Family Team

Kate Hammond

Managing PartnerSolicitor AdvocateJoint Head of the Family Department
Kate Hammond
Qualified 2002Joined Miles & Partners 2000 | Became a Partner 2010
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Kate specialises in care proceedings in which she acts for parents, children or other adults. Kate also acts for children in proceedings about residence and/or contact matters following separation.

She is a member of Resolution and the Association of Lawyers for children and is recognised as a specialist in child care law through her membership of the Law Society’s Children Panel under which she is accredited to act for both parents and children.

“… I enclose a photo of D who is now 6 year’s old and living in ground floor flat. Thank you for everything. You are the best solicitors I have ever had. Highly recommended.” > Read More

Kate is a solicitor advocate which means that she can represent clients in court without the need for a barrister providing continuity which many clients find reassuring.

Kate is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, as ‘oustanding’.

Other members of Family Team

Amanda Dench

Founding PartnerSolicitorJoint Head of the Family Department
Amanda Dench
Qualified 1990Joined Miles & Partners 1996 | Became a Partner 1996
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Amanda is a Resolution Accredited specialist recognised for and with considerable expertise in three specialist fields of Children law, Domestic Abuse and Child Abduction.  Amanda is also a member of the Law Society Family Law Panel and the Association of Lawyers for Children.

“… so refreshing in a world where everyone is in such a hurry, time is money and often members of the legal profession find it so difficult to communicate in an accessible way.”  > Read More

Amanda is committed to adopting the Resolution Code of Practice in her work and, wherever possible, to resolving matters swiftly and in a non-confrontational and constructive manner.

Amanda is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonial:

‘Amanda Dench is meticulous and has a wealth of experience which informs her practical, no-nonsense advice in difficult circumstances. She is empathetic and kind where appropriate, which makes her popular with clients’.

Notable cases

Reconcilation In Turkey | Spain Contempt Defended | Return to Iran Blocked

Other members of Family Team

Michelle Uppal

PartnerSolicitorHead of the Divorce & Finance Team
Michelle Uppal
Qualified 2000Joined Miles & Partners 2005 | Became a Partner 2010
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Michelle is highly regarded for experience in disentangling family assets, (link to finances in divorce page) while taking into account personal and legal needs, whether a couple have been married, in a civil partnership or co-habiting. Her successes include high net worth cases and those with complex international dimensions involving emergency applications for freezing injunctions and enforcement orders.

She is a Resolution Accredited specialist in Advanced Financial Provision and Children Matter and, although an experienced litigator, has a particular interest in alternatives to court in family and relationship disputes and is a practicing Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer so her clients have a wide choice of approaches to their divorce.

“… Michelle combined a comprehensive knowledge of family law and an extremely humane approach to clients who … find themselves in one of the most traumatic periods of their lives.”  > Read More

Michelle also has considerable experience in drafting and advising upon pre-nuptial and pre-civil registration agreements and in representing clients seeking to make a claim against the estate of a loved one or family member.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonials:

‘Michelle Uppal is very able and balances being warm and engaging with a detailed knowledge of the law to ensure robust and reasonable outcomes’.

‘Michelle Uppal has a sharp eye, particularly in finance work. She is robust with her advice and very thorough with her legal preparation. She is a safe pair of hands for complex money cases’.

‘Michelle Uppal is a well-regarded mediator.’

‘Michelle Uppal is popular and a very active promoter of mediation.’

‘Michelle Uppal is skilled at child mediation where her empathy is most effective.’

Notable cases

Clean Break For Wife | Fresh Start For Husband

Other members of Family Team

David Jockelson

Consultant Solicitor
David Jockelson
Qualified 1980Joined Miles & Partners 2005
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David has specialised in Family Law, especially Care Proceedings, for the last 20 years. He is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel and has been a Committee Member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

David is an accredited Higher Courts Advocate and has represented clients in all family courts including the High Court for many years and. He gave evidence on behalf of Care Lawyers at the hearings of the Select Committee of the House of Commons in their enquiry into Legal Aid reforms. David is also a trained and registered counsellor, therapist and parenting coach.

“… extremely impressed with the energy, child-centred focus and clarity of thought of David Jockelson … to ensure that all options for the child to remain with his family were explored.” > Read More

A very big thank you very much for all your help and support. I was really happy with the outcome. The judge was marvellous and you are a tremendous human being and a very marvellous, very good lawyer indeed. God bless you.” Mr I.

