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10 October 2019

Legal Mental Health Charity Lawcare Launches Champions Scheme

Legal mental health charity LawCare has launched a new advocacy scheme ‘LawCare Champions’ to coincide with World Mental Health Day, 10th October. The programme aims to appoint legal professionals in the UK to act as mental health and wellbeing advocates within the legal community.

Fourteen champions, including Charles Jacobs, Senior Partner and Chairman at Linklaters, James Pereira QC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Lloyd Rees, Herbert Smith Freehill’s Samantha Brown, David McCahon from Barclays and IP inclusive lead executive officer Andrea Brewster OBE have been appointed with more to follow next year.

Elizabeth Rimmer Chief Executive of LawCare said: “We are very proud to launch this new scheme on World Mental Health Day. This is a cross-jurisdiction, cross-profession initiative and our new champions have all been carefully chosen for their commitment, passion and enthusiasm in raising awareness about the importance of good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community. We hope our champions will help us to drive positive change in the culture of law. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention, and we must all come together in the legal community to improve dialogue on mental health issues.”

The charity has also launched a new animated video highlighting the support they offer – available to view at

The full list of champions are:

  • Andrea Brewster OBE, Lead Executive Officer, IP inclusive
  • Samantha Brown, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Joanna Fleck, Co-founder Claiming Space
  • Clare Good, Solicitor, Capital Law and Wellbeing Officer, Cardiff Law Society
  • Catherine Hart, Partner and Professional Support Lawyer, Digby Brown
  • Jodie Hill, Managing Director, Thrive Law
  • Karen Jackson, Solicitor and Managing Director, didlaw
  • Charles Jacobs, Senior Partner and Chairman, Linklaters
  • David McCahon, Global Head of Commercial, Innovation and Technology Legal & Wellbeing Leader at Barclays
  • James Pereira QC, Barrister and Coach
  • Nick O’Neill, Governance and Practice Manager, Wirral Borough Council
  • Lloyd Rees, Knowledge Lawyer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Anna Robinson, Senior Solicitor and Psychotherapist 
  • Joanne Theodolou, General Counsel at Simply Business and Trustee of Mind, the mental health charity


For all media enquiries and photos of the champions contact Gemma Matthews, Communications Manager on or 0208 777 2176 /07813 949633


Information on the champions

Andrea Brewster, OBE
Andrea is a Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney, a former President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and a member of the Institute’s governing Council. She now leads the IP Inclusive initiative, which she established in 2015 to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the IP professions.  Promoting mental wellbeing is a key part of IP Inclusive’s agenda, and Andrea has worked with LawCare on a number of related projects.

Samantha Brown
Samantha is a partner at City firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, which she joined as a trainee in 2003. Sam is Head of Pensions and has a wide ranging practice, involving transaction, advisory and contentious matters. In addition to her legal practice, Sam co-chair's the Firm's Ability Network.  She is a trustee of the mental health campaigning charity United for Global Mental Health and an advocate for mentally healthy workplaces.

Clare Good
Clare is a Commercial Disputes solicitor at Capital Law in Cardiff.  As chair of the Cardiff JLD wellbeing was top of her agenda and she planned a number of fully booked events for Mental Health Awareness Week. As Clare stands down from chair she will take the role of Wellbeing Officer with both the JLD and the local Cardiff Law Society.

Joanna Fleck

Joanna Fleck practiced as a solicitor in civil liberties and inquests. She now teaches yoga and meditation. She also works with a mental health charity to deliver specialist support and mental health awareness training. She recently completed a Master’s degree in psychology, researching secondary traumatic stress in the legal profession.

Catherine Hart
Catherine is a partner at Digby Brown LLP, a Scottish firm that specialises in pursuing personal injury claims. She has been in practice for over 25 years and for the past 12 years has been a professional support lawyer. She heads up a team who provide professional support and oversee risk and compliance across Digby Brown’s seven offices. Catherine is a member of the Lawscot Wellbeing Steering Group, which was set up to provide strategic direction to Lawscot Wellbeing, a Law Society of Scotland initiative that provides resources promoting positive wellbeing in the Scottish legal community.

Jodie Hill

Jodie Hill trained as a barrister, cross-qualified as a solicitor and is the founder and Managing Director of Thrive Law, headquartered in Leeds City Centre. Jodie has specialised in employment law throughout her career, and has a keen understanding of this complex legal sector, together with all HR related issues.  

