The Society of Visually Impaired Lawyers

Committee

The following SOVIL members are on the committee.

Officers

Chairman - Jeremy Browne

Jeremy is a partner in a small high street firm of solicitors providing advice in a range of areas to its clients.

Jeremy specializes in family law, housing, crime and undertakes some other High Court and County Court litigation.

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

Naheed Akhtar

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 Caribbean’s. 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 at the University of Glasgow in 2011. During university Alice secured the position of an advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Maryhill. 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 in a high street firm specialising in conveyancing matters and a legal aid firm specialising in family matters, where she is currently clerking.

Riyaz Hazi

Riyaz trained at a city law firm qualifying in February 2015. With an interest in tax, he is now working in the tax department of a professional services firm with the aim of gaining dual qualification by completing the ICAS chartered accountancy qualification. Outside of work Riyaz enjoys playing goalball.

Mark Higgins

Mark graduated from St John’s College, Oxford in 2004, taking a 1st class MA in English law with French law. He went on to attend the Inns of Court school of Law (now the City Law school) and was called to the bar in 2005 as a major scholar of the Inner temple.

Mark practises out of Harcourt chambers in the Middle temple and has done so since joining them as a pupil in October 2005. He specialises in family law, contract, negligence and property but also has a degree of experience in other areas of civil work. Among his professional memberships he is a member of the Inner temple’s Inclusivity and Diversity Panel. He also participates in advocacy training for law students.

In his spare time Mark is a keen cricketer and follows a number of other sports. He enjoys good wine, history, politics and British comedy.

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 the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. In her spare time Genna enjoys the musicals and likes to keep active by tandem cycling, running and swimming.

Daisy Robson-Odugbemi