Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division

About the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division committee

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Chair – Caroline Newman

Caroline Newman is the inaugural chair of the Ethnic Minority Lawyers’ Division. She is the founder and inaugural chair of the African-Caribbean Women Lawyers Association, an organisation that enables black women lawyers in the UK and across the world to network and support each other. She supports Dignity and 28tooMany, organisations which campaign against violence against women.

Caroline Newman

Business and career

Caroline is a solicitor and director at Atticus Law Advocates . She is also CEO of Lawdacity , a company specialising in career and business development for lawyers.

Caroline has more than 20 years’ legal and executive management experience, including managing her own law firm. She is also an author, speaker, trainer and coach helping lawyers to achieve career success. Since 2004, Caroline has trained thousands of people to use psychology to make positive changes to their attitude, lives, approach and career results.

Caroline had a successful career in business where she gained important insights into how management teams develop strategy and how it impacts on company valuations, before becoming a  senior solicitor at City law firm SJ Berwin. 

In 2006, she launched Lawdacity, an international consulting, training and business coaching organisation that aims to change the lives of lawyers through coaching and the transfer of skills and knowledge.  Business coaches work alongside clients to guide their businesses to achieve long-term, sustainable business growth. Lawdacity now operates in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia, and services both corporate and mid-tier clients. Her clients have included Allen & Overy, Harvey Ingram, SJ Berwin, 39 Essex Street, 1 Garden Court, 29 Bedford Row, 9 Stone Buildings, Grays Inn Tax Chambers and Cornerstone Barristers.

Caroline is an accomplished public speaker who challenges, informs and entertains audiences in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Speaking on key business issues, she encourages ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking that allows business leaders to generate new visions, strategies, products and services.

Caroline is a central figure in creating Lawdacity’s intellectual property, a portfolio of frameworks addressing the number one business issue – how to increase profitability while managing growth.

Koser Shaheen

Vice-chair – Koser Shaheen

Koser Shaheen is a knowledge management attorney for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, a leading international law firm. She is also general secretary of the Association of Muslim Lawyers and a member of Cleary Gottlieb’s London diversity committee. Before working at Cleary Gottlieb, Koser did her legal practice course as part of a training contract with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, where she qualified as a capital markets associate. She graduated from Birmingham City University in 2007 with the highest first in her year.

Council member, Ethnic Minorities - Nwabueze Nwokolo

nwabueze forweb

Nwabueze was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1978, and as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1995. She was chair of the National Black Solicitors Network in 2010 and co -chair of the Minority Lawyers Conference 2010/2011. She is a certified mortgage specialist and holds the Institute of Financial Services’ Commercial and Mortgage Lending Diploma.

Zed Shah

zed shah

Zed was called to the Bar in 1998 but then qualified as a solicitor in 2002. He represents individuals accused of crime in various settings: at the police station, Magistrates Court, Crown Court and in appeal cases.

Zed currently works at Cartwright King and is based in Sheffield.

Sundeep Bhatia

Sundeep Bhatia

Sundeep is the proprietor of Beaumonde Law Practice in Eastcote, Middlesex and specialises in employment law. He is also an accredited mediator, trained by the Centre of Effective Dispute Resolution, a solicitor advocate with higher rights (criminal) and a duty solicitor.

Sundeep is a former chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers (2008-2010). He was also a member of the External Implementation Group of The Solicitors Regulation Authority between 2008 until it was disbanded in 2014.He recently established a pressure group, Asian Lawyers GB, to highlight issues effecting BME Lawyers as well as the Communities which they serve.

Sundeep has a keen interest in blogging and Social Media. He has written articles for the Solicitors Journal and has been quoted in the Law Society Gazette. Sundeep has recently been appointed chair of the Law Society Regulation Affairs Board.

Rajiv Sharma

Rajiv Sharma

Raj is group counsel at FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company, Mitie Group plc, where he sits on the group’s BAME network steering committee, promoting initiatives and opportunities for BAME candidates in the STEM sector.

Complementing this work, Raj is also a member of the Society of Asian Lawyers. Whilst working for a Magic Circle firm in Frankfurt and training at a national firm in Bristol, Raj was involved in a variety of pro bono programmes, including serving on two regional boards of Young Enterprise, a leading UK enterprise education charity.

Shabab Hamid

Shabab Hamid

Shabab qualified as a solicitor in March 2012 and joined Freemans Solicitors in November 2012. Shabab is Level 2 Accredited under the Immigration Accreditation Scheme (Law Society) and has been accredited under this scheme since 2006.

Shabab has considerable expertise and knowledge in:

  • immigration
  • asylum
  • human rights law
  • European law
  • business immigration

He frequently attends First Tier Tribunal (IAC) as an advocate to defend his client’s best interests.

Shabab has a varied case-load, from advising high net individuals under the points based system, to advising UK based companies on current immigration compliance matters. Shabab has successfully obtained employer licences for high net worth businesses based in central London.

Sophie Khan

Sophie Khan

Sophie Khan, a solicitor-advocate, is solicitor-director at Sophie Khan & Co Solicitors and Higher Court Advocates, a niche firm specialising in civil liberties and human rights law. She is a campaigning lawyer who has actively campaigned on equality, diversity and inclusion issues within the legal profession and other organisations.

