Staff,Board and Patrons
Iris Quar (Director) -
Iris is a qualified solicitor with a background in family law practice and extensive experience in advising on child law issues. She is a Trustee and member of the management committee of the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society Lothians (SANDS), an organisation which supports the bereaved families of stillborn babies and babies who die shortly after birth.
Briony Cruden (Solicitor) -
Briony is a qualified solicitor with a focus on family and child law. Briony is the newest member of the Scottish Child Law Centre and provides advice to our service users on a wide range of child law issues including contact and residence, court procedure and Children's Hearings. Briony is driven by the importance of Children's rights and is dedicated to helping children express their views in matters which relate to them.
Irina Beaton (Solicitor) -
Irina is a qualified solicitor in Russian and Scots law. She has a Masters degree in International Law from the University of Aberdeen where she focused her study on issues related to international family and child law, and a Masters degree in Translation Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Irina completed her traineeship at Anderson Strathern LLP, where she focused on issues related to child and family law, private client work, employment law and medical negligence work. She also has experience working with and representing clients with diagnosed mental health problems and their carers though her work at the Brown and Co at Legal Services Agency Ltd.
Evelyn Hay (Office Manager) -
Evelyn is the Office Manager at the Scottish Child Law Centre. She has over 20 year’s experience of working in the voluntary sector and has a particular interest in supporting work with children and young people.
Jenny has over 12 years experience in various administration settings in the public, voluntary and private sectors. She has a PhD in Botany and is also a Pilates Teacher, Fitness Instructor and Cycling Coach. Jenny shares the values of SCLC and is committed to supporting their work in her role.
Denise has over 32 years’ experience working both in the private and public sector. She enjoys hillwalking and caravanning with her family and her Miniature Schnauzer called Daisy.
Siobhan Ball (Archivist & Records Manager)
Siobhan is qualified in Information Management and Preservation. She is working with SCLC to improve its record storage, management and reporting. With over 4000 contacts to the Centre's Advice Line every year this is a vital function to maintain, and provides valuable information to the Centre, our funders and potential funders.
Nick Hobbs (Chair)
Nick Hobbs is Policy and Public Affairs Manager for the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, where he has worked since 2006. His role is focused on enabling SCRA to influence and inform the national policy agenda for children and families in areas such as youth justice, child protection, children’s services planning and the reform of the Hearings System. He is a member of SCRA’s Participation Group, which seeks opportunities to improve children and young people’s experiences of the system. He has contributed to publications as varied as Holyrood Magazine, the Edinburgh Evening News and Honduras This Week, as well as co-authoring a chapter on the Children’s Hearings System in “Scottish Life and Society: The Law”. Nick graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Law Degree in 2001 before moving to Scotland in 2003. He has an MSc in Human Rights and International Politics from the University of Glasgow and has travelled extensively in Latin America, China and Central Asia. He lectures occasionally on children’s rights and the Hearings system at the University of Edinburgh.
Gillian Donald (Treasurer)
Gillian trained with Scott-Moncrieff and qualified in 1993. Since then she has specialised in the charity sector, and is the firm's specialist charity audit partner. She has extensive practical experience of charity regulation and is responsible for ensuring technical compliance with charity regulation across all service sectors within her firm. She is Treasurer of a number of Scottish charities with income ranging from under £100,000 to over £11 million. She is currently a specialist charity lecturer for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), a member of its Charity Working Party and was a member of the Scottish Charity Law Review Commission. She is a regular contributor on current accounting topics to charity publications within the UK.
Grace McGill (Vice Chair)
Grace is the Principal of McGill & Co Solicitors, Edinburgh & Glasgow, a firm specialising in Immigration, Refugee & Nationality Law which she opened on her own account in April 2008. Prior to this, she was a Partner in Wilson Terris Solicitors Edinburgh. She has been a practioner in the field of Immigration law since 1995 and has considerable experience in all aspects of work of this nature. She is a member of the Immigration Law Practioners Association and International Bar Association. She has a keen interest in the development of the law for the protection of immigrant children and indeed ran several significant cases at the Court of Session advocating the Best Interests of the Child which ultimately influenced the change of Government Policy - Every Child Matters and section 55 of the Borders and Immigration Act 2009. She has recently completed her LLM in International Human Rights law, her dissertation subject being written on Judicial Protection and recognition of Human Rights for Immigrant Children in the UK.
Dr Helen Hammond
Dr Helen Hammond is a Consultant Community Paediatrician with specialist interests in Child Development, Child Protection and the needs of children 'Looked After'. Until recently, she also contributed to the hospital service through the acute on-call rota and she is firmly committed to an integrated model of care. Helen is the designated doctor for child protection for NHS Lothian and put in place the specialist clinical service offering advise and joint paediatric/forensic examination of children who have suffered any form of physical or sexual abuse or neglect. She was recently appointed as Clinical Lead for the Managed Clinical Network for Child Sexual Abuse for South East Scotland.
Helen led the inquiry into the death Kennedy McFarlane in Dumfries and Galloway in 2000 and subsequently was a member of the Inquiry team in to the death of Caleb Ness in Edinburgh in 2003. She completed a 3 year secondment as a part time professional advisor to the Child Protection Reform Programme Action Team of the [then] Scottish Executive.
Helen has served as a Council Member and a member of the Academic Board of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). She recently completed an extended term on the Standing Committee for Child Protection for the College and is Chair the Child Protection Sub-Committee for the Scottish Committee of the RCPCH. She also represents the RCPCH on the working group developing a diploma in medical and legal aspects of sexual assault with the RCOG and Society of Apothecaries.
