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Brunel Law School is growing, with many new staff over the summer

A lot has been happening over the summer in the Law School, and with our academic staff numbers growing we thought you’d like to know about our new staff members and promotions.

Congratulations to three members of staff who have all been promoted: Jurgita Malinauskaite, Reader in Law; Adrienne Barnett, Senior Lecturer; Patricia Hobbs, Senior Lecturer.

All promotions take effect from 1 October 2018.

Our new colleagues, who have now all started are:

Dr Ermioni Xanthopoulou - Lecturer in Law 

Ermioni is based within the Division of Public and International Law.

Ermioni studied law in Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), France (Erasmus, University of Burgundy) and the UK (University of Surrey) and was awarded her PhD in Law at King’s College London in July 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Alex Turk, Dr. Cian Murphy and Prof. Takis Tridimas and with the support of a Centre of European Law scholarship. She is also a qualified advocate in Greece (Thessaloniki Bar). 

Her PhD thesis was titled ‘Proportionality and Mutual Trust in the Area of Freedom Security and Justice’ and offers a contribution to the EU criminal and asylum law from a constitutional and human rights approach. It provides an account of the principle of proportionality and the concept of mutual trust in the fields of EU criminal and asylum law in relation to violations of human rights.

Her doctoral thesis will be published by Hart Publishing in 2019 and she is currently working on the manuscript. She has already published the awarded article, ‘Mutual Trust and Rights in EU Criminal and Asylum Law: Three Phases of Evolution and the Unchartered Territory Beyond Blind Trust’ (2018) 52 (2) Common Market Law Review 489-510, for which she was a Winner of the 2017 Common Market Law Review Young Academic Prize and ‘The Quest for Proportionality for European Arrest Warrant and Fundamental Rights Protection in a Mutual Recognition Environment’ (2015) New Journal of European Criminal Law 32-52. She also recently published on the Conversation, the article title, Britain must commit to upholding civil liberties if the EU is to agree on security co-operation after Brexit.

She is currently working on an individual project regarding cooperation in asylum matters beyond Brexit, ‘The impact of Brexit on UK-EU cooperation in criminal, asylum and migration matters’ as well as on the collaborative project ‘The Rejection of Others: Xenophobia & Discrimination as Challenges for Brexit Britain’ that aims to raise awareness of the challenges that Britain faces as a result of Brexit in the context of xenophobia and discrimination, broadly defined as the “rejection of others”. Her research interests broadly fall in the area of public and international law and she is keen to further develop her expertise.

Before joining Brunel University London, Ermioni was a lecturer in law at Hertfordshire University and has also taught at LSE. She has teaching experience in Public law, EU law and Human rights law for three academic years and is currently teaching Criminal Law & Criminal Justice and Migration.

More information:   

Dr Kathrin Hamestädt - Lecturer in Law 

Kathrin is based in the Division of Public and International Law.

Kathrin joined Brunel’s Law School team in September 2018 as a Lecturer in Law. From September 2014 to August 2018 Kathrin worked as a Lecturer in German Law at King’s College London and held a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship.  At King’s College, Kathrin lectured on a broad range of German law core subjects, EU Law and Public Law, and acted as the Director of the LLB English and German Law.

During her time as a PhD researcher at Maastricht University (2010 - 2014), Kathrin taught tutorials in ‘Substantive EU Law’ and ‘English Legal Writing’ at undergraduate level and ‘European Migration Law and Citizenship Law’ at postgraduate level. She also supervised Bachelor’s and Master’s dissertations, served as an internship supervisor and acted as a practice judge for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Kathrin is keen to deepen and further her expertise in both researching and teaching Constitutional & Administrative Law and Migration Law. For her current research project ‘Expulsion of foreigners following a criminal conviction. Legislative amendments and public debate in Germany and Europe’ she has been awarded a Europa Visiting Fellowship (10.000 AUD) from the Australian National University.

