Social Care and Education Team

The Social Care and Education Team provides specialist legal advice on all matters relating to children’s social care, adult’s social care and education.  The team is led by the Head of Law for Social Care and Education.  The children’s social care work is led by two Assistant Heads of Law for Sutton/Merton and AFC/Wandsworth, and 5 senior lawyers, all with many years of expertise in this area.  The Adult’s Social Care and Education work is led by two Assistant Heads of Law, both specialists in their area and two senior lawyers.  The team also has 5 in-house advocates who represent clients in child protection cases.

  • Children Social Care
  • Adult Social Care
  • Education
Neeta Sharma, Head of Law, Social Care and Education

Neeta qualified as solicitor in 1993. She started her career in Local Government as a trainee solicitor at Cambridgeshire County Council. After qualifying Neeta has worked at several local authorities in London Boroughs and County Councils, where she specialised in the law relating to children’s and adult social care. She was a Principal Lawyer at Kingston Council for 7 years leading the Social Care & Education team before joining SLLP in 2013.  Neeta became Head of Law for the Social Care & Education team in April 2023, having previously held roles at SLLP as  senior lawyer, principal lawyer and Assistant of Head of Law for children’s social care and is also the Deputy Monitoring Officer for Richmond.

Meera Leavey, Assistant Head of Law for Education

Meera started her career at the London Borough of Sutton as a paralegal in 2000 carrying out Right to Buy conveyancing, and then stayed to become a trainee Solicitor.  She qualified in 2003 and remained at Sutton as the Assistant Lawyer specialising in Adult Social Care and Education work. She became a Senior Solicitor at Sutton in 2007 focussing on the same areas of Law, until she moved to the South London Legal Partnership in 2013.  Meera became Principal Lawyer for Adult Social Care and Education in 2019 and the Assistant Head of Law for Education in November 2023.  Meera leads the Education legal service for all 5 Boroughs served by SLLP and other Authorities who buy into our services.

Lucy Craig, Assistant Head of Law for Children Social Care

Lucy started her career in law working for the Crown Prosecution Service as a caseworker and then moved to Local Government to complete her legal training at London Borough of Harrow.  She qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and initially specialized in children’s social care and education law.  Lucy moved to London Borough of Merton in 2003 as Assistant Lawyer undertaking children and adult social care law and then later as Senior Lawyer mainly specializing in children’s social care law. Lucy became Assistant Head of Law in 2017 and she leads the children’s social care service for Merton and Sutton.

Pamela Clarke, Assistant Head of Law for Adults Social Care

Pamela qualified as an Attorney at Law in the Caribbean in 1981 and was admitted as a solicitor in the United Kingdom in 1988. She started her career in private practice and was in a legal aid general practice in London for 2 years before joining the London Borough of Camden. She has been in local government since 1990 during which period she specialised in Children Social Care Law, Adult Social Care Law, General Local Government Public Administration and Information Law at various stages of her career. Prior to leaving Camden in 2010, she was a Principal Solicitor and Deputy Monitoring Officer with responsibility for managing the Property, Housing and Adult Social Care teams. Pamela is particularly passionate about sharing legal knowledge and experience and joined colleagues to established a Law Society special interest group for adult social care local government lawyers in 1992, which she chaired until 2010. She continues to be actively involved in this activity and is currently co-chair of the London Lawyers in Local Government – Health and Adult Social Care special interest group. She joined LB Richmond upon Thames as a locum adult social care lawyer in 2010 and joined SLLP in 2011 when it was established. She became Assistant Head of Law in 2019 and leads the Adult Social Care team.