Hackney Community Law Centre

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Our team

Sean Canning - Manager

Sean started his career working in the social housing movement where he began work as a housing worker before becoming Director of An Teach Irish Housing Association, an organisation which specialises in working with young, single homeless people in Haringey. Sean has worked in the Law Centre movement for the last ten years as Director of the North Kensington Law Centre and now Hackney and Camden Law Centre’s. He has extensive experience of fundraising, managing legal aid contracts and developing volunteer programmes.

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Sean was instrumental in setting up the Advice Now project in Kensington and Chelsea – a collaborative £500,000 project funded by the Big Lottery Fund to offer a wider range of all types of advice services.

Sean has been Treasurer of the Law Centres Network for three years (2007-2010) and has served as a member of the Law Centres Network Executive Committee for several years. He is a school governor.

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Sean Canning

Nathaniel Mathews - Housing Solicitor

Nathaniel Mathews is the senior solicitor at HCLC. He was born in the UK but spent much of his childhood abroad in Mexico, Italy and Kuwait. He has worked at HCLC since qualifying as a solicitor in 1994. He heads the Social Welfare Team. In 2006, Nathaniel was awarded the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award in the ‘Social Welfare‘ category.

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In his spare time, in a personal capacity, he writes a blog called ‘Frontline Hackney – a day in the life of the Law‘.

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Nathaniel Mathews

Diane Morrison - Employment Solicitor

Diane Morrison joined the Law Centre as a typist in May 2005 (initially on a part time basis). She then qualified as a Generalist Adviser with the CAB (Holborn) on a part-time basis and became the Law Centre’s main adviser alongside the specialist caseworkers. She still volunteers with the CAB. From 2009 onwards she started the Law Centre’s volunteer programme which was then upgraded with input from Ms. Wendy Pettifer.

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Diane’s main experience has been in the social welfare law team – alongside supporting the volunteers with front level advice work and represents the Centre at the London Borough of Hackney’s Public Service Promise meetings.

Outside of the Law Centre she is also a keen distance runner (she successfully completed her fourth marathon in London in April 2012). She also believes the world’s problems could be solved if more people learned knitting and embroidery. She is a member of the Womens’ Institute (Alexander Palace) and has joined the London Comedy Writers circuit as an outlet for writing sketch comedy. She was also the secretary of the St Ignatius Soup Run for 11 years and is a member of a choir.

In October 2014, Diane won the Law Society Excellence Award 2014 in the ‘Solicitor of the Year-In House‘ category

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Diane Morrison

Marcin Brajta - Trainee Solicitor

Marcin initially joined the law centre as a welfare benefits caseworker in 2016. He then began his training contract in January 2018 whilst also studying on the Legal Practice Course part-time. Marcin previously worked for Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) as their Income Maximisation and Debt Caseworker. He also worked on housing, employment and immigration cases, acting as a trainer on immigration law to all new trainee advisors. Marcin also used to work as a court approved interpreter providing Polish-English translation in courts, police stations and hospitals. He gained a diploma in Public Service Interpreting in 2012.

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Marcin, who originally comes from Poland, studied for his BA degree in Scottish Law with sociology at the University of Stirling. He then studied for his Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law in Leeds, gaining a distinction.
Marcin speaks Russian to a high level and he also has a good working knowledge of Spanish. In his spare time, Marcin enjoys playing the guitar. He was the bass player in a number of bands in Stirling and Glasgow. He is a keen cyclist and has cycled around many of Scotland’s islands in the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

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Marcin Brajta

Beri Nwosu - Supervising Solicitor Immigration

Beri joined HCLC in October 2018 as supervising solicitor in the Immigration Department. Beri studied law at the University of Lagos and then went to the Nigerian Law School where obtained a 2:1. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1996. She cross qualified as a Solicitor in the UK in 2013.

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Before joining HCLC, Beri worked as a Caseworker at Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) between 2001 and 2010. At RMJ, Beri was part of the pre-decision team dealing with asylum claims and other applications to the Home Office involving vulnerable minors, victims of trafficking and vulnerable adults.

From 2011, Beri worked at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. At Duncan Lewis, she represented asylum claimants under the Fast Track process and was successful in getting many of her clients off the process. Beri also successfully challenged Home Office decisions through Judicial Review and represented clients in the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. She also supervised a team of trainee solicitors and caseworkers.

Outside of work, Beri's interests include Formula 1 motor racing, football and dancing.

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Beri Nwosu

Kevin Long - Housing Solicitor

Kevin joined the Law Centre in November 2016. He has worked in social welfare law for 15 years beginning as an advisor at Brent Private Tenants’ Rights Group before joining Lambeth Law Centre in 2006 where he qualified as a solicitor. In this time he has practised in immigration, employment and benefit law, but housing has remained his core area of expertise. He has experience of representing tenants and homeless applicants in all fields of housing law, but particularly enjoys public law possession cases. At Lambeth Law Centre he successfully acted in a series of cases where groups of social housing tenants subject to local regeneration schemes were facing eviction.

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In 2012 he was nominated in the Guardian’s ‘Lawyer to Watch’ series. Since 2013 he has been a contributing author for LexisNexis PSL on social housing, is a regular commentator for PSL News Analysis, and was a co-author of LexisNexis ’Social Housing Law in Practice (2015)’. He has also written for other publications in the advice and welfare sector (see Advisor 166 ‘Keep it in the Family’ (2014)).

In his spare time, Kevin enjoys walking on Hackney Marshes, cycling the Lea Valley with his children, and long distance running. He has started and finished numerous marathons and ultra-marathons. In April 2017, he will be running the London marathon to raise funds for his former workplace Lambeth Law Centre

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Kevin Long

Jamille Mohammed - Housing Solicitor

Jamille joined Hackney Community Law Centre as a housing solicitor and supervisor in November 2016. He graduated in 2002 with an honours degree in Law, undertook his Legal Practice Course and, following the completion of his training contract, qualified as a solicitor in 2007. Jamille has practised in housing law ever since, specialising in all aspects of housing law including landlord and tenant matters. He has also advised on possession proceedings, anti-social behavior cases, unlawful eviction and re-entry, homelessness law, disrepair, injunctions under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act, tenancy deposits, neighbour disputes and harassment, defences under the Equality Act 2010, public law defences and judicial reviews.

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Jamille is also an experienced advocate and regularly represents clients as a duty solicitor at Central London County Court and Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court. Prior to joining the Law Centre, Jamille worked in private practice at a firm where he was joint director of a busy housing department. He previously also worked in the city.

Jamille is strongly committed to providing access to justice and has acted pro bono in cases where clients have needed immediate representation. He believes in exploring all options possible to assist those at risk of losing their homes.

In his spare time, Jamille is an active political campaigner, lobbying the Government and his local MPs about access to justice and the importance of legal aid. He is also a school governor, plays badminton and enjoys going on long walks.

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Jamille Mohammed

 

The solicitors, caseworkers, interns and volunteers are assisted by administrator Kim Sin.