She is currently working to convert her PhD dissertation into a book entitled ‘The Margins of Discretion in Transitional Administrative Acts’ - Expulsion Decisions and Entry Bans following a Criminal Conviction’, to be published with Hart in 2019.

Dr Isobel Renzulli - Lecturer in Law

Isobel is based in the Division of Public and International Law.

Isobel joined Brunel University in September 2018. Previously she was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Greenwich. She has also taught as a Visiting Lecturer at King’s College London, the Open University, and the University of Reading. Isobel has experience teaching a range of public law courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including:  Human Rights Law, International Human Rights Law, Public Law,  EU Law, Civil and Criminal Justice systems.

Isobel holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law which she completed in 2013 at the University of Bristol with an AHRC scholarship. Her thesis critically examined the challenges to the implementation of international human rights and torture preventive obligations in a context of sustained internal conflict, focusing on Sudan as a case study. Before completing her PhD, she worked for the United Nations in Geneva at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, she has also worked with different Human Rights Non-Governmental Organisations and for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Isobel’s articles include 'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda’ December (2017) Netherland Quarterly of Human Rights, ‘A Critical Reflection on the Conceptual and Legal Foundations of the Duty to Prevent Torture,” (2016) The International Journal of Human Rights and ‘Ali Hussein v Secretary of State for Defence: what was not said of shouting as a lawful interrogation technique’ October (2015) Public Law.

Isobel’s main research interests are in Human Rights Law, Public Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Law. She is specifically interested in the theory and the practice of human rights mechanisms and bodies and the role of national, regional and international institutions with a human rights mandate. Her current research builds on her PhD work and explores different aspects of the conceptual and legal framework of the prevention of torture and its implementation.

Dr. Eleni Kaprou to a Lecturer in Commercial Law

Eleni is based within the Division of Private and Commercial Law.

Eleni received her PhD with no corrections from the University of Nottingham’s School of Law (viva passed on 31 October 2017). She has been awarded the 2018 DJ Harris award for the best PhD law thesis in the University of Nottingham. Prior to assuming her post in Brunel University London, she held the position of Research Associate in Cardiff University School of Law and Politics where she was part of an interdisciplinary team in the ERC-funded LASI project on law and governance. In addition to this, she is involved in the interdisciplinary private law project ‘The ABC of Online Disclosures’ conducted by an international team of researchers led by the University of Exeter and University of Amsterdam.

Eleni’s expertise lies in the areas of Commercial and Private Law. Her Doctoral thesis titled ‘Protecting Vulnerable Consumers from Aggressive Commercial Practices’ critically examined the legal framework on the fairness of commercial practices in business-to- consumer relations and focuses, in particular, on the legal protection of vulnerable persons in the marketplace. Previous to her PhD studies, in 2012, Eleni completed an LLM in International Commercial Law with distinction at the University of Nottingham. She holds an LLB degree (with merit) from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and is a qualified lawyer in Greece.

Eleni is currently in the process of transforming her PhD thesis into a book, as well as developing papers from her previous research in Cardiff University, she is developing both single-authored and co-authored papers. Eleni has acted as a consultant for the European Commission in large scale projects (Fitness Check of Consumer Law) and the ongoing project on the European Commission Consumer Strategy.

Eleni has teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She can teach diverse Commercial and Private Law courses including LLB core courses, such as Contract Law, EU Law and Consumer Law, as well as Commercial Law more broadly.

Dr. Eduardo Álvarez Armas, for a Lectureship in Commercial Law

Eduardo is based within the Division of Private and Commercial Law. 

Eduardo holds a double PhD degree (Summa cum laude) from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and the Universidad de Granada (Spain). His PhD dissertation, entitled "Private International Environmental Litigation before EU Courts: Choice of Law as a Tool of Environmental Global Governance", dealt with the liability of transnational corporations for environmental torts under private international law, and will be published by Hart Publishing in 2019.                