The service I got from Miles & Partners was totally outstanding. David Jockelson… is a magnificent lawyer, very helpful, very quick to respond and he explains things very well. A very feisty man in court. Whenever I was having any issues… I would feel much better after speaking to David. Not only has he been my lawyer, but my counsellor too.” Mr I. Client with a complex family law case.

In 2010 David was the winner of the Legal Aid Practioners group Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the Family category.

Notable Cases

Children’s Return Secured

Other members of Family Team

Dee Aktar

PartnerLanguages spoken Bengali
Dee Aktar
Qualified 2007Joined Miles & Partners 2005
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Dee deals with most areas of Family Law, especially proceedings involving children including Residence, Contact and Care Proceedings, as well as Civil Injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Dee regularly acts for clients who wish to relocate, or prevent the relocation of their children to another country.  And she has a particular interest in Domestic Abuse cases in which she works closely with local agencies to help client’s obtain the emergency protection of the Courts.

Dee is a solicitor advocate, representing her clients in court and serving as the single dedicated professional overseeing their entire case, instructing a barrister only in particularly unusual or complex cases, when this is in a client’s best interest.

Dee is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel. She is also a member of Resolution and the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Other members of Family Team

Ritu Sood

Partner
Ritu Sood
Qualified 2004Joined Miles & Partners 2012
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Ritu specialises in the law relating to children and in particular public law care proceedings relating to applications for Care, Supervision, Emergency Protection, Placement and Special Guardianship Orders. Ritu also represents parties within adoption proceedings.

A member of the Law Society’s Children Panel, Ritu is accredited to represent children of all ages, parents, grandparents and other associated people. She also assists clients within private law proceedings relating to Residence, Contact, Parental Responsibility, Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue Orders as well as cases relating to child abduction and removal from the jurisdiction.

Ritu represents her clients at court, has been instructed in a number of complex and high profile cases and, was recommended in the 2011/12 Legal 500.

Ritu is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonial:

‘Lorraine Green, Ritu Sood, Julie Nix are very experienced and confident solicitors who are tenacious and take pride in making sure everything is on target’.

Other members of Family Team

Fiona McKiernan

Solicitor
Fiona McKiernan
Qualified 1990Joined Miles & Partners 2014
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Fiona is a specialist children’s lawyer, acting mainly in care proceedings. A member of the Law Society’s Children Panel since 1994, she has many years of experience representing parents, family members and children of all ages.

Fiona has worked as an advocate for many years and represents any party involved in care proceedings, except for the Local Authority.  She has experience in separately representing older children where their views differ from those of their Children’s Guardian and also represents children involved in disputes regarding where they should live or who they should have contact with.

Previously a partner with Children and Families Law Firm, Fiona particularly enjoys representing parents, family members and children at Court.

Other members of Family Team

Julie Nix

Solicitor
Julie Nix
Qualified 2002Joined Miles & Partners 2014
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Julie has worked in family law since 1998 and for the last ten years has specialised in public law Care Proceedings.

A member of the Association of Lawyers for Children, Julie is a recognised specialist in child care law through her membership of the Law Society’s Children Panel, under which she is accredited to represent both parents and children.

She is a Solicitor Advocate and represents parents, children and family members at all levels of the family court, including the High Court of the Family Division. Julie has a special interest in non-accidental injury cases, securing positive outcome for parents and children alike.

Julie is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonial:

‘Lorraine Green, Ritu Sood, Julie Nix are very experienced and confident solicitors who are tenacious and take pride in making sure everything is on target’.

Other members of Family Team

Gemma Hodder

Solicitor
Gemma Hodder
Joined Miles & Partners 2016
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Gemma is an experienced family law solicitor, with a specialism in children law.

She represents children, parents and other family members in local authority care proceedings including complex issues such as domestic abuse, people with disabilities and concerns about radicalisation.

