School advisory board

The School of Law Advisory Board is composed of international members of the legal and criminal justice professions, particularly our eminent alumni.

Established in 2010, it meets twice a year to advise the School on future developments and to ensure that major initiatives are informed by its members’ range of perspectives and depth of expertise.

The Advisory Board's functions are to:

  • Guide the strategic direction, actions and initiatives of the School
  • Provide advice and support in enhancing our international reputation and profile
  • Serve as ambassadors and advocates to the School providing a connection to practitioners in the field and other external contacts
  • Provide advice and support to the School about its teaching, research and contribution to society
  • Share developments and discuss current issues within the legal and justice sectors and education

Board members

Louise Glover - Chair of the Board

Louise Glover, Director of Civic Engagement.

Natalie Cosgrove - 
Switalskis Solicitors

A highly experienced clinical negligence solicitor, Natalie qualified in 2011 after cross qualification from the Bar and now works as a Solicitor for regional firm Switalskis.

She has a special interest and acts in cases relating to birth injury and cases relating to secondary victims and complex injuries. Natalie is passionate about the care provided to vulnerable and detained patients in the NHS and vulnerable patients in residential homes

Natalie is a Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Law Society Advocacy Section. She holds Higher Rights of Audience in both Civil and Criminal.

Natalie is the current Vice President of the Yorkshire Union of Law Societies, immediate past President of the Sheffield and District Law Society, a Committee Member of the Yorkshire Lawyers Support Trust, and a Committee Member of the South Yorkshire Medico-Legal Society.

Natalie is a Trustee for Sheffield Mencap and Gateway, an Ambassador for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and a volunteer baker for Free Cakes for Kids Sheffield. 

Steven Dawson - 
Partner and Head Private Client Department, MKB Solicitors LLP

Steven joined MKB when he qualified as a solicitor in September 2001 and became the Head of the Private Client Department in 2006. He became a Partner in 2008 specialising in all areas of Private Client work including the administration of estates, preparation of Wills, tax planning and trusts, Court of Protection, Public Guardianship Office matters and powers of attorney.

Steven prides himself on providing advice in a straight forward, ‘no-nonsense’ way, and is incredibly proud of the team he works within the Private Client Department. Planning for later life, or dealing with matters after the death of a family member is never nice – we aim to make it as simple and trouble-free as possible.

Steven aims to forge lasting relationships with families in the hope that we can assist with events at every stage of a person's life. Be it amending Wills following marriage or the birth a child, through advice with helping parents financially supporting grown-up children, right through to later life, and ultimately helping families who have just lost someone.

Steven believes the role of a good Private Client lawyer is to be here at every stage, to provide the best advice for whatever may occur.

Steven is past President of the Sheffield District Law Society (2014/15), a 150-year-old independent organization representing Solicitors firms across South Yorkshire.

Gillian Duckworth - 
Director of Legal and Governance, Sheffield City Council

Gillian is the Director of Legal and Governance and Statutory Monitoring Officer at Sheffield City Council. She is a qualified solicitor and has been with Sheffield since 2010. She works closely with senior officers and elected Members and regularly advises on controversial, complex and sensitive matters affecting local authorities.

Gillian works actively to promote career opportunities for lawyers in the public sector strengthening the training programme within the legal department at Sheffield, engendering closer working relationships with the University and entering into innovative partnering arrangements with the private sector legal world to offer public sector support to other local authorities and greater resilience for Sheffield City Council.

Abigail Hickinbottom - 
Barrister, St Johns Buildings

Abigail read History at Newcastle University, and completed the Common Professional Examination and Bar Vocational Course at Northumbria University, before being called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 2004.

She practises in family, personal injury and employment law at St Johns Buildings in Sheffield.

Connor Johnston - 
Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Connor is a barrister who practises primarily in housing, homelessness and community care. He is committed to legal aid work and representing the interests of those who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

He is a member of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers (an organisation which he chaired jointly between 2011-2015) and a committee member of the Junior Housing Law Practitioners Association.

Connor is highlighted in both Chambers UK 2017 and the Legal 500 for his social housing work, where he is described as a 'recognised housing and homelessness specialist with a growing reputation for technically complex possession cases and judicial review' and as being ‘extremely committed to social welfare law as a whole'.

