We are delighted to announce the the new committee of trustees were confirmed at our AGM on 23 November 2021. We present here their candidate statements. We thank everyone for participating in our nominations and ballot process and very much look forward to working together. If you missed the AGM you can review the papers and recording here.
Chair: Hazar El-Chamaa
I am an avid supporter of ILPA, having been an active member since qualifying in 2006, a trustee for over 10 years and I have now been ILPA’s chair since November 2020. Passionate about the law and upholding migrants’ rights, I am an immigrant myself having left Lebanon to come to the UK at the age of 14. I joined ILPA because I didn’t want to just apply the law but to be part of an organisation that seeks to influence change for the better. I trained at the hands of Peter Bartram an ILPA veteran doing asylum work. I am a partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper, recognised for expertise in the education and business immigration sector and recommended by various legal directories including Chambers, Legal 500 and Who’s Who. As a trustee and chair I have been involved in all aspects of ILPA’s governance matters, feeding into ILPA’s long term and short term strategies including more recently ILPA’s strategic plan for the next three years.
Secretary: Ayesha Mohsin
Ayesha Mohsin is a solicitor at the charity, Kalayaan, where she advises on the array of issues affecting victims of trafficking and modern slavery. Ayesha also contributes to Kalayaan’s policy work, taking a lead with their coronavirus and anti-racism policy work, as well as contributing to various government consultations and strategic litigation. Prior to this Ayesha had worked at Luqmani Thompson & Partners (LTP) for 14 years, where she became a partner. At LTP Ayesha’s caseload included private and publicly funded matters. She established relationships with many non-governmental organisations, including the Refugee Council, the Helen Bamber Foundation and community groups. She developed expertise in related areas of law, such as children in local authority care and mental health patients with immigration problems. She has an acute awareness of the need to maintain high professional standards, with respect to legal casework and within the regulatory environment. Ayesha was elected to the ILPA Committee of Trustees in 2012. In 2013, she became co -convenor of the Legal Aid working group. This year she has been a member of ILPA’s Fundraising Committee. She has also assisted with recruitment and contributed to ILPA’s consultations and submissions regarding Legal Aid, bringing the perspective of Kalayaan’s client group and the viewpoint of a legal aid and high street practitioner.
ANDREA ALS: I am a Director at PwC specialising in Immigration. I have been a trustee for a number of years and have learned a lot, especially in the last year where we have had to quickly implement different ways of working to meet membership expectations and demand. It has been a pleasure working with the ILPA team. My background, (having working class parents and being a Black lesbian) allows me to bring a number of perspectives to ILPA as an organisation. I am very proud to be the trustee liaison for the Racial Justice and Equality working group and I am also on the internal HR committee. I remain passionate about the aims of ILPA and the unique place that we hold. Seeing all the chats in the google group make me feel like we are all one collective so that no practitioner ever feels alone – which in an ever changing environment is so important. I very much hope that I get the opportunity to continue as a trustee and therefore ask for your vote. Andrea
DAVID BALL: I have been a trustee at ILPA for a number of years. I have specialised in immigration since working as a caseworker at the Immigration Advisory Service some 15 years ago. I also previously worked at Liberty where I acted on a number of high-profile test cases. Since then I have gone on to the Bar and have a particular interest in asylum, human rights, trafficking and unlawful detention work. The work that ILPA and its members do in helping challenge illegality and lobbying law makers has never been more important. It would be a privilege to continue to be a Trustee at ILPA to help ensure that it provides the support its members need, so that both ILPA and its members can fully hold the Executive to account.
SOPHIE BARRETT-BROWN: Sophie has been an active member of ILPA since 1997 (including past Chair 2007-2012, ILPA representative at various Home Office meetings and a regular ILPA trainer); she has been committed to supporting ILPA’s extraordinary work for over 20 years and at this time of great change and challenge, believes ILPA’s work is all the more vital. Sophie is well-known for her commitment to sharing knowledge and experience with members and for her work seeking to challenge and shape UK immigration policy for the benefit of all migrants and practitioners. Sophie is Senior Partner and Head of the UK Practice at leading immigration firm, Laura Devine Immigration. She has been recognised for many years by directories such as Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal as one of the UK’s foremost immigration experts. Sophie’s expertise spans business and personal immigration law, nationality law and EU free movement and she acts for clients from all sectors, from individuals and families to entrepreneurs, multinational businesses, charities and education establishments, as well as undertaking pro-bono work. She is a prolific speaker and commentator on immigration topics, presenting internationally and frequently appearing in the general media
GABRIELLA BETTIGA: have been an ILPA member since 2003 and I have always admired ILPA’s work, and its ability to make a difference. I am also a trainer, with a focus on legal aid and practical courses, particularly for colleagues who are new to immigration and brave enough to choose this career path. I am actively involved in the ILPA Well-Being working group as an Ambassador, and I participate to various working groups. I have been a trustee for a year and I would welcome the opportunity to continue working with ILPA to shape immigration law and policy. Having worked in a large legal aid organisation, in the charity sector and as a sole practitioner, I feel I can represent the views of many ILPA members from different working backgrounds. As a mentor and a trainer, I am committed to support colleagues and clients alike. Being a trustee would allow me to do so on a larger scale, make our voices heard and contribute to bring about progressive change in immigration.
