Who we are
The Lord David Ramsbotham GCB CBE
Edward Fitzgerald CBE QC
His Honour John Samuels QC
Martine Lignon (Chairperson)
Kassim Gaffar (Treasurer)
Kassim Gaffar completed an MSc in IT systems from London School of Economics and subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in London. Kassim has worked in the financial services sector since 1997, having held a number of roles in the corporate and investment banking arm of HSBC. Kassim is currently Director of Techrun Technologies Ltd, a company that provides IT services to non-profit and social sector enterprises. Kassim also mentors a number of start-up businesses. He joined PAS as a trustee in July 2015.
Eric Allison is The Guardian’s prison correspondent.
Eric spent some 16 years in prison, ending in 2000, all for theft related offences. He soon became appalled at the bad treatment handed out to people who had not “chosen” crime as a career and witnessed acts of brutality and racism on an almost daily basis. As a result, he decided to speak out and took action against the abuse. He discovered that the adage “the pen is mightier … ” proved particularly accurate in prison and, following the Strangeways Prison Riot, in 1990, he co-authored a book on the protest, A Serious Disturbance. The book was used by several education authorities as A-level course work (Sociology). In 2003, Eric Allison joined the Guardian as the prison correspondent. In 2013, with a colleague, Simon Hattenstone, Eric was awarded an Amnesty International media award for investigative journalism. Prior to joining the board of PAS, Eric was a trustee of the Shannon Trust.
Jeanne Harrison is a Chartered Management Accountant currently working as an Analyst with Moody’s Investors Service, with a focus on assessing the creditworthiness of not-for-profit entities. Prior to working at Moody’s, she worked as an accountant in both the university and housing association sectors. She joined PAS as a trustee in July 2015.
Jeremy Harrison is co-owner of abdi Ltd which teaches impact planning and measurement and conducts impact evaluations concentrated on the value of investment in human learning and activity. His career has been in journalism, the voluntary sector as public relations director of Shelter and as deputy director of the Community Projects Foundation (now CDF), as a long-term consultant with the European Commission on education, training and economic development, and teaching impact measurement and conducting evaluations in the UK and overseas in recent years in India, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. He joined PAS as a trustee in July 2015.
Tom Gilliard-Burden is a management consultant at Korn Ferry Hay Group, with a focus on the performance and effectiveness of public sector and not for profit organisations. Tom’s education background is as a Law student at City University (he holds both an LLB and an LLM in Maritime Law). Prior to joining Korn Ferry, he was a career civil servant working across a range of roles in education and skills policy, international trade and as Private Secretary to several Government Ministers.
Katie Le-Billon is a senior trusts and grants fundraiser at homelessness charity St Mungo’s, based in London, and also does outreach work with homeless clients. She holds a master’s degree in Child Studies from Kings College, where her research focussed on supporting young people affected by crime and the prison system. She has also previously worked with the Howard League for Penal Reform as a research intern.
Dominique Webb is currently Head of Operations for the World Hepatitis Alliance, leading on governance, HR and finance. Starting her career in advice work in the Citizens Advice network, Dominique subsequently worked in gender policy for the EHRC, and in Regeneration employment and skills before moving into Operations Director roles. She spent eight years as a board member of Merseyside Probation Trust until its dissolution in 2014,and spent two years as Director of Operations at the Women in Prison charity. Dominique believes that providing accurate and independent information and support is vital in enabling people to exercise their rights, especially in the complex and restrictive prison environment.
Rachel Mathieson is an Associate Solicitor in the Employment Department at law firm, Bates Wells. Rachel’s interest in prisoners’ rights stems from her chairing of the student group for the Howard League for Penal Reform at the University of Manchester. She joined PAS as a trustee in December 2019.
Mandy Mahil is a former resident of HMP Holloway and HMP Send. Her personal experience of the criminal justice system convinced her of the need to support prisoners with greater access to information and better representation.
Upon her release, Mandy returned to full-time study and obtained a BA(Hons) degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from King’s College London, where she also served as trustee for the Students’ Union (2016-17). Mandy maintains a particular interest in supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women in prison and victims of sexual assault. She works with a number of organisations to promote reform in the British criminal justice system.
Mandy joined PAS as a trustee in 2019
The Management Committee (Board of Trustees) has delegated the day-to-day management of PAS to its Director.
Lubia Begum-Rob manages PAS and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation. Lubia supervises PAS staff, regularly reports to trustees and runs her own cases. She has been at PAS for 14 years and is a qualified Solicitor.
