Our Team

We are proud to be a volunteer-led charity. We have one paid employee and the rest of our dedicated team kindly doante their time to help make A-LAW a success. Read more about our people below.

Meet our Team! The people…

behind the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-LAW), the UK’s leading animal law charity.

Paula Sparks, Chairperson & Trustee

Paula is Chairperson of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law). She was previous in practice as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Paula has an interest in animal law and regularly lectures and writes on topics around animal law and policy; she is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Winchester where she teaches animal law and policy. She also has experience in the voluntary sector, where she worked prior to starting independent practice as a barrister.

Alan Bates, Legal and Policy Director & Trustee

Alan is A-law’s Legal & Policy Director. He is a barrister who specialises in competition, procurement, public/administrative and EU law. From 2000–2001 he worked at the Law Commission, auditing the compatibility of legislation with the ECHR. He advises campaign organisations on Parliamentary procedure and the legal aspects of their lobbying strategies.

Judith-Anne Mackenzie, Senior Policy Advisor

Judith-Anne is now retired after a career: (1) as an academic lawyer; (2) in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (who draft primary legislation and advise the government on parliamentary procedure); and (3) in the Government Legal Service, in a range of government departments (Energy, Trade and Industry, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Transport). She is a specialist in public and administrative law, and in land law. Judith-Anne is also special adviser to the Save Me Trust on Whitehall matters.

Frances Allen, Senior Policy Advisor & Trustee

Frances Allen is a barrister who specialises in public law at Goldsmith Chambers. She has a long-standing interest in animal rights and studied Zoology at University. On gaining tenancy in 1997, Frances co-founded A-law with Jeremy Chipperfield. She is currently on A-law’s Senior Policy Team and is part of the Animal Rights Team at Goldsmith Chambers.

Tiffany Mitchell, Legal Support Officer

Tiffany is employed as our Legal Support Officer to provide student support and academic outreach, as well as providing legal support for A-law’s other project, policy and educative work. Tiffany is from Newfoundland, Canada. She graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a BA in Law & Society and German with a certificate in Criminology. She then graduated in 2018 with a LLB from the University of Leicester. Tiffany was a recipient of the Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship awarded by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a US Animal Law Charity. She also founded and chaired the UK’s first SALDF Student Society at Leicester University Law School. 

Sam Groom, Student Coordinator

Sam is Student Co-ordinator for A-law. After studying modern languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, he took the GDL and BPTC courses at City, University of London. At City he set up the Cecilia Moot, the UK’s first animal law mooting competition. He continues to run the Cecilia Moot as part of an A-law team. He works as a Judicial Assistant at the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2020.

Ankita Shanker, Moot Coordinator

Ankita earned her post-graduate degree in law from Oxford University in July 2016, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in November 2017. After c. 1.5 years of legal practice at international criminal courts/tribunals, she is now working towards her doctorate in animal rights law and policy (with research fellowships funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Swiss National Science Foundation), in addition to her roles as moot court coach at the University of Lucerne, research assistant at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law, and moot court training expert at the International Commission of Jurists-Danish Institute for Human Rights (where she is developing an international human and animal rights law moot court competition).

Jill Williams, Journal Editor & Trustee

Jill is a non-practising solicitor and editor of A-law’s Journal. She joined A-law as a director in 2009 and has continued to play a significant role in the group’s work. Jill has both a health and legal background. She originally trained as a nurse before qualifying as a solicitor, and is currently working in the field of public health in a non-legal capacity.

Mike Radford OBE, Scottish Steering Committee & Trustee

Mike is a Reader in Law at the University of Aberdeen. He has taught and lectured on animal law widely, in addition to working extensively on the development of animal welfare law and policy with politicians, officials, veterinarians, NGOs, and other interested parties. Mike is presently a trustee of Dogs Trust, the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, and OneKind; a member of the All Party Group on Animal Welfare; and a visiting lecturer at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Vet Schools. He was a founder member of both A-law and the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association. Mike was appointed OBE in 2008 for services to animal welfare law.

Sophie Mills, Scottish Steering Committee

Sophie is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen where she completed the LLB (Hons) and DPLP qualifications. During her time at university Sophie studied the Animal Welfare course and completed her honours dissertation on the use of animals in scientific procedures. She is currently a second-year trainee solicitor with the WS Society in Edinburgh, on secondment to Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and has an interest in charity law. Sophie is passionate about improving animal welfare, and promoting a cruelty free lifestyle. Sophie and her family adopted their first rescue greyhound in 2008 and since then she has campaigned to end greyhound racing.

