Junior Lawyers' DIVISION


News from the JLD – June 2021

Introduction to the Committee of the Devon & Somerset JLD for 2021.



Holly Crook - Chair


Holly is a Solicitor at the Family Law Company. Holly has returned to the committee for a second year having previously acted as vice chair last year.


In her role as chair, Holly is looking forward to a successful year with the committee, supporting the DSJLD becoming a larger networking group as well as increasing our charitable donation for the year and continuing to provide interesting and engaging events to help junior lawyers connect across the two counties in a safe way.


 Ben Thomson - Vice Chair


Ben is a Solicitor at Ashfords. Ben has returned to the JLD Committee having previously been the Chair in 2017-18 and the Education Secretary in 2016-17.


Ben is looking forward to helping continue the great work of the DSJLD, including by further promoting the growth of the society and strengthening its relationship with sponsors. Ben will use his previous experience on the committee to ensure that the society remains an enjoyable and varied place for members to make new connections.



Josh O’Neill - Sports Representative


I am a Solicitor at Tozers and Sports Representative at the Devon & Somerset JLD. My aim is to put on an engaging programme of sporting events and activities with something for everyone. A particular highlight in our calendar is the annual JLD vs DASLS rounders match and the summer Canoe & Kayak event at the Quay in Exeter. Like many of us during lockdown the lack of outdoor activity has been something I have sorely missed. Once restrictions allow I hope to make up for lost time with a varied and full list of activities and sporting events for all physical abilities and interests. We may even tempt fate with the British summer and hold our first ever summer beach event. 


Jo Price - Communications Secretary


Jo is a first-year trainee at Stephens Scown and joins the committee as Communications Secretary this year. Having recently moved to Exeter from London, Jo is keen to promote DSJLD’s services and events to a wider audience, as well as  communicating the benefits available in pursuing a legal career in the South West. Groups such as the DSJLD provide a unique opportunity to build both your personal and professional network which is why one of Jo’s main aims is to increase the social media presence of the DSJLD with the ultimate goal of simplifying the process for juniors lawyers and newcomers to the South West to connect with the group and its great events!



Emily Dyas - Secretary and Treasurer


Emily is continuing in her role from 2020 as Secretary and Treasurer of the committee and is looking forward to a new year of events and activities for the DSJLD and its members. Emily is a solicitor in the commercial real estate department at Trowers and Hamlins.


Please do contact Emily with any questions you have about membership and joining the JLD as a corporate member (as part of your firm) or as an individual.



Bethany Edmunds - Charity Representative


Bethany is a solicitor working in-house at Devon County Council in the childcare team. She has recently moved back to Exeter and is getting used to working from home and the joys of virtual hearings.  As Charity Representative, Bethany is looking forward to getting involved with the social and sports events to raise as much money and awareness as possible for our chosen charity, Devon Freewheelers. They are a great cause, providing 24/7 support to the NHS, and have been an invaluable asset to Devon, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.



Jessica Whittick - Diversity and Inclusivity Officer and National Representative


Jessica is a first-year trainee solicitor at Tozers LLP in Exeter, as National Representative she is responsible for representing the DASLS Junior Lawyers Division at national meetings and corresponding with other National Representatives nationwide. In both of her committee roles her key areas of focus this year are mental health, neurodiversity, inclusion and the challenges facing junior lawyers and fee earners in light of the pandemic. She will facilitate open discussion at a local level and ensure that the issues raised are discussed and actioned accordingly on a national level.


Machaela O'Brien - Social Secretary


Machaela is a Trainee Legal Executive at The Family Law Company. Machaela is a new member of the DSJLD and is thrilled to join the committee as Social Secretary.


As Social Secretary, Machaela is looking forward to meeting all of the current members and introducing new members to the JLD and is keen to organise fun social events once lockdown eases to give members the opportunity to build connections with other junior lawyers and professionals in the area.


Kimberley May – Education Secretary


Kimberley is a paralegal at The Family Law Company.


Kimberley is a continuing member of the DSJLD, having joined as part of the 2019-2020 committee, and is excited to continue her role as Education Representative.  Having started her role at The Family Law Company as an office Junior and having progressed to paralegal, Kim is keen to ensure informative events are held to encourage those considering law as a career, alongside organising relevant training sessions for those who are looking to further develop their knowledge. 


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