Mel qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and has spent her career defending young and vulnerable people. She understands the importance of building a relationship of trust and the need for continuity, so frequently represents clients from the police station through to trial. Mel has a particular interest in autism and is regularly receives referrals via The National Autistic Society. She works with a wide range of other professionals in order to ensure that her clients are able to effectively participate in their defence and navigate their way through the criminal justice system as simply as possible. Mel is an experienced trial advocate in the Youth Court and has defended young clients charged with GBH, rape and armed robbery. She recently successfully defended a 15 year old girl charged with making a bomb hoax – the client was the only defendant in those proceedings to be acquitted. Mel has considerable experience of representing young people charged with murder.
Mel was a member of The Rook Committee that produced the Advocacy and Vulnerable Witness Training provided by Inns of Court and The Law Society. She provides training in youth justice to other professionals as well as training for Appropriate Adults who may be required to attend the police station. Mel also runs legal advice clinics at London Youth Clubs.
She is on the Board of Directors at CoramBAAF due to her interest in protecting the rights of children in care.