The Executive Committee:
Jeanette Voss – President
Jeanette has been a member of AWLL since Spring 2011 and became AWLL President in July 2015. She previously was the Membership Director from 2012-2015. Jeanette works in Compliance, specifically economic sanctions, at a major financial institution. She is dual qualified in the State of Illinois as an attorney and in England and Wales as a solicitor (non-practicing). She attended College of Law courses in London to complete the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test. She received her JD from DePaul University College of Law and received her BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University.
She completed two study abroad programs in England as part of her JD – The GW-Oxford program in International Human Rights Law held at New College and the Pace University London Law Program held at UCL. She held a BUNAC visa that allowed her to work in the UK for six months immediately following law school graduation. Jeanette relocated to the UK permanently in 2009 to join her partner.
As President, she hopes to provide a warm welcome and support to AWLL members who are transitioning into the UK legal market as well as seasoned US expats and Londoners with ties to the American legal community.
Desi Lance – Vice President
Desi served as AWLL Events Co-Director from 2014-2105. Desi is an attorney at PwC. She is an Illinois qualified attorney. Desi received her JD from The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, where she served as a member and staff editor for The John Marshall Law Review. During her law school career, Desi traveled abroad to study comparative and European law in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Desi received her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Azusa Pacific University, California.
Desi’s work experience has led her through various sectors of the legal industry. Desi worked as a law clerk for a US civil litigation firm, in-house at the largest electric utility company in Illinois, and was an extern at the United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois. Post graduation, Desi volunteered her time at a non-profit organization, providing immigration services to low-income families. Desi is thrilled to be a part of such a great organization!
Lucy Keane – Treasurer
Lucy is dual qualified in New York and in Scotland. She has an LL.B degree and post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Strathclyde University. She also has a Certificate in International Commercial Arbitration from Dundee University.
Lucy has practiced as an advocate at the Bar in Scotland for a number of years. She has held appointments as a senior prosecutor and as a part-time judge. She qualified as an attorney in New York State in 2015 and recently moved to London where she now runs her own law practice, LA Keane Attorney Ltd. Lucy is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Her career focus now is on international dispute resolution and US business law advice.
Aside from her legal career, Lucy spent some time living in Germany and also jointly ran a small business that imported South African wines to the UK.
Eryn R. Hanlon – Secretary
Eryn has been a member of AWLL since 2011 and previously served as the AWLL Events Director from 2012-2014. She took some time off of the Executive Board to open her own law practice and rejoined the Board as Secretary in 2017.
Eryn has a BA from the University of Michigan, a JD from Wayne State University Law School (Detroit) and a LLM from Kingston University Law School (London). She qualified as an attorney in the State of Illinois in 2008 before moving to the UK permanently in December 2009.
Eryn is a Partner practicing US immigration law at Greenwood Hanlon Kendrick LTD with offices in London and New York. Before starting GHK, Eryn was an attorney at another London firm practicing US immigration as well as a regular volunteer advisor with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Swatee Jasoria – Events Co-Director
Swatee joined the AWLL board in July, 2016 as Events Co-Director.
Swatee has been educated and worked in Hong Kong, New York, India and the UK. She has life sciences and technology background and specialises in intellectual property/commercial law. She obtained her JD from Rutgers University School of Law – Newark and practiced law at Paul Weiss and Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto in New York.
Swatee moved to London in 2012 to become an entrepreneur and co-founded one of the first US Liberal Arts style universities in the UK. Although Swatee has now returned to law practice, she continues to advise graduates and professionals during career transitions and assists small corporations with employee counselling and training needs. She also regularly publishes articles in various magazines and newspapers, and is a columnist for The Huffington Post.
As Events Co-Director, Swatee very much looks forward to working with the Board, AWLL members and the greater London community to continue planning exciting and engaging AWLL events.
Mackie Adoniadis – Membership Director
Mackie is a US Immigration Lawyer at B&A Immigration and has been a AWLL member for several years. She has previously served as the AWLL Marketing Director (2013-2014) and is a member of the North Carolina State Bar.
