Religion and Belief Taskforce Biographies

Meera Roy-Chowdhury

Policy Manager, Equality and Access to Justice, Bar Standards Board

Shadae Cazeau

Head of Equality and Access to Justice,Bar Standards Board

Julian Blake

Sultana Tafadar

Jaskeerat Singh

Immigration solicitor, Maalik & Co Solicitors

Jaskeerat Singh was called to the Bar in December 2015 and he is currently seeking pupillage to qualify as a practicing barrister. Jaskeerat practices immigration and family law, and he represents vulnerable clients in Immigration Tribunals and Family Courts. As a practicing Sikh, Jaskeerat recognises the barriers which are faced by students and aspiring barristers from diverse background whilst trying to find their feet in this prestigious profession. 

Jaskeerat Singh co-founded Sikh Lawyers Association to allow students from disadvantaged backgrounds to receive mentoring opportunities from practicing members of the profession. Sikh Lawyers Association is the first association for Sikhs in the legal profession and it brings a strong support network for established members. Jaskeerat Singh echoes the principle of Sikhism to “Recognise the Human Race as One”, and he encourages diversity and inclusion within the profession to ensure current and prospective members of the bar can overcome adversity to reach the highest levels despite their race, religion, or background.

Tinessa Kaur

Christopher Grout

Daniel Grutter

Ravi Aswani

Ravi is a commercial dispute resolution barrister.  As well as commercial litigation in the Business & Property Courts (primarily the Commercial Court), Ravi has an international arbitration practice.  He frequently appears as counsel in arbitrations seated all over the world (and is periodically appointed as an arbitrator).

Ravi has sat as a deputy district judge in the County Court since 2013 in general civil matters, and in 2020 received an authorisation to hear specialist chancery / bankruptcy and insolvency matters.

Ravi has a longstanding passion for matters of equality, diversity, inclusion, belonging and social mobility, and has taken part in many formal and informal mentoring and CSR initiatives.  In 2021 the Society of Asian Lawyers awarded him their Company / Commercial Lawyer of the Year Award. 

Annabel Timan

Sam Robinson QC

Jane Heybroek

Ramya Nagesh

Narinder Jhittay

Narinder Jhittay was called to the Bar in 2010. She is a member of Maitland Chambers, specialising in commercial chancery litigation and arbitration. She was one of the 36 barristers across the country selected to take part in the Bar Council’s inaugural Leadership Programme, to help drive forward a positive, open and inclusive culture across the Bar.

Equality Taskforce Biographies

Meera Roy-Chowdhury

Policy Manager, Equality and Access to Justice, Bar Standards Board

Shadae Cazeau

Head of Equality and Access to Justice,Bar Standards Board

Raggi Kotak

Raggi specialises is all areas of immigration, human rights and asylum law appearing before Courts and Tribunals at all levels in the UK.  She has a broad range of knowledge and experience of all areas of work.  She is very familiar with the domestic and international jurisprudence on the Refugee and Human Rights Conventions.

She is particularly specialised in sex and gender based violence claims including domestic violence, sexual orientation and gender identity.  This includes challenges to trafficking NRM decisions, refusals of residence permits, detention of vulnerable people in and out of DAC and breaches of the duty to investigate arising both under policy and under International obligations.

Raggi has substantial experience in representing those presenting with trauma and mental health issues.  She has a deep understanding of the impact of mental health on credibility in asylum appeals. She has trained lawyers in the UK and internationally on the impact of trauma in casework  – often with the Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law – who are leading the research in this area.
She is able to utilise this knowledge to support her clients through the system with high levels of success.

Read more on Raggi's Chambers website.

Paul Stanley QC

Barrister

Barrister, Essex Court Chambers

Paul Stanley was called to the Bar in 1993, and was appointed QC in 2010. He practices in commercial law, has been a pupil-supervisor and is equality and diversity officer at Essex Court Chambers. He is a bencher of the Middle Temple. He has a particular interest in education and training, and is a governor of the Inns of Court College of Advocacy and director of the South Eastern Circuit Advanced Advocacy course.

Sara Ibrahim

Barrister, 3 Hare Court

Sara Ibrahim is a barrister at 3 Hare Court specialising in employment and commercial law and is listed in the Legal 500. Sara is an equalities campaigner including on the issue of race and is on the panel of counsel for the Commission of Equality and Human Rights. She co-chairs a sub-committee on Social Mobility for Lincoln’s Inn. Additionally, she is a former Vice Chair of the Fabian Society, Britain’s oldest think tank.

Marcia Shekerdemian QC

Barrister, Wilberforce Chambers

Marcia Shekerdemian QC (Wilberforce Chambers) is a leading practitioner in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious insolvency, company and partnership law as well as commercial litigation. Her work encompasses both domestic and international matters.

Chambers UK and The Legal 500 have recommended her for many years in commercial litigation, company and insolvency. Chambers UK also ranks her for commercial chancery work, noting in addition her expertise in property related litigation. Marcia sits as a deputy judge of the Insolvency and Companies Court. She was Chair of the Equality & Diversity Sub-Committee of the Chancery Bar Association between 2016-2019.

Professor Leslie Thomas QC

Barrister Member, The Bar Standards Board

Leslie Thomas QC was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2014. A human rights practitioner, Leslie specialises in claims against the police, public authorities and corporate bodies. He is also a specialist in inquests and public inquiries. He is currently an independent member on the Standards Committee for public life for Lewisham Council. He is on the Council executive for the organisation JUSTICE. In 2016, Leslie won the Legal Aid Lawyers' (LALY) Award for work on the Hillsborough case and in 2017, he won the UK Legal Diversity Lifetime achievement award. In June 2020 he was appointed Gresham Professor of Law. He is a Visiting Professor at Goldsmith, University of London.  Leslie is also an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda with a Caribbean practice - JC Legal Solutions.

Laurie-Anne Power

Barrister, 25 Bedford Row

Laurie-Anne was called to the Bar in 2000 and is a leading criminal practitioner. She was awarded BSN Lawyer of the Year at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2019 and volunteers for Inspirational U and Urban Synergy, to improve outcomes for marginalised young people. Laurie-Anne has taught criminal law at the London Metropolitan University, and advocacy and ethics on the BPTC. In 2016, she spoke at a Black History Month event at BPP Law School. Its African & Caribbean Society commented, “thank you for showing us what fearless looks like”.

Oliver May

Barrister, No5 Barristers’ Chambers

Oliver was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in July 2018. He specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence law. Prior to joining the Bar, Oliver worked in policy, initially in the financial sector at the Bank of England and then in the legal sector as the Senior Policy Officer for Equality and Diversity at the Bar Standards Board.Oliver has an unwavering commitment to his role as an ally across all aspects of the equality and diversity agenda. Oliver is Vice Chair of Neurodiversity in Law, a nascent organisation that seeks to promote and support neurodiversity within the legal profession and work collaboratively with other equality and diversity organisations to help foster a more diverse and accepting legal sector.

Zeenat Islam