Our team consists of 12 highly qualified, supportive and friendly solicitors and legal and welfare assistants/advisers:
Clare Hurst is our Senior Solicitor and specialises in Immigration and Asylum Law. Clare has over 15 years experience in her chosen specialism and represents clients from initial applications and First Tier Tribunal appeals to the Upper Tribunal and Judicial Reviews in the High Court. Clare is Law Society accredited as a Senior Immigration Caseworker and Supervisor. Clare is passionate about access to justice and continues to fundraise for the Law Centre (including running the London Marathon) to provide more pro bono help whenever possible. Clare is also Chair of local charity Rainbow Home and is a Co-opted Member on the Newcastle Law Society Standing Committee.
Tristan is our Trainee Solicitor having originally joined us as a Community Paralegal. Tristan advises in Immigration (OISC Level 1), Family Law and Criminal Injuries Compensation Applications. Tristan also supports our Senior Solicitor Clare in her outreach work at local organisations WERS (West End Refugee Service) and FODI in Sunderland (Friends of the Drop In).
Michael is the Centre Director and has extensive experience across all sectors. Prior to joining the Law Centre Michael worked for a private law firm, and before that was the CEO of a regional charity. Michael is passionate about social justice and protecting human rights. He enjoys reading and spending time with his family in his spare time.
Keri is our Receptionist/Administrator and is the first point of contact for all clients contacting the Law Centre either by telephone, via email or in person. Keri has a key role in listening and understanding the needs of anyone calling for help and advice and, importantly, to ensure that they speak to the right person in our team if appropriate to obtain the help they require.
Julie is our Finance and Projects Officer. Julie has many years experience in the voluntary sector in the North East and provides vital support on some of our largest projects including the Big Lottery funded 'Help Through Crisis' Project.
Caroline is one of our Family Solicitors' with experience in private practice (including legal aid) and in Local Authority before joining the Law Centre in 2016. Caroline has experience of all areas of family law and in particular child protection issues whilst working in the Local Authority. Caroline currently advises on all areas of Family Law aside from Financial matters for those clients eligible for free services in addition to private clients.
Ben is our Welfare Benefits Adviser having originally joined us as a volunteer. His experience includes working with vulnerable people at the Wor Hoose Community Project to helping provide specialist advice alongside experts in the Pro Bono Volunteer Scheme.
Lucy is our Welfare Benefits Specialist Caseworker on the Big Lottery funded 'Families Through Crisis' Project. Lucy has several years experience in various community focused organisations and currently provides outreach advice at partner organisations throughout Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Helen is our Education Law Paralegal. She is also secretary to the City Wide Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support Group in Newcastle.
April is a Trainee Solicitor and Justice First Fellow funded by the Legal Education Foundation. She will be working across the Family Law, Immigration & Asylum, Employment and/or Welfare Benefits departments. April studied at Northumbria University, gaining a BA (Hons) in English Language, before completing the Graduate Diploma in Law and subsequently the Legal Practice Course, also at Northumbria. April has previously worked as a professional advocacy worker and an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
Misbah is an accredited Senior Immigration Caseworker primarily focusing on Family Reunion cases funded by the Red Cross Families Together Programme.
Kathryn is our Employment Paralegal.