The types of cases that Gemma has been involved in include:

  • representation of children with special needs in Court of Protection and deprivation of liberty applications to determine their interim and long-term care arrangements;
  • representing parents in care proceedings where there are allegations of non-accidental injuries against the children, domestic abuse and drug/alcohol issues;
  • representing children through their guardian in care proceedings where there are suspicions of terrorist links and concerns that the child could be under threat of radicalisation; and
  • representing children and family members in placement hearings where the option to put a child into adoption is under consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gemma is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonial:

‘Gemma Hodder is a highly regarded solicitor who combines extensive experience in complex cases with a tenacity and a pleasing courtroom manner’.

Other members of Family Team

Lorraine Green

Solicitor
Lorraine Green
Joined Miles & Partners 2016
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Lorraine specialises in cases concerning children and represents parents, grandparents and children in a wide variety of public law cases, including complex cases involving non accidental injury, uxoricide and infant death. She has been instructed in complex cases by children who are deemed competent and by the Official Solicitor to represent parents under a disability.

Lorraine is recognised as a specialist in matters concerning children as a member of the Law Society Children Panel and has experience in separately representing teenagers involved in care proceedings.

She is also a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children, NAGALRO and a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Adoption, Domestic Abuse and International Child Abduction.

Lorraine is recognised in the 2020 Legal 500, with the following testimonial:

‘Lorraine Green, Ritu Sood, Julie Nix are very experienced and confident solicitors who are tenacious and take pride in making sure everything is on target’.

Other members of Family Team

Mary Richardson

Solicitor
Mary Richardson
Qualified 2018Joined Miles & Partners 2014 | 2019 Winner of Association of Lawyers for Children’s ‘Outstanding Newcomer’ award
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Mary is a highly regarded children law solicitor specialising in local authority care proceedings and other public children law matters.

Mary advises and represents parents and family members at all levels of the family court, including the Court of Appeal and the High Court of the Family Division

The types of cases that Mary has been involved in include:

  • where there is contested evidence of a medical or scientific nature, including metabolic bone disease, fabricated or induced illness, disputed hair strand testing, bone fragility linked to vitamin deficiency or rare chromosomal abnormalities and connective tissue disorders linked to unexplained bleeding and/or bruising;
  • challenging local authorities in cases of unexplained injuries to children, securing the early withdrawal of proceedings and ensuring the children remained with their parents care;
  • successfully challenging negative viability assessments carried out by local authorities on  relatives of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. Mary assists family members obtain orders, such as special guardianship orders, that allow children to be raised within their families instead of being placed for adoption or in long term foster care
  •  representing parents of children with additional and/or complex needs, often including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and helping the parents secure a higher level of support from the local authority
  • representing parents who are accused of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)
  • securing the transfer of care proceedings under Article 15 (1) (b) Brussels II Revised from the jurisdiction of England & Wales to an EU member state despite initial opposition from the local authority
  • assisting a couple adopt a child who had been abandoned by his parents, despite complicating factors that arose out of the international elements in the case
  • successfully persuading the court that the child of a mother who had been a victim of domestic abuse and domestic servitude should not live with the perpetrator father

Mary is a member of the Association of Laywers for Children and the Child Abduction Lawyers Association.

What others say about Mary:

“Throughout my case I found [Mary’s] attention to detail and ability to note and retain massive amounts of information a huge bonus…I was always so impressed by the way Mary came across as calm, collected and objective; when I was certainly none of those things…I felt like she really cared about my case and the outcome for me and my children. I really did feel like I was her only client. Her detective work on my behalf was amazing and her eye for detail and accuracy is undeniable“ – client

“We were hugely grateful to have Mary’s committed support. Mary gave very measured and sound advice which was extremely well explained and made a great deal of sense. She is a first class lawyer: efficient, level headed, informed, informative and humane“ – client

“Mary is a dynamic and inspirational lawyer. She commits to her cases going above and beyond her duties to her clients. She extensively researched…vitamin D deficiency and found an expert who changed the outcome of the NAI case“ – Circuit Judge

“Mary truly is a rising star…I have worked on several cases with Mary and in each case, she developed a trusted relationship with the client, was on top of the facts, had thought ahead to points of law and was fully committed…[she] demonstrated a forensic understanding of the medical evidence and….brilliantly articulated the weakness in the local authority’s case. In another non –accidental injury case…Mary successfully exonerated her client, [she] drafted one of the best witness statements I have ever read in such a case. Mary showed extraordinary judgment…and an amazing ability to distil medical issues.“ – Barrister at 4 Paper Buildings Chambers

