Award-winning solicitor and social justice champion Sue James takes helm at Legal Action Group
Legal Action Group (LAG) is delighted to announce that Sue James has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Sue, who is known for her housing law expertise and commitment to access to justice, will take up her new full-time post in March 2021.
Sue is currently director at Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre, which she joined in 2007, and where she practises as a specialist housing law solicitor, representing families at immediate risk of homelessness. Sue was also the driving force behind the opening of Ealing Law Centre in 2013, following the collapse of legal aid provision in the West London borough.
In 2017, Sue was named winner of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of her immense contribution to social justice at all levels during a career spanning three decades.
Sue joins LAG at a key time in its history, with the organisation marking its 50th anniversary in 2022.
Laura Janes, LAG chair of trustees, says:
'I’m thrilled to welcome Sue and all she brings to LAG with her extensive experience as a well-respected solicitor, writer, and social justice campaigner. Sue's knowledge, experience, and commitment are second to none. I have no doubt that under Sue’s leadership LAG will continue to thrive as a lynchpin of authoritative legal information and that she will drive forward our vision of a fair legal system that excludes no one, upholds equality and social justice, and meets the needs of the people it serves. Sue is the perfect choice to follow in the footsteps of legal aid legend Carol Storer. On behalf of the board I would like to thank Carol for her fantastic work as interim director.'
Sue James says:
'This is an exciting opportunity to lead Legal Action Group at a crucial time and to use the skills I have gained in practice more strategically. I am looking forward to working with the wider legal advice community and encouraging the new generation of lawyers and advisors to join the LAG family. LAG is a unique organisation with a unique platform and its voice is needed now more than ever.’
For more information or a photograph of Sue James, contact LAG interim director Carol Storer: CStorer@lag.org.uk; or LAG publishing director Esther Pilger: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors:
1) Legal Action Group is a charity, founded in 1971. LAG’s vision is a fair legal system that excludes no-one, upholds equality and social justice, and meets the needs of the people it serves. LAG supports and empowers those providing legal services and using the law to achieve justice for those who are disadvantaged, unable to speak for themselves, or who struggle to be heard. We publish and disseminate accessible, high-quality, authoritative and up-to-date legal information and knowledge; deliver education and training, and create opportunities for the exchange of ideas; and we are an authoritative voice speaking up for justice and improving law and practice.
2) Sue James is director and solicitor at Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre and a specialist in housing law. In 2017 she won the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Outstanding Achievement award. She is a founding trustee at Ealing Law Centre which opened in 2013, and has worked in law centres for most of her career. She is a member of the campaigning group, Justice Alliance, and is a regular speaker on legal aid and access to justice. Sue also writes a regular column for Legal Action
and writes regular articles for other journals. She is co-editor of the Legal Aid Handbook 2020/21
and co-author of Justice Matters
(LAG, 2020) and Housing Possession Duty Desk: a practical guide
(LAG, 2021). In 2018/19 she travelled through Australia and Canada as part of her Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, looking at Health/Justice Partnerships and other multi-disciplinary ways to deliver legal services.
3) Carol Storer was appointed LAG interim director in February 2019, after standing down as director of Legal Aid Practitioners Group. After a short break to welcome the arrival of her second grandchild, due in early 2021, Carol will be working as an independent consultant in the legal aid/access to justice sector.