Eduardo also holds an LLM (Honours) in American Law from Stanford Law School (USA), a Masters on International Law (Summa cum laude) from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), a Masters on the Law of the European Union from the College of Europe (Belgium), and an LLB (Summa cum laude) from the Universidad de La Laguna (Spain). 

Prior to joining Brunel, Eduardo was a Research Associate at Queen Mary University of London, in a team led by Professor Spyros Maniatis, Principal of Queen Mary´s Centre for Commercial Law Studies.

Between 2011 and 2015 Eduardo was a research fellow in legal sciences to the Belgian National Found of Scientific Research (FNRS), appointed at the Université Catholique de Louvain. The FNRS fellowship, Belgium´s most prestigious research fellowship, is awarded every year to a small number of researchers in a nation-wide competition comprising candidates from all disciplines, faculties and universities across Belgium. 

Eduardo has an extensive research and teaching experience in (commercial aspects of) private international law, international and European environmental law, global governance and the  law  of  the  European  Union. He has had the opportunity to publish in various law journals and present his research in international conferences even before his PhD was awarded. The article he co-wrote in 2011 with Louvain´s European-Law Chair-holder, Professor Stéphanie Francq, has been quoted by ECJ´s Advocate General Cruz-Villalón in his opinion in “Holterman”. In Louvain he has managed and coordinated the Law School´s master’s programs in European and International Law and coached and advised advance degree students. Additionally, as he is an Abogado (Spanish-qualified attorney) of the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he also has practising experience in international civil and commercial cases, having worked for J&A Garrigues, Spain´s leading law firm.

Amongst other prizes and distinctions, Eduardo is also Honorary Lecturer at the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain) and Collaborateur Scientifique at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium).

Dr Hayleigh Bosher- Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law

Hayleigh is based within the Division of Private and Commercial Law.

Previously, Hayleigh was a Senior Lecturer at Coventry University where she was the leader for intellectual property. She has a PhD in Copyright Law (Vice Chancellors Scholarship) from Bournemouth University awarded in August 2017. As part of her recent scholarly activity, Hayleigh is continuing to work on a UK Intellectual Property Office funded research project looking at the IP enforcement framework. She is also working to turn her PhD ‘The Human Element in Online Copyright Infringement’ into a monograph.

Amongst other things, Hayleigh is the founder of World IP Women (WIPW), a network to promote gender diversity in intellectual property; a legal consultant working with small business and individual clients on IP issues, Director of the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN); Editor of the European Trade Mark Reports (ETMR); and book review editor for specialist IP blog IPKat.

Hayleigh says that one of her favourite aspects of academia is being able to work with a variety of different people, including colleagues, academics, as well as practitioners and business professionals.

Dr Pamela Nika – Lecturer in Corporate and Finance Law

Pamela will be based within the Division of Private and Commercial Law.

Pamela has recently completed her PhD studies at the University of Reading. Her thesis,  titled ‘ECB Monetary Policy and Supervisory Powers: Competing Objectives and Policy Conflicts,’ critically assesses the role of European Central Bank in light of the banking union and the centralisation of banking supervision at European Union level. Pamela is currently working on converting her PhD thesis into a book manuscript and turning chapters into articles for publication, including ‘How the ECB’s independent status could be affected by its new supervisory tasks?’, ‘EU Implementation of Basel III and the Single Resolution Mechanism’ and ‘The Single Resolution Mechanism, the second pillar of EU Banking Union towards its completion: a legal analysis.’

Pamela’s main research interests are in the areas of Financial Law and Regulation, Corporate and Finance Law, Corporate Insolvency and Law and Economics. Since January 2015 she is working as a sessional lecturer at University of Reading, where she led and taught two LLM Modules; and since early 2016 she has been working as a tutor at University of Essex Online. Pamela was also admitted at the bar qualified Athens Bar Association Attorney with experience in international transactions and banking law. She also has an LLM in International Commercial Law, with specialisation in Banking and Finance from City University, London and an LLB from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Pamela was also admitted to Athens Bar Association and practised law in areas such as commercial law, banking law and international transactions.

