CILEX SRG Adviser
What is a CILEX SRG Adviser?
A CILEX SRG Adviser is a voluntary role open to members of the relevant CILEX Specialist Reference Group (SRG). Our Advisers play a critical role in providing advice, guidance and views on specific matters relating to their specialist area of legal practice to help inform CILEX'S wider policy work and practice advice.
CILEX Advisers attend meetings or events on behalf of us and ensure that important topics discussed consider the impacts or benefits towards our members. Our Advisers also contribute insightful articles to CILEX's monthly SRG newsletters. These articles can cover a recent meeting they attended or a topic of passion to them that is of benefit to members of their SRG and beyond.
CILEX is proud of the hard work and dedication that our Advisers volunteer to us to help ensure that our members voice is heard and that our direction is steered by expert knowledge. If you are a CILEX member and haven't joined one of our 15 SRG's please visit the links below to find out more. If you are interested in the role of an SRG Adviser and would like to be considered at a later date, please check back from time to time to see when vacancies are launched.
Please note that the role of CILEX SRG Adviser is as an annual appointment up to a maximum of 3 years.
Get to know your CILEX SRG Advisers
Civil Practitioners SRG
Stuart Hoysted FCILEX - Money Claims and Debt Recovery Portfolio
Stuart qualified as a Fellow of the Institute in 2004. He works for Clarke Willmott LLP and two years ago was promoted to the role of Technical Director.
Stuart is the first point of contact in his firm for any technical matters in all aspects of County Court and Insolvency litigation, together with the effective use of enforcement action.
His in-depth knowledge and years of experience in dealing with complex instructions means that Stuart is expert on the recovery of Director’s Loans, Transactions at Undervalue, Preferences, Void Dispositions and Unlawful Dividends on behalf of Insolvency Practitioners. He also supports his Insurance team with complex issues of recovery involving subrogated motor insurance claims.
In his role as Technical Director he provides training and updates on current legal practice and forthcoming changes to the Civil Procedure Rules or other relevant legislation, which affects his firm’s debt recovery practice. He also reviews legislative developments which may impact clients’ specific areas of business.
Heather Keates FCILEX - Leasehold and Commonhold
Heather has been a successful conveyancer for over 30 years dealing extensively (both personally and in a supervisory role) with all aspects of residential conveyancing. Having worked in three solicitors’ practices between 1988 and 1998 (in Cambridgeshire and Lincoln's Inn, London) Heather joined Pirie Palmann in 1998 and is now an Associate Director and Head of Risk and Compliance at Simply Conveyancing. She is skilled in drafting legal charges, deeds of easement, options and overage agreements, and has dealt with many successful Land Registry applications for adverse possession and for rectification of title issues. Heather is also well versed in s42 lease extensions and enfranchisement.
At present, Heather supervises a Title Lawyer Team and provides specialist technical support to her firm’s conveyancers on the complex aspects of conveyancing. She has created a very successful training course for Team Leaders and Title Checkers (including Law Graduates) covering both the practical and complex elements of residential conveyancing.
Heather was honoured to have been Highly Commended at the Inaugural CILEX Awards in 2018 in the Legal Expert Property Award category.
Nicola Pugh FCILEX - Regulation Portfolio
Having previously worked in the private client and property departments of solicitor’s offices in Shropshire and Mid-Wales, and for the local authority since 1986, Nicola is now based in the Church Stretton office of PCB Solicitors LLP, specialising in Residential Conveyancing. Nicola is a partner at PCB Solicitors and also Joint Head of Property.
Nicola provides expert information regarding Conveyancing Regulation Portfolios, this includes, expert advice regarding best practices, procedures and protocols that impact on the work of conveyancers including proposed and on-going changes to stamp duty land tax in England and Wales, business and property taxes, and anti-money laundering regulation.
An avid supporter of small communities Nicola has played an active role as Chair of Governors at her local primary school and clerk to the parish council. Nicola was also the founding Chairman of the Shropshire and Mid Wales Branch of CILEX and is an active member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Julie Tomasik FCILEX - Extensive Conveyancing Portfolio
Julie is a Director and the head of Ansons Solicitors residential conveyancing team and has been involved in conveyancing for over 40 years. Julie chose the CILEX route to train as a property lawyer on leaving school in 1976 and became a Fellow in 1985 when the scheme required a student to have at least 8 years qualifying experience and be a minimum age of 25.
Julie has seen many changes but is disappointed that even with the advances in technology the average time taken to move house is longer than ever. Her continuing ambition is to continue to offer the benefit of her experience to achieve a smoother, swifter and better experience for the client journey.
Through her expert knowledge, Julie has had both professional and personal clients recommended to her and has acquired a loyal base of clients that frequent her legal assistance for an array of property matters on a regular basis.
