Professor Jo Delahunty KC
Professor Jo is one of the UK’s leading family barristers specialising in child protection law, and is a member of 4 Paper Buildings Chambers. She is recognised for her award winning work in contentious cases involving complex medical evidence and catastrophic injuries to/ the death of a child, child sex abuse, witchcraft/ ritualized abuse and ISIS radicalisation cases. Her clients often have mental health difficulties or serious learning difficulties.
Professor Jo is also a Gresham Professor of Law since 2016. Her lecturers have been covered by newspapers such as The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times. In March 2019 Jo was given the Freedom of the City of London to mark the centenary of 100 years of suffrage in recognition of her contribution to the Law.
In 2020, Professor Jo was part of the First 100 Years podcasts series by Spark 21& featured in Middle Temple’s ‘Women of Distinction Exhibition’ which celebrated a 100 years of the right of a woman to join the legal profession and practice as barristers, and solicitors.
Professor Leslie Thomas KC
Professor Leslie is one of the top rated silks in the country, ranked leading individual by both Chambers and the Legal 500 (2020). He has been a QC since 2014. He was educated at a South London comprehensive and studied law at Kingston University.
Professor Thomas is a leading expert in claims against the police and other public authorities, and claims against corporate bodies, with expertise across the full spectrum of civil wrongs, civil litigation, human rights, data and privacy claims. He is an expert in all aspects of inquests and public inquiries, having represented many bereaved families, in particular where there has been abuse of state or corporate power.
As well as winning cases, Thomas has won a string of awards for his work and has been called to the Bar in several other international legal jurisdictions. Until 31 January 2020, Professor Thomas served as a joint Heads of Chambers at Garden Court Chambers. He is a Bencher to the Inner Temple, where he is also Deputy Master for inclusivity and diversity. He is on the Bar Standards Board, the bar’s regulatory body. He has also served on the management committee of Liberty and the Central London Law Centre. He was appointed as a professor of Law at Gresham College in 2020.
Listen to Professor Thomas’ message to future barristers on owning your story here.
Mr Justice Pushpinder Saini KC
Mr Justice Pushpinder Sainic KC is a Silk at Blackstone Chambers. He is a Bencher of Gray's Inn and Deputy High Court Judge. Mr Justice Saini's areas of practice include commercial law, public law, human rights, media and entertainment law. He is also a member of the Bar Council's wellbeing at the Bar Committee.
The Executive Committee Trustees
Founder and Chairperson
Mass is an award-winning Barrister practising at 7 Bedford Row ("7BR") Chambers. Mass joined 7BR after completing his training at the Government Legal Department, with a short secondment at Blackstone Chambers.
In July 2020, Mass became the first ever Pupil Barrister to be awarded ‘Barrister of the Week’ by The Lawyer Publication. In January 2021, he was recognised as Advocate’s ‘Pro-bono Hero of the Month’ for his dedication to a pro-bono case and the result obtained on behalf of his client. In November 2021, Mass was presented with two awards in quick succession after he was declared as the winner of the Middle Temple Young Barristers Association (MTYBA) Rule of Law Essay Competition and commended as a Future Leader at the 2021 Chambers and Partners Awards.
Mass is committed to enhancing the equality of access into the legal profession. From an early age, Mass did not believe that a career at the Bar was possible for him, largely because he did not fit the conventional image of a practising barrister. Recognising that his achievements in the law can inspire others, he has dedicated himself to opening the doors of opportunity for people from non-traditional backgrounds. Mass has written numerous articles on the topic of diversifying the legal profession and he is regularly booked to speak at events across the UK within various academic and legal spaces. He has spoken to audiences in the UK Supreme Court, the Inns of Court and various universities.
To find out more about Mass, please visit: www.massndownjie.com.
Aaron is a Commercial and Chancery Barrister at 3PB.
Determined to further equality of opportunity at the Bar, Aaron joined the BTB team prior to its formal constitution with the intention of creating positive, tangible change in the profession.
