Hackney Community Law Centre is managed by an independent Board of Directors, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting from members of the public, or co-opted as necessary in accordance with our organisation’s Articles of Association. The Board of Directors is required to have regard to the independent status of the Law Centre (as are all members of staff).
The Board of Directors has overall managerial responsibility for the Law Centre, its staff group, the services that are provided and all other legal responsibilities of the organisation. In practice, the staff are responsible for day-to-day management, subject to review and approval by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors usually meets every fourth Monday, every two months, at 7pm in the evening, and at other times as necessary.
Hackney Community Law Centre’s constitution is available upon request.
The Board of Directors elected to serve in 2014-2015 are:
Cllr Ian Rathbone – Chair
Ian has been a member of the Law Centre Management Committee (now Board of Directors) for around 18 years, and in his fifth year as chair. He has a background in media relations and public affairs work, and in legal and financial advice.
The other members of the Board of Directors are:
- Lawrence Abe – Lawrence is currently Chair of a tenants and Residents Association in Clapton and has been active in community affairs in Hackney for some years.
- Ruth Appleton – 67 years young from East End Jewish Communist roots. Co-ordinator of an Asylum campaign group: Santé Refugee Mental Health Access Project. Former development/social worker and still a trade union delegate. Campaign for BAMER Mental Health/Social Care service users and on the Governing Council of Camden & Islington Mental Health Foundation Trust. Forget patronising men! Just back from a work brigade in Cuba. Fought all my life for my beliefs and don’t intend to stop now.
- Elizabeth Ladipo – Elizabeth grew up in Hackney. She has worked at local Hackney youth charity Off Centre for the past five years as an Advice and Information Guidance Officer, helping young people with their housing, education and unemployment problems. Elizabeth has previously worked for a local authority heading up fostering and adoption recruitment drives and has also worked for National Children’s Home (NCH) on Family Intervention projects as a sessional worker. Elizabeth is very interested in how the 2013 cuts to legal aid will affect young people from Hackney. She hopes to part her part in ensuring that the HCLC Board of Directors keeps issues relating to young people at the heart of the Law Centre’s work.
- Victor McAllister is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation (HCEO) based in Stoke Newington. Victor was born in Guyana before moving to Hackney in 1961, aged seven. Victor studied for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computing and also has a Master’s Degree in Management. Victor previously ran his own Property Development Company and also worked for the Post Office as its International Operations Development Manager, travelling to countries such as Canada, Sweden and many other countries in Europe. Victor has lived in Hackney for over 50 years and currently teaches Kenshukai Karate to 5 to 55 year olds. He also mentors local teenagers.
- In 2010, Dwayne Fields became the first young black Briton to walk 370 miles to reach the North Pole. Born in Jamaica, Dwayne came to the UK when he was six. Dwayne was a victim of both knife and gun crime and as a result of his experiences of the effects of gangs and crime, he decided to change his life. Dwayne became an adventurer/explorer and is currently studying for a Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Third World Studies. Dwayne is an ambassador for his university, the University of East London; and gives motivational talks to young people.
- Mary-Rachel McCabe – After graduating in Law with Spanish from the University of Sussex, Mary-Rachel spent six months working as a volunteer caseworker at a migrants’ rights NGO in Brighton. Following this, she completed a three-month internship at HCLC, where she predominantly assisted Hilton von Herbert in the Immigration department, but also co-ran the Law Centre’s weekly telephone advice-line and drop-in. Mary-Rachel currently works for a children’s legal charity, is studying on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and also commissions and writes articles for The Justice Gap in her spare time. She hopes to qualify as a barrister and practice in the fields of social and criminal justice.
- Cllr Deniz Oguzkanli – Cllr Deniz Oguzkanli Deniz is from a Kurdish background and has worked as a lawyer for several years, latterly as a criminal lawyer from his firm in Shoreditch. He has been involved in providing advice to the Kurdish/Turkish community for more than 10 years. He has been a local councillor in Hackney since 2006 where he has chaired the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission. He lives with his wife and two children a few streets away from the Law Centre.
- Adenike Ojo – Adenike was born in Hackney, and worked in the Hackney Community Law Centre as an intern in 2012. She studied law at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, as part of the Socrates Exchange Scholarship programme. She completed her LPC at the College of Law (London) and has a background in corporate/commercial law.
- Megan Redmond – Vice Chair – ‘I work as a librarian in higher education. In 2012 I celebrated 20 years living in Hackney. The law centre is a vital part of our community ensuring residents have access to justice. The commitment and hard work of law centre staff is nothing short of heroic. Join us in ensuring that our Law Centre thrives.
- Andrew Wingfield is a solicitor with longstanding experience as a lawyer in the financial services sector in the City. Andrew manages a diverse team of lawyers within the legal department of a French bank, Societe Generale, in London. Andrew was introduced to HCLC by the East London Business Alliance who help find opportunities for City workers to contribute skills and knowledge to not-for-profit organisations in the local community.
- Company Secretary – Sean Canning – is HCLC’s Manager.