With her vast experience in the field of conveyancing, Julie takes on the role of the extensive conveyancing portfolio adviser. Julie is also part of the Home Buying and Selling Group on behalf of CILEX .
Court Users SRG
Christine Howard FCILEX - Civil Court Users
Christine has over forty years of legal experience in all divisions of the UK Courts including the Supreme Court and in both domestic and international arbitrations.
While in private practice, Christine worked for major city firms dealing with large claims and multi-jurisdictional disputes in the commercial court, technology and construction court, and in arbitral proceedings.
Christine centres her attention and substantial expertise on document management, as well as in the substantive issues of trial matters. In addition, she has prepared and maintained document management systems in connection with internal arbitrations and has a wealth of experience in multi-party construction disputes.
In the course of her career she has gained substantial advocacy experience in all divisions of the High Court.
Christine is a Trustee on the Board of Governors of the RCJ Advice Bureau and chairs the service delivery sub-committee. She is the coordinator of the London office’s participation in the Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s rota of pro bono volunteers at the Royal Courts of Justice. Christine was the recipient of the Chartered institute of Legal Executives National Pro Bono Award in 2016.
Gary Claeys FCILEX - Civil Court Users
Gary is part of our Court User SRG Adviser groups and provides expert advice in the field of Civil Court Users. In Gary’s line of work as a Chartered Legal Executive Advocate he regularly appears at civil proceedings in the County Court as well as personal injury litigation for his companies’ clients, particularly RTA Protocol Stage 3 hearings. Gary is also a member of the Birkenhead County Court User’s Committee.
In addition to the above-mentioned work Gary is responsible for draft statements of case, applications, witness statements, skeleton arguments and advice on quantum as well.
Gary has previously commented on the excellent opportunities available to CILEX lawyers, with his quote below being featured throughout our site.
“Becoming a Fellow has transformed my life and career. I am now a qualified lawyer and gain far wider recognition within my company, the profession and the courts. The opportunities available to Chartered Legal Executive lawyers now – to become judges and partners - are tremendous." -Gary Claeys Slater and Gordon Lawyers
Criminal Practitioners SRG
Simon Parsons FCILEX - Criminal Justice System
Simon Parsons is a Chartered Legal Executive and Solicitor (both non-practicing). Having practiced as a trainee legal executive for thirteen years, his experience saw him specialise in criminal law and practice.
Upon qualifying as a solicitor, Simon entered the legal education sector, teaching at Solent University in Southampton where he spent twenty-three years specialising in teaching and researching criminal law, criminal justice process and evidence. Simon states: “My research has given me the opportunity to examine the way in which the criminal law battles with the difficulties of defining criminal responsibility.”
As a result of his track record of research impact, Simon was delighted to be recognised by Solent University with the conferral of the title of Associate Professor in 2013.”
Kirsty Wright FCILEX - Criminal Legal Aid and Sustainability
Kirsty qualified as a Fellow of the Institute in 2003 and was amongst the first CILEX Fellows to attain the Criminal Advocacy Qualification in 2008. She is an equity partner, and was one of three founding members of OWN Solicitors, a specialist criminal defence law firm that has held a Criminal Legal Aid Contract since its inception in 2010. She is her firm’s COLP and her partnership role also includes managing Duty Solicitors forming part of the existing “Duty” Rota Schemes in Aylesbury and High Wycombe/Amersham (within the Thames Valley area).
Kirsty has been handling a fee earning caseload that is solely crime related since 2006; prior to which she had an administrative, recruitment and civil litigation fee earning background. She is degree qualified in two non-law subjects and has a foundation degree in business management.
Kirsty has been ‘Duty’ Qualified and a member of the Duty Solicitor Rota since 2012. Kirsty continues to regularly represent clients at the police station and in the local magistrates’ courts. She is a qualified Law Society approved Lexcel Consultant and has had experience lecturing in both law and non-legal topics.
As well as being a CILEX Adviser, Kirsty is currently undergoing the CILEX Judicial Development Programme in the hope of furthering her career.
Family Practitioner SRG
Andrew Lee FCILEX - Children Portfolio
Andrew Lee is the Strategic Lawyer – People at Wigan Council. Within this role, he has overall professional responsibility for multiple areas of law including: Children’s social care, Education, Adult social care, Health and Contentious Housing. His past experience in legal practice, both prior to and post qualifying as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, has predominantly been in Children’s Social Care.
In defining himself and his role within legal practice, Andrew states “I'm a vociferate advocate of the positive difference Local Government makes to the communities we serve. I have a passion for developing staff, to inspire and engage them to pursue and succeed in a career in law.”
