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ARU Legal Advisory Board

The ARU Legal Advisory Board provides strategic advice, guidance, and support to ARU, specifically in the discipline of Law.

The Board contributes to the mission of fostering excellence in education, enabling closer ties between the University, the local judiciary and law firms, and enhancing the overall quality of ARU courses and initiatives.

The Board is purely advisory in nature and has no formal governance role within the University. The objectives of the Board include:

  • Fostering career development and strong network opportunities for students and alumni.
  • Offering insights on emerging trends in the legal landscape to ensure ARU remains innovative and responsive in its curriculum.
  • Facilitating partnerships and collaborations.
  • Allowing external experts to collaborate with ARU on research activities in the field of Law.

ARU Legal Advisory Board consists of prominent professionals, experts, and influential individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise relevant to ARU’s current and future courses and subject areas.

Roopa Ahluwalia

Roopa acts for wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs, academics, and trustees on a variety of cases. Her clients rely on me for realistic advice and she stays by their side, giving careful guidance towards a successful outcome.

Roopa's specialisms are varied and include divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships, financial settlements and negotiation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements. She also specialises in Children Act cases (including internal relocation), injunctions and collaborative law, and is a qualified mediator.

James specialises in corporate finance, banking and insolvency. He has considerable experience in a variety of corporate finance transactions, including sales and purchases, venture capital, restructurings, and advising family-owned businesses.

James has passed the Californian Bar Exams and regularly advises on transactions with a cross-border element. James also delivers lectures to other lawyers and professionals on corporate finance and banking issues.

James is recognised as a leader in his field by leading legal directories, Chambers and Legal 500 in the specialisms of corporate finance, banking and finance, and insolvency and restructuring.

Deborah has been a solicitor for over 30 years and has run her own specialist family law firm for the last 22 years including a Legal 500 firm from 2019. She is an expert in all aspects of family law relating to children.

Robin Chaudhuri

Robin graduated with a 2:1 Honours degree in 1986. He attended City University in September 1986 to study for the Graduate Diploma in Law. He completed that course and enrolled at the Inns of Court School of Law for his Bar Finals. He was called to the Bar in 1988 and undertook a common law pupillage at Chambers in Leicester. He subsequently joined Fenners Chambers, Cambridge.

Robin continued to practice at the Bar and in 1999 was appointed a Deputy District Judge (Civil ) on the Midland Circuit. He was also appointed a P/T Chair of a Medical-related Tribunal in 2000.

Robin was appointed a full time District Judge in 2008 sitting at Milton Keynes County Court. In November 2011 he was transferred to Peterborough County Court. He has acted as an Appraisal Judge and Mentor Judge to full- and part-time judges.

In 2020, Robin was appointed a Circuit Judge (Family) sitting at Luton and Bedford County Court. In 2022 he was transferred to Cambridge and Peterborough County Court, where he continues to sit.

In December 2020 he was appointed a Family Tutor at the Judicial College. He teaches private, public law and family money to full- and part-time judges. He is also trained to appraise sitting recorders.

In his spare time, Robin manages a successful women's football team who play at regional level. He has coached for many years at a professional men’s football club and is a keen skier.

Ian Clift

Ian is a Solicitor-Advocate and Director at JSP Solicitors. JSP is the largest criminal defence firm in Essex.

Ian began as a paralegal in 1997. He was admitted as a Solicitor in 2001, appointed as a Solicitor-Advocate in 2007, and has been a Director of the firm since 2011. He specialises in serious and complex crime, such as cases involving murder, sexual offences, organised crime, large scale drug conspiracies and trafficking.

Ian's firm has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with ARU and recruits new trainee solicitors directly from the University.

Lindsay Davies

HHJ Lindsay Davies was a Barrister based in Cambridge, having been called to the Bar in 1975. She was appointed a Circuit Judge in 2012, and in 2016 she was appointed Designated Family Judge for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. She retired in 2022. In 2021, she was made an Honorary Fellow of ARU.

Throughout her career, Lindsay has volunteered with and supported Free Legal Advice services – in Brixton, Islington, and Cambridge – and since she became a Judge, she supported the setting up of the ARU Law Clinic.

Lindsay encouraged the Support at Court scheme run by ARU Law Clinic and was delighted with the website designed by students for Litigants in Person who must attend the Cambridge Family Court. She mentors Law students at ARU.

Julie Galvin

Julie Galvin is the Legal Services Manager at Harlow District Council. She acts as the Deputy Monitoring Officer and Data Protection Officer to the Council. Following a career working for international financial houses, she qualified as a Solicitor. She holds 13 years PQE and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Law and Practice.

Julie heads up a multi-disciplinary legal team covering litigation, non-contentious regeneration and externally funded projects and public procurement. Alongside delivering a comprehensive legal service, the team work together to deliver talks and work experience to develop talent. Julie is keen to promote O Shaped legal training to lawyers of the future, and promote careers in local government.

Mohammed is a Member (Partner) of Leeds Day LLP. He lives in St. Ives and attended St. Ivo School before going on to qualify as a solicitor in July 2003. He became a Partner at Leeds Day in 2010. His training and post-qualification experience was with a specialist landlord and tenant practice and he now conducts contractual claims and property law claims.