AISHA CHOUDHRY: ILPA has been an anchor for me throughout my career via its working groups, training courses and conferences, and peer support. As a matter of course, I contribute to many ILPA initiatives and projects including ILPA’s responses to the MAC’s calls for evidence, and feedback on government white papers. I am also lead ILPA trainer on the sole representative of an overseas business visa category and am co convener for ILPA’s wellbeing group. I chair the wellbeing group’s meetings, assist with setting the group’s annual objectives and contribute to its newsletters. I am practitioner focussed and am confident that I am well placed now to deepen my contribution to ILPA’s work as a committee member/trustee. I see my priorities as fostering our inclusion work and helping to build our sector’s and membership’s resilience in the context of significant governmental and immigration system challenges.
ENNY CHOUDHURY I am driven by a commitment to social justice; in our sector especially, it must be the cornerstone of our work as lawyers and drivers of change. The recent focus on race is welcome, and I would like to see class enter the conversation. These issues are fundamental both for practitioners, and for the people we represent, more so in the COVID context. Having trained at Clifford Chance, served as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal, practised at a large high street firm and now JCWI, a charity, I have a breadth of experience and understanding of the issues faced both by practitioners and our clients. My current practice is predominantly in protection claims, judicial review, and matters involving children, with a special interest in mental health and Article 3 cases. In 2021, I again received recommendation in Chambers and Partners for my work with vulnerable individuals. Prior to the law, I taught English, and continued this on a voluntary basis for the last ten years. At JCWI, in addition to casework, I work with the policy and communications teams to identify areas of development in immigration – whether through legal, policy or media approaches – towards the end of achieving our goal of an equitable and just immigration system. I have been an ILPA Trustee since 2020.
TANYA GOLDFARB: Being a Trustee of ILPA is an honour – and I am standing again as a Trustee as I believe it is vital to help continue shape the future of the work that we all do and to ensure that all our voices are heard! I bring a breadth & depth of experience to the role – having worked in the UK and more recently out of the US. I have exclusively practiced immigration law & have been a member of ILPA since qualifying as a solicitor (in 1996). I am an active Trustee, member, contributor to & supporter of ILPA – having been an Executive Committee member in 2003, a co-convenor of the Economic Working Group & I co-founded and am the current co-convenor of the NY Working Group. I have been instrumental is opening up the lines of communication and transparency in the US between practitioners, the UKVI and their commercial partners, and in sharing this information with the ILPA membership to the benefit of all. The world of immigration is ever-changing and I believe it is vital to all our practices to have local, national and international perspectives/experiences be part of ILPA’s day to day operations, outreach, training, policy and representations. I hope I can continue to give back to ILPA in this way. Thank you.
Grace MCGILL: Admitted by the Law Society of Scotland as an accredited Specialist in Immigration law, she has practised in this field since 1995. She founded specialist Immigration law firm McGill & Co in 2008 prior to moving to Burness Paull in September this year where she is lead partner. She has extensive experience in all aspects of UK immigration law, focusing most recently on family & inter-country adoption work and commercial migration. She manages large corporate clients both within the UK and worldwide and acts as a consultant for several large corporate entities. Grace has been a serving Trustee of ILPA since 2014. She also serves on the Professional Conduct Committee of the Law Society of Scotland and is an appointed as a WS ( Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet) She is the present author of the 2nd Reissue of the Immigration Law Chapter of the Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia. She is a member of the American Association of Immigration lawyers She holds a Master’s degree in International Human Rights. She has been commended for her work by the Legal 500 since 2013 recognised as the leading individual in Scotland.
JULIE MOKTADIR: I have been a member of ILPA since 2007 and a Trustee for the last year. I have been involved with HR processes, changes due to COVID & renegotiations over the lease. I am Trustee Liaison on the Racial Justice & Equality group. As an immigration solicitor, I began my career in Southampton, as a Legal Aid Immigration and Asylum specialist. After a period of working as a consultant, I was appointed Head of Immigration at the Royal College of Nursing. This was a great insight as to how a membership organisation runs. Whilst there, I lobbied on policy issues which brought all nursing positions on to the SOL and completed the Management Programme, which informs all of my work to date. I thereafter moved to the charity IPSEA, as CEO. I developed an in-depth understanding of running a charity —from funding to governance. I have been able to use some of my learnings in this regard to support ILPA, for example, ILPA is now a member of ACEVO which means that we are able to access resources and support. In 2017 I joined Stone King, and am Partner and Head of the Immigration team. My varied career allows me to understand the needs of members, as well as supporting the ILPA staff, in providing the best for its members.