Dr Paula Westenberger Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law

Paula recently passed her PhD viva at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London. Her thesis is entitled ‘Cultural Palimpsests: Artistic Reuses in Brazil in the Context of Copyright and Human Rights’ for which she was awarded a CCLS PhD Studentship as well as funds from the PGRF for conducting empirical research/interviews in Brazil. Paula’s research experience includes research assistantships for the leading textbook Copinger & Skone James on Copyright, for a CISAC commissioned report on private copying levies, and for an UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) commissioned report on the IP cases of the (then) Patents County Court. Her publications include the chapter ‘Digital culture, copyright and the orphan works issue: a view from Brazil’ published in the book Law and Policy in Latin America: Transforming Courts, Institutions, and Rights (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), a co-authored chapter on Brazilian moral rights for the 2nd edition of Davies and Garnett (eds) Moral Rights (Sweet & Maxwell 2016) and a book chapter which she is currently writing on graffiti and copyright law for a forthcoming Cambridge University Press publication. Many of Paula’s academic activities and interests in intellectual property law have a multidisciplinary aspect, for example, Digitization of libraries: the issue of orphan works in the context of digitization projects (chapter published in 2017), Virtual reality (Paula  provided research assistantship in connection with the preparation of a funding application for a research project on the legal aspects of virtual reality in the context of cultural heritage institutions), Law, art and society (part of her PhD), and Innovation, technology and development (she has participated in a workshop at the UK Intellectual Property Office in 2017 on the implementation of the Lambert Toolkit in Brazil).

In terms of teaching experience, Paula has been a Lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University since January 2018 and acting, amongst other things, as a Module leader for LLB module European Human Rights, LLM module Intellectual Property 2 (Copyright, Design and Patent Law), and for the Dissertations module. She is also a Guest lecturer at Queen Mary for the LLM module International and Comparative Law of Copyright and Related Rights, and formerly Associate Lecturer, QM on the LLM modules International Copyright: International Treaties and Cross-Border Litigation, Art and Intellectual Property Law.

Paula will also be based within the Division of Private and Commercial Law.

Diane Astin - Legal Practice Lecturer

Diane is based within the Division of Public and International Law.

Diane has been practicing as a solicitor for more than 20 years. Since qualifying she has been employed as a solicitor in private practice and in the voluntary sector and is currently a consultant solicitor at Deighton Pierce Glynn (DPG).  Her practice includes housing, public law, community care and discrimination.  She regularly undertakes litigation in these areas, mainly by way of judicial review.  DPG is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers for Social Housing and Administrative and Public Law and Band 2 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights.  DPG specialises in the rights of migrants, an area Diane has focused on since 2000. Diane has an LLM from the London School of Economics. Her main expertise is in housing law and she is the author of the LAG publication ‘Housing Law Handbook’ and has just completed the 4th edition.

Diane has also undertaken freelance training for many years and has designed and presented courses for a wide range of organisations, including ‘Magic Circle’ law firms. She is currently delivering housing law training to a number of City firms focusing on the needs of pro bono volunteers. As a practicing solicitor, and in her role as the Director of the Student Law Clinic at Westminster University (2013-­‐2017), she has kept abreast of the trends and developments within the legal profession and their impacts on the career prospects of students.  She has supervised trainee solicitors and volunteers in private practice and in a Law Centre whilst at Westminster University she was responsible for student placements in advice agencies. 

Diane has a particular interest in civil litigation which she has taught on the Legal Practice Course and for CILEX.  She is also currently a member of the Civil Justice Council, an advisory public body responsible for overseeing and co-­coordinating the modernization of the civil justice system.

