Patrons and trustees


  • Amanda Finlay CBE, Chair
  • Jon Spain, Treasurer
  • The Hon. Mr Justice Knowles CBE
  • Dr Neil Stott
  • Dr Vanessa Davies
  • Prof Dawn Oliver
  • Raymond Sheehy
  • Joe Broadway


Our Founding Patrons are:

  • Professor Dame Hazel Genn DBE QC,
  • The Rt Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

Biographical details:


 Amanda Finlay CBE – Chair

Amanda Finlay is a Council Member and Executive Board member of Justice. She was a member of the Justice Working Groups on Access to Justice in an Age of Austerity, and on What is a Court? and recently chaired the Justice Working Group on Preventing Digital Exclusion from Online Justice.

Amanda was a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC) from 2009 -2012 and is a continuing member of the CJC Working Group on Litigants in Person Support Strategy and a member of the MOJ Litigants in Person Engagement Group. She is a member of the Greenwich University Law Advisory Forum . She was Vice Chair of the Low Commission, and until recently was a Trustee of LawWorks and a public governor of Oxleas NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust in South East London.

Amanda has been a Trustee of Law for Life since 2009, when she retired from the Ministry of Justice. During her career she was an advocate and supporter of Public Legal Education, and was a member of Professor Dame Hazel Genn’s PLEAS Task Force and of Lord Bach’s Public Legal Education Strategy Group.

During her long career in the Lord Chancellor’s Department, and then the Ministry of Justice, Amanda worked on many aspects of access to justice. She was the MOJ Director responsible for legal aid strategy and for legal services reform. She led work to improve the forecasting and control of legal aid, introducing more predictable fee schemes for lawyers. She built on research and client surveys to target legal aid on more vulnerable groups.  She led the arrangements to set up the Legal Services Board. She worked with the legal profession, academics, social workers and client representatives to develop improved arrangements for both private law and public law children cases. She supported the case for tribunal reform set out by Sir Andrew Leggatt in his review “ Tribunals for Users” which in time resulted in the Unified Tribunal service. She worked with human rights and asylum lawyers, and with the immigration and asylum judiciary, to develop HR compliant new asylum appeals primary and secondary legislation.

Amanda led the work on the Human Rights Act in the Lord Chancellor’s Department, working with human rights lawyers to ensure that the scheme of the Act was workable in the courts and leading ten all day “walkthroughs” to test out compatibility with judges, lawyers and human rights experts in courts from the magistrates up to the Court of Appeal. She was Secretary to Lord Woolf’s Inquiry “Access to Justice”, working with the judiciary, lawyers, academics and lay people to devise improvements to the civil justice system.

Earlier in her career she was engaged in work to open up legal services to more competition, including work with the Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct on rights of audience applications from solicitors and employed lawyers, and the establishment of the Legal Services Ombudsman. Amanda was secretary to the Legal Aid Advisory Committee; worked with Richard White and Cyril Glasser (founder members of the Legal Action Group) on their report on unmet need for legal services in the 1970s and was engaged in the work to set up the Crown Court and the Court Service following the Courts Act 1971.


Jon Spain -Treasurer

Jon Spain is a professional Actuary and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, with experience in the private and public sectors, spanning 40 years. He is on the Board of his local synagogue and Treasurer of Community Voice Health, a patient/member-led community organisation monitoring NHS Trusts and CCGs. Mr Spain is about to retire from the Civil Service.


The Hon Mr. Justice Knowles CBE

Robin was called to the Bar in 1982 and became a judge of the High Court (Queens Bench Div) in 2004. His particular specialisations are in financial law, contract law, company law (including insolvency), the law of professional negligence, and insurance law. He regularly instructed in cases where there was a reputational aspect as well as a financial one. As well as appearing in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the appellate courts, and overseas, he has represented parties at over 36 mediations.

From 2005 to 2007 Robin was Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), the professional association of the Commercial Bar of England & Wales.

Robin was closely involved in work to re-cast the Commercial Court Guide with the advent of the Woolf Reforms. More recently he has served on the Aikens working party on “supercases” and commercial court procedure generally.

Robin sits as a High Court Judge, and as a Recorder in the Crown Court. He is authorised to sit in the Chancery Division and in the Queen’s Bench Division. In the Crown Court he is authorised to hear cases involving serious sexual offences.

Robin also has a long-standing commitment to legal pro bono work, and to the coordination of that work. He was awarded the CBE for services to pro bono legal services in the 2006 New Years Honours List. Among other pro bono roles and in addition to his commitment to LawWorks, he is the Chairman of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, a member of the Advisory Council of Advocates for International Development, and a member of the Attorney General’s National Pro Bono Coordinating Committee (and of its International Committee).

Robin chairs two legal advice projects serving the diverse community in the East End of London. He also chaired the cross-sector working party on the establishment of the Access to Justice Foundation.

Robin is a member of the Bar Council’s General Management Committee. He is a Bencher of Middle Temple, and also a member of Gray’s Inn. Outside the law, Robin was the Chairman of Trustees of Richard House Children’s Hospice, which was London’s first hospice for children who are unlikely to live into adulthood.


