The Society of Visually Impaired Lawyers

Committee

The following SoVIL members are on the committee.

Officers

Chairman - Jeremy Browne

Jeremy has recently retired from partnership in a small high street firm but remains an active consultant. He specialised in Family Law, mainly undertaking care proceedings representing children and parents, but also some High Court and County Court litigation in other areas of law.

Secretary - Sharon Grennan

Sharon trained as a solicitor at a City law firm. She qualified in 2002 specialising in financial institutions' disputes. With five years post qualification experience, Sharon qualified as a solicitor advocate and completed an LLM in banking law and financial regulation at the London School of Economics. She now works in a non-fee earning role as a professional support lawyer specialising in banking litigation and contentious regulatory work at another City law firm.

Treasurer - Jonathan Fenton

Jonathan qualified as a solicitor in 1983 and took early retirement in 2011. He practised in the fields of pension schemes, investment funds and investment management and charity law. For the 15 years prior to his retirement he was a partner of DLA Piper in London and was formerly an Associate of Ashursts and a partner of Denton Hall (now Denton Wilde Sapte). Jonathan is the author of two books on pension schemes. Since 2010 Jonathan has suffered from a rare eye nerve condition which prevents him reading for significant periods and would like to offer his help to SoVIL in relation particularly to improvement of access to legal materials.

Other committee members

Bashir Alao

After graduating with an honors degree in Economics from the University of East London in 1992, Bashir worked with BBC finance for a couple of years. He worked in the social housing sector between 1994 and 2010 at the Homes and Communities Agency (then Housing Corporation).

He Completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School in 2009, and as a recipient of a Graham Rushton award, he completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in 2012.

He has been a Trustee and Committee member of a few charities, including the Organization for Blind Afro Caribbeans. He volunteers with the Newham Criminal Justice Team. He is learning braille and rehabilitation skills at the RNCB in Hereford. He enjoys travelling, watching old movies and politics.

Alice Bisset

Alice graduated with an Honours degree in Economics and Politics at the University of Glasgow in 2011. She became visually impaired shortly after finishing her degree. After university, Alice moved back down to London and completed the GDL and then the LPC at the University of Law, Bloomsbury.

Since then, Alice has worked as a paralegal in a high street firm specialising in conveyancing, before moving to another firm that specialises in legal aid family work. At this firm, Alice completed her training contract and qualified in August 2017. She continues to enjoy working in family law.

Riyaz Hazi

Riyaz is a dual qualified solicitor and chartered accountant. He qualified in 2015 at a Silver-Circle Law Firm before moving to the big 4 to dual qualify. He spent 4.5 years in the big 4, advising banks and financial institutions on tax matters. He also undertook a secondment to New York in 2018, advising on international tax matters. He now works for the UK Government as a commercial lawyer, advising on high-value government contracts.

Adal Ibrar

Before transferring to a career in law, Adal qualified and spent several years working in the financial services sector. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and was awarded the Graduate Diploma in Law by the University of Law. He went on to complete the Bar Professional Training Course at the City Law School and was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Adal's main areas of work are in matrimonial finance, private family and children law, landlord and tenant disputes and personal injury claims. Adal particularly focuses on assisting clients who would otherwise be denied access to justice. He has been an advocate for the disabled, the homeless, young children, and the elderly.

Genna O'Connor

Genna originally qualified as a Health Economist with a broad background in medical research and project management in the private healthcare sector, before pursuing a career in law. She has always had an interest in the interaction between law and medicine. Genna attended the College of Law and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law. She then attended The City Law School (formerly the Inns of Court School of Law), where she completed the Bar Vocational Course. Genna was Called to the Bar in October 2009. In September 2010 she completed the LLM in Professional Legal Skills.

Genna has completed a number of work placements in various law firms and large companies and has worked in the city in the areas of employment law, personal injury, professional indemnity and insurance related claims. Since December 2009 she has been working as a Generalist Adviser at Citizens' Advice. In her spare time Genna enjoys the musicals and likes to keep active by tandem cycling, running and swimming.

Daisy Robson-Odugbemi

Daisy graduated from the University of Leicester and went on to complete the Legal Practice Course in 2015 at BPP Holborn.

Since then, she has worked as a paralegal in Banking and Finance Disputes, Intellectual Property Litigation and is currently a Technology Media and Telecoms paralegal at a City firm where she will also start her training contract.