Julian is a member of the Scottish bar having been called in 2014. Previously he was a solicitor in private practice for 18 years specialising in family and child law cases and was an accredited specialist in child law for 10 years. He has considerable experience of acting for birth families and children in cases concerning children in the care system and has a specialist interest in cases involving the impact of article 8 of the ECHR in compulsory care, adoption and permanence order proceedings.
George is a retired senior police officer having served for 32 years in a number of roles in Lothian and Borders Police and latterly Police Scotland. He is a qualified and experienced Independent Programme and Project Assurance assessor having undertaken many high value / high risk Gateway Reviews for both the Scottish and UK Governments.
He was Head of Communication and Response delivering exceptional grades of service in handling emergency and non emergency calls and responding to, and managing incidents.
More recently he was a Strategic Advisor to the Bureau of Strategic Planning, Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Serbia on Strategic Planning and Horizontal Communication in connection with their bid for EU Accession.
He is a member of the Board of Just Enough UK, a charity that educates schoolchildren in difficult topics such as Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking and Radicalisation.
Maria J. Galli
Maria is a dual- qualified solicitor, having gained qualifications in law in both Scotland and Australia. Maria currently works as a Child Protection Officer and, occasionally, as a self-employed legal Consultant. Maria has worked in all areas of criminal and civil law, in both Scotland and Australia and has been employed in both private and public law roles. She was appointed as a Safeguarder, curator ad litem and Sheriff Court Reporting Officer and was accredited as a Law Society of Scotland Specialist in Child Law in 1995.
Maria was employed as a Reporter to the Children's Panel, and worked for the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration before relocating in 2006, along with her family, to Sydney, Australia. She worked on an employed and pro bono basis in Sydney as a solicitor, accredited Religious Education Teacher, and accredited Debating Adjudicator.
As a Director and Company Secretary with a local charitable organisation, Ayrshire Cancer Support, Maria has also undertaken a legal advisory role on a voluntary basis since 2014. In 2015 Maria joined the Board of Trustees for Together (Scottish Alliance of Children’s Charities) as an observer.
Previously a volunteer with SCLC, Maria brings first-hand experience and in-depth understanding of the difficulties faced by service-users seeking advice as well as the challenges faced with running a charity.
Maria is passionate about children’s rights and feels privileged to be able to contribute to the work of the SCLC, in assisting children, young people, professionals and families, faced with child law issues.
Joanna is a business development specialist, entrepreneur, speaker and media consultant. A Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, she guides and advises business clients and charities to enable their organisations to grow and flourish. Having advised lawyers and educational professionals on digital strategy for effective youth engagement, as well as supporting social media investigations with community police and family law professionals, Joanna often advises on the development of communication between professional support agencies and vulnerable children. She has a track record of contributing her commercial experience to help develop child-related organisations and programmes since 1999 including: Young Enterprise, Scottish Business in the Community and various Scottish Schools, She is also an experienced Trustee previously serving the Baxi Trust.
As a parent and step-parent to three children Joanna has first hand experience of the invaluable nature of the services provided by the Scottish Child Law Centre to children and young people who do not have a route to the information they seek. Her personal and professional experience combine to make Joanna an engaged and informed member of the Board, and she welcomes any enquires about the work of, or how to engage with The Scottish Child Law Centre
Dame Elish Angiolini
Dame Elish was appointed in 2001 as the first non - political Solicitor General for Scotland on 5 December 2001 – also the first woman, the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor to hold the post. She was installed as Lord Advocate on 12 October 2006.
During her appointment Dame Elish took particular interest in supporting the children who are witnesses in criminal prosecutions, contributing greatly to the improvements in the experience of these most vulnerable witnesses. Her Guidance on the handling of offences allegedly committed by children has helped to ensure that only those cases which are not suited for the Children's Hearing system go through the adult courts.
She chaired the Department's Strategy Group on Diversity and helped victims from minority communities achieve greater confidence in the prosecution service. Her leadership in the area of domestic violence was recognised by the charity Zero Tolerance when she was given their inaugural "Women in the public Eye" award – one of several awards and distinctions she has received during her time in office.
The review of the investigation and prosecution of rape and sexual crimes which she instigated was a major undertaking which resulted in profound and successful changes to prosecution practices including the establishment of the specialist National Sexual Crimes Unit, the first of its type in Europe. She also set up the highly successful Health and Safety Division and the National Deaths Inquiry Unit.
Dame Elish has recently taken up an appointment as visiting Professor of Law at Strathclyde University and is now in practice at the Bar with Terra Firma Chambers. She is also chairing a Commission into Women Offenders in Scotland.
Sheriff Brian Kearney
Sheriff Brian Kearney, formerly a sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin at Glasgow, he served as a legal member of the Parole Board for Scotland from 2008 until 2010. In 1988 Sheriff Kearney was appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland as a member of the Review Group charged with considering the reform of child care law (reported 1990). In 1989 and 1992 he presided over the Inquiry into Child Care Policies in Fife (reported 1992).
He was Chair of the management committee of The Glasgow Marriage Guidance Council (now Couples Counselling) and is now its Honorary President. Sheriff Kearney is an acknowledged expert on the Children's Hearings System, and author of several books on the Hearings system and court procedure, together with numerous learned articles.
Are you a solictor who practices in the area of family law, child law, education law, children's hearings or related areas?If so then please get in touch to let us know who you are and your details. We are building up a database of solicitor's practicing in these areas in Scotland as we are frequently asked for the names of solicitors. Please also tell the Law Society of Scotland as we refer many people to the records department for names of solicitors in their area.