Alumni stories

Chris Goodwill, Consultant to Clifford Chance and Keystone Law, and ACAS Arbitrator

When I arrived at Lancaster, I planned to study English Literature, but after minoring in Law and Politics in Year 1, I was able to convert to Law - which set the course for my professional life. After leaving, I took an LLM at Cambridge and then qualified as a solicitor, specialising in employment law.

Since 1986, I have been with the same law firm, Clifford Chance. I became a partner in 1995 and global head of employment law in 2003. The firm, which belongs to the ‘Magic Circle’, has provided me with an endlessly challenging and highly rewarding career due in part to those at Lancaster who set me on the road to the ‘city’.

I have Lancaster to thank for some enduring friendships. A number of us still meet up occasionally to reminisce and visit old haunts, we are soon recounting (and embellishing) our shared experiences as students. I was very pleased to be asked to be an Ambassador for the University and to have an opportunity to offer a message of support to those debating whether to embark on student life at Lancaster. My answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’ - you may be about to start the best years of your life.

I retired as a partner in 2019 but continue as a Consultant to the firm and also to new model law firm, Keystone Law. I have also been appointed as an ACAS Arbitrator.

Chris Goodwill, Consultant to Clifford Chance and Keystone Law, and ACAS Arbitrator. LLB (Hons) Law, graduated in 1983

Photo of Chris Goodwill against a wooden wall

Her Honour Judge Carol Atkinson, Designated Family Judge for East London and Deputy High Court Judge

Carol graduated from the Law School in July 1984 and moved to London to sit her Bar Exams. She secured pupillage in a general common law set and was offered a tenancy immediately. She moved chambers once, before leading a merger between the family team at her chambers and the family team at another set, becoming a founding member in 1999 of the busy successful set at Coram Chambers in London, specialising in family law, but also experiencing a truly common law practice.

She was appointed a Recorder in the Crown Courtin 2000. Returning to the criminal law after nearly 15 years was both exciting and challenging. She was given civil and private law family tickets and in 2005 was one of the few part-time judges at that time to be given a ticket to hear public law cases.

Rather than apply for Silk, she decided to apply for judicial appointment, and in 2007 was appointed to the Circuit Bench sitting across three jurisdictions – family, crime and civil. In 2010 she was appointed to the Judicial College as a Tutor on the Family Course, where she still lectures.

In October 2013, in anticipation of the implementation of the Family Justice reforms and the division of London into three family justice regions, Carol was appointed Designated Family Judge for East London. She was given a unique opportunity to create the new East London Family Court from scratch across four local county courts with a brand new court building in Canary Wharf, London Docklands. East London now has the largest number of public law cases across the London region and across the country. They also take one half of all of London and Greater London private law and injunction cases. Carol leads a team of 11 Circuit Judges, 20 District Judges, 8 District Judges (Magistrates Court), and many legal advisors and Magistrates. In 2020 she was reappointed as DFJ and made a Senior Circuit Judge.

She was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2011, sitting for a number of weeks a year in the Family Division and hearing many High Court level cases at her base court. She also has a Court of Protection ticket and maintains her sittings in the Crown Court for a number of weeks a year.

Her keen interest in research has resulted in appointment by the President of the Family Division as Lead Judge for Research across Family Justice and she works in close collaboration with researchers and academics across the country but especially at Lancaster University.

Her Honour Judge Carol Atkinson, Designated Family Judge for East London and Deputy High Court Judge. LLB (Hons) Law, graduated 1984

Her Honour Judge Carol Atkinson
Daniel Jacklin, Consultant (Monitor Deloitte)

Daniel Jacklin, Consultant (Monitor Deloitte)

My experience at Lancaster University gave me an ideal start to my career. The combination of great teaching, diverse opportunities, and a friendly community gave me the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed going forward – along with many happy memories and close friends.

Daniel Jacklin, Consultant (Monitor Deloitte) LLB (Hons) Law, graduated in 2017

photograph of Hon. Marilyn Dumkelechukwu Okowa-Daramola

Hon. Marilyn Dumkelechukwu Okowa-Daramola

Hon. Marilyn Dumkelechukwu Okowa-Daramola is a Delta State House of Assembly Legislator in Nigeria. Elected to office in March 2023, she represents Ika Noth-East State Constituency. She is the Finance and Appropriation Committee Chair and Deputy Chair for Housing, Women's Affairs, Girl Child, and Humanitarian Support Services.

Hon. Okowa-Daramola holds a master’s degree in law (with a distinction) from Lancaster University (2013) and a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Nottingham (2010).

She started her Public Service Career as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Delta State on Girl Child Empowerment, where she headed the Girl Child Empowerment Office from July 2019 to March 2022. During her tenure, she pioneered Project GEST – the Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Training Programme, which occasioned the training and establishment of 1850 young female entrepreneurs in Delta State. She worked in the Central Bank of Nigeria as an Assistant Legal Officer between 2014 and 2018 and, before that, as an Associate in reputable law firms in Nigeria.

Hon. Marilyn Dumkelechukwu Okowa-Daramola, LLM International Law, graduated in 2013