Advocate is delighted to announce that three new trustees are joining the board following an open process earlier this year. Pro Bono Week provides the perfect opportunity to introduce them and the ideas that they are bringing to the table.  Meet them here:

Conall Patton QC
Conall Patton QC

Please tell us a little about your background

I grew up in a Gaelic-speaking family in Northern Ireland. I am State educated and the first in my family to enter the law. Following university, I undertook pupillage at One Essex Court, a leading commercial set, where I practise commercial and competition litigation and arbitration. I took Silk earlier this year.

I am Co-Treasurer of FreeBar, an LGBT+ network. I also act as a Social Mobility Foundation mentor to sixth-formers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Why did you want to become an Advocate Trustee?

I am a longstanding supporter and admirer of Advocate's important work in enabling barristers to provide free legal advice and representation to those unable to afford it. Pro bono cases have been among my most rewarding professional experiences. For example, in 2015, I acted at trial for an individual whose family home was in jeopardy. Following cross-examination, the other side's case was in tatters and they settled, on terms which included a £10,000 pro bono costs in favour of the Access to Justice Foundation. The assistance provided by Advocate made a genuinely life-changing difference to the client. I am also a case-reviewer for Advocate, seeking to ensure that our resources are devoted to the most suitable cases.

What do you think you can you bring to the role of Trustee?

Advocate has earned deep and widespread support and loyalty from across the Bar. I hope to be able to contribute to discussion at Board level as to how Advocate's work can be further strengthened. I am keen to explore whether there is more that can be done to promote the more widespread use of pro bono costs awards. I also believe there may be further ways to harness the interest that undoubtedly exists at the Commercial Bar in doing pro bono work, bearing in mind that pure commercial law cases are likely to remain a relatively small proportion of Advocate’s case-load.

Eleanor Holland

Eleanor HollandPlease tell us a little about your background

I grew up in Cardiff and read Law with German at Jesus College, Oxford. I am a barrister and mediator with a broad commercial Chancery practice at 4 Stone Buildings and was called to the Bar in 2010.

I have been involved in pro bono projects since I was at university and interested in access to justice for even longer (one highlight being working in a prison in Cape Town, including on a restorative justice project). Pro bono and access to justice have been an intrinsic part of my professional journey – they are fundamental to my identity as a barrister.

Currently, I am co-ordinator of PILARS (the Personal Insolvency Litigation Advice and Representation Scheme) and sit on the Bar Council Pro Bono and Social Responsibility Committee and the Chancery Bar Association Pro Bono and Equality and Diversity Sub-Committees. I was part of the team that set up CLIPS (the Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme), and was the founding Chair of the Junior Chancery Bar.

Why did you want to become an Advocate Trustee?

Advocate plays a vital and central role in the Bar’s efforts to promote access to justice. I have been privileged to work with Advocate in various ways and on various projects over the years, and I am excited now to become part of the team itself.

What do you think you can you bring to the role of Trustee?

I aim to bring creativity, care and energy, and to make the most of the good relationships I have with others across the relevant landscape, in order to help Advocate move forward – not least, on questions of getting assistance to those who need it, honing the service, promoting diversity and inclusion, and supporting Advocate’s super staff.

Theo Huckle QC

Theo Huckle QCPlease tell us a little about your background

I grew up in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blaenavon in (original) Monmouthshire and was the first in my family to attend university. I graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge, having been on a full grant throughout my studies and returned after Bar School to undertake LLM.

I was a Wales & Chester Circuit Officer, and a long term member of the Bar Council, and am now Vice Chair of its “Wellbeing At The Bar Working Group”, due to take up the Chair from January 2021. I took silk in 2011 and am a leader in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Team at Doughty Street.  During 2011-2016 I was Counsel General for Wales, law officer and a statutory ex officio member of the Welsh Government.

Why did you want to become an Advocate Trustee?

I have (pretty much) always been a supporter and panel member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit/Advocate - I was in the middle of my 20 years on the Bar Council when we set up Bar Pro Bono (now Advocate), and worked closely with Peter Goldsmith (Advocate’s founder) at that time. Since I have moved my practice base to London, it is a delight now to be able to contribute in a "macro” way as well as at the individual case (“micro”) level.

What do you think you can you bring to the role of Trustee?

I have a lot of recent board experience in voluntary roles and am also a Speaker for Speakers4Schools, aiming to raise aspiration amongst students in the state sector. I think of myself as an analyst, and providing “challenge” comes very naturally to me, though of course in acting as a trustee it must be in a constructive way to produce the best organisation we can make to provide, in Advocate’s case, the vital support and help for those - often amongst our most vulnerable citizens - who cannot otherwise access justice and uphold their rights.