Aaron understands the journey of coming to the Bar from a non-traditional background. He grew up in social housing, attended an underperforming state school and attended a non Russel Group university as part of the first generation of his family to venture into Higher Education.
Despite, or rather, because this background, Aaron is building a successful commercial and chancery practice at 3PB, whilst fulfilling his leadership role at Bridging the Bar, advising other not-for-profit organisations and pursuing his own entrepreneurial ventures. As a result, Aaron understands and demonstrates the importance of making the most from adverse circumstances. He aspires to assist all aspiring barristers who share this mentality.
Aaron has often attended events to speak as a panellist and offer advice to aspiring legal professionals. He has also written and contributed to a number of published articles.
Aaron’s chambers profile can be found here.
If you would like to make an enquiry about Aaron directly, you can contact Aaron here.
Mat is the Deputy Chambers Director of Blackstone Chambers. He is a member of the senior management team responsible for the strategic planning, management and administration of Chambers with a particular focus on practice management and marketing/business development. This is his second stint at Blackstone Chambers, having first been employed as the Communications and Marketing Manager (2005-2007). He was then recruited to launch and run a joint venture between YouGov, the leading research organisation, and Centaur, the listed publisher. Previously, Mat spent seven years as a journalist with The Lawyer magazine, latterly as deputy editor. He rejoined Blackstone Chambers in June 2008.
The Executive Committee Members
Srishti is a specialist family law barrister at Coram Chambers, a leading family law set in London. She studied Law at the University of Oxford, the BPTC at BPP Holborn, and a masters in Law and Gender at SOAS. She is passionate about equality and representation both in the legal profession and in the treatment of the law itself. She has published articles on the impact of race and gender on the welfare analysis in radicalisation cases in the family court. In her spare time, she is a trained dancer, loves learning languages, and (sometimes successfully) experiments in the kitchen.
Her chambers profile can be found here.
Ishan was a practising Barrister for almost a decade before moving into Education, first as a Lecturer on the Bar Exams, then he became Deputy Dean of Learning and Teaching and finally Director of Group Education before moving to Inspera, a leading digital assessment platform where he is General Manager in the UK. Though his day job is in the education technology space, he continues to teach advocacy for Middle Temple and others, and run a legal education consultancy. Away from work he’s a keen amateur chef, posting pictures and videos of his food online.
André is an aspiring commercial barrister. Daring to disturb the inequality of opportunity at the Bar, André joined the BTB team to ease the financial pressures for aspiring barristers.
André empathises with the myriad of challenges we face when striving for success. Arriving in the UK at age six overcoming abject poverty to pursue a career at the Bar. He grew up in social housing, attending a state school from a non traditional background.
In spite of his circumstances, André founded his university’s first law clinic, graduated with a law degree from Southampton Solent University whilst caring for his mother. He embodies the idea that you don’t have to have the most to be in a position to give more. André speaks at events and frequently engages with local and international communities in philanthropic projects.
As a mature student of dual heritage and a single mother, the challenges facing diversity and equality within the legal profession are a stark reality for Emma. Emma received an Access to the Bar Award and a Jules Thorn Scholarship from Middle Temple which made her career at the Bar a tangible possibility.
Emma is honoured to be part of the Bridging the Bar Committee and create opportunities for those from underrepresented backgrounds, some with experiences similar to her own. She is dedicated to diversifying the profile of the Bar. In her role as MTSA President in 2018, she organised and hosted the first Black History Month Qualifying session, which has now become an annual event and wrote an article on the MT Black Lives Matter Event. Outside of her role at BTB, she serves as the Middle Temple Young Barrister’s Association (MTYBA’s) Vice President and was MTYBA Diversity and Inclusion Officer for two years and sits on the Bar Council Race Working Group.
Emma is a pupil barrister at Four Brick Court Chambers, a specialist family set.
Emma previously worked at Miles & Partners Solicitors in the Public Family Law department, dealing primarily with care proceedings, featuring non-accidental injury, radicalisation, sexual abuse and a range of matters. She also featured in the advertisement of the Centenary Exhibition of prominent female middle templars, as part of the commemoration to recognise 100 years of the Sexual Disqualification Act 1919, which made it legal for women to be barristers, judges and jury members.
