Our people

The Legal Advice Centre team works together to provide our legal advice service.

Neil Allen

Neil Allen

Neil Allen is a Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers and a Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester. With particular interests in human rights, mental health and incapacity law, he teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, and regularly delivers training for a variety of audiences including health and local authorities. He is consistently ranked by Chambers and Partners as a leading Barrister in his field.

As Clinical Lead of the University’s Legal Advice Centre, Neil provides and promotes the provision of free legal advice and also undertakes voluntary work as a Trustee for the mental health charity, Making Space, with whom he established the award-winning university’s Dementia Law Clinic.

Caroline Hoyle

Caroline Hoyle

Caroline Hoyle joined The University of Manchester in 2014, and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Law. Caroline is a Solicitor and practised in the North West before deciding to follow an academic career. She is now a highly experienced lecturer having taught on a range of vocational and academic law programmes. Caroline's main teaching interests are in the field of criminal and healthcare law, and the law relating to medical treatment of children. She is the Joint Programme Director for the LLM/MA/PGDip in Healthcare Ethics and Law (distance learning), and Senior Academic Advisor for the School of Law.

Caroline is an academic Clinical Lead for the Legal Advice Centre and contributes to the development and delivery of training for student volunteers, supervising lawyers and receptionists, as well as providing direct supervision of LAC cases within her areas of expertise.

Fintan Walker 

Fintan Walker

Fintan Walker is a Lecturer in Clinical Legal Education and Manager of the Legal Advice Centre at the University of Manchester. He has occupied both of these roles since joining the university in 2018. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a practising solicitor. Prior to entering academia he worked in private practice as a duty accredited criminal defence solicitor.

Fintan is also a co-director of the Manchester Innocence Project (MIP), a student led project that provides assistance in relation to post criminal conviction claims of innocence. In 2021 MIP became only the second UK based Innocence Project to become part of the Innocence Network.

He course directs and teaches on the final year clinical legal education module, Law in Practice. He has experience teaching at each level of the undergraduate law degree.

Dr Phil Drake

Phil Drake

Dr Phil Drake is the Director of the Justice Hub, which co-ordinates all the pro bono and clinical legal education work, including the Legal Advice Centre, being undertaken at the University of Manchester. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a qualified non-practising Solicitor.

Prior to commencing his role he was the founder, creator and Director of the Legal Advice Clinic at the University of Huddersfield and prior to this a practising lawyer working in several legal practices. Whilst in practice, he gained experience of contentious and non-contentious work and his main practice areas were in civil and commercial litigation and corporate recovery and insolvency.

Phil has keen research interests in the pedagogical, sociological and ethical dimensions of clinical legal education, with a particular interest in values based learning and the conflicts and tensions that arise within this sphere.