CILEx Professional Board Members
Craig Tickner, CILEx President
Craig joined the Crown Prosecution Service, in 1990, after leaving college. He decided to study an A-level in law, which led him to the CILEx route.
He completed the first two years of the CILEx qualification before being invited to join a local criminal defence firm. Craig spent the first 12 months at the firm qualifying as a Police Station Accredited Representative before being able to complete the CILEx qualification.
After becoming a CILEx Fellow in 2005, he undertook the advocacy (criminal) course immediately after these practice rights became obtainable and was admitted as a Chartered Legal Advocate in 2010.
Craig appears regularly at the local magistrates’ court and youth court, covering all aspects of criminal litigation, including numerous trials, and works closely with counsel in serious Crown Court cases. Craig became a partner at Bristol law firm, Aidan Woods & Co in April 2014.
He joined CILEx Council in July 2016. He was a member of the CILEx governance and membership standing committees during the governance restructure. Craig also chaired the CILEx Bristol Branch for three years.
Away from the law, his interests are gardening, music, sport and travel.
Caroline Jepson, CILEx Vice President
Caroline qualified as a Fellow of CILEx in 2007. She began her legal career in a small firm of solicitors in Sheffield covering criminal law before moving to Irwin Mitchell where she initially conducted prison law and public law cases, before finding her niche in the field of claimant personal injury litigation. She spent many years representing clients who had sustained life changing injuries and has significant experience in conducting brain and spinal injury litigation and helping clients who have complex health needs.
She has worked through every stage of pre and post qualification – having worked her way up from the most junior positions to senior roles within the legal sector. She has also worked in-house in the private care sector in governance and compliance roles. More recently, and building on her many years experience, she is Operations Director of a chain in gyms in South Yorkshire, providing strategic leadership to the shareholders, as well as directing the daily operations of the company.
With her diverse background and experience of litigation, legal framework for care and rehabilitation, the benefits of health and fitness in physical and mental well-being, and also being a personal trainer, she brings a breadth of skills to the board.
Caroline also sits on the CILEx group board, the Audit & Risk Committee, the External Relations Working Group and the Education Board.
Matthew Foster, Past President
Matthew is a local government lawyer working for Wrexham County Borough Council in North Wales. He specialises in Information Governance Law and is the Statutory Data Protection Officer for the Council.
In 2006 Matthew moved to Wrexham County Borough Council working in Children’s Social Services as a Court Liaison Officer. In 2010 he returned to legal practice as Senior Legal Officer within the in-house legal team. Matthew has advised a number of in-house client departments, covering diverse areas such as Children’s Social Care, Adult Social Care, Mental Health, Mental Capacity, Court of Protection, Housing, Homelessness and Governance. Matthew has also led on collaborative specialist interest groups in relation to Adult Social Care, Housing and Legal Case Management.
Matthew sits on the Professional Board and Group Board. He has been the Vice-Chair of the Governance Standing Committee for CILEx and is a Director of the CILEx Law School. Matthew is also Chair of the Chester and North Wales CILEx Branch.
Matthew Huggett, Non-Executive Director
A highly experienced, pragmatic, realistic and commercially focussed adviser to employers. A qualified employment lawyer (a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives: CILEx) and a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. Also a Non-Executive Director of CILEx, a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society and a former Secretary of the West of England branch of the CIPD.
I provide practical advice on employment law/HR issues and am committed to guiding companies through the difficult situations and decision-making processes encountered – I won’t just tell you the law, I will guide you through the risks and pitfalls and help you make informed decisions based on risk, reality and the law.
On a daily basis I undertake a broad range of advice on discrimination, dismissals, restructuring, the TUPE implications of mergers and acquisitions, absence management (both short and long-term), performance management, equal pay, collective and trade union matters and contractual disputes and of course the individual grievances from employees that often flow from such issues.
My extensive experience is based upon seeing matters through the tribunal process. I represent clients in ETs by undertaking full case preparation/advocacy in all cases, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing matters.
If you wish to avoid litigation I am well placed to be able to support your business through the process of exiting employees (up to and including senior executives) by drafting settlement agreements and negotiation with the employee’s solicitor.
But my focus is not simply based upon resolving disputes. I am committed to ensuring that you have established processes, policies, providing training and an emphasis on a culture of engagement and retention. This is where my HR hat comes to the fore – a part of my toolkit that most employment lawyers won’t have.
Rachel Stevens, Non-Executive Director
Chartered Legal Executive, Rachel Stevens, is a CILEx Council Member for the North.
She works in Counter Fraud Services for Keoghs LLP. Prior to this she worked for Weightmans LLP and Stephensons Solicitors LLP.
Rachel completed her Law Degree at John Moores University and discovered CILEx whilst working at Weightmans. She completed her level 6 exams and qualified as a Fellow.
In 2013 she joined the Greater Manchester branch as a committee member and became Chair of the branch in 2014. She is currently enjoying her third year as Chair.
Rachel was awarded Chartered Legal Executive of the Year at the Manchester Law Awards in both 2015 and 2016.
She is a Trustee for the North West Legal Support Trust (NWLST) and a Council Member for the Manchester Law Society.
Pam Sanghera, Non-Executive Director
Pam is an award winning international family lawyer who specialises in parental child abduction and cross border disputes.