In July 2015 he was named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (Newcomer category). He is the co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice (Jordan Publishing, 4th edition 2016) together with HHJ Luba QC and Liz Davies.

Rt Hon Sir Maurice Kay - 
Former Lord Justice of Appeal

Rt Hon Sir Maurice Kay began his long and distinguished career in law at The University of Sheffield in 1961. On completion of his Bachelor degree, he opted to take the unusual step of pursuing a PhD in law, which he completed in 1971.

He received tutelage from Professor Sir John Wood, one of the leading employment lawyers of his generation, with whom he shared a fondness and enthusiasm for football.

On leaving Sheffield Sir Kay worked in academia, teaching at the Universities of Hull, Manchester and Keele, and was widely published in the areas of business law. In 1975 Lord Justice Kay qualified as a barrister, practising in Chester until 1988 when he was awarded Silk. He began to gain judicial experience as a Recorder.

In 1995 he became the first Sheffield graduate to be appointed a Justice of the High Court and was assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division. There he found himself once again dealing with employment law, and later joined the Administrative Court, addressing wide-ranging, and highly sensitive ethical issues.

In 2004 Sir Kay was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal, the second highest level of judge in the English legal system, assessing appeals, reconsidering rulings, and making judgements on cases from lower courts. He retired from this position in November 2014.

On his time studying at the University of Sheffield, the Rt Hon Sir Maurice Kay said:

"My recollections of Sheffield are entirely favourable. I was well taught and that was instrumental in giving me the wherewithal and confidence to pursue my careers in the academic world, at the Bar and as a Judge. The University and the City were friendly places.

I was able to pursue many interests, cultural and sporting, without being overly distracted from work and social development. I would certainly recommend, and have recommended, Sheffield to others. I should also add that Law at Sheffield enjoys an excellent reputation amongst the professions - more so now than in my day."

Siobhan Kelly - 
District Judge

Called to the bar in 1995, Siobhan Kelly is a civil specialist whose principal areas of expertise are in clinical negligence and personal injury law. Siobhan acts for Claimant’s in Clinical Negligence cases and has experience of cases involving negligent birth and CP claims, delayed treatment, ophthalmology, surgery and drug overdose.

She frequently acts for both Claimants and Defendants in all types of personal injury claim including road traffic accidents, accidents at work, occupational disease cases, trippers and slippers. Her practice also encompasses property law, insolvency, and public interest immunity.

Ooi Suan Kim - 
Principal, O S Kim & Associates

Ms Ooi Suan Kim (Kim) graduated with LL.B (Hons.) from The University of Sheffield and thereafter was Called to the Bar of England & Wales by The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, before qualifying as Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in Malaysia.

Kim practices law in Malaysia and is Principal of O S Kim & Associates, a boutique corporate, commercial and real estate legal practice.

Kim is a member of The Bar Council of United Kingdom and is elected member of the Executive Committee of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn Alumni Association, Malaysia since 2009.

Throughout her career, Kim has undergone corporate and management training by Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the National University of Singapore.

Kim holds directorships on board of several companies, one of which is Builders Biomass, an integrated bioenergy solutions provider and manufacturer of biomass products, in which she currently chairs.

In the corporate realm, Kim’s achievements in innovative green technologies and sustainable development gained recognition when Kim was honoured as Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia by HRH Queen of Malaysia, awarded with the Prime Minister's Best Innovation Award in Green Technology, ASEAN Excellence Award in Innovation, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Industry Award, Malaysia Greentech Award and the Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Technology Leadership Award.

With Kim’s legal expertise in corporate & commercial areas as well as in advanced manufacturing, Kim serves on the Executive Council of Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.

Adrian Lower - 
District Judge (Magistrate’s Court)

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Gareth Miles - 
Partner, Slaughter and May

Gareth joined prestigious Law firm Slaughter and May in 1997 and was made a partner in 2007. 

Gareth’s practice covers all direct taxes, stamp duties and value-added tax with a strong focus on corporation tax. He has extensive experience of corporate transactions, including, in particular, mergers and acquisitions (public, private, domestic and cross-border) and group reconstructions.