She was recently appointed to serve one-year term on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as a solicitor member, and is a committee member of the Law Society’s Civil Justice Committee, the Law Society’s Small Firms Division and the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates.

Sophie is the founder of the Police Action Centre, the first charitable organisation dedicated to providing a free and independent general advice service to members of the public on complaints against the police and a campaigning hub to challenge discriminatory policing tactics. She is also the founding trustee of Stop and Search Legal Project, an educational project run by a collective of volunteer lawyers.

Joseph Lam

Joseph Lam

Joseph Lam is a project finance lawyer at the London office of DLA Piper with a particular focus on energy and infrastructure projects in Africa and other emerging markets. Before moving to London in 2014, he had worked in the Hong Kong office of DLA Piper and other firms in Hong Kong. Joseph was qualified in England and Wales and Hong Kong in 2001. He is a member of the Hong Kong Society.

Evelyn Ofori Koree

Evelyn Ofori Koree

Evelyn Ofori-Koree is a solicitor-advocate (All Higher Courts). She is the principal solicitor and director of Descartes Solicitors with over 14 years’ experience of legal practice and advocacy before the courts of England and Wales. Since 2014 Evelyn has also been an attorney and counselor of the State of New York, USA.

Evelyn founded a successful sole practice between 2007 and 2012 and, between 2011 and 2012, served as an executive committee member of the Sole Practitioners Group representing the interests of over 4000 members.

Evelyn’s desire for innovation led her to restructure, rebrand and transform her sole practice into establishing one of the first law firms in England and Wales to be awarded Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status in 2012.

Evelyn graduated with a First class LLB (Hons.) from London South Bank University LLB where she also came top of her class. She was a Wolfson Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn where she was also called to the Bar and also holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge.

Evelyn is the vice-president of HOPSA UK, her secondary school alumni group that provides scholarships for the education of young girls in Ghana, West Africa.

Umar Kankiya

Umar Kanyika

Umar Kankiya is a solicitor and the head of the Mental Health Department at Jefferies Essex LLP, based in Southend-on-Sea. Umar has been representing people detained under the Mental Health Act since 2011 and has been a Law Society Mental Health Accredited Member and Qualified Solicitor since 2012.

Umar has previously worked in the field of youth participation and continues to take an active interest in representing the views and opinions of the most vulnerable in society. Umar has a passion for politics, sport and youth participation and regularly speaks at events looking at young people and the law both home and abroad.

Umar is also a trustee for the charity Lovelife Generation which seeks to empower local communities in taking an active role in the development of their local communities, specifically having young people engage with the older generation to affect change.

Angeli Vadera

Angeli Vadera

Angeli is a trainee solicitor at Keoghs Solicitors and vice-chair of the Hindu Lawyers Association. Her primary role on the committee is to promote the interests of Hindu lawyers and encourage them to engage with the Law Society. She also has a strong interest in supporting South Asian Women on the profession.

Sital Madlani

Sital Madlani

Sital is a solicitor advocate with the UK’s leading law firm Tuckers, specialising in Criminal Law. She qualified in 2004 and has experience at the Youth Court, Magistrates Court and Crown Court. She has a speciality in representing youths and clients with mental health problems for range of offences from theft to murder.

Sital is also a committee member of the Association of Asian Women lawyers (AAWL), a voluntarily organisation promoting equality and diversity in the legal profession.

Sital mentors young lawyers looking to get into the profession and also attends events at the Law Society and a number of universities, promoting the profession and advising young lawyers about equality and diversity.

Maria Seale

Maria Seale

Maria Seale is executive advisor at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). She is currently representing CILEx by attending working groups with Judicial Diversity Community Relationship Judges (JDCRJ) and the Judicial Diversity Forum.

She qualified as a chartered legal executive in 1997 before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She previously worked in Health Regulation as senior solicitor to the Fitness to Practice team at the General Optical Council and before that spent 21 years in private practice working for firms including: Lewis Silkin, Russell-Cooke, and Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Ms Seale also chairs a School Appeals Panel for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and has recently been appointed as lay member to the Appointments Committee at the Institute of Osteopathy.

Marcia Longdon

Marcia Longdon

Marcia is a solicitor and partner at the full service law firm Kingsley Napley LLP. Marcia recalls that when she was approached by Kingsley Napley to join the team, she did her research and discovered that one of its founding partners, Sir David Napley was the observer at the Stephen Biko inquest in South Africa. This revelation made her think that a firm with such history was sure to have a positive view on diversity. She wasn’t wrong and Kingsley Napley are committed to diversity and equal opportunities for all.

Prior to joining Kingsley Napley, Marcia managed the global immigration team at Ernest & Young and was integral in the operations and project management of their immigration professionals.

Marcia is passionate about the area of immigration, nationality and European law. She initially started her career working on asylum matters and representing clients before the immigration courts and filed applications on their behalf for judicial review. She has a collaborative approach with the Home Office and is often requested to participate in round table discussions on immigration policy.

She provides technical and compliance training both internally and externally on corporate immigration for HR professionals in various industries covering:

  • banking and finance
  • pharmaceutical
  • oil and gas
  • the entertainment industry - including film and television.

She has appeared in the Legal 500, Chambers, Who’s Who and City Wealth publications as being an expert in her field

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