Having qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2006, she is experienced in respect of all aspects of family law and holds an exceptionally complex caseload representing victims and abandoned spouses within cross border children disputes that often involve serious issues such as terrorism, radicalisation, child trafficking and FGM. In addition, Pam represents victims of forced marriages and honour based killings.
Dedicated to her specialism, Pam is an accredited member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law Panel and is a panel member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit and ReUnite International. Recognised for her commitment to the legal industry, in 2014 Pam was awarded Legal Executive of the Year by Birmingham Law Society and in 2016 voted Legal Executive of the Year by Jordans Family Law.
Aside from her role as a lawyer, Pam is a Director of Charles Strachan Solicitors, a specialised law practise based in Birmingham, Solihull and Redditch. Responsible for business development and marketing, Pam leads on various initiatives to progress the success of the practice.
Pam is an ambassador for CILEx and has sat on the CILEx Law School board since 2018 as well as the Apprenticeships and Safeguarding Committee. In 2020, Pam joined the CILEx professional board.
Philip Sherwood, Past President
Philip's career started in Insurance, dealing with PI claims and it was here that he started his CILEx studies.
He worked briefly for a London firm dealing with high volume RTA PI work, before moving back to work in Bournemouth in 1996 for a medium sized law firm specialising in PI and Clinical Negligence. Philip qualified whilst at that firm and went on to head up the PI department and was involved in managing the firm, gaining experience in finances and marketing. He also gained litigation experience in serious injury cases from RTA, Industrial Disease, Employer’s Liability, Public Liability, Occupier’s Liability and Clinical Negligence.
Philip now operates on a consultancy basis providing services to law firms, funders and insurers.
Millicent Grant, Past President
Millicent Grant became the first Chartered Legal Executive to be appointed an Honorary Queen’s Counsel.
A Chartered Legal Executive for almost 30 years, Millie, entered the profession as a legal secretary in the 1970s with the intention of qualifying as a Legal Executive. After qualifying as an Associate of the Institute, Millie became a Fellow in 1991. Millicent is a former CILEx President.
Since 2006, she has run her own consultancy advising and investigating issues arising from a range of employment matters and is also a trained executive and personal performance coach, working in private practice and in-house for a number of public sector organisations.
She is an ambassador for social mobility and Chair of the Knights Youth Centre. She has provided coaching support to senior managers in the public sector and to employees wanting to progress in their profession, as well as working as a tutor to those studying for CILEx level 3 qualifications.
Alexis Thomas, Non-Executive Director
Alexis is a Chartered Legal Executive at CJCH Solicitors specialising in Private Client.
After completing her Law degree at Swansea University in 2003, years later Alexis went on to complete her Level 6 qualifications and became a Fellow in 2017. Despite being qualified for 3 years Alexis has 13 years experience in her specialist area and is currently looking to add to her specialism as she is in the process of undertaking her Level 6 studies in Conveyancing.
In 2015 Alexis joined the Cardiff & SE Wales Branch and after just one year of being a committee member she became the Branch Chair, a role which she has retained since. Alexis actively supports Branch members when needed and is part of the Inspiring the Future Programme.
Alexis was awarded Branch Member of the Year in 2016 at the Presidents Inauguration and went on to win the Joyce Arram Award for Advancing the Legal Profession in the 2019 CILEx Awards. She has also recently been recognised as a finalist in the Rising Star category at the Wales Legal Awards 2020.
Emma Davis, Non-Executive Director
Originally qualifying with a degree in Tourism Management, and trying various roles, Emma found a home within law and was admitted as a Fellow of CILEX in 2010.
Passionate about this diverse route to qualification she was one of the founding members of the CILEX Devon Branch. She served on the committee for 10 years in various roles, including Chair, watching the branch scoop awards for ‘Most innovative branch’ and ‘Best branch’.
Emma started out in private practise as a Legal Secretary/Trainee Legal Executive specialising in debt recovery and Claimant personal injury. Since 2011 she has worked in-house for the Royal College of Nursing representing nurses subject to fitness to practise proceedings before their regulator. She also represents nurses under investigation by the Disclosure & Barring Service and Social Care Wales.
Emma previously served on CILEX Council from 2013 – 2016 and is keen to get back to helping raise the profile of CILEX
Ian Hunt, Non-Executive Director
Ian is immensely proud to be a third generation Legal Executive, having qualified in October 1990 and becoming a Fellow on 31st October 1992. He left mainstream legal employment in 2012 to fulfil his ambition to set up my own specialist Private Client practice and in June 2012. East Devon Law was founded. The firm has grown to become an LLP in 2018 and a CILEx Regulated entity in September 2020.
Ian won the Private Client - Legal Expert Award in 2018, and the Devon and Somerset Law Society Legal Executive of the Year Award in 2019. He received the highly commended in the Joyce Arram Memorial Award in the CILEx National Awards 2019 as well as being a shortlisted finalist in two other categories. As well as being a Full member of STEP and SFE and the Equity Release Council, Ian was invited by Baroness Finlay to become a member of the National Mental Capacity Forum (NMCF) in 2017 and was invited to become a member of the OPG working group to look at creating new easy read guidance notes for LPA’s in July 2019.
Out of the office he enjoys walking, hiking, and is qualified S W Mountain and Moorland leader and NNAS navigation coach. Ian is also a keen Motorsports enthusiast and enjoys competing in Sprints and Hill climbs in his Historic Mini Cooper S with daughter Victoria and wife Adele.