Advice Line: 028 9024 4401

Meet the team

Working together to secure social welfare rights

Ursula O'Hare

Director

Ursula O’Hare is Director at Law Centre NI. Ursula began her career as a welfare rights student volunteer at Gingerbread NI before moving into academic and policy work, joining us to lead on policy development in 2006.

Julie Wilkinson

Financial Controller

Julie manages the finance function within the organisation and sits on the Management Team. Having completed her Institute of Accounting Technicians Ireland qualifications in 2007 she has over 10 years' experience in financial control within the voluntary and charity sector.

Michael Black

Legal Officer (Social Security)

Michael provides specialist social security legal advice and representation for the advice sector and to individuals. He provides representation at Commissioner Appeals and in the higher courts.

Owen McCloskey

Legal Officer (Social Security)

Owen supports the advice network in Northern Ireland with advice on complex social security law issues. Owen’s work focuses on taking and representing clients at Commissioner Appeals and in the higher courts on strategic legal points.

Catherine Harper

Legal Officer (Health and Social Care)

Catherine advises clients on social care (community care) law. Catherine’s work on the landmark judicial review test case (JR47) changed the interpretation of Article 15 Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972.

Patricia Southern

Legal Officer (Health and Social Care)

Patricia has specialised in community care (health and social care) and human rights law for over 17 years. She provides specialist advice, support and representation to service users, carers and Law Centre NI members. She has initiated a number of successful judicial review challenges relating to care provision. Patricia is also an experienced trainer and has delivered training extensively in health and social care law, human rights and mental capacity.

Bridget Corr

Welfare Reform Adviser

Bridget advises on welfare changes and guides clients through the appeals process as well as providing representation at Social Security Appeal Tribunal hearings.

Ronnie Vellem

Welfare Reform Adviser

Ronnie advises on welfare changes and guides clients through the appeals process as well as providing representation at Social Security Appeal Tribunal hearings.

Louise Togneri

Training Manager

Louise is responsible for managing the development and delivery of training for Law Centre NI members and others. Louise has many years’ experience in the development and delivery of training and adult learning, working previously for Housing Rights and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Rachael Jeffers

Training Support Officer

Rachael assists with the development and delivery of training for our members and others. Rachael comes from an advice background, having several years experience of providing advice on social security and employment issues, as well as assisting and providing representation at Social Security Appeal Tribunal hearings.

Megan Miller

Policy Officer

Megan leads on policy advocacy work at Law Centre NI. She supports the Law Centres work as one of the co-conveners of the Cliff Edge Coalition and is passionate about wider issues relating to social security and welfare reform.