Iyan Offor, Scottish Steering Committee

Iyan Offor is a PhD candidate at the University of Strathclyde and a member of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance. Iyan is writing his thesis on global animal law, animal ethics, and international trade law. Iyan is also an Associate Researcher for Eurogroup for Animals. Iyan was recently a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Iyan has taught on animal law, trade law, environmental law, and jurisprudence at the University of Strathclyde and at Aarhus University. Iyan holds a masters degree (with distinction) from the University of Aberdeen on the chilling effect of the World Trade Organisation on EU animal welfare legislation. He is a student representative of the UK Centre for Animal Law and he publishes on issues of animal law and trade.

Libby Anderson, Scottish Steering Committee

Libby is Policy Advisor for OneKind (formerly Advocates for Animals) and was previously the charity’s Policy Director from 2006 to 2015. In recent years, OneKind has worked to influence legislation such as the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018. Libby has worked for the Scottish SPCA and as a consultant for animal protection groups and Scottish local authorities. She was involved in founding the Cross-Party Group on Animal Welfare in the Scottish Parliament and acted as Secretary for several years. Currently, she is the Secretary of the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC).

Scott Blair, Scottish Steering Committee

Scott Blair is a Scottish Advocate who has an interest in and experience of animal protection law. He is acknowledged as an expert in licensing law and administrative law and aims to bring that expertise into play in animal protection issues.

Alison Burns, Scottish Steering Committee

Alison Burns is a solicitor, speaker, actor and award-winning jazz singer. As a practicing solicitor specialising in intellectual property, she has worked in legal firms and universities in the UK and is currently the in-house solicitor within her own company. Meanwhile as an actor and jazz singer she joined Hilary Clinton, Aretha Franklin and Steve Jobs in being a recipient of the prestigious Brand Laureate Award. Alison is dedicated to improving animal protection and the recognition of non-human animals’ legal rights and believes that all animals deserve to live a life worth living free from cages, exploitation and cruelty.

Hannah Darnell, Scottish Steering Committee

Hannah is a multi-disciplined Scottish Solicitor with experience in Real Estate, Planning Law, Criminal Law, and Consumer Rights.  Hannah’s focus is currently on Private Client matters, including complex executries, and the preparation of Wills, Powers of Attorney, and succession planning.  Hannah was previously appointed as the Animal Ambassador for Scotland’s largest animal sanctuary, Willows Animal Sanctuary & Animal-Assisted Therapy Unit, in Aberdeenshire, has experience in animal rescue and advocacy, and previously volunteered with the North East Wildlife & Animal Rescue Centre.  Her interests include the development of the law of Ecocide, inspired by Scottish lawyer, the late Polly Higgins, and animal law and rights.  Hannah is a member of our Scottish Steering Group and Wildlife Working Group.  

Danielle Duffield, Farmed Animals Co-Chair


Natalie Harney, Farmed Animals Co-Chair & Trustee

Natalie holds a degree in English from the University of Birmingham and completed the GDL with Distinction in 2018. Natalie has a long-standing interest in animal law, particularly enforcement and the accountability of public authorities and private bodies responsible for farmed animal welfare. She works full-time for an animal welfare charity.

Rob Espin, Wildlife Chair

Rob is the chair of A-law’s Wildlife Special Interest Group. Rob trained at a magic circle firm and practised restructuring and insolvency law upon qualification, later moving in-house into a commercial team. He became involved with A-law whilst a student at university studying international wildlife law. Outside of A-law and work, Rob acts pro bono as a consultant for the Lifescape Project and advises on matters of rewilding and wildlife welfare.

Randi Milgram, Companion Animals Co-Chair & Blog Editor

Randi is a US-qualified lawyer and is in the process of requalifying in the UK. She spent several years practicing in intellectual property and public law in America. Her recent practice has focused on various aspects of English companion animal law, primarily comparative analyses of UK-USA breed specific legislation, agricultural protection laws, and puppy mills. A main interest is in connecting modern animal legal advocacy with intersectional socio-political awareness and support. Randi is a trustee of The Animal Advocacy Project and also runs the A-law blog.

