Meet The Board

Annette Byron

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Elected as a real estate partner in 2000 at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Freshfields), a founder member of PRIME, Annette is the firm’s Partner Sponsor for Social Mobility. She also sits on the firm’s training contract recruitment panel and works with its Responsible Business team on its school-age initiatives.

Annette co-led the re-launch of Freshfields’ global Black Affinity Network, bringing together lawyers of black African and black African-Caribbean heritage from across the firm. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship scheme, a unique social mobility scheme which seeks to address the disproportionate under-representation of black and black mixed-race males from less privileged backgrounds, and the lack of direct role models, in large commercial law firms.

Annette grew up in inner-city Manchester and read Law at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics. She has been listed in the Financial Times’ 2016 UPstanding Executive Power List of 100 leading black, Asian and minority ethnic business and legal professionals from the UK, Ireland and the U.S.

Nicholas Cheffings

Hogan Lovells – Chair

Nicholas was the first member of his family to go to university. He began his legal career working in-house before moving into private practice. He served as the global Chair of Hogan Lovells for six years, from 2012-2018, and now co-heads the real estate disputes (property litigation) team in London.

Nicholas is committed to increasing diversity and social inclusion. He is a member of numerous related bodies, and is Chair of Making the Leap, as well as the Chairman of PRIME.

Nicholas, and Hogan Lovells, believe that access to the legal profession must be open and fair, and that perceived barriers that may deter talented individuals must be removed. Nicholas personally supports many of the firm's social mobility initiatives.

Hogan Lovells are signatories of the Social Mobility Compact, and founding members of both PRIME and the Pathways to Law and Pathways Plus programmes, focused on social mobility within the legal sector run in partnership with The Sutton Trust. Since 2008 the firm has hosted 25 open days and 12 work experience programmes, including through Ladder to Law, a bespoke program started in 2010. More than 250 Year-10, -11, and -12 students have attended workshops, open days, and work experience programmes, including 84 Year-12 students from state schools who will be first-generation university attendees. Since PRIME was founded in 2011, the firm has provided work experience to 135 Year-12 students.

Binda Patel

Sutton Trust

Binda has worked in the charity sector since graduating from King’s College London in 2009. She was Managing Director of Pure Potential providing valuable career and university support to thousands of students from state schools across the UK. She is hugely passionate about addressing social inequalities in education and social mobility, and this led her to working for the Sutton Trust as Head of Programmes & Partnerships. Binda manages national programmes which support over 5,000 young people each year ranging from early years through to undergraduates.

Binda is an active supporter of the Diana Award, a charity celebrating the achievements of young people around the world. Since receiving her Diana Award in 2004, she has served as a Trustee and represented the charity at several events.

Chris White

Aspiring Solicitors

Chris is the Founder of Aspiring Solicitors. He is a qualified solicitor having trained at a leading U.S. law firm and also practiced as a corporate solicitor at a leading global law firm in London for over three years.

Chris has voluntarily assisted aspiring solicitors from underrepresented groups to enter the profession for over six years. Chris personally experienced barriers throughout his career due to his diversity as a state educated, first generation graduate/solicitor, non-Russell Group university graduate with an accent. He found that each of these factors acted as a barrier to entry to the profession at various stages of his career. He is passionate to remove barriers to increase diversity in the profession and believes that capability and personality are the only two factors which should determine whether anyone receives an opportunity to pursue their goals.

Julie Randles

Causeway Education

Julie Randles is CEO of Causeway Education, a social enterprise improving the life chances of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by supporting them through key educational transitions. Her previous roles include Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the Sutton Trust, a charity improving social mobility through education, and Head of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) programme at Save the Children. She is a community governor at a primary school in Camden that serves a very disadvantaged intake.

Julie has an MA from the University of St Andrews and an M.B.A from the University of Stirling. She is passionate about the transformative effect of reading for pleasure on children’s later attainment, and thinks her own love of reading contributed to her being the first person in her family to be educated past the age of 16.

Sarah Macdonald

BT plc

Sarah started her career as a corporate lawyer at CMS in London, advising on major M&A for a range of sectors. Sarah then moved in-house to BT plc where she is currently Chief Counsel Commercial & Operations. Sarah leads a team of lawyers who support the full range of Consumer product and services on a wide range of commercial and contentious matters. She is also responsible for data governance, product compliance, legal operations and strategy. Sarah is a member of the BT D&I Committee and has established work experience and mentoring schemes. Sarah is also a Trustee of the Social Mobility Business Partnership.

