Piya Muqit, Executive Director

Piya has been working in the field of human rights, child rights, human trafficking and refugee rights for the past 16 years as a legal-aid lawyer and policy expert. She has worked for NGOs, including Freedom from Torture, REDRESS and Refugee and Migrant Justice in the UK, the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana in the USA and Ain o Salish Kendra in Bangladesh. She has also served on the Board and worked for the Citizenship Foundation and Grampian Racial Equality Council. Piya is a qualified barrister having trained at Doughty Street, Garden Court Chambers and the Faculty of Advocates in the UK and holds an undergraduate degree in law from the University of Aberdeen, a Master’s in Human Rights Law from the University of London and a Master’s in Child Studies from Kings College London. She has led on change management projects for several NGOs, and been involved in training and capacity building, research, strategic litigation cases, and law and policy reform throughout her career. Her most recent post before joining Justice Centre was Head of Policy and Advocacy at UNICEF UK.

Isaac Shaffer, Head of Protection Claimant Services

Isaac Shaffer is a UK qualified lawyer with over 8 years experience of directly representing asylum seekers and refugees before Courts and Tribunals. Before working for the Justice Centre, he worked for Wilson Solicitors LLP, one of the UK’s leading legal aid immigration firms, and for Refugee Legal Centre, a UK NGO providing direct representation for asylum seekers and refugees. He has particular experience in litigation, including complex applications for Judicial Review. He was co-convener of the UK’s Immigration Legal Practitioner Association’s specialist Asylum Working Group and was active in campaigns to preserve legal aid and access to justice. He is also a founding member of one of the UK’s leading independent publishing houses, Comma Press, and still sits upon its Board.

Lynette Nam, Legal Officer

Lynette is an Australian qualified lawyer and holds a dual degree in Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hon) from the University of Queensland. Before joining Justice Centre, Lynette worked at Fragomen Worldwide, an international law firm specialising in immigration law, in Australia and Hong Kong. Previous to this, Lynette was a human rights trainer on the Thai-Burma border, where she developed and implemented a curriculum on non-violent social change for young Karenni refugees. Lynette also has experience in fundraising and communications through her involvement with Refugees International Japan in Tokyo, and has previously worked at various community legal centres in Australia in a volunteer capacity.

Jessica Hatherall, Staff Lawyer (Partnerships)

Jessica is a U.S. and U.K. qualified lawyer who has been working in the human rights field for 10+ years as a corporate pro-bono lawyer in prominent international law firms and in business development and fundraising roles for human rights focused NGOs. She has previously engaged in child custody, tenant rights, children’s rights and social ventures pro bono work with clinical, law firm and community legal centre programmes in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Hong Kong. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia, J.D. from American University and is studying for her L.L.M. in human rights law at Hong Kong University.

Chloe Martin, Psychosocial Programme Manager

Chloe Martin has worked in psychosocial support for over 15 years.  She has worked with the homeless, street children, disability support, unaccompanied minors, and in Child Protection. She has degrees in Social Care and Social Anthropology and a Masters in Human Rights.  She is also a fluent French speaker. Chloe‘s main experiences are in working with adults and children who have experienced severe emotional trauma.  Born in Australia and raised in Hong Kong, Chloe has, so far, lived in six countries.

Simon Henderson, Senior Policy Advisor

Simon has worked in the field of human rights, international law, security studies and public policy advocacy for 8 years, in non-government organisations, government and industry bodies. Before joining Justice Centre he was Senior Policy Lawyer, Human Rights, at the Law Council of Australia. Prior to that, Simon was a Policy Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the Australian Government. Simon holds a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from The Australian National University, as well as a Masters of Laws in International Law from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Simon is admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court of Australia and the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court.

Annie Li, Research and Policy Officer

Annie has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Government and Laws) degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Hong Kong. She studied social sciences and law at Sciences Po Paris for a year on exchange too. Before joining the organisation, she worked at Hong Kong Unison, where she advocated for equal education opportunities and enhanced legal protection for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and lobbied local and international bodies including United Nations treaty bodies to that end. She also worked at AIDS Concern in communications.

Melanie McLaren, Head of Fundraising and Development

Melanie joined Justice Centre in September 2015 and prior to this had 9 years’ experience in the corporate sector, specialising in fundraising, investor relations and operations in both the U.K. and Hong Kong. Most recently Melanie held the role of Chief Operations Officer for Asia-Pacific fundraising at Macquarie, the global investment bank. During her time at Macquarie, Melanie also sat on the Asia Pacific steering committee for the Macquarie Foundation Modern Slavery project. Melanie also has experience in community outreach and fundraising through corporate and social responsibility activities.​

Pimpernel Preston, Development Manager

Pimpernel joined Justice Centre Hong Kong after three years at the Refugee Council, an organisation delivering direct services to refugees and asylum-seekers in the United Kingdom. She studied International Law at Harvard University and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Cambridge and Bachelor’s Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She has a decade of experience in intergovernmental organisations including the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation), as well as non-governmental organisations including the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Crimestoppers International.

Jade Anderson,  Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator

Jade has been working in human rights-based development since 2002. She has worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and South Africa for local and international NGOs. She has also worked with the UN Refugee Agency in Australia. Before joining the organisation, Jade worked with international company Statt, researching people who decide to seek asylum from Afghanistan through irregular channels. Jade holds a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development and a Masters in International Development.  She is the co-author of the Justice Centre report, Coming Clean.

Darshana Parekh, Finance Manager

Darshana is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant and completed her training with PriceWaterhouseCoopers after graduating from the London School of Economics with a BSc (Econ) Accounting and Finance degree. She went on to do various roles in the Finance function of a multinational company in London for 8 years before moving to Mumbai for and then on to Hong Kong. Darshana started working as Finance Manager for Justice Centre in August 2016.

Ding Chen, Legal Consultant

Ding Chen is an Australian and Hong Kong qualified lawyer with many years of experience in the field of dispute resolution in Australia, London and Hong Kong. Most recently she was a senior lawyer at leading international firm Baker & McKenzie, where she also led a team of pro bono lawyers advising the UNHCR as an intervener in Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal proceedings regarding the refugee status determination process in Hong Kong. Additionally, Ding has previously acted as a volunteer lawyer in various community legal centres.

Adam Severson, Legal Consultant

Adam is a U.S. qualified lawyer from Colorado, who began his career representing asylum seekers in the U.S. Since 2012 he has provided direct representation to asylum seekers in the UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination process in Egypt, Thailand, and Indonesia. He was most recently in Egypt working with a local NGO to establish an RSD legal services program.

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