Dr Serena Natile - Lecturer in Social-Legal Studies

Serena is based within the Division of Public and International Law and teaches Public Law in Context, International Law, Human Rights of Women/Gender & Human Rights and Research Methods. 

Serena joined Brunel Law School as a Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies in June 2018, having previously worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at King’s College London (2017-2018) and as an Associate Lecturer and Researcher at Kent Law School, University of Kent (2011-2018). Serena holds a first-class degree in Law from the University of Siena (with an academic year spent at the University of Bristol Law School), a MA cum laude in European and International Studies from the University of Trento and a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Kent. Besides academia, Serena has worked for the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union (Migration, Asylum and Borders) and for the United Nations Development Programme in Brussels and collaborated with gender rights organisations in Italy, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Brazil.

Serena’s research interests lie in the areas of socio-legal studies, law & development, global political economy, gender politics, digital financial inclusion and digital humanitarianism. Serena is currently working on three main projects:

Gender and Digital Financial Inclusion: Serena is completing a book based on her PhD thesis and titled Mobile Money, Gendered Walls: The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion, to be published with Routledge (RIPE Series in Global Political Economy) in 2019. This research explores the narratives and institutions of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality by looking at Kenya’s path-breaking mobile money project M-Pesa. Her new project on this topic ‘The Gendered Dynamics of Digital Financial Platforms: A South-South Comparison’ undertakes a comparative study of the distributive dynamics of mobile money in Kenya and correspondent banking in Brazil.  

Digital Humanitarianism: Serena is collaborating with Professor David Nelken from King’s College London and researchers based in South Africa, Brazil and Australia on the project ‘Mapping Digital Humanitarianism: Confronting Opportunities and Challenges’, for which they have been recently awarded a King’s College Seeds Fund of £20,000. This project maps how digital technologies such as blockchain are changing the governance of humanitarian assistance and examines law and policy dilemmas resulting from these changes.

Inclusionary Practices Project: Serena is part of the British Academy-funded Inclusionary Practices Project led by Professor Toni Williams from Kent Law School and Professor Fabricio Polido from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). This project examines multiple ways in which legal and regulatory techniques are used to implement social and economic inclusion policies in Europe, Latin America and in the digital domain.

Serena is serving as assistant editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Law in Context, Cambridge University Press.

Kimberley SpikingsLegal Practice Lecturer

Kimberley will be based within the Division of Public and International Law.

Kimberley has been teaching at the Law School since 2013 and is taking on a position in a newly created post.  This strategic new post is required to develop and deliver a programme designed to equip our graduating students with relevant and vital professional skills, in response to the changes in the professional qualifications requirements (the Solicitors’ Qualifying Examinations, or “SQE”) announced by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (“SRA”). Kimberley will develop and deliver a programme designed to equip our graduating students with relevant and vital professional skills, and  she will lead on Brunel Law School’s response to the changing approach to training and education in England and Wales.  Kimberley studied for her Law Degree with Brunel, graduating in 2007. She also gained a Masters in Legal Practice (Commendation) at the University of Hertfordshire in 2010.

Alongside this role, Kimberley will continue to practice law with Bottrills Solicitors LLP. The work she covers at Bottrills is extremely diverse and includes commercial property disputes, residential property disputes, contractual disputes, debt recovery, contentious probate, leasehold enfranchisement and boundary disputes. During her legal career, Kimberley has worked at a variety of firms, from small high street firms to large regional firms. There are various aspects of the SQE which Kimberley has the practical experience to teach including Dispute Resolution in Contract and Tort, Property Law and Practice, Commercial and Corporate Law and Principles of Professional Conduct. She could also assist in the administration of Estate and Trusts aspect of the course.

Anjali Kemwal – Pro-Bono Coordinator

Anjali is based within the Division of Public and International Law.