Yasmin Johal

Yasmin is a multi-award-winning lawyer specialising in UK and UAE Crypto and FinTech. She is also, separately, a FinTech Advisor to numerous FinTechs worldwide.

Yasmin provides specialist advice and helps shape developments in the FinTech and financial services industries internationally. She has worked within investment banking, corporate banking, private banking, and fiduciary management teams across both the UK and US financial markets.

Yasmin is a thought leader in the FinTech space and is a long-standing contributor to the Harrington Starr award-winning FinTech magazines, WeAreTechWomen and WeAreTheCity, where she writes provoking and innovative thought leadership on the FinTech industry.

She is also a tech speaker, podcast host and an advocate for increasing female and BAME representation in FinTech. She has authored industry thought leadership pieces on financial regulation, FinTech and innovation, and D&I.

Julie Moktadir

Julie is an experienced immigration expert, having worked in this area of law for many years. She has worked with various types of organisations and individuals on all types of immigration matters.

Julie has advised on a broad range of immigration issues, including UK organisations recruiting from abroad and matters affecting European nationals employed in the UK. She uses her knowledge of often sensitive immigration-related matters to support clients across Stone King’s sectors.

Greg is an experienced Corporate and Commercial Lawyer, having lived and worked in Canada, Singapore, China and the UK over the course of his career. He is currently the Deputy General Counsel of AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge. He has also served as a Non-Executive Director for AstraZeneca's Bombay and National Stock Exchange listed business in India. Greg holds a Bachelor of Commerce specialist degree (B.Comm) from the University of Toronto and a Law degree (LLB) from Queen’s University in Canada.

Catie Sheret

Catie is the General Counsel for Cambridge University Press and Assessment, and has worked as an in-house Lawyer in education for most of her career.

She is responsible for Legal and Compliance, leading a team of 50+ supporting an international business. She is also responsible for Sustainability and Brand, and is proud of the ambitious work Cambridge is doing to drive sustainability in its business, particularly around educational impact, carbon reduction and environmental sustainability.

She is on the steering board of the O Shaped Lawyer group which is an initiative focused on emphasising the importance of people skills in the legal profession, for improving the profession in terms of outcomes, but equally importantly, for wellbeing. She is an ambassador for General Counsel Sustainability Leaders and a supporter of the Chancery Lane Project.

Poppy Short

Poppy is a Partner in Mills and Reeve's Corporate Education team and specialises in providing complex corporate and commercial legal advice to university clients and other education and public sector organisations.

Poppy has twenty years’ experience in advising on the full range of (i) commercial and corporate issues including partnerships and collaborations, mergers and business transfers, and (ii) governance matters from constitutional reviews, charity advice on powers, trading subsidiary issues, structuring, OfS requirements and applying for DAPs and university title.

Poppy has recently been involved in the biggest and most complex and high-profile mergers in the higher education sector and is well versed in leading complex and novel corporate projects for universities, such as setting up campuses abroad or restructuring.

Poppy is recognised as a ‘New Generation Partner’ in the Legal 500 directory and has been listed as a ‘Rising Star’ for many years.

Natasha Shotunde

Natasha is an award-winning barrister and Honorary Doctor of Laws at Garden Court Chambers, where her work encompasses family law and public inquiries. She is an elected member of the Bar Council, sitting on its Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee and the Race Working Group. She also sits on the EDI Committee at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

Natasha is the Co-founder and Chair of the award-winning Black Barristers’ Network (BBN), which aims to provide Black barristers with support, visibility and to work on community outreach. BBN won Best Network/Group at the Chambers Europe Awards in 2021.

Natasha received the Forty under 40 award in the Law – Human Rights category in 2023, the Rising Star award at the UK Diversity Legal Awards in 2021 and Highly Commended – Future Leader: Diversity and Inclusion at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020. She received her Honorary Doctorate in 2022 from ARU.

Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith is a Senior Legal Director in the Digital Assets legal team at Goldman Sachs International. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2012.

Prior to joining the firm, Deborah worked as a US Associate / Counsel at Linklaters for twelve years, having worked in their Paris, Dubai, and London offices. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

Deborah is passionate about pro bono and serves as Co-Chair of Goldman’s EMEA Pro Bono Committee, is a founder and Steering Committee Member of the In House Pro Bono Group, and a member of the Board of Trustees of LawWorks.

Simon Thomas

Simon is a Member (Partner) of Leeds Day LLP and the Family Team Leader heading up a team of experienced family solicitors and support staff. He is also the firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice. He joined Leeds Day LLP in 2004 and became a Partner in 2006.

Simon is a member of Resolution, the national family law association committed to taking a constructive and non-confrontational approach to family law matters, and an accredited Resolution Specialist in complex financial and property matters and cases concerning children. He is also a qualified Collaborative Family Law Solicitor, which involves separating couples and their respective solicitors meeting face-to-face to resolve matters and avoid costly court proceedings.

Outside of work, Simon is a keen traveller and sports enthusiast. He is married with two children.