Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Management Team

Nashin Akbar

Nashin Akbar - Partner

Nashin worked as a housing law caseworker at Fountains Solicitors from 2009 – 2010, before joining the Community Law Partnership as a housing caseworker in 2011. Nashin became a Trainee Solicitor in January 2012 working in the housing team and qualified as a Solicitor on 1 August 2013.  She became a Partner of CLP on 1st April 2018.

Samitra Balu

Samitra Balu - Partner

Samitra has specialised in Housing Law since 2002. She was admitted as a Solicitor in 2004. She specialises in the areas of Private and Public Sector Landlord and Tenant matters. Samitra has an interest in duties owed by Local Authorities to those who are vulnerable and has experience of advising on homelessness and allocation rights and challenging local authority decisions by County Court appeals and/or Judicial Review. Samitra has conducted work on reported cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in relation to Homelessness and Possession proceedings.  She became a Partner of  CLP on 1st April 2018.

Laura Carter

Laura Carter - Partner

Laura worked as a legal advisor for the Community Trade Union before joining the Community Law Partnership in September 2011 as a Trainee Solicitor within the Housing Team.  Laura qualified as a Solicitor on 1 March 2013.  She became a Partner of CLP on 1st April 2018.

Chris Johnson of The Community Law Partnership

Chris Johnson - Partner

Chris Johnson heads up the Travellers Advice Team at Community Law Partnership and was a founding partner in 1999. He has acted in some of the leading cases involving Gypsies and Travellers including three cases in the House of Lords and one in the Supreme Court. He travels the country to represent them, as well as lecturing, training, writing and campaigning on issues affecting Gypsies’ and Travellers’ rights. He is co-editor of the Legal Action textbook “Gypsy and Traveller Law” and writes regularly for Legal Action and other publications. He is a member of the Free Tibet Campaign.

Craig Keenan

Craig Keenan - Partner

Craig worked largely in the voluntary advice sector for 15 years at the Hull Independent Housing Aid Centre, for Cambridge CAB and Warwick District CAB, before joining us in April 2005. Craig qualified as a Solicitor in 2010 and works in the Housing Team. He advises on all aspects of Housing Law, Public Law and Community Care law. Craig was the instructing solicitor in the Court of Appeal case of Omar v Birmingham City [2007] HLR 43 CA. He became a Partner of CLP on 1st September 2015.

Rosaleen Kilbane of The Community Law Partnership

Rosaleen Kilbane - Partner

Rosaleen Kilbane qualified as a solicitor in 1989. She has practised in Housing Law throughout her career. She is a past member of the Law Society’s Civil Litigation Committee and a former Chair of the Law Society’s Housing Law Committee. She sits as a Deputy District Judge in the County Court. She was a founding partner of the Community Law Partnership (CLP), but undertakes only a limited amount of casework nowadays as she is primarily responsible for the management of the firm. She won the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award in the social and welfare law category in June 2012.

Mike McIlvaney of The Community Law Partnership

Mike McIlvaney - Partner

Mike McIlvaney studied Politics and Sociology at Durham University and following graduation studied law at Leeds. Passionate about the rights of the politically and socially oppressed he embarked on a career in social welfare law and has worked in both private practice and the voluntary sector. For the past 20 years he has specialized in housing and has taken cases to the Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Supreme Court and represented clients in some of the leading cases in this area of the law. He was a founding partner of the Community Law Partnership (CLP).

Holly Sherratt

Holly Sherratt - Partner

Holly previously worked at the Citizens Advice Bureau as a caseworker undertaking housing and debt casework. She completed her training contract with Community Law Partnership and qualified as a solicitor in 2010. Holly was the instructing solicitor in the case of Makisi v Birmingham City Council [2011] EWCA Civ 355.  She became a Partner of CLP on 1st September 2015.

Jenny Malone - Finance Manager

Jenny Malone has worked for the Partners since 1995. Her career has always been in administrative work, previously in the insurance industry before moving into the legal sector in 1995. In 1999 when CLP was founded, Jenny provided administrative and technical IT support, secretarial work, legal accounting and any other duties required to support the Partners in their quest to build a successful Legal Aid firm. As the firm expanded and with one of the founding Partners leaving in 2005 her managerial role as Practice Manager was established.  From 1 February 2018 Jenny’s role has changed from Practice Manager to Finance Manager.

Emma Westwood

Emma Westwood - Practice Manager

Emma Westwood has extensive administrative and secretarial experience in the legal sector. Emma joined CLP in May 2000 as a Secretary and the Travellers Advice Team Administrator. Following the continued growth of the firm Emma was appointed as Assistant Manager in September 2015 and also remains the TAT Administrator.  Emma was promoted to Practice Manager from 1 February 2018.