Blanche Koenig, Research Animals Co-Chair & Treasurer

Blanche is a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & New York) with a background working in-house for various technology companies. Her experience has encompassed a range of topics including commercial contracts, marketing/advertising, privacy, ecommerce & consumer law, company secretarial, competition and disputes and she particularly enjoys supporting corporate ESG programs. Blanche has a long-standing interest in animal protection and volunteers with A-Law on various projects.

Simon Brooman, Research Animals Co-Chair


Simon Cox, Non-Executive Trustee

Simon is an Associate Tenant of Doughty Street Chambers. He is employed as the Migration Lawyer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, where he develops, implements and manages legal strategies and projects to promote the rights of international migrants worldwide. Before taking up his current post in October 2011, Simon was a tenant of Doughty Street Chambers where he acted for many civil society organisations, including Amnesty International, the AIRE Centre, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Refugee Legal Centre, Child Poverty Action Group and BUAV.

Jeremy Chipperfield, Non-Executive Trustee

Jeremy is Co-founder of A-law. He is a barrister and Assistant Coroner in West London and in Oxford. Jeremy’s civil liberties experience includes defending the first criminal prosecution of the new offences (re animal research organisations) under s 145/6 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and various proceedings relating to the activities of activists around the country; civil actions against the police and defending High Court actions and Committal applications brought by claimants including Monsanto, Huntingdon Life Sciences, John Lewis and Circus King.

Konnie Willett, Young Animal Lawyers Network Committee

Konnie will be commencing her training contract this coming September as a trainee solicitor at a law firm in Bournemouth, on the South Coast of England. Previously, she studied her undergraduate degree in International Relations at King’s College London, before deciding that she would like to pursue a legal career. She then went on to complete her law conversion at Bournemouth university before undertaking the LPC the following year at the University of Law, Reading. In Konnie’s spare time she enjoys walking her rescue rottweiler Lola.

Siobhan La Roche, Young Animal Lawyers Network Committee

Siobhan graduated from the University of Southampton with an undergraduate degree in Geography. During her time at Southampton, she undertook modules focusing on the relationship between human and non-human animals and food production. Having been a vegan of many years, such subjects were of particular interest, and she completed her dissertation on the emotional experience of vegans. After discovering A-Law and attending the virtual seminar series, Siobhan decided to pursue a career in law and studied the MA Law course. She has recently secured a new role within the legal tech industry. Aside from work and study, Siobhan is a keen activist. She has also volunteered for a variety of charities and been the President of the leading charitable society (RAG) at Southampton, giving her a knack for running fundraising events.

Rachel O'Connell, Young Animal Lawyers Network Committee

Rachel graduated from University of Bath with an undergraduate degree in Sociology and is currently studying Animal Law through the Open University at Åbo Akademi University. She has worked in the field of international student marketing and recruitment for 10 years and is now taking steps towards a career in which she can contribute to the legislative protection of animals and the environment. Outside of work and study, Rachel is an active member of the animal rights community and has volunteered with charities such as PETA. Rachel is currently involved in the campaign and world-first legal challenge to Scrap Factory Farming launched by non-profit Humane Being.  Closer to home, Rachel is a fosterer with cat rescue and rehoming charity, London Inner City Kitties (LICK) and takes care of cats who are looking for their forever home.

Abigail Grace, Young Animal Lawyers Network Committee

Abigail is a trainee solicitor with Stephens Scown. She studied International Relations and Anthropology for her undergraduate degree, and worked for various refugee-support NGOs before making the decision to pursue a career in law. She has completed the GDL, LPC and a LLM in International Refugee Law and has a keen interest in both human and animal rights. She is a passionate member of the vegan movement and a volunteer with Lawyers For Nature. She lives with her dog, Diggory. 

Aaliya Butt, Young Animal Lawyers Network Committee

Aaliya is a recent LLM Master of Laws graduate who also holds an LLB (Hons) degree. She has worked in several criminal courts and tribunals as well as commercial law firms. Aaliya was an A-law Student Ambassador throughout her master’s degree, and she continues to advocate for animal welfare and safety in the United Kingdom. She enjoys spending time with her four adopted cats, Sweetpea, Nicky, Fiji and Simba.

About Us

Our Team

What We Do

Should pet theft be a specific offence?

Paula talks to John Cooper QC about the case for pet theft reform in episode #7 of our Talking Animal Law podcast.

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Act for animals at your uni!

Find our how to become an A-LAW Student Ambassador or how to set up an A-LAW Student Chapter, and get active for animals at your university.

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Monckton Chambers
1 & 2 Raymond Buildings
Gray’s Inn

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