Meet the team

Mickaël Laurans

Mickael Laurans

Head of International

Before his current position as Head of the International department, Mickaël previously worked as Head of the Law Society's Brussels Office since April 2012, and spent nine years as Policy Manager in the International Department of the Law Society of England and Wales in London, where he worked on international trade issues and the EU internal market in legal services.

Donna Evans

Donna Evans

International Policy Manager

Donna Evans is the International Policy Manager leading team of five regional policy advisers and three policy assistants. They are responsible for monitoring and engaging in international regulatory developments impacting the legal profession. With over ten years’ experience working in the international legal sector, Donna’s expertise focuses on international trade policy, market access, and trade promotion.

Donna is a fluent mandarin speaker having studied Modern Chinese Studies at Leeds University. She has worked in international policy since 2006 for UK Government before joining the Law Society. She has been responsible for several regional portfolios including Europe, CIS and most recently, North Asia & Pacific. She previously managed the Lord Chancellor's programme for young Chinese lawyers (LCTS) at the Law Society.

Marco Cillario

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International Policy Adviser: Europe

Marco joined the team in April 2020. He is responsible for building and managing relationships with Bar Associations, Law Societies, firms, businesses and governments across Europe as well as supporting members accessing European markets and the Law Society’s Brexit strategy.

He was previously chief correspondent at Legal Business magazine, covering the UK and international legal industries. Marco holds a degree in Philosophy and worked in Italy and Germany before moving to the UK.

Michael Padua


International Policy Adviser: Europe

Michael Padua joined the Law Society as International Policy Adviser for Europe in April 2020.

Prior to joining the Law Society, Michael was Director of the Office of the Province of Alberta at the Canadian High Commission in London. The Alberta Office promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment links between the province and the UK and Ireland. In this capacity Michael sat on the board of directors of the Canada UK Chamber of Commerce. Michael worked for the Government of Alberta for 16 years in a number of areas including Trade Policy, US and Americas Relations, Advocacy, International Policy and Investment Attraction.

Michael holds MBA degrees from the University of Alberta in Canada and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.

Ben Stevenson

Ben Stevenson

International Policy Adviser: Americas and Caribbean

Ben joined the Department in 2013 and leads in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ben studied politics and international law. He spent five years working as an International Policy Adviser for the Liberal Democrats in the UK Parliament and two years in Brussels as an EU Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the conflict prevention organisation.

Eleanor Farrow

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International Policy Assistant: Europe, International Rule of Law and Human Rights

Eleanor is the International Policy Assistant for Europe, International Rule of Law and Human Rights at the Law Society of England and Wales. Eleanor has an LLB in UK Law, an LLM in International Human Rights Law and a Diploma in French.

Prior to the Law Society, Eleanor spent four years coordinating international justice and human rights projects for the International Bar Association where she managed external partnerships and training, speaking at international conferences, and engaging with a worldwide network of lawyers and human rights monitors. She has worked in Eastern Europe, Africa and South East Asia. Eleanor has published articles on international justice and human rights.

Joanna Walsh

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International Administrator

Joanna has experience in the Finance industry, she was an Underwriting Team Leader for GE Money Home Lending for 6 years. She has also worked for a High Street Bank (NatWest) and a foreign international bank (Europe Arab Bank PLC) in Moorgate in various roles, Data Management Assistant, Compliance Assistant, and Payments Officer. Most recently she worked in the public sector for the Local Government (Barnet) as Business Support for a busy Department within Social Services supporting a team and Head of Service for 7 years. Outside of work she has a keen interest in charity work and she is a Volunteer and Ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Lizzette Robleto de Howarth

Lizzette Robleto

International Programmes Manager

Lizzette joined The Law Society’s international team in December 2015. She is responsible for restructuring the international public interest work, designing the international rule of law programmes and leading on their implementation.

Prior to joining The Law Society, she worked for over 16 years in international development, focusing on international public policy, research and advocacy. She holds a LL.B Law, a LL.M Human Rights, a LL.M International Economic Law, Justice & Development, and she is currently a MPhil/PhD Candidate. Her work has been published by the Birkbeck Law Review, the United Nations Association, among others. She is an associate tutor on Constitutional and Administrative Law and a former associate lecturer on Public International Law. Lizzette also holds professional certificates from the University of Oxford, London School of Economics, Goldsmiths University, and the International Centre for Parliamentarian Studies, among others.

She is a member of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Marina Brilman

marina brilman

International Human Rights Policy Adviser

Marina holds a PhD in Law from the London School of Economics (LSE), an LL.M from University College London, and a Master’s degree in law from the University of Leiden. She was Leading Articles editor at the Leiden Journal of International Law and LLM adviser at the LSE, where she also taught property law to undergraduates. Marina is a qualified solicitor/barrister in The Netherlands where she practised in litigation, international arbitration, and commercial law as a senior associate at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (previously Linklaters & Alliance).

She was a Board Member and Latin America Programme Director of the Dutch NGO Lawyers for Lawyers, a Visiting Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia (teaching public international law and human rights to postgraduates), and worked for three years as a staff attorney of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Marina has published on human rights in English and Spanish and is a contributor to the International Law Reports, published by Cambridge University Press, on the Inter-American Court’s case-law.

Catherine Brims

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International Policy Adviser: North Asia & the Pacific

Catherine joined the team in August 2018. Prior to joining the Law Society, Catherine was the Programme Coordinator for the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. She also has experience as a research officer and administrator in international law, having worked with the Law Council of Australia’s International Law and Business Law Sections, its International Division, and the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association.

Catherine has a Bachelor of Economics and an LLB (H) from the Australian National University. She is an Australian-qualified legal practitioner, and entitled to practice in the Australian Capital Territory.

Preeti Sawhney

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International Policy Adviser: South Asia and ASEAN

Preeti joined the team as an International Policy Adviser for South Asia and ASEAN in February 2020. Prior to joining the Law Society, Preeti was a Trade Commissioner – Trade Policy and Market Access with the High Commission of Canada in India responsible for the delivery of International Business Development program at the mission, with particular responsibility for covering trade policy, market access, and government to government bilateral instruments.

With over twelve years’ experience working in Diplomatic Missions, international organisations and private sector, Preeti’s expertise focuses on development of market opportunities, international trade policy and market access. She holds a Masters Degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi, a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Symbiosis University, India and a Certificate in International Trade from Forum of International Trade Training, Canada. She has also pursued a Diploma in French Language from Alliance Française de Delhi.

Alexandra Squires-McCarthy


International Policy Adviser: Africa, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Alexandra is the International Policy Adviser for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa and the Middle East. She most recently worked at Chatham House and has previously worked at NGOs, government institutions and the United Nations.

She is a qualified Australian lawyer admitted in New South Wales.

Nathaniel Hayward


International Policy Assistant: Americas, Africa & the Middle East

Nathaniel joined the Law Society’s International team in October 2019. In his role as Policy Assistant, he provides support to the Policy Advisers for the Americas and the Caribbean and Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to joining the Law Society, Nathaniel worked at the Britain-Australia Society based in Australia House, London. Nathaniel has a BSc Econ. in International Relations from Aberystwyth University and an MA in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth.

Paul Mortimer

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International Coordinator

Paul joined the Law Society in March 2019 and coordinates work within the International Department and the wider Law Society.

Prior to the Law Society Paul spent 4 years working for the Labour Party as an Organiser managing their election campaigns in Brighton, Bristol, and Lambeth.

He has a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Lancaster University