CLAN CHILDLAW - Key Persons


Abi Wood

Job Titles:
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor Read
Abi joined Clan Childlaw in January 2021 as a Trainee Solicitor through the Justice First Fellowship. She studied her undergraduate Law degree and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow, where she also worked as a Student Mentor. Abi developed a passion for human rights and an interest in children's issues through her studies and voluntary work. Before joining Clan, Abi was a civil servant working for the Ministry of Justice. She worked as a Clerk to the First-Tier Tribunal for both the Immigration and Asylum Chamber and the Social Entitlement Chamber.

ALISON PATRICIA REID

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • SOLICITOR

Alison Reid

Job Titles:
  • Principal Solicitor and Chief Executive Read
Alison was enrolled as a solicitor in 1996. She worked in civil litigation in private practice for four years before being employed as a Reporter to the Children's Hearings. Having recognised the need for a specialist, outreach, legal representation service for children and young people in Scotland, Alison co-founded Clan Childlaw in 2008 and continues to be employed as its Chief Executive and Principal Solicitor. Alison is a member of the Scottish Civil Justice Council Family Law Committee. She is a court reporter and curator ad litem in relation to contact and residence disputes in the sheriff court and a curator ad litem and reporting officer in relation to adoption and permanence proceedings. Until recently she was also a safeguarder in the children's hearings system, a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Access to Justice Committee and a member of the City of Edinburgh Council's Child Protection Committee. She is a member of the Family Law Committee of the Civil Justice Council Alison loves most sports and enjoys camping and walking in the Scottish hills.

Anne Nielsen

Job Titles:
  • Author

Cate Burton

Job Titles:
  • Administrator ( Edinburgh )
  • Administrator ( Edinburgh ) Read
Cate joined CLAN in October 2019 as Administrator based in Edinburgh. Cate studied business Administration in Leeds and went on to enjoy a variety of positions through out her career. Cate enjoys being the outdoors exploring with her family.

Cathy Asante

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board
  • Solicitor and Legal Officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission
Cathy is a qualified solicitor and legal officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission. She leads the work of the Commission in promoting a human rights based approach, with a particular focus on health and social care. She previously worked at Legal Services Agency, a law centre, as a solicitor in the Mental Health Legal Representation Project.

Catriona Phillips

Job Titles:
  • Author

Chris Yule

Job Titles:
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor Read
Chris qualified as a solicitor in 2019. Before joining Clan Childlaw in September 2020, Chris trained and worked within busy law firms in Edinburgh and regularly represented clients in court and children's hearings. Chris has a keen interest in matters regarding Child Law and furthering children's rights in Scotland.

Claire Osborne

Job Titles:
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor Read
Claire joined Clan in October 2019 as a solicitor. She completed most of her traineeship at a large full service firm before finishing it off at a busy legal aid firm practising in asylum, immigration and human rights law. She has worked with vulnerable clients, including unaccompanied asylum seeking children and victims of human trafficking. Throughout her studies and prior to commencing her traineeship, Claire worked with children as a swim teacher for a number of years. Through this work, she developed a passion for working with children and young people. Claire has also volunteered at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic and is currently a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Access to Justice Committee. She is passionate about social justice and human rights, particularly children's rights, and is excited to have joined the team at Clan. In her spare time, Claire enjoys travelling, hillwalking and live music.

Daniel Tornes

Job Titles:
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor Read
Daniel joined Clan in July 2019 as a trainee solicitor. He studied Law at the University of Glasgow, where he also completed an LLM with Distinction in International Law and Security and the Diploma in Legal Practice. During his studies, Daniel volunteered at an organisation providing support and advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as interning with a Glasgow-based law centre where he assisted in cases relating to asylum and trafficking matters

Gaby Nolan

Job Titles:
  • Projects Manager
  • Projects Manager Read
Gaby started working as Projects Manager with CLAN in August 2019. She has much experience of working in the third sector, managing information & advice and support services. Through her varied experience across the sector, Gaby has developed a particular interest in work that protects and promotes human rights. She is delighted to contribute to the work of CLAN supporting children and young people.

Janet Cormack

Job Titles:
  • Author
  • Legal Policy Manager
  • Legal Policy Manager Read
Janet joined Clan in May 2016. She studied Law and German at the University of Glasgow and European Integration and European Human Rights Law in Germany. She worked in Brussels for several years, at the European Parliament, Migration Policy Group and the UK Law Societies' Joint Brussels office. The Scottish Parliament recently voted unanimously to bring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law. However, the UK Government has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether certain parts of the Bill go beyond the Scottish Parliament's powers under devolution. Our Legal Policy Manager Janet Cormack explains what has happened so far and what could happen next.

Jenna Hall

Job Titles:
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor Read
Jenna joined Clan in January 2017 as a trainee solicitor, under the Justice First Fellowship. Jenna developed an interest and passion for law, particularly human rights law studying for her first degree in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee. After graduating, Jenna decided to pursue a career in law. She graduated with distinction from Edinburgh Napier University with her LLB (Graduate-entry) before completing her Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout her legal studies, Jenna volunteered as a Generalist Adviser with a local Citizens Advice Bureau. In January of 2019, Jenna finished her training and now works with Clan as a fully qualified solicitor. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys travelling and reading about US politics.

Julia Donnelly

Job Titles:
  • Deputy Principal Solicitor
  • Deputy Principal Solicitor Read
Julia joined Clan Childlaw in March 2015. Julia studied law at the University of Glasgow. She has been a lawyer since 2001. Before she came to Clan Childlaw Julia was a housing lawyer, working to help homeless people get a place to stay and to stop people being evicted. Julia is the Head of our Representation Team, which means its her job to make sure Clan Childlaw can keep giving children and young people the legal help they need. Julia is the lawyer who helps young people with housing problems in our Street Legal project.

