Kirsty Thomson Partner / Managing Director
Kirsty is a co-founding Partner / Managing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kelly Minio-Paluello Caseworker
Kelly is a Caseworker in our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Prior to joining JustRight Scotland she completed her LLB at the University of Strathclyde where she volunteered as a Student Advisor in the Law Clinic. She also holds an MA in Development and Human Rights.
Kelly has a background in violence against women, prisoner advocacy, and LGBT community development. She has a wide range of experience working in the non-profit sector; with particular focus on project management, development and delivery of training and supporting social justice organisations through facilitation.