Kirsty Thomson Managing Partner / Director
Kirsty is a co-founding Managing Partner / Director, responsible for overall management and development of our organistaion. She also leads our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) and our Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre (SATEC).
Kirsty has an LLM in International Human Rights Law and 13 years’ experience in practice as a human rights lawyer within Scotland. During this time, she managed a specialist legal service within a national law centre where she developed a collaborative human rights based approach working in the area of women’s rights, children’s rights and asylum/immigration law.
Kirsty has experience of designing, implementing and managing innovative legal projects. She has worked with legal and non-legal partners at a national and international level in order to pilot and deliver legal services more effectively.
Kirsty is a member of various advisory and working groups in human rights law. She is a legal expert in human trafficking and has published best practice standards, training and written publications in this area. She co-convenes the Scottish Working Group of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and is the Scottish member for the Strategic Litigation Fund expert panel.
Jen Ang Director of Development & Policy
Jen is a co-founder and Director of Development & Policy, responsible for strategy and development as well as oversight of our policy, communications and training. She also leads our Scottish Just Law Centre (SJLC) and our social enterprise, JRS Knowhow.
Jen is an experienced human rights lawyer qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture, and is regularly asked to speak, and contribute to research, policy and publications in these areas.
Jen is also an experienced lecturer in law with the Open University, lecturing on Scots law and the law of England and Wales. She is an enthusiastic advocate of open education and widening access to education for all.
Andy Sirel Legal Director & Partner
Andy is a co-founding Partner and Legal Director, responsible for supervision of legal casework. Andy also heads our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre. He has an LLM in International Human Rights Law and has been working in human rights law since 2010. He currently sits on the Law Society of Scotland’s Immigration & Asylum Sub-Committee as well as the Scottish Government’s Child Trafficking Strategy Group.
Andy is experienced in working directly with migrant children and young people, with a particular specialism in working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children and child victims of trafficking. He has represented migrant children in the national asylum and trafficking identification procedures, the immigration and asylum tribunals, and in Judicial Reviews in the Court of Session. He is an expert in age assessment, having successfully taken strategic litigation in this area as well as contributing to the drafting of the 2018 Scottish Government Practice Guidance on Age Assessment. He delivers training across the UK on age assessment best practice.
Prior to this, Andy worked as a Legal Officer at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, supervising the implementation of British, Irish and Cypriot judgments from the European Court of Human Rights. He also enjoys lecturing at the University of Glasgow, where he has taught European Human Rights Law for over 7 years.
Jenny Cook Head of Operations
Jenny is our Head of Operations, managing the overall daily operations and responsible for human resources and charitable finance. She is also the charity’s Data Protection Officer and is the first point of contact for enquiries about our organisation.
Jenny has nearly 10 years’ experience working for charities across the United Kingdom. She has held positions in the healthcare and financial sectors, managing quality assurance and international recruitment.
Karen Kirk Consultant Solicitor Advocate
Karen is a Consultant Solicitor Advocate in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She has specialised in litigation and in disability, incapacity and mental health law since 2002. She worked within a law centre for 16 years and provided legal representation to clients with mental ill health, learning disability or brain injury, as well as to their relatives or carers. Throughout she had extensive general civil litigation experience.
Karen is appointed by the Court as Safeguarder under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 200 at Glasgow and at Paisley Sheriff Courts. From 2014 to 2019 she was accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in mental health law and in incapacity and disability law. She is a Solicitor Advocate. She is a Legal Member of the Mental Health Tribunal and the Housing and Property Tribunal. She is a member of the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee. She tutors in Civil Litigation and advanced civil litigation at Glasgow University in the diploma for legal practice. She is a volunteer member of the Action for Children’s Independent Review Panel.
Gwyneth King Senior Associate Solicitor
Gwyneth is our Senior Associate Solicitor in the Scottish Just Law Centre. She is dual-qualified as a solicitor in Scotland and a solicitor advocate in England and Wales. She has specialised in social security law for over twenty years, working at Child Poverty Action Group, Shelter, Mary Ward Legal Centre and Camden Community Law Centre.
She has provided second-tier advice and support to frontline workers in organisations such as Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Women’s Aid refuges and disability charities, in relation to their clients’ welfare rights. This was initially while working on the advice line at Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, then by taking specialist referrals to her own solicitor practice to represent clients at the Upper Tribunal, in discrimination proceedings at the Sheriff Court, and in judicial review proceedings at the Court of Session. She has extensive experience of pursuing this type of public law challenge, right up to the European Court of Justice.