Mackie previously practiced immigration law at another law firm in London, and worked at the Executive Office for Immigration Review during her time in the states. She has an LLM in International Business Law from University College London, a JD from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and a BA in Romance Languages and History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also studied law courses at Cambridge University during a law school exchange program and took ancient history classes in Greece during her undergraduate years.
Joanne Skolnick – Marketing Director
Joanne was elected Marketing Director in July 2014. Prior to relocating to London, she was an employment lawyer and litigator in New York City for several years.
Joanne worked in private practice at two of the top ranked employment and labor law boutique firms in the United States and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York. She is dual qualified as an attorney in the State of New York and a barrister and solicitor in the Province of Ontario. Joanne is originally from Toronto, where she began her law career at a leading national law firm. She has both an LL.B. and a B.C.L. from McGill University’s Faculty of Law, as well as graduate degrees in History from Oxford University and in Journalism from Northwestern University. Joanne has published articles in Canada, the United States, the Baltic States and Russia.
While in London, Joanne has also served on the board of another women’s organization. She is excited to be part of the AWLL community.
Juana Escobar – Website Director
The Advisory Committee:
Nita Nicole Upadhye – Nita has been involved in AWLL since 2002 and served as the group’s President from 2010-2015. She has over ten years of experience in the field of U.S. immigration law, specializing in business immigration for corporate and private clients in the technology, media, finance and entertainment sectors. She was a Partner at Hodkinson Law Group before launching her solo practice, the Law Office of Nita N. Upadhye, in November 2011. She writes and speaks on immigration law at seminars and conferences globally and is recognized in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers. She is also a member of the executive board of the Rome District Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Nita earned a degree in economics from the University of California, Irvine and University and a JD from Notre Dame Law School. Prior to embarking on a legal career Nita served as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Africa. She has also volunteered her time at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project and completed a service project at an orphanage in Chennai, India. Nita strongly believes that AWLL’s network of dynamic, talented, successful women fosters an environment where women can thrive personally and professionally in the London legal community.
Jelena Madir – Jelena has been involved in AWLL since 2010 and served as the group’s Vice President from 2010-2015. She is a Senior Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), where her practice focuses on a variety of international financing transactions. Prior to joining EBRD and moving to London, Jelena worked as a finance and capital markets lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in Washington, DC; Shearman & Sterling LLP in Frankfurt, Germany; and Privredna Banka and DLA Piper LLP in Zagreb, Croatia. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA Government and Asian Studies) and Columbia University School of Law (JD).
Jelena also is a Teaching Fellow at University College London, where she teaches a graduate law course on Legal Aspects of International Finance and a faculty member at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management in Croatia. She has published a number of articles and books on capital markets and corporate law issues.
Supporting greater progression of women in the legal profession, leadership opportunities for women lawyers, as well as highlighting the contribution of women in the legal community are of special interest to Jelena.
The Membership Committee:
Sara A. Biro – Sara is a multilingual, international business lawyer who has extensive in-house experience in more than 25 countries in complex and general commercial matters, engineering and construction, corporate transactions, finance, intellectual property, regulatory matters, compliance and dispute resolution. Sara graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University and then attended the University of Chicago Law School. Sara worked at Mayer Brown and Freshfields before going in-house. Until November 2013, Sara was Senior European Counsel at Fitch Ratings in Fitch’s London office. Sara is currently in an interim senior role at Royal Mail while continuing to seek a permanent senior role in London. Sara has lived in London for almost 20 years and is delighted to be a member of the AWLL’s Membership Committee.
Marina Petrova – Marina has been involved in AWLL since January, 2013 and was selected to participate in AWLL’s Membership Committee in August, 2014. She is a New York qualified corporate associate at Covington & Burling LLP. Previously Marina practiced US securities law at an international law firm in London. Marina received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2012. She received her B.A. in comparative literature with honors from Princeton University in 2006. During law school, Marina won the 2012 Elliot A. Spoon National Business Law Writing Competition and published her work in the Journal of Business and Securities Law of the Michigan State University College of Law. She also served as an editor of the UCLA Journal of Law and Technology. Prior to law school, Marina served as Associate Editor at Columbia University Press in New York City. Marina is very excited to be part of the AWLL community and hopes to assist its members in providing support to each other especially through mentorship opportunities.