Our Trustees

Lynne Brooke

Lynne Brooke LL.B Solicitor

Lynne has been a solicitor for over 30 years, most of that time as a Partner and has wide experience of the law and its operation.  The rule of law is a framework for Civil Society in which enterprises contribute to the wellbeing and wealth of its citizens.

To enable enterprises to be established in the commercial and Social Economy that focus on risk management and wealth creation, six years ago Lynne started The Brooke Consultancy LLP as a new type of Law Firm to provide Business Advice in the Round for small to medium sized enterprises.

Lynne established and headed a Corporate Group for a medium sized law firm for four years

The Brooke Consultancy operates internationally and presently has business in China, Australia, India and Africa.

Lynne has a wide range of experience in corporate and commercial law. He has dealt with startups, growth companies, articles of association containing special provisions, privileges and protections, public companies worldwide in the resource sector, non-resident trusts, mergers and acquisitions, shareholders’ agreements, commercial contracts of all types, licences and franchises. He has acted for companies on AIM and Plus markets and now that it’s open to UK companies wishes to enable them to join the main market by way of a Standard Listing.

Lynne takes an active interest in the development of the Social Economy and has incorporated Community Interest Companies, advised and acted for charities and set up appropriate and sustainable structures.  He believes that social impact investing will become a principal driver for investors.

Lynne has been a long serving trustee on various Charities. He is Vice Chair of Westminster Mencap, Trustee of Kith and Kids, Disability Law Service, Secretary of Lawyers for People with Learning Disabilities and founder trustee of Newham Riding School Association known as Docklands Equestrian Centre.

Sarah Holloway

Sarah Holloway

Sarah became a Trustee of DLS in 2012, and has been Chair since 2014.

Sarah joined DLS in order to make a contribution to the protection of the rights of disabled people, and has a particular interest in the rights of people with mental health problems.

At the time of joining DLS, Sarah was Research and Evaluation lead for the mental health charity, Mind. Since then she has moved from the voluntary sector to the public sector, with roles at both the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health. Having returned to focus on mental health, Sarah currently works for NHS England where she leads a programme of work around improving the quality of community mental health services in England. Sarah works four days a week, with the fifth day reserved for looking after her young son.  

Brenda Parkes

Brenda Parkes

Brenda Parkes is an independent equality, diversity and human rights consultant who provides advice, guidance and training as well as conducts audits and investigations. Prior to becoming a consultant she worked at the Equality and Human Rights Commission as a senior lawyer carrying out regulatory work and providing legal advice to staff and Commissioners. She was previously at the Commission for Racial Equality where she worked initially on policy and casework handling individual complaints, and later on as a lawyer in the enforcement team. Brenda is also a member of the Discrimination Law Association which publishes briefings, holds seminars and submits responses to government consultations.

Brenda is a trustee of the Communities Empowerment Network which provides advocacy services to parents of children who have been excluded from school, including those at risk of permanent exclusion. She is also a trustee of the Race Equality Foundation which promotes race equality in social support and public services.

Sheila Rogers

Sheila Rogers

Sheila Rogers practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Canada before returning to the UK since when she has specialised in equality and human rights work.  She worked on gender equality at the Equal Opportunities Commission (NI) and was Chief Executive of the Commission for Racial Equlity (NI). In 2002 she joined the Commission for Racial Equality in London working on policy, community cohesion and as Chief Executive.

She moved to head up policy development for the Transition Team setting up the current Equality and Human Rights Commission before becoming an Independent Equality and Human Rights Consultant.  Sheila works in all equality areas, including disability, mainly in the public and community and voluntary sectors and in EU and former accession countries.  She is a Member of the Premier League Equality Standard Assessment Panel and recently acted as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee considering the future of equality law and policy following the 2016 referendum on EU membership.

Vijay Samtani

Vijay Samtani

Vijay Samtani has been a trustee of Disability Law Service since April 2016. The majority of his professional life has been focused in IT and information security, working in a variety of large companies.

Vijay is currently head of information security at Royal Mail Group, where he has responsibility for the company’s cyber security. He is a highly experienced security and risk technologist, and has designed and managed cyber security programmes for large and high-profile organisations, including the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Vijay has cerebral palsy. He has been fortunate not to have suffered from overt discrimination against him, but also fortunate to have had support from formal and informal advocates throughout his life. He worked for a period early in his career in a pioneering law firm that specialised in representing vulnerable people, and learned in that time how easily discrimination and legal processes can harm those without good representation and advice, and conversely, how important access to legal representation is in empowering disabled people.

Berit Thoresen

Berit Thoresen

Berit Thoresen joined the Board of Trustees in April 2016. Prior to that she was a volunteer at DLS’s office at the same time as studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.  Berit has first hand experience of some of the legal fights disabled people and their carers may face, having had to fight herself to get provisions in place for her youngest son who has severe learning difficulties, left sided hemiplegia, severe epilepsy, and communication and behavior difficulties.

Berit is also a trustee of another charity that provides services to children and adults with learning difficulties and has previously volunteered for Face2Face/Scope, Barnardo’s and the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Berit is originally from Denmark, where she studied a Master degree in Public Administration and worked as a consultant in Performance Audit in Norway before relocating to London.  Berit is married, has two sons and is currently working as a paralegal in the City of London.

Alexander Woolfson

Alexander Woolfson

Alexander Woolfson is a regular commentator on foreign affairs, with a particular focus on defence and security. He writes, lectures and consults for both the public and private sectors about managing risk in the changing security environment. Alexander is a former BBC radio producer for the ‘World at One’ and ‘PM’. He also served as senior communications adviser to the BBC. Educated at Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Harvard, Alexander holds a doctorate in the history of US grand strategy and has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University and the American Political Science Association. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.