“I have met Mary in two very complex cases. Her knowledge of the facts and law is impressive. She is incredibly well prepared and it is always a pleasure to be in a case with her.“ – Queens Counsel at 42 Bedford Row chambers

“On a recent case where Mary acted for a grandmother in proceedings against the local authority, the client was effusive in her praise of Mary, having no doubt that the positive outcome the client was received was only due to the hard work undertaken by Mary and the constant pressure she applied on the local authority…It is hard to believe that Mary only qualified as a solicitor a year ago because her aptitude to understand complex legal issues is more akin to a lawyer with many years of experience“ – Barrister at 3 Dr Johnson’s Building Chambers

“I have been instructed by Mary as junior counsel to Anna McKenna QC in a very complex High Court Non-Accidental Injury case. Mary secured an excellent outcome for the client who was found to have inflicted serious injuries to her child. The children [were] successfully rehabilitated to the parents’ care. Mary’s hard and thorough work and thoughtful approach to this case reflect her commitment to her clients generally and her tremendous skill as a care practitioner. She impresses as someone considerably more experienced than her years. She is an incredible force in the care arena…“ – Barrister at 4 Paper Buildings chambers

“Mary simply goes the extra mile for each and every client. She is relentless in her pursuit for justice on their behalf. Her clients are invariably vulnerable and facing a sea of difficulties. Mary is tireless on their behalf. Mary has a rare combination of both intellectual capacity and emotional empathy…if there are more Marys practising in child law- we can rest slightly more easy about access to justice for everyone“ – Barrister at Garden Court chambers

“In these difficult times, the family courts requires kind, smart and strategic lawyers like Mary who are willing to fight for vulnerable clients and do their very best for them“ – Barrister at 4 Paper Buildings chambers

“Mary’s work is exemplary. She is quiet and thoughtful- and determined. She is extremely well prepared. She keeps up to date with the law. She is analytical. I have to remind myself that Mary is indeed a newcomer in the sense that she has not been qualified for very long. Her work is of a standard that one would expect from a much more experience solicitor. I have no doubt she will go far. She shines already“ – Barrister at Garden Court chambers

“Ms Richardson supported me when I was accused of Fabricated Induced Illness. She showed cultural competence when dealing with my case…understanding how culture and socio economic [status] impacts on inequality. Ms Richardson was able to understand every aspect of my family concerns, enabling her to provide quality consistent advice…we succeeded! I would strongly recommend her as she was able to challenge inequality and unconscious bias, ensuring the Local Authority followed the law“ – client

“Mary has been providing us with family law guidance to help us get out grandson in our care. She has proven to be a loyal and dedicated professional. I have been impressed with her command and understanding of the law. She motivated us to keep our hopes up and told us not to give up as she had a gut instinct, we would win the case. She made sure we were fine during the time of struggle. I would rate her 10/10 for her outstanding work“ – client

“Mary Richardson instructed us in an unusual case that involved alleged non-accidental injury; skull fracture and wrist fracture…Mary showed a real maturity and understanding of the complex science contained within the expert reports…her contribution was crucial to our approach in this case“ – Counsel and Queens Counsel

Other members of Family Team

Linda Pope

Solicitor
Linda Pope
Qualified 2003Joined Miles & Partners 2019
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Linda is an experienced family law solicitor, and advises people involved in all kinds of family disputes including divorce, civil partnership dissolution and separation after living together as cohabitees.

Linda has a strong background in helping clients negotiating complex financial agreements, both before and after a marriage or civil partnership.

She also advises parents and extended family members involved in disagreements about where children should live and how much time they spend with each family member.

Linda offers sensitive advice and compassionate support to vulnerable clients who may be escaping from abusive and violent relationships.

The types of cases that Linda is usually involved in include:

  • advising and representing for divorcing couples or civil partners who cannot reach an agreement over financial separation including complex cases where there is a non-matrimonial property or inherited wealth;
  • negotiating financial settlements that include pension splitting or earmarking arrangements especially where there is a police or public sector pension;
  • financial settlements for high net worth individuals including applications for spousal maintenance and variations to have spousal maintenance increased or decreased;
  • Trusts of Land Applications in relation to the sale or postponement of sale of the family home of a non-married couple after a relationship breaks down;
  • advising and representing parents in private children law disputes about residence, contact, or specific issues such as medical treatment or education;
  • helping couples to negotiate and record how they wish their finances are to be divided, in the event that their relationship ends, by way of a prenuptial, postnuptial, pre-civil partnership or post-civil partnership agreement;
  • applications by a parent on behalf of a child for maintenance payments, a lump sum or transfer or settlement of property; and
  • representing victims of domestic abuse in applications for family law injunctions or enforcement orders to protect themselves and their children from further harm. 

