Neurodivergence Webinar Series: Part 6 - Neurodivergent Lawyers

Tuesday 16 April 2024, 5.30pm - 6.30pm


Paul Powlesland

Ravi Mahey

Mark Hylands

Garden Court Chambers were delighted to host the sixth webinar in our series exploring neurodivergence in the justice system.

Date: Tuesday 16 April 2024
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free

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At this webinar, neurodivergent people working in the legal sector discussed their own experiences and the challenges they have faced in their careers.

From a range of different perspectives, they talked about the benefits that neurodivergent people can bring to legal sector workplaces and what legal sector employers can do to embrace neurodiversity and to make workplaces more accessible.

Conversely, they took an honest look at how ableism in the legal system can affect neurodivergent solicitors, barristers and legal support workers, and the barriers that neurodivergent people face in the sector. 

Speaker Panel


Paul Powlesland, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Paul is passionate about protecting and representing the natural world and all who seek to defend it. He specialises in upholding the rights of environmental activists to protest and protect the natural world, and uses environmental law and regulations to defend trees, rivers and wildlife. Paul is also driven to achieve justice for those who need it most in all areas of his practice.

He uses his cross-examination skills in the employment tribunal to uphold the rights of employees and trade unions. Paul is public access qualified and therefore able to take instructions directly from members of the public who need assistance with the law most.

David Neale, Legal Researcher, Garden Court Chambers
David assists members of Chambers by carrying out expert legal research in all areas of law. David’s primary expertise is in immigration, asylum and nationality law. David also works closely with Breaking the Chains, a joint project of Shpresa and the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU) at Islington Law Centre, to improve outcomes for asylum-seeking Albanian young people.

David, who has a diagnosis of autism himself, has a particular interest in the intersection of disability and asylum law. With the Helen Bamber Foundation, he co-authored ‘Bridging a Protection Gap: Disability and the Refugee Convention’ in 2021. For many years, he has advocated for greater judicial recognition of the impact of disability on the asylum process. David jointly won Legal Aid Support Staffer of the Year at the LAPG Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2022.

Ravi Mahey, Consultant Solicitor, TV Edwards
Ravi Kaur Mahey is a solicitor who specialises in children law. As a member of the Law Society's Children Panel, she has extensive experience of representing neurodivergent children in legal proceedings and advocates for reform within the justice system and the workplace. Ravi herself was diagnosed as neurodivergent four years ago, and has personal experience of navigating the assessment process for children.

Mark Hylands, DPG Solicitors
Mark Hylands is a solicitor with civil higher rights of audience at DPG solicitors. Mark practises public law and human rights litigation, with a current focus on human rights abuses within the UK’s immigration detention estate. In this context, he regularly acts for vulnerable people to secure their release from immigration detention and compensation for their unlawful treatment by the Home Office. He has also been involved in several significant strategic judicial review claims challenging the Government’s unlawful policies and multiple public inquiries – most recently, he represented four NGOs and five formerly detained individuals in the Brook House Inquiry.

Mark is particularly committed to improving awareness around and challenging the effects of intersectional discrimination and inequality. In addition to this informing his approach to casework, he works collaboratively with NGOs and community organisations seeking to challenge systemic and structural injustice to bring about positive change.

Neurodivergence in the Justice System

Our webinar series, 'Neurodivergence in the Justice System', has covered a range of practice areas, recounting the experiences and examining the challenges faced by neurodivergent people involved in the justice system in England and Wales, whether as witnesses, defendants, lawyers or otherwise. These webinars have brought together experts from legal practice, academia, policy and other professionals to consider the flaws in the current system, identify instances of best practice and propound changes that could be made to improve access to justice, equality and diversity in the courts. Our previous webinars in the series are available here.

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