Abdul is a Higher Executive Officer at the Department for Transport (DfT). He read Law at university and graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in July 2018. It was during his degree that his interest and passion for law, negotiation and advocacy was cemented.
Abdul is passionate and committed to advancing the cause of equality of opportunity. He is an active member of the Positive Support Group and Social Mobility Network at DfT, both of which support those who are typically disadvantaged to gain access to career opportunities. He views Bridging the Bar as a similar yet unique, and purposeful organisation that will support those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are chasing a career at the Bar. He is determined to play his role in making the Bar a place where the only barriers to entry are your work-ethic and competency.
Sonia is a common law pupil barrister at Exchange Chambers. She studied Law at the University of Warwick and completed the Bar in Birmingham. She was state school educated and the first generation in her family to attend university. She appreciates the barriers that come with breaking into the profession for those who are underrepresented and is committed to assisting others from non-traditional backgrounds around the UK to break down those barriers.
Eleanor joined BTB in March 2020, shortly before we first launched in August 2020. She was intrinsic to securing and developing the first ever UK Supreme Court internship programme, and is now working with courts across the country to expand these projects.
Eleanor has a keen interest in reframing imposter syndrome, failure and workplace identity. She builds on over four years experience as a mediation coach with the Society of Mediators and combines this with her passion for Marshal Rosenberg’s theory of Non-Violent Communication and life coaching. This experience has led Eleanor to incorporate elements of mutual learning into all of our schemes where possible. She is keen for candidates and institutions alike to fully understand the added value of diversity and enable our candidates to thrive within these spaces without feeling like an imposter. She has since lead collaborations with institutions such as the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board in developing training and mutual learning to address these psychological barriers.
Since June 2022, Eleanor has been spearheading the development of the new BTB Academy in her interim role of Programmes Coordinator.
Eleanor currently sits as a Judicial Assistant in the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Ronnie has always had a passion for volunteering and helping others and was awarded the Jack Petchey Award for his contribution to charity. This continued forward in his LLB degree as he dedicated many pieces at university to providing a voice to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Ronnie initially found a passion for law following an inquest case his family experienced. Following the help of the charity Inquest, Ronnie saw that the law was not accessible to everyone, and this spurred him to follow a career in the Bar. As someone from a lower socioeconomic background, Ronnie received the Access to Learning Fund to help him study for his LLB at the University of Kent and was granted the Disabled Student Allowance due to his neurodiversity. Initiatives such as these allowed him to progress with his LLB degree, and BTB is carrying this momentum onwards.
Ronnie understands how daunting a career at the Bar can seem when you may not be able to see yourself represented there. That’s why he is excited to join BTB to help their mission of diversifying the bar.
Imogen is one of our newest team members, starting as Operations Administrator in November 2022.
Imogen’s journey to entering The University of Sheffield as a disabled care leaver has left her with a keen appreciation of the challenges faced by those from a non-traditional background. Finding a passion for advocacy during the course of her LLB has led her into roles focused on providing support for those who also face equality of access issues, and she has previously donated her time to US in Schools and Widening Participation with The University of Sheffield to that end.
Having previously received an Access to the Bar Award from the Middle Temple, a place on a Mentoring Scheme from Blackstone’s Chambers, and a full tuition scholarship for disadvantaged students from HSBC, Imogen is eager to pay forward the help she herself has received. To that end, she is thoroughly excited about joining the Bridging the Bar team and keen to contribute to the vitally important mission of increasing diversity at the Bar.
Fatima studied Law LLB at SOAS University of London. She is an aspiring barrister who has a particular interest in Immigration Law. Aside from working with BTB, Fatima also volunteers at Bail for Immigration Detainees as a caseworker helping those detained under immigration powers apply for bail.
As a full-time wheelchair user, Fatima is strongly dedicated to supporting aspiring barristers with disabilities accessing the Bar and is honoured to be working with Bridging the Bar.