About us Who we are Our trustees Our trustees Our board of trustees have overall accountability for IPSEA's strategic direction, the stewardship of our resources and the activities we undertake in the pursuit of our charitable objectives. They are all volunteers, who contribute a huge amount of time and wide-ranging expertise to IPSEA. Tony King - Chair of Trustees Tony is a qualified solicitor and he taught at The College of Law for several years before joining one of the firms which merged to create Clifford Chance as a tax lawyer. Tony was involved in education, training and professional development at Clifford Chance from 1988 until he retired as a Director in July 2014. He was instrumental in introducing the extensive global programme of legal-technical and business skills programmes for people at all levels at Clifford Chance. Tony has been a member of the Legal Education and Training Group and its North American equivalent. In addition, he is a member of various City of London Law Society's Training Committees and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association's Academic & Professional Development Committee. He has written articles and contributed to books on a range of legal and professional development topics as well as having co-written two legal textbooks. Within IPSEA, Tony is closely involved with fundraising on grant raising and funding from legal corporates. Amy Abbott Amy is a qualified lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in both private practice and industry. Her experience covers a wide range of sectors, including technology, financial services, advertising, publishing, consultancy and ecommerce. Amy is currently Assistant General Counsel, Europe at Dun & Bradstreet, leading a team of 20 lawyers across multiple European jurisdictions. Amy has extensive management and cross-border experience, with particular expertise in leading and managing through change and in designing and implementing strategic improvement programmes. Amy has a keen interest in advocating for and supporting neurodiverse children with specific educational needs, as well as mentoring within her team and wider professional network, to help people maximise their potential and achieve their objectives. Sharon Gillott Sharon Gillott is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience. After graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Economics she went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. She has particular experience in providing advice at times of change for a business. Her current role is Group Accountant, reporting for a group of companies offering a range of facility management services across the north of England. She has been involved with the voluntary sector in a number of capacities over the years. Sharon has been a Governor of a special school for four years, served as co-Chair of her local Parish Pastoral Council and has been a member of the Parish Finance Committee for many years. Sharon is the IPSEA Board member who liaises with the staff dealing with financial matters. Joanne Gubbay Joanne spent 15 years as a disputes lawyer, followed by 20 years in legal Learning and Development, culminating in the role of Head of Learning and Development at City law firm Slaughter and May. She is now a consultant in various roles including Project Lead for the City Consortium in relation to the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination. Joanne is an experienced line manager, a qualified executive coach, a mentor for the 30% Club, emPower and INvolve, and a Mental Health First Aider. She is also a founder and trustee of the Women of the Year Foundation. Richard King Richard is an experienced law firm leader and professional manager, who has worked at board level within international legal practices. Starting as an English corporate lawyer in City of London law firms, before moving into learning and development and knowledge management, he has most recently led Corporate Services at Herbert Smith Freehills. His responsibilities here for legal operations, programme management, pro bono and corporate social responsibility involved him in many strategy and transformation projects, which was also a feature of earlier roles with Andersen Legal & EY Law. Now he consults with legal services businesses in the UK and Europe on their management challenges. In recent years at HSF he championed pro bono, community and diversity and inclusion initiatives, with a particular focus on helping those with dyslexia and autism to achieve their full potential in the workplace. As a parent with children who benefitted from learning support when at school, he has a particular interest in bringing his experience to support the IPSEA mission. Carol Long Carol is a registered Social Worker and has considerable experience of working in the social care sector with a career spanning 35 years in local government, the private sector and for nearly a decade with national charities, most recently working with children with special educational needs and their families. She is currently a researcher at Durham University, focusing on family experiences of disability. Carol has considerable experience as a Chief Executive and has well developed skills in business planning, risk assessment and management, and safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults. She has a background in service development. She has experience of serving on a number of boards and committees including for the YMCA, as an executive for the NSPCC and also as Vice Chair of Governors of a large secondary school. Judith Russell Judith has worked in procurement and commissioning in both the public and private sectors for over 25 years, most latterly working across the higher education sector managing procurement shared services and consulting assignments. She has also worked as a Specialist Parent Support Worker for a charity in North Hertfordshire providing support to parents/carers of children and young people with ASD and/or ADHD. She has been a trustee of a charity providing services to pre-school aged children with disabilities and a governor to a secondary school Academy Trust. She has four children, one of whom has ASD and severe learning difficulties and for whom she has sought advice in the past from IPSEA to ensure suitable educational provision. She is delighted to contribute to this charity that provides such essential advice, information and guidance to families often coping with very challenging circumstances. Sharon Smith Sharon is a parent of a 17-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome. As a result, she has relied on IPSEA’s support many times over the last 13 years and is delighted to be able to offer her time to support IPSEA’s valuable work. Sharon brings over 20 years’ marketing and communications experience, and 15 years’ experience volunteering/working for disability related charities, through which she has gained experience of events, training, fundraising and support for parents. She is currently in her 3rd year of a 4-year PhD research study, at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores the experiences of parents of disabled children and the impact of these on inclusion.