Our Staff

Jireh Akandwanaho, Senior Grants Officer

Jireh supports operational delivery of grants as well as communication with our grantees. She graduated from the University of Kent with a Law with French degree.

Shabana Aslam, Grants Director

Shabana is responsible for our grant giving operations. She previously worked in local government facilitating community partnerships and managing grant programmes to the voluntary and community sector.

Sirintiya Booth-Roberts, Grants Manager

Sirintiya supports operational delivery of our grants and is particularly interested in equitable access to justice for minoritised communities. She previously worked in administration and compliance while volunteering for legal advice charities.

Clare Carter, Chief Executive

Clare oversees all of our work, with a particular focus on long term sustainable funding. She has experience in legal aid work and in legal charity management. 

Martha de la Roche, Partnerships Director

Martha focuses on building relationships with our partners and other key stakeholders. She previously worked in partnerships and business development across a number of access to justice organisations.

Charlotte Duthie, Development Officer

Charlotte supports our development work by building donor pipelines and managing engagement campaigns to raise funds and awareness for equitable access to justice. She graduated with a Law degree from the University of Cambridge, with a focus on international criminal law and human rights.

Emmeline Endresen, Senior Partnerships Officer

Emmeline helps source learning and best practice from across the community to inform our work and make the case for advice. She has a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Peter Fruin, Operations Manager

Peter is responsible for our financial records and supports operations and legal and governance matters. He is a CIMA-qualified accountant with extensive experience in financial compliance.

Colin Miller, Finance and Operations Director

Colin provides oversight for our finance and operations functions and supports on organisational governance issues. He previously worked for the Open Society Foundations and in the civil service in the United States.

Ildephonse Nzabahimana, Data and Learning Manager

Ildephonse is responsible for the our data systems and insights. He previously worked in design, monitoring and evaluation in the charity sector. 

Davina Patel, Senior Development Officer

Davina is responsible for our fundraising and engagement campaigns and focuses on working with the legal community to support our work. Davina graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first-class Law (LLB) degree and was previously a Legal Analyst at a law firm which specialised in providing civil legal services.

Lawrence Roots, Grants Manager

Lawrence supports the operational delivery of our grants. He has previously worked in the charity sector in London, with experience of safeguarding, governance and the management of grant programmes.

Alex Weibel, Grants Officer

Alex supports operational delivery of grants as well as our communication with grantees. They have a Master’s degree in International Social and Public Policy from LSE, and previously worked in the private sector as a Grants Officer on projects such as Erasmus+ and Tier 5.

Foundation President

Lord Goldsmith KC, PC (former HM Attorney General)

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith KC, PC, is the London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of European and Asian Litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. He served as the UK’s Attorney General from 2001–2007, prior to which he was in private practice as one of the leading barristers in London.

Lord Goldsmith acts for a variety of clients in arbitration and litigation around the world. As the UK Attorney General, he represented the government in numerous cases in UK and international courts. He also argued as counsel in the House of Lords two of the 15 cases regarded as the most important British cases of the last 150 years.

Lord Goldsmith has a strong history and life-long support for pro bono assistance to bring legal advice to the disadvantaged. As a young lawyer, he started a legal advice center in the East End of London and, later in his career, founded the Bar of England & Wales’ Pro Bono Unit (of which he remains President) and the Attorney General’s pro bono coordinating committees. Amongst other recognitions, he was awarded the Lifetime Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Development of Pro Bono Culture in Europe at the 2014 PILnet European Pro Bono Forum.

He was one of the founders behind the Foundation and became the first Chair of its Trustee Board, a post he held until September 2020 when he became the Foundation’s President.

Our Trustees

Dame Maura McGowan, Chair of the Board

Dame Maura McGowan is a High Court Judge in the King’s Bench Division.

She was chair of the Bar Council in 2013. She is involved in judicial and advocacy training, nationally and internationally. She is a Guardian of the ‘Support Through Court’ organisation and is committed to promoting access to justice for all groups and individuals.

Maxcine Akinsowon

Maxcine has worked at senior level for over 15 years managing departments. including heading an advice and advocacy department for a local Age UK. Maxcine has over 20 years experience in property law, residential conveyancing, and commercial law. She also has some experience in wills and probate and social law (such as welfare benefits and community care law).

Simon Davis

Simon was Head of Commercial Litigation in Clifford Chance’s London office and a member of the firm’s Partnership Council.

He is a former President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and President of the Law Society of England and Wales, still a member of the Council of the Law Society, Committee member of the City of London Law Society, member of the Court of Appeal Mediation Panel and an accredited CEDR mediator.

Audrey Haaxman

Audrey is currently Director Internal Audit and Risk for British Council, the UK’s international organisation for education and cultural relations.

She is a chartered accountant and a qualified internal auditor and holds a Masters degree in Economics. She has 20 years of experience in governance, risk and assurance in the commercial, public and third sector including education, technology and financial services.

Gavin Mansfield KC

Gavin Mansfield KC is a barrister and is Head of Littleton Chambers. He specialises in employment and partnership disputes and related areas of commercial law. 

Gavin sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the King’s Bench Division and in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He is a former Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association and is a Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple.

Des Pullen

Des Pullen is a former senior HR director, spending 15 years as Group HR Director of Associated British Foods plc, a FTSE 30 international food and retail group.

Having stepped down from full time executive life at the beginning of 2020, he is now a Trustee of 2 other charities – Concordia, which focuses on providing international volunteering opportunities and development courses for young people and Charityworks, which recruits and develops graduates for the UK charity sector.

Sacha Rose-Smith

Sacha spent over 10 years at the National Lottery Community Fund and was responsible for end-to-end grant making for London and Southeast England.

Sacha previously served a five-year term as Chair of the London and Southeast Grant Making Committee for Children in Need. Sacha is a trustee and chair of the quality and impact committee for GFS and a Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

Rebecca Samaras

A former litigation solicitor, Rebecca specialised in family law and the additional support needs (SEN) of underrepresented vulnerable individuals, and charities throughout her career.

She sits on the Law Society of Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee and the Scotland Committee for the Access to Justice Foundation. She is also Chair of the Scottish University Law Clinic Network (SULCN) and a Trustee of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation (CLEO).

Khatun Sapnara

Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara is a Circuit Judge and a Deputy High Court Judge. She is the Lord Chief Justice’s appointed representative.

She has a long history of service to the legal profession and to voluntary sector organisations and charities which are committed to undertaking vital work to secure justice for all. She was an expert public appointee to the Family Justice Council and is a Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple

Andrew Seager

With a background in social welfare advice of over 20 years, beginning as a volunteer adviser, Andrew has worked within the advice sector on a range of projects, programmes and initiatives.

Andrew has worked with statutory, corporate and voluntary partners and funding to develop and fund new services to individuals and communities that address the ever increasing information, education, advice and advocacy.

Joe Snape

Joe Snape is a human rights and environmental solicitor at McCue & Partners. He has previously worked in corporate law and in several NGOs, and also has experience of climate change litigation in the UK and Latin America.

Joe has several years’ experience of working across a number of organisations providing access to justice to vulnerable individuals and is also a governor of Oldfield Primary School.

Sarah Stephens

Sarah currently works for the United Nations as a civil society and social justice advisor, specialising in grant management, project evaluation and capacity building. 

Previously a litigation solicitor, Sarah specialised in human rights law and access to justice in low income countries. She is passionate about justice sector reform working as a founder, and advisor on access to justice projects around the world.