Gareth is listed as a leading individual in the Tax section of Chambers UK, 2017. He is also in Who's Who Legal, 2016 and is recommended for Corporate Tax in The Legal 500, 2016.

Gareth writes regularly for tax publications, is a member of the Tax Committee of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association and is on the consultation board for LexisNexis Tax PSL.

Sam Millington - 
Associate in the Litigation and Arbitration group, DLA Piper UK LLP

Sam works in the Firm's Sheffield office and has a wealth of experience acting for clients in both civil proceedings and international arbitrations. Sam's main sectors of focus are financial services, telecommunications and construction.

Sam graduated from the University of Leeds in 2014 with a First Class Honours Law Degree. Having secured a training contract with DLA Piper, Sam completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Sheffield in 2015 and was awarded the Sidney Herbert Clay Trust prize for achieving the highest marks in the year in the School of Law.

After completing a six-month international secondment to DLA Piper's Litigation, Arbitration and Investigation team in Dubai, Sam won the 'Trainee Solicitor of the Year' Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2017. 

Sam works in the Firm's Sheffield office and has a wealth of experience acting for clients in both civil proceedings and international arbitrations. Sam's main sectors of focus are financial services, telecommunications and construction.

Sam graduated from the University of Leeds in 2014 with a First Class Honours Law Degree. Having secured a training contract with DLA Piper, Sam completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Sheffield in 2015 and was awarded the Sidney Herbert Clay Trust prize for achieving the highest marks in the year in the School of Law.

After completing a six-month international secondment to DLA Piper's Litigation, Arbitration and Investigation team in Dubai, Sam won the 'Trainee Solicitor of the Year' Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2017. 

Robert Moore - 
Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Bob is a corporate partner at Herbert Smith Freehills who specialises in cross-border Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) as well as advising boards of listed companies on governance issues.

Bob's clients operate primarily in the pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and transport sectors and his experience includes recommended and hostile public company takeovers, private company acquisitions and disposals and joint ventures, distressed M&A, demergers, innovative returns of value to shareholders and listed company regulation and compliance.

He studied Law at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 1999.

Paul Singh - 
Service Manager, Civil Litigation Team at Sheffield City Council and current President of the Sheffield and District Law Society

Paul is a Solicitor who has previously worked for well-known firms in Sheffield and Leeds and is currently working in-house for Sheffield City Council.

He has been a specialist Employment Lawyer for over 10 years and now heads up the Council’s Civil Litigation team, dealing with a wide variety of matters including Business Rates, Housing claims, Inquests and Judicial Reviews. He has a particular passion for Equality and Discrimination law.

He is currently President of the Sheffield and District Law Society. His focus as President this year are to strengthen relations between firms in Sheffield and those in the wider region (Chesterfield, Barnsley and Rotherham), promote social mobility by encouraging students from poorer economic backgrounds to take up a career in law and provide the Sheffield Legal community with a national voice by responding to government consultations.

He also hopes to raise money through social events for his chosen charity, PACT, which supports parents and carers of children diagnosed with cancer.

David Smyth - 
Senior Partner (Asia), Smyth & Co in association with RPC

David obtained a BA in Law from the University of Sheffield in 1981. He is a commercial disputes lawyer with over 30 years' experience and leads RPC's Hong Kong office.

David focuses his practice on professional indemnity, financial lines and other special risks claims. He has considerable experience providing general risk management advice to professionals such as accountants, solicitors, insurance brokers, surveyors and stock-brokers.

David has worked on the defence of claims in various jurisdictions including England, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the BVI, the PRC and Taiwan.

Stephen Williams - 
Banner Jones Solicitors

A past president of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and strong advocate of the Sheffield City Region, Steve joined Banner Jones Solicitors Sheffield office; following a period of six years working as a consultant for Lupton Fawcett LLP.

Having qualified as a solicitor in 1973, Steve has practised his entire career in Sheffield – proudly taking on the role of Chamber of Commerce President in 2013.

He is a highly experienced property lawyer, with specialised knowledge of relocation, residential sales and residential purchases. He also has expertise in the commercial property arena – managing transfer of equity and mortgages.

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