Linda acts on behalf of clients in the UK, including those who live or have assets in France, North America, South East Asia and the Caribbean.

She also has experience in family inheritance disputes. Linda helps clients to claim their rightful inheritance where they were left out of a will or not provided for under the intestacy laws by a deceased relative upon whom they depended financially.

Practice areas

  • Divorce
  • Financial settlements
  • Child arrangements
  • Cohabitation advice and agreements
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Dissolution of civil partnerships
  • Same sex families
  • Domestic abuse

Approach and ethos

“I pride myself on listening to my clients and then with some compassion and empathy, providing sensible and no-nonsense advice to alleviate the stress and anxiety of relationship breakdown.”

Other members of Family Team

Katie Coles

Solicitor
Katie Coles
Joined Miles & Partners 2016
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Katie is a newly qualified solicitor in our matrimonial and family law team, having built up extensive experience in this area during her training contract with us.

She assists the other solicitors as well as conducting her own cases, advising and representing clients at court in certain matters.

In the past, Katie has been a volunteer at the Access to Justice Foundation as well as the London Legal Support Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau Witness Service.

Some of Katie’s recent experience includes:

  • representing a spouse in relation to divorce and financial proceedings;
  • representing individuals on relationship breakdown including cohabitees and issues of property ownership;representing parents in disputes concerning their children such as contact and living arrangements;
  • representing individuals to obtain civil injunctions; and
  • assisting with cases involving family mediation to resolve disputes on family and relationship breakdown as an alternative to court proceedings.

Other members of Family Team

Sophie Ramdour

Legal Assistant to David Jockelson
Sophie Ramdour
Joined Miles & Partners 2016
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Information to follow.

Other members of Family Team

Thomas Lane

Assistant to Kate Hammond
Thomas Lane
Joined Miles & Partners 2017
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Other members of Family Team

Hira Rauf

Assistant to Fiona McKiernan
Hira Rauf
Joined Miles & Partners 2017
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Information to follow.

Other members of Family Team

Camikah Boamah

Assistant to Ritu Sood
Camikah Boamah
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Other members of Family Team

Pamela Rutabyama

Assistant to Amanda Dench
Pamela Rutabyama
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Other members of Family Team

Daniella Betsworth

Assistant to Gemma Hodden
Daniella Betsworth
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Other members of Family Team

Roshni Popli

Assistant to Kate Hammond
Roshni Popli
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Other members of Family Team

Eve Forrester

Assistant to Dee Aktar
Eve Forrester
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Other members of Family Team

Emma Hughes

Assistant to Julie Nix
Emma Hughes
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Other members of Family Team

Musonda Phiri

Assistant to Lorraine Green
Musonda Phiri
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Other members of Family Team

Kate Hammond

Managing Partner

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Kate Hammond

Amanda Dench

Founding Partner

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Michelle Uppal

Partner

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Michelle Uppal

David Jockelson

Consultant Solicitor

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Dee Aktar

Partner

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Dee Aktar

Ritu Sood

Partner

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Ritu Sood

Fiona McKiernan

Solicitor

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Julie Nix

Solicitor

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Gemma Hodder

Solicitor

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Lorraine Green

Solicitor

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Mary Richardson

Solicitor

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Linda Pope

Solicitor

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Katie Coles

Solicitor

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Sophie Ramdour

Legal Assistant to David Jockelson

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Thomas Lane

Assistant to Kate Hammond

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Hira Rauf

Assistant to Fiona McKiernan

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Camikah Boamah

Assistant to Ritu Sood

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Pamela Rutabyama

Assistant to Amanda Dench

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Daniella Betsworth

Assistant to Gemma Hodden

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Roshni Popli

Assistant to Kate Hammond

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Eve Forrester

Assistant to Dee Aktar

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Emma Hughes

Assistant to Julie Nix

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Musonda Phiri

Assistant to Lorraine Green

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