IOP Diversity & Inclusion Panel
Michael Abiodun OlatokunChair of IOP Diversity and Inclusion Panel
Michael Abiodun Olatokun is an academic, activist and project manager empowering communities to become active citizens. He leads the Bingham Centre's strategic area of focus on Citizenship and the Rule of Law and is the Head of Public and Youth Engagement. He is a Lecturer in Law at London Southbank University and the Course Director of 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law', an international online law course studied by more than 6,000 students in 160 countries. As a result of the success of this work, Michael was asked to join the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee in 2017. He is one of the UK's leading experts on the topic and was a co-author of the minister's vision statement in 2018.
Whilst at the Bingham Centre, Michael has contributed to several public inquiries relating to areas of his research. The bodies conducting these inquiries have frequently cited his evidence in producing final recommendations for government decision makers, including the House of Commons Justice Select Committee inquiry into reform of courts and tribunals , the Draft Commissioner for Children and Young People (Jersey) Law 201- Scrutiny review - Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel and the final report of the House of Lords Ad Hoc Select Committe on Citizenship and Civic Engagement.
Prior to joining the Bingham Centre Michael worked as a political organiser encouraging young people and disenfranchised groups to participate in public life. He has led voter registration projects that have successfully registered hundreds of thousands of first-time voters, working with the Cabinet Office and other partners to promote voter engagement in the run-up to the 2016 European Union Referendum. The University of Nottingham gave Michael an 'Alumni Laureate Award' to recognise his democratic engagement work and he was named a (fee-waiving) Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in 2017.
Outside of his citizenship work, Michael has been a successful non-executive director of three charities. He has also served as an advisor of public education authorities. As the former Deputy Chair of the Teaching Excellence Framework Subject Pilot Panel for Law (Business, Education and Social Care are also considered under the remit of the committee), Michael chaired discussions of senior law academics in piloting, testing and applying methods for assessing quality in higher education programmes.
Steven Vaughan is Professor of Law and Professional Ethics in UCL Faculty of Laws. Since 2007, he has had 4 books and over 30 chapters and journal papers published, the majority of which have looked at the legal profession (speaking to ethics, diversity, regulation, and legal education). Away from the university, he has held various legal services related appointments: on the Education and the Policy Committees of the Solicitors Regulation Authority; in the LGBT Lawyers Division of The Law Society; and in the Research Strategy Group of the Legal Services Board. Steven has spoken at the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts and his research is regularly covered in leading national and international media. He began his career with a decade in the City, working as an environmental law solicitor, first at Freshfields and then at Latham & Watkins.
Diversity is who we are, where we come from, how we live and work. Our backgrounds shape our view of the world, and how we respond to situations and challenges. The wider the diversity of thought approaching a question, the more well-rounded the response will be.
Having navigated an eighteen-year career as costs lawyer, technical auditor and in-house legal recruiter, Pippa’s move into the role of Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Weightmans was born out her passion for equality and diversity across all areas of the business and across all strands including BAME, LGBTQ+, Gender and Disability and Mental Wellbeing. While recruiting for the business she saw a need for more focus on D&I which led to the creation of the role of Diversity and Inclusion Lead.
Pippa coordinates the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and oversees implementation of the diversity and inclusion strategies with the support of 43 Diversity and Inclusion Champions placed across the business.
Elizabeth has been managing and developing charities in the mental health sector for over 20 years. She joined LawCare in 2014 from the Institute of Group Analysis, a membership and training organisation for group psychotherapists. Before that she headed up Alzheimer’s Disease International, a worldwide federation of Alzheimer Associations. Elizabeth started her working life as a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence, practicing at Leigh Day.
LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. We work to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces and drive change in education, training and practice. If you need to talk call us on 0800 279 6888 or visit www.lawcare.org.uk.
Amir has worked in Private Practice for 21 years for a few leading firms of Solicitors who specialised in Dispute Resolution, Insolvency together with Company & Commercial work at senior management level. He was also Head of Litigation for a Midlands based National Leasing Plc.
Amir was invited to join the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (formally known as the High Court Sheriff`s Association) firstly at John Marston & Co (now Marston Group) where he was Client Relationship Manager for over three years before taking up the role of Director of Client Services and Business Development at High Court Enforcement Group.
Amir is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Managers (FCICM) and is a member of CICM’s Think Tank & Technical Committee. CICM overseas & is responsible for £4 Trillion of Trade Debt in the UK and abroad.
Additionally, Amir was elected to the post of Vice Chairman of the CCUA (Civil Court Users Association) in September 2009, (Acting Chairman from February 2015 to October 2015) and served as Chairman of both their National Council & Events Steering Committees until September 2020.
Amir recently took up the role as Vice President of Resolve Disputes Online. RDO provide Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platforms to Ministry’s of Justice (MOJ) Globally. Closer to home, RDO are also leading the charge for the UK Government backed initiative powered by Tech Nation / Law Tech UK, to help transform the UK legal sector through technology. The ambition is to create an online dispute resolution platform for UK PLC and the SME business community here in the UK.
Helen is a senior equity partner and head of TrowersIncludes, the diversity, equality and inclusion programme at Trowers & Hamlins.
She has been advising the public sector and clients who wish to do business with the public sector on JVs, outsourcings, PPPs, procurement, bidding strategies and governance for over 25 years, (both in-house and in private practice). Chambers and The Legal 500 have recognised Helen as a "leader" in local government, public procurement, administrative and public law and PPPs for over a decade. Internationally, Helen is among the "world's leading government contract lawyers" in Who's Who Legal. Helen chairs Stonewall Housing (an LGBT homelessness charity).