Dr Neil Stott

Neil Stott is Director of the Master of Studies in Social Innovation Programme and Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge University.
Neil is a Senior Associate of Locality’s consultancy. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management (SFIPM) and a Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University.

Previously Neil was Head of Community Development at Canterbury City Council, Principal Officer (Community) at Cambridge City Council and a youth and community worker for a number of children’s charities including Mencap, Elfrida Rathbone and Contact-a-Family in London. Until April 2015 he was Chief Executive of Keystone Development Trust, one of the largest development trusts in the country delivering community development, social enterprises and property development.


Dr Vanessa Davies

Vanessa Davies has been the Director General of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) since 2011. Prior to joining the BSB, Dr Davies was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations at Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ).

She started her working life as a linguist. She was the Director of the Language Centre at King’s College, London and then spent nearly a decade at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, first as Director of the Diplomatic Service Language Centre and subsequently as a Group Director overseeing a range of services in support of UK foreign policy.
Dr Davies left the world of languages in 2005 and trained for the Bar. She is an unregistered barrister, and a Bencher of Inner Temple. She was a volunteer at the Personal Support Unit and a Trustee at the PSU until 2016.


Professor Dawn Oliver

Professor Dawn Oliver recently retired as Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at University College London. She served as Dean of the Faculty from 1993-98 and in 2007. She was editor of Public Law from 1993-2002, and has been a distinguished member of many Commissions on constitutional issues. Professor Oliver was elected a Bencher of the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple in 1996, and was Treasurer of the Middle Temple in 2011. She was made Queen’s Counsel, honoris causa, in 2013. Earlier in her career she ran two legal advice clinics in the 70’s. She was also a part time consultant for Legal Action Group, writing updates on social welfare law. She was a Trustee of the Citizenship Foundation. She is now a volunteer with the Personal Support Unit.


Raymond Sheehy

Raymond Sheehy has been the Chief Executive of Bridge Mental Health in Woolwich since 2009. Previously the CEO of a learning disability and mental health charity, he is currently Lead Governor of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and a Panel Member on the Monitor Independent Advisory Panel.
Mr Sheehy is now working with his team on the development of new models of delivering services; social and commercial enterprises, and a range of innovative support and housing options for people who have experienced or continue to live with a mental health problem. He has established the first non NHS run Recovery College which now serves the people in Woolwich”


Joe Broadway

Joe Broadway is Director of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary at CFH Docmail Ltd. He created and ran Velopost, a fossil fuel free postal delivery service, as a separate business unit within CFH Docmail, for three years. He received the 2015 Business Insider Magazines 42 Under 42 award which “recognises some of the South West’s most dynamic and inspirational young entrepreneurs and celebrates their success in helping grow the regional economy”. He has recently become a volunteer advocate at the Free Representation Unit, is a Trustee of the CFH Total Document Management Retirement Benefit Scheme, and was a fundraiser and volunteer at READ International.



Professor Dame Hazel Genn DBE QC

Professor Dame Hazel Genn is a leading authority on civil justice whose work has had a major influence on policy-makers around the world. She is currently Dean of the Faculty of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at University College London.

She has held full-time research posts at Oxford University Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. She served on the Committee on Standards in Public Life and in 2009 was appointed to the Secretary of State’s Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity. In 2005, she was awarded the US Law and Society International Prize for distinguished scholarship and she holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Keele, Edinburgh, Leicester, and Kingston.

Hazel was chair of the Public Legal Education and Support (PLEAS) task force and was chair of the Advisory Panel for research on Family Advice and Information for the Legal Services Commission.

She served for eight years as deputy chair and then chair of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Research Grants Board and in 2008 she was elected Honorary Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn.

Hazel Genn is a leading authority on civil justice and has published widely in the field including Meeting Legal Needs? (1981), Understanding Civil Justice (1997) and Tribunals for Diverse Users (2006). She is author of companion volumes Paths to Justice: What People Do and Think About Going to Law (1999), and, with Alan Paterson, Paths to Justice Scotland: What Scottish People Do and Think About going to Law (2001), which report the findings of two major national surveys into public use of and attitudes to the legal system.

She was one of the team leading the Nuffield Foundation’s Inquiry on Empirical Legal Research and is one of the authors of the final report Law in the Real World: Improving our Understanding of How Law Works, published in November 2006. In November/December 2008 she delivered the 2008 Hamlyn Lectures on civil justice.


The Rt Hon Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

The Rt. Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury was appointed as Master of the Rolls in 2009 and then became President of the Supreme Court in October 2012.

He was called to the Bar in 1974 and was made a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1987. He became a Bencher for Lincolns Inn in 1993. His first judicial appointment was as a Recorder from 1990 until 1996 when he was appointed a High Court judge in the Chancery Division and was then the Supervisory Chancery Judge for the Midland, Wales and Chester and Western Circuits 2000 – 2004.

In January 2004 he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and led an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the barrister profession. In 2007 he was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and created a life peer as Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury in the county of Dorset.


Published: 5 September 2019

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