Lubia was originally employed to undertake Race and Religious Discrimination casework, focusing on civil litigation and non-litigious complaints regarding ethnic and religious discrimination. In her role as Director, she continues to advise prisoners on ethnic and religious issues. Lubia runs a regular legal advice Outreach Clinic at HMP Belmarsh, the highest security prison in Europe.
Women Prisoners’ Caseworker
Kate Lill is the Women Prisoners’ Caseworker at PAS, having joined in May 2015. Women in prison have different experiences and needs to men, and often require specialist assistance. Kate offers legal advice, information and representation to women in custody, and also runs regular outreach advice clinics at HMPs Bronzefield, Downview, New Hall and Send. Kate previously worked at the Death Penalty Project and Prisoners Abroad, where she assisted British nationals in detention overseas. Kate qualified as a Barrister in 2010. She is currently on maternity leave.
Nicki Rensten has been at PAS since 1998 and was PAS’ first outreach caseworker. Nicki delivers legal education and outreach sessions to male prisoners at a number of prisons across England and Wales. As well as providing advice and information on prison law via outreach sessions, Nicki is responsible for coordinating and providing responses to the email inquiries PAS receives via our website. She also takes on cases, both as a result of outreach and through other means of contact with PAS, as well as advising prisoners by letter writing and via telephone calls to our advice line.
Joint Community Care Caseworkers
PAS’ joint Community Care Caseworkers, Laura Orger and Laine Ritchie, handle community care cases. Prisons, local authorities and probation services often fail to meet their responsibilities towards prisoners with physical and mental disabilities both during their time in prison and when they are due for release. Laura and Laine liaise with and, if necessary, issue Judicial Review claims against, prison/probation services and local authorities when they fail to meet their legal duties towards vulnerable adult prisoners. Laura and Laine also deliver legal Outreach Clinics at various prisons. Laura trained as a Solicitor at Fisher Meredith, while Laine obtained a BA in French studies and a Graduate Diploma in Law before qualifying as a Solicitor at Russell-Cooke. Laine has also previously worked as a criminal and human rights paralegal and as a PAS volunteer.
Jane Finnis is a Solicitor-Advocate. She previously worked in private practice, specialising in crime and Prison Law. Jane has worked at PAS since September 2015, initially providing maternity-leave cover for the Women Prisoners’ Caseworker. In September 2016, she was made PAS’ Partnerships Manager, responsible for managing the relationship between PAS and the various corporate law firms and universities that assist the charity to respond to the increasing amount of letters received from prisoners requiring advice. From July 2018, in addition to these responsibilities, she will recommence casework and act as a supervisor.
Advice Line Caseworker
Harry Wade is the dedicated Advice Line Caseworker at PAS, having joined in June 2018. Harry is responsible for dispensing advice and support to adult prisoners in England and Wales who reach out to PAS for help using our telephone Advice Line. Harry previously worked as a paralegal in the Human Rights Department at Leigh Day. Prior to this, he worked as a support worker to adults with autism.
Justice First Fellow Trainee Solicitor
Alice Gambell is a trainee solicitor at PAS. Her training contract with the charity started in January 2019 and is funded by The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), through its Justice First Fellowship scheme. Alice volunteered with PAS from 2014 to 2016 and more recently has worked as a paralegal in both criminal defence and actions against the police.
Head of Fundraising & Communications
Geof Jarvis is PAS’ Head of Fundraising & Communications. He is responsible for the research and development of PAS’ funding sources and strategy. Geof has more than 13 years of experience in fundraising, working in the arts, health and trade sectors. Prior to that, he worked in arts administration and management. He holds degrees from The University of Stirling (BA Honours English Literature) and The Nottingham Trent University (MA Cultural Studies).
Fundraising and Communications Officer
Sara McCallum is PAS’ Fundraising and Communications Officer. She is responsible for researching and applying to small and medium sized charitable trusts and foundations and submitting timely and accurate reports to them. She has over ten years’ experience working in Research Funding in the Higher Education and Charity sectors, as well as experience as a volunteer for charities Crisis and Reprieve. Sara holds a Bachelors degree in Contemporary History and a Master’s degree in International Security Studies, both from the University of Leicester.
Office and Advice Line Manager
Ben Blackwell is PAS’ Office and Advice Line Manager. Ben manages the telephone helpline and is responsible for ensuring the smooth daily running of the office. In addition, Ben is in charge of payroll and manages PAS’ volunteers. He previously worked at Refugee and Migrant Justice (a legal advice charity).
Given our few staff and limited resources, PAS relies upon the help of volunteers to meet the demand for our services. We take on both Legal and Fundraising and Communications Volunteers.