Sarah is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in business and sits on the PRIME board as the in-house representative. Sarah believes that those who have been fortunate enough to succeed to senior positions in the legal sector have a responsibility to broaden access to the profession, and to ensure talent can succeed regardless of personal circumstances.

Kath Davies

Education Endowment Foundation

Kath, Programme Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation, is passionate about social mobility, and has been working in the sector for seven years. She joined the Education Endowment Foundation, a charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement, in 2018. She is responsible for a range of projects, including identifying promising interventions for funding, managing trials and overseeing the production of publications to communicate the findings of their work.
Prior to this she worked at the Social Mobility Foundation, setting up the UK’s first Social Mobility Employer Index, which benchmarks how good employers are at being open to talent from all backgrounds.
Kath was also previously the Senior Programmes Manager at the Sutton Trust, where she managed all of the ‘access to the professions’ programmes, including Pathways to Law and Pathways Plus.
Kath has also worked at Ashurst LLP and Mansfield College, Oxford. She is passionate about improving social mobility as she was lucky enough to experience educational and career opportunities that are out of reach for many, and firmly believes that a person’s background shouldn’t determine their future.

Ty Jones

DWF

Ty is the Director of CSR & Engagement at business law firm DWF.

He joined the firm in 2010, having previously worked in the financial services sector. Since joining DWF, Ty has delivered an award winning values led approach to CSR, which continues to focus on visible leadership, people engagement and measurable impact. He also has responsibility for the design and implementation of the firm’s diversity & inclusion agenda.

As a passionate advocate for shaping workplace culture and behaviour to deliver responsible and sustainable growth and profitability, Ty encourages a mind-set that recognises the business benefits of good corporate citizenship.

Ty is a member of Business in the Community's Regional Advisory Board in the North West and sits on the leadership group driving the Scottish National Action Plan for Responsible Business. In addition, Ty is a spokesperson for BITC's #jargonfreejobs campaign, recently launched to encourage employers to remove barriers preventing young people accessing the world of work. He is also a member of CIPD's Senior Diversity Network and Public Policy Forum.

Nick Scott

Brodies

Nick joined Brodies in 1999, returning to Scotland from London where he trained with Clifford Chance. A member of the firm’s strategic and operational boards since 2004 and head of real estate since 2010, he became Brodies’ Managing Partner in 2018.

Nick believes that law firms have a responsibility to broaden access to the profession and has seen the benefits of PRIME at first hand as Brodies’ first PRIME Graduate joins the firm as a trainee in autumn 2019.

Brodies is a founding member of PRIME, offering work experience in its Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices. The firm has relationships with a host of schools across the central belt, the Scottish Borders and the north of Scotland. Brodies' work experience programme gives students an insight into all aspects of the business, not just law but also professional support services including IT, Finance, HR and Marketing; and develops their skills in a wide variety of areas such as communication, presentation, networking, negotiation and team working. Additional coaching and mentoring is offered to participants as they continue on to higher education or the start of their professional working lives.

David Ampaw

DLA Piper

David is a restructuring law specialist and partner in the Finance, Projects & Restructuring practice at DLA Piper. He is a noted practitioner in the Legal 500 directory (2016 & 2017) and has been nominated for multiple industry awards including the UK Diversity legal awards lawyer of the year (2017 & 2018).

He holds multiple voluntary roles, on top of being a full time legal practitioner, focused on developing the skills, aptitude and confidence required to gain access to the employment in the legal sector for underrepresented groups. He is a supporter of the Greenhouse Sports charity which runs pre and after school clubs for thousands of school age children, often in schools with specific challenges, throughout London, harnessing the power of sport to build and develop key skills and disciplines in young people, and a mentor in the Career Pathways programme run by the Black Solicitors network. At his firm David has played a key role on the London People Development Board and in the launch of the firm's Multicultural Resource Group.
David also helps to steer DLA Piper's Head Start UK programme, a long term, holistic initiative supporting students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds enter and succeed in the legal profession.
He believes that increasing diversity and social mobility in the legal profession is not only a matter of equity but also critical to future success of any legal business and promoting the continued relevance and excellence of the legal profession.David was born in Lambeth and grew up in Lewisham, South East London.