, including at the Bar Council and as a senior trainer at the International School of Communication. Luke has developed communications campaigns and strategies on a range of justice related legislation and policy, including: access to justice, judicial review, the Rule of Law, legal professional privilege, equality and diversity, privacy and surveillance, and immigration detention.

In a former life, Luke was a secondary school history, politics and English teacher.

Matthew is a barrister at the Public Law Project. He has a particular interest in social welfare law, including welfare benefits, housing, and immigration. As a pupil he was involved in RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] EWHC 3375 (Admin), a successful challenge to amendments to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations, which were found to be discriminatory against claimants with mental health impairments.

Matthew did his pupillage at PLP as part of the Justice First Fellowship scheme, qualifying in 2018. Part of Matthew’s second six was spent on secondment in the housing team at Doughty Street Chambers.

Prior to commencing pupillage, Matthew worked as a Legal Project Manager at the AIRE Centre, where he led two projects advising clients and referrers on EU free movement law issues, focusing on homelessness, social security, and EEA women in prison. Matthew had previously gained experience in housing and welfare benefits while working as a Casework Manager at Z2K.

Matthew is also a volunteer on the Asylum Support Appeals Project duty advocate scheme.

Molly joined PLP in July 2019. She previously worked for an ethical fashion brand, Know the Origin, and graduated from SOAS, University of London with a first-class degree in Development Studies. Molly has also volunteered for several charities and is dedicated to supporting the work of small charities. At PLP Molly supports the Events, Finance and Administrative teams.

Ollie is a barrister and coordinates PLP’s EU Settlement Scheme Support Hub. He trained at PLP, with a secondment to Matrix Chambers, through a 2-year Justice First Fellowship. Before being called to the Bar, he was a researcher in comparative media law at Oxford University. He also worked on criminal justice, mental health and free speech issues at the American Civil Liberties Union and as a researcher for Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

Ollie set up a UK version of Yale Law School’s Rebellious Lawyering Conference (‘RebLaw UK’), which brings together students, activists and practitioners to discuss how law can be used as a tool for social change. He is a co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, a trustee of Southwark Law Centre and a tutor in media law at the London School of Economics.

Rakesh is a senior solicitor with 17 years’ experience who joined PLP in 2013.  His main public law areas of expertise are immigration and human rights law.  He has acted in a number of test cases in the context of deportation/exclusion and counter-terrorism concerning procedural fairness and the use of secret evidence and the use of diplomatic assurances to deport an individual to a country with a track record of human rights violations.  His current work focuses on the government’s immigration policy for removing individuals from the UK and whether it creates difficulties for those who want to bring a legal challenge to an unlawful removal decision.  He has acted for individuals who were unlawfully removed from the UK and who the government then had to bring back.  Rakesh regularly delivers PLP’s ‘How to do Judicial Review’ course.
Sara is a solicitor and Deputy Legal Director. Sara has a broad public law and human rights practice with a particular focus on disability and gender discrimination, and assisting those facing multiple disadvantages. In addition to her casework, Sara is currently leading a significant project at PLP focusing on improving and providing access to justice for frontline organisations and charities and their stakeholders or service users. Before Sara came to PLP she worked for ten years in private practice at Bindmans LLP, where she specialised in private and public law challenges against detaining authorities and was recommended in Chambers and Legal 500 in Civil Liberties and Healthcare categories.

Sarah has worked as a project solicitor at PLP for seven years, prior to that she worked as a solicitor at the Child Poverty Action Group. She represented the claimants in R(Rights of Women) v Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice.

Sue joined PLP in July 2019 after having worked as a volunteer at numerous PLP conferences, and on their Legal Aid Support Project. As a mature student she studied the LLB with Human Rights at Aberystwyth University, an LLM in Research training through an Access to Masters scholarship, and the LPC with the University of Law.

Previously Sue worked in horticulture, setting up and running 2 small gardening businesses. During this time she also volunteered with mental health and homeless charities, and with Citizens Advice.”