Jodie also has a passion for helping to encourage understanding around mental health, and has a strong desire to help end stigma surrounding the subject, to create a happier, healthier workforce. This passion can be seen in her campaign to bring mental health to the top of the business agendas, with her campaign being featured by Sky News, the BBC, The Times, The Law Society Gazette, Yorkshire Post and other key media.

Jodie’s campaigning led to her being shortlisted for the Law Society Gazette Legal Personality of the Year 2018 at The Law Society Excellence Awards 2018, as well as being awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society for Public Health.

Karen Jackson
Karen Jackson is a leading expert in disability discrimination law. She has a particular interest in mental health and is also a fierce advocate for equality and freedom from discrimination and harassment for women at work. Karen’s firm, didlaw was established in 2008 following Karen’s successful recovery from a heart transplant. Didlaw advises across all areas of employment. Karen is an outspoken commentator on disability and sex discrimination issues in the press, broadcast and social media.

Charles Jacobs
Charlie is Linklaters Senior Partner and Chairman and is a leading high-end M&A practitioner.  He is passionate about creating a culture that supports good mental health in a demanding environment. Most recently he championed the introduction of an onsite psychologist service in Linklaters London office.   

David McCahon
David leads the Global Commercial, Innovation and Technology Legal team in Barclays and leads the Legal Department’s work on Wellbeing. 

Prior to that he held several General Counsel roles within Barclays UK. He originally joined Barclays as Assistant General Counsel in Barclaycard in 2008, and became General Counsel of Barclaycard in July 2010. Previously he was MD and General Counsel of the cards business in Morgan Stanley and spent two years in the banking group of the law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna. He also worked as a Government lawyer at the Office of Fair Trading and the Home Office, and as a lawyer at Which?

He qualified as a barrister after getting his law degree from Reading University and a Master of Law degree from Cambridge. He is chair of trustees of a counselling charity in Suffolk, a Governor at Goodenough College in London and on the board of Now Teach.

Nick O’Neill
Nick is a solicitor 20 years PQE, who has worked in a management capacity for the last 8 years. After a 20 year career as a litigator in the private sector, he moved to the public sector and is currently the Governance and Practice Manager for the Wirral Council. He is a LawCare volunteer, mental health first aider and OU student coach / mentor.

James Pereira QC
James is a tenant at Francis Taylor Building, practising in planning and environmental law. He proactively engages in learning, practicing and teaching techniques to support professional performance and wellbeing within the legal profession.  He strongly believes that the best lawyers are well lawyers. He is also a professional organisational and systemic coach and a licensed NLP Master Practitioner, and has trained in creativity, meditation, hypnosis and non-violent communication.

Lloyd Rees
Lloyd Rees is a Knowledge Lawyer in the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London office. Lloyd’s main specialism is Brexit and its implications for business. Lloyd has spoken and written extensively about his own mental health conditions to help raise awareness in the legal profession.

Anna Robinson
Anna retrained as a psychotherapist (and soon to be clinical supervisor) following a long career as a senior immigration solicitor in the City.  She has since practised in both careers; working with a range of emotional issues in her private therapy practice and leading wellbeing initiatives at a highly acclaimed boutique law firm. Anna regularly presents on mental health issues within the legal profession and is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.  Anna is passionate about therapy and dedicated to enhancing emotional wellbeing in the workplace and beyond.  

Joanne Theodolou

Joanne is the General Counsel of Simply Business, the UK’s largest business insurance provider where she is a passionate advocate for workplace wellbeing. She sits on the board of trustees of Mind, the mental health charity, bringing a compassionate understanding of mental health problems based on experience, and with it the vital message of hope.

About LawCare

·         LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. We work to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces.


·         We’re here to help through our confidential helpline, email, webchat and one-to-one  peer support network. We offer a safe place to talk in confidence without judgement. We’re here to listen.


·         As well our support service, LawCare provides information, resources and factsheets at

·         We are here to help all branches of the legal profession: solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals, trade mark attorneys, patent attorneys, costs lawyers, and their staff and families.

·         Our support spans the legal life from student to training to practice and retirement

·         We work with the legal community to promote and support good mental health and wellbeing and drive change in education, training and practice.

·         The helpline number is 0800 279 6888 (1800 991 801 in Ireland) Mon-Fri 9am – 5.30pm or you can access webchat or email support through our website



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