Karen who is originally from Scotland moved to Guernsey in 2009 and became the Bailiwick’s first Children’s Convenor in 2010 when the Children Law came into force. As holder of this public office Karen is an experienced lawyer and has specific statutory duties and functions. She also provides leadership and management to the team within Briarwood.
Karen has a degree in Law (LLB) and has a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).
After qualifying as a solicitor, Karen gained extensive experience in private practice as a criminal defence lawyer. In 1995 she joined the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA), the national body at the centre of the Children's Hearings System in Scotland. Prior to her appointment as Children’s Convenor, Karen was Head of Practice at SCRA.
Karen has over 20 years experience of working within the field of children’s law.
James was educated in the UK and at Elizabeth College, which he attended as a boarder. After school, he worked briefly in the City of London and then at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before returning to education and obtaining a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies. James followed this up with a Diploma in Law before passing the Legal Practice Course and qualifying as a Solicitor (England & Wales) in 1998. James specialised as a criminal defence lawyer in London (including Youth Courts) until 2006 when he returned to Guernsey with his locally-qualified wife and their daughter.
James has held the post of Deputy Children’s Convenor since the service started in 2010.