Gwyneth is passionately committed to using human rights and equalities law to hold government to account by challenging legislation, policy and practice that discriminates against people with protected characteristics, such as disability. She joined us as Senior Associate Solicitor to our Scottish Just Law Centre to help build and pilot a strategic litigation model across the social welfare law areas of welfare rights, housing, community care, debt and employment, with the aim of bringing about large-scale social justice.
Karin Goodwin Senior Communications Consultant
Karin is our Senior Communications Consultant to our JustCitizens project. She an award winning social affairs journalist and communication specialist based in Glasgow. She is also a co-editor and director of the investigations platform The Ferret. Other current work includes community media projects as well as her consultancy role at JustRight Scotland.
She has written for a wide-range of Scottish and UK publications and websites, worked as a researcher on radio docs and short films, and managed a UK-wide grassroots charity – the Pavement – producing a magazine/online resource for homeless people. She has provided communications support from content production to strategy for a number of third sector organisations.
Talat Yaqoob Senior Policy and Public Affairs Consultant
Talat is our Senior Policy and Public Affairs Consultant to our JustCitizens project. She has been working across equalities issues for over 12 years, she is a campaigner and consultant who has worked on system and policy change for women, focusing on intersecting inequalities.
She was previously the director of a national organisation focused on women’s equality in the workplace. She has a background in public affairs, social research and training and development. She has previously worked across further and higher education, mental health and wellbeing and men’s violence against women. Talat has managed a number of projects in the Third Sector and worked in the Scottish Parliament as an equalities researcher.
In 2014, she co-founded, and currently chairs, the cross-party campaign group Women 50:50, advocating for fair representation of women in councils and in the Scottish Parliament. She is a member of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has been a board member and chair for a number of charities focused on equality and international development.
Megan Lafferty Senior Associate Solicitor
Megan is a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. Megan previously worked in private practice, handling a wide variety civil cases.
Prior to joining the SWRC, Megan’s work had a focus in historic abuse claims and healthcare defence. She has worked on some of the largest, high profile litigations in Scotland. Megan has experience handling cases in the Sheriff Courts and Court of Session, including appeals and judicial reviews. She also has experience in regulatory matters, representing individuals before their professional regulators. She has also represented clients in public inquiries and is used to dealing with extremely sensitive cases.
Megan’s interest in human rights stems back to her time at University, where she wrote her dissertation on the issue of reproductive rights and a decision of the European Court of Human Rights. Megan works in the SWRC providing advice, information and representation to women who have experienced gender based violence through our helpline, surgery and legal casework.
Farida Elfallah Associate Solicitor
Farida is an Associate Solicitor in our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre.
Farida completed her traineeship within a specialist legal service at a national law centre, working with women, children and young people in asylum, immigration and human rights law. Farida’s traineeship was supported by The Legal Education Foundation through the Justice First Fellowship scheme for aspiring social justice lawyers.
Prior to her traineeship, Farida worked as a casework coordinator with British Red Cross Refugee Services for two and a half years. Farida has also previously worked for the University of Strathclyde as a tutor in Human Rights Law.
Anushya Kulupana Associate Solicitor
Anushya is an Associate Solicitor in our Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre. She has an LLM in Human Rights Law and has been working in the field of migrant rights since 2005.
Anushya completed her traineeship with a public authority focussing on public protection, and since qualifying, she has practiced as an Asylum and Immigration solicitor in private practice firms, primarily representing victims of torture, human trafficking, and gender-based violence.
While completing her legal studies, Anushya worked as a caseworker at a national law centre. Prior to that she worked as a Counter-Trafficking Development Officer with the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA Service Service) for a number of years, providing intensive support and advocacy for female victims of trafficking. She also worked at Scottish Refugee Council for four years as an asylum support adviser, specialising in preventing destitution and developing the organisation’s asylum support appeals work. Anushya also has experience of working in a support service for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, and as a funding officer for a UK wide funding body.
Lyndsay Monaghan Associate Solicitor
Lyndsay is an Associate Solicitor in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She completed her traineeship within a private practice firm, with a strong focus on family law and civil court work.
As a law student at the University of Strathclyde in 2015, she was one of the first student volunteers at the Law Clinic for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC), assisting with the SWRC helpline and casework. She undertook a summer internship with the SWRC and continued to volunteer on the helpline throughout her traineeship and post qualification. She was appointed Co-Student Director of the Law Clinic from 2015-2016. Lyndsay works in the SWRC, providing advice, information and representation to women who have experienced gender based violence through our helpline, surgery and legal casework, as well as delivering training and awareness raising events.
Elaine Nelson Solicitor
Elaine is a Solicitor in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Prior to joining the SWRC, Elaine specialised in corporate/commercial law, working in private practice and in house legal roles. Elaine is experienced drafting, reviewing and negotiating a wide variety of commercial contracts and providing legal advice and assistance in a variety of sectors.