JULIA ELISABETH DONNELLY

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • SOLICITOR

Lesley Stewart

Job Titles:
  • Administrator ( Glasgow )
  • Administrator ( Glasgow ) Read
  • Author
Lesley Stewart joined Clan Childlaw in May 2019 as an Administrator, based in the Glasgow Office. Lesley spent more than twenty years with a major UK bank looking after both personal and business customers before moving to the Education Sector for a few more years. In her spare time Lesley enjoys travelling, theatre visits and walking with her dog.

Lisa Paton

Job Titles:
  • Author

Louise Herd

Job Titles:
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor Read
Louise began a traineeship with Clan in January of 2020 and is doing so under the Justice First Fellowship. Louise developed an interest in human rights during her undergraduate degree and has completed an LLM with distinction in Human Rights and Criminal Justice. Louise's interests in issues affecting children stem from her time spent volunteering as a children's counsellor in Aberdeen, and subsequent time spent working in a family law team based in Inverness. She also has a strong interest in Immigration and Asylum law. During her Diploma she spent time volunteering in a law centre in Glasgow in their Immigration and Asylum department. She subsequently volunteered with an organisation in Calais who provide humanitarian aid to refugees.

Lucy Frazer

Job Titles:
  • Managing Solicitor
  • Managing Solicitor Read
Lucy joined Clan Childlaw in January 2017 after completing her traineeship at a small but busy Glasgow firm. She studied law at Dundee University and completed her diploma at Edinburgh University. Lucy has served as a panel member for the Children's Hearing System meaning she has a unique insight from both sides of the table. Lucy provides legal advice on all aspects of Child Law and regularly attends Court and Children's Hearings with the children and young people we represent. In her spare time she enjoys running with her dog and hillwalking.

Mandy Young

Job Titles:
  • Solicitor
Mandy qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and has worked mainly in local government since then, latterly as Principal Solicitor with Edinburgh City Council until 2003, when she joined Burness, Solicitors, on their PFI team, advising local authority clients. She brings a wealth of experience with charitable companies, both as Director and adviser.

Mary-Claire Kelly

Job Titles:
  • Partner
  • Author
  • Partner Read
Mary-Claire joined Clan childlaw as a Partner in April 2020. She has been recognised by the Law Society of Scotland as an accredited specialist in Housing and Residential Tenancy law. She sits as a legal chair in the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property) Chamber. Mary-Claire studied law at the University of Edinburgh before qualifying as a solicitor. She has extensive experience as a social welfare and housing lawyer. Prior to joining Clan, Mary-Claire worked as a solicitor at Shelter and latterly the Civil Legal Assistance Office.

Miche√°l Phelan

Job Titles:
  • Project Co - Ordinator

Neil Collar

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board
  • Solicitor
Neil has been a solicitor for 16 years. He is a partner of Brodies LLP and heads their planning law team. He has extensive experience of law firm management, having been Brodies' Head of Litigation for 5 years. He has also been involved in running a variety of voluntary groups, including a lacrosse team and a wind band.

Peter Hastie

Peter joined the Board in October 2017. Peter is a Public Affairs professional for a cancer charity in Scotland, and has worked in public affairs since Devolution in 1999. Working in-house, for lobbying agencies and for senior government figures over the 20 years, Peter's expertise is in Holyrood focused campaigning.

Rebecca Scott

Job Titles:
  • Managing Solicitor
  • Managing Solicitor Read
Rebecca was enrolled as a solicitor in 2012 and joined Clan in 2013. Rebecca provides legal advice on all aspects of child law and regularly attends Court and Children's Hearings with the children and young people we represent. Rebecca is also a Safeguarder in the Children's Hearings System.

Sarah Bannerman

Job Titles:
  • Solicitor Read
Sarah qualified as a solicitor in 2018. Prior to joining Clan Childlaw in July 2019, Sarah trained and worked as a family solicitor in another well-known firm, where she regularly represented clients at Court and children's hearings. Sarah graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 with a First Class LLB Degree which included one year spent studying abroad at the University of Copenhagen. Sarah thereafter completed an LLM in International Law prior to obtaining her Diploma in Professional Legal Practice from the University of Glasgow in 2016. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys travelling, baking and running.

Sarah Campbell

Job Titles:
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor Read
Sarah joined Clan in January 2021 as a trainee solicitor through the Justice First Fellowship. She studied Dual Qualifying Scots and English Law and completed her Diploma at Dundee University. Sarah developed her interest in child law throughout her studies and through her role in the Civil Department at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. She also has experience working with children at a summer camp in America and a language school in Glasgow.

Sue Grant

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board
Sue was until recently a solicitor in private practice with Digby Brown, solicitors. She was an accredited specialist in both Personal Injury Law and Clinical Negligence but had a special interest and involvement in adoption of children for over 30 years.

Tom Harvie-Clark - Chairman

Job Titles:
  • Chairman
  • General Manager of Strategy and Economic Regulation
Tom is General Manager of Strategy and Economic Regulation at Scottish Water. He qualified as an accountant with KPMG before joining the Scottish Government to undertake roles as an economist and then policy advisor. He previously was the managing trustee of a small grant making trust.

Vicki Straiton

Job Titles:
  • Partner
  • Partner Read
Vicki was enrolled as a solicitor in 2009. Having specialised in child and family law, she was pleased to join the Clan team in September 2010. Vicki provides legal advice on all aspects of child law and regularly attends Court and Children's Hearings with the children and young people we represent. Vicki is also a safeguarder in the Children's Hearings System. In her spare time, Vicki assists with a local Brownie Guide group.