Another strategic investment for the Law School, Anjali has joined us as our new Pro Bono Coordinator, both coordinating the array of pro bono activities we have at the moment at the Law School as well as enhancing and developing new ones. Anjali’s most recent role was as a Pro Bono Coordinator at the University of Law and Supervising Solicitor with nearly 14 years PQE. She was responsible for providing ample pro bono opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate law students to partake in as part of the Employability Service. This included starting new and tailored services, to benefit both students and clients with new subject areas and further opportunities to enhance their learning experience. The University Employability Service was commended in the latest QAA review specifically for their contribution to the enhancement of learning opportunities for students. As part of this, Anjali introduced regular webinars to reach part time and remote access students and this has been a resounding success.

Anjali also has experience of managing lawyers and trainees for a legal charity ‘Law for All’ for more than nine years, two of which as Legal Director, including being the training principal, Money Laundering Reporting Officer and Complaints Handler and reporting to the Board of Trustees. She helped to expand the ‘Law for All’ network across the Country, including Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk and Staffordshire and was able to contribute to articles and publications about legal aid and access to justice from a social welfare law perspective as well as helping her previous organisation secure grants from the Barings Foundation, Legal Services Commission (now Legal Aid Agency) and the local council. Anjali obtained her law degree at the University of Warwick. Alongside this role, she will continue to practice law.

Olga Gurgula - Lecturer in IP Law (Patent Law) 

Olga is a Lecturer in IP Law at Brunel Law School.

She is a lecturer and a course convener for the Patent Law and Practice module (part of the PGCert in Intellectual Property), as well as contributing to other modules related to Intellectual Property and Contract Law.

Her research interests focus on the intersection between Intellectual Property, Competition Law and access to medicines. In particular, her current research relates to strategic patenting in the pharmaceutical industry that delays generic competition and affects access to affordable medicines. She is also interested in emerging healthcare technologies, as well as open innovation and new models of drug development. She has recently submitted her PhD thesis entitled ‘Strategic patenting in the pharmaceutical industry: a competition law perspective’ that focuses on specific patenting strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies such as strategic accumulation of patents and product hopping. Amongst her recent publications are ‘Monopoly v. Openness: two sides of IP coin in the pharmaceutical industry’ and ‘Strategic Accumulation of Patents in the Pharmaceutical Industry and Patent Thickets in Complex Technologies — Two Different Concepts Sharing Similar Features’. Her PhD research became part of a co-authored submission to the United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, which presented evidence that anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical sector can create barriers to access to medicines and that competition law should be used to balance proprietary interests with economic and social interests to advance public welfare. This evidence was included in the Final UN Report ‘Promoting Innovation and Access to Health Technologies’ (2016).

 Olga also holds a Visiting Fellow position at Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. At Oxford, she is involved in a project on ‘open innovation in drug development’, which is aimed at facilitation of accessibility and affordability of medicines. Olga is also a Research Coordinator in a UK technical assistance project that provides support on the establishment and operation of the new IP Court in Ukraine.

 Before joining Brunel Law School, Olga was a Lecturer in IP at Aston Law School, where she taught Principles of Intellectual Property Law and Intellectual Property Law to Business and Law students. Prior to her lectureship at Aston University, Olga worked at Queen Mary University of London, where she delivered lectures on LLM modules related to Intellectual Property Law, and Competition Law. She has also convened seminars for LLM modules related to Patent Law and IP in Business.

 Olga isqualified as a Ukrainian attorney in 2004 and prior to the commencement of her PhD research, she worked in private practice over 10 years. She was counselling on a wide range of IP and corporate matters and was involved in numerous litigation proceedings concerning a wide range of commercial and civil disputes.


Head of School, Arad Reisberg, says 'These substantive and extensive appointments signify our ambition to strengthen our excellent research and teaching as we grow to become a leading Law School which is committed to preparing our graduates for an ever changing legal world. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to members of staff and our students who took part in various stages and in various roles; I am sincerely grateful to each and every one of you for your contribution.  I am sure you will all welcome our new colleagues and make them feel at home.'