Elaine developed in interest in human rights and family law as a University student and has maintained this interest throughout her career. Elaine was recently appointed as Deputy Area Convenor for Children’s Hearings Scotland, providing training, assistance and support to the local Children’s Hearings community.
Elaine tutored on the post-graduate legal diploma at University of Strathclyde for 10 years and has a keen interest in training and legal education.
Maria Macleod Solicitor
Maria is a Solicitor in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She specialises in working with women who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, online, and in further and higher education.
Maria originally joined our team in January 2018 as a Caseworker for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She completed her traineeship with JustRight Scotland, supported by The Legal Education Foundation through the Justice First Fellowship scheme for aspiring social justice lawyers. As part of her Justice First Fellowship, she has been developing a project to improve access to justice for women experiencing gender-based violence in remote and rural communities across Scotland.
Maria has a research Master’s degree (MPhil) in legal ethics from the University of Strathclyde. During her undergraduate degree and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, Maria volunteered as a Student Adviser with the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic. She also previously worked for the Scottish CAB service as a Legal Adviser for over three and a half years.
Laura ffrench-Constant Digital Training & Learning Co-ordinator
Laura is the Digital Training & Learning Co-ordinator for JRS Knowhow, responsible for creating accessible, inclusive and engaging online learning experiences.
Laura joins JRS Knowhow after delivering a variety of online learning experiences for a Scottish network body, designed to make value-driven organisations more effective. Laura previously worked for an international communication consultancy delivering training and developing resources for international researchers, and also worked on a university research project.
Laura believes that well designed digital has the potential to transform our ways of working, learning and connecting.
Sabrina Galella Policy & Public Affairs Officer
Sabrina is our Policy & Public Affairs Officer. She helps us shape how we use our legal expertise and lived experience to engage in policy and influencing across a range of human rights and equalities issues.
She was previously the Policy Lead of a youth homelessness organisation, where she worked on prevention, partnership working and capacity building. She managed a coalition of partners across sectors, provided guidance and advice to key stakeholders, and led the development of the first youth homelessness prevention pathways commissioned by the Scottish Government.
She has a background in human rights law, international relations and politics. She has previously worked at the Scottish Parliament as a researcher and has extensive experience of working in the third sector in different countries.
Sabrina is passionate about ensuring people with lived experience are meaningfully involved in the policy-making process, and that governments, third sector organisations and the general public are equally included to tackle issues around social justice. She is currently a volunteer for UN House Scotland.
Hanan El-Atrash Trainee Solicitor
Hanan is a Trainee Solicitor in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Hanan is a graduate of the University of Glasgow (LLB Honours) and the University of Strathclyde (Diploma in Professional Legal Practice). She has experience working as a caseworker at a national law centre and at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic within the Immigration Unit, where she was Immigration Unit Coordinator throughout her studies at the University of Strathclyde.
As part of her role, Hanan was involved in assisting to prepare fresh claims for asylum for people seeking asylum whose appeal rights had been exhausted. She was also involved in setting up and delivering a Public Legal Education project for asylum seekers and refugees living in Glasgow with a team of law students. Hanan has also worked as a Destitution Adviser at the Scottish Refugee Council as part of the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service, providing support and advocacy to destitute asylum seekers.
Betty Andrews Caseworker
Betty is a Caseworker in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Betty is recent graduate of the University of St Andrews (MA Hons International Relations and Social Anthropology) and a past Robertson Trust Scholar. She is currently studying an MSc in Human Rights and International Politics at the University of Glasgow. Academically, Betty’s interests lie in social justice, human rights, and intersectional feminist analysis of power structures.
She has experience in GBV activism and was involved in providing educational workshops on Scot’s law, consent and bystander intervention to fellow students, as well as training others to give these workshops and lobbying the university to increase provision for survivors of GBV. As an avid white-water kayaker, Betty also worked to promote inclusivity and equal access in outdoor and adventure sports.
Jan McCaig Caseworker
Jan joined JRS as an intern in Feb 2020 and is now a Caseworker in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Jan is a law student at Robert Gordon University and a graduate of Edinburgh University (LLM International Law) and Sussex University (BaHons International Relations). She has experience working as a caseworker in the areas of asylum, immigration and human rights law. She worked with survivors of gender-based violence & human trafficking and unaccompanied detained minors at the Cabrini Centre for Immigrant Legal Assistance in the USA, where she undertook accreditation to become a Department of Justice Representative. Alongside her case work, Jan delivered legal education in detention facilities.
Jan also worked for 5 years as a lecturer in international law in Mexico whilst working on collaborative research projects with the State Human Rights Commission. In Mexico, she also volunteered with survivors of human trafficking & gender-based violence at a refuge.