Kimberley Pender FCILEX - Divorce and Separation Portfolio
Kimberley has been a qualified Family lawyer for over 20 years and following completion of her Law degree, Kimberley became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Kimberley has extensive experience in dealing with farming matrimonial financial disputes and has worked throughout East Anglia in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Suffolk before joining Greene & Greene in July 2021.
Kimberley provides specialist advice and support on all areas of Family law. These areas of law include divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitation contracts, property disputes for cohabitees, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, civil partnerships, same-sex marriages and all disputes about children. Kimberley advises on a wide range of financial matters arising from divorce from straight forward divorces to high value matters for agricultural and business clients.
Kimberley prioritises client care to ensure all clients are kept well informed and sympathetically supported at critical and often difficult times in their lives whilst robustly fighting her client’s corner.
Linsey McDonald FCLIX - Family Court Users
Linsey is a highly-experienced Family Law specialist focused on helping clients achieve favourable outcomes, even in complex divorces and disputes. In 2019, Linsey was named ‘Chartered Legal Executive of the Year’ at the Family Law Awards.
Linsey joined Switalskis in 2007, following the acquisition of her previous employers’ Legal Aid Family Law practice. She then became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2008. In 2018, Linsey became an Associate of Switalskis, following her successful completion of their in-house Associate Development Programme. Linsey recently joined King Street Solicitors at the end of 2021, which specialise in family, child care and education law.
Linsey has specialised in family law for a number of years and has a wide range of experience in dealing with divorce, children matters and of obtaining emergency injunctions in domestic violence cases.
Linsey brings expert knowledge to her SRG Adviser role, focusing on all aspects associated with family courts and tribunals in England and Wales.
Personal Injury SRG
Laurence Shaw FCILEX - Claimant Portfolio
Laurence Shaw qualified as a Fellow in 1987 and has over 40 years’ worth of experience in the Personal Injury industry as a Claimant Lawyer. Laurence currently works as a freelance legal consultant with his most recent assignment having been a 7 month stint with Temple Legal Protect (ATE insurers) in Guildford assisting in a file audit and also underwriting cases.
Prior to this, he worked in private practice acting mainly for Trade Unions in a variety of cases ranging from road traffic accidents to employer liability and public liability accident cases, as well as some clinical negligence work. For the last 3 years he has specialized in Foreign Jurisdiction work partly managing a team of 12 dealing with accidents abroad.
Will Balfry FCILEX - Defendant Portfolio
Will Balfry qualified as a Fellow in 2008 and is a Senior Associate at DWF Law LLP based at their Liverpool office. After initially commencing Personal Injury work on behalf of Claimants in Motor and EL/PL, Will has worked for DWF for over 11 years representing Defendants and their insurers.
He now works in their Complex Motor team handing a variety of Fast and Multi Track actions whilst also representing DWF at FOIL (Forum of Insurance Lawyers) in their Motor Sector Group and having a keen interest in the upcoming low value claims reforms scheduled to come into effect next year.
He also handles advice work for several major insurers. He has written several articles for the CILEX Journal and writes internally at DWF on civil procedure and industry reform.
Private Client SRG
David Isbister FCILEX - Wills and Probate
David Isbister is a Private Client lawyer working in a small Solicitors practice in Chancery Lane, London, and is head of Wills and Inheritance under the Law Society’s WIQS accreditation.
David qualified as a Fellow of CILEX in 2001, and is a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) and has obtained STEP Diplomas in Trusts and Estates and also in Will Preparation.
In 2012 David qualified as a civil and commercial Mediator. As a Mediator David has build a busy practice specialising in contentious trusts and probate and TOLATA disputes. To date he has been appointed to Mediated over 120 disputes.
David has also been appointed as CILEX Adviser on Wills and has attended and represented CILEX at the Ministry of Justice in relation to the Law Commissions review on the Law of Wills.
David has also been appointed to attend and represent CILEX in a Judicial Liaison Committee created by the Civil Justice Council to review and put forward recommendations in respect of ADR.
Frances Edwards FCILEX - Wales Portfolio
Frances Edwards has been a CILEX Fellow since 2000 and was on the CILEX Council for 10 years from 2008–2018, as well as CILEX National President from 2014-2015. She is a partner in Caswell Jones, Solicitors in Caerphilly, South Wales, and has been working in the Family Department for 24 years.
From a Welsh perspective, Frances has been a branch member of the CILEX Cardiff and South East Wales branch since its inception in 2004 and was Chair of the branch from 2005 – 2010. She is currently Secretary of the Legal Wales Foundation which was set up to discuss developments which affect law and practice in Wales.
On behalf of CILEX, Frances has given evidence to the Commission on Justice in Wales and will follow the recommendations with interest. She states: "I am delighted to take on the role of SRG Adviser for Wales. I trust that these contacts will enable me to advise CILEX on any developments in Wales."