Legal Team

We cover a broad spectrum of legal, and other related matters in the course of our work. We work with staff and students, as well as a number of of external agencies, including the School's external lawyers. However, we are not usually able to provide advice on private matters such as work projects outside of the terms of employment or housing matters for students. The LSESU Advice Service offers advice on a number of housing and academic processes. Please click here for more details. 

We can offer advice and support on:

  1. bullying and harassment
  2. contracts and other agreements
  3. dispute resolution
  4. equality and diversity
  5. ethics
  6. free speech
  7. governance
  8. information management (including data protection and freedom of information)
  9. insurance
  10. intellectual property
  11. personal injury
  12. policy making
  13. student misconduct issues


Who we are

Kevin Haynes, Head of Legal Team
Kevin's background is in compliance, regulation, complaints and litigation. He is responsible for the School’s Legal Team, which deals with student complaints, litigation and misconduct cases, dispute resolution, contracts and other legal agreements, Data Protection and Freedom of Information, ethics, insurance, Intellectual Property, records management and the School’s relationship with external providers of legal services.

Tel. 020 79557823 |

Refel Ismail, Senior Legal Counsel

Refel is a qualified Solicitor with a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law. She has several years of experience working in private practice, within the legal section of a Government Department and the Council. Additionally, she has worked within the legal team of  a charity and a non-governmental organisation on a pro bono basis.  Prior to joining the London School of Economics and Political Science, she was the Head of Legal Affairs at an Embassy in London.

Refel is currently responsible for dealing with various legal matters,  preparing, advising and amending various contracts and other types of agreements, advising and dealing with student cases, complaints and disciplinary matters, litigation and dispute resolution, Intellectual property issues, data protection, insurance and updating and developing various policies and procedures of the School.

Tel. 020 7955 6171 |


Mariachiara Valsecchi, Legal Counsel
Mariachiara is a double qualified lawyer, a qualified solicitor since 2017 and holds an LLM degree in International Business Law. She has more than 15 years’ experience in private practice in Italy (Milan and Rome), where she specialised in banking and business law by advising large banking institutions and companies, and managing complex litigation. She then extended her legal expertise into employment and contract law and copyright. Mariachiara joined LSE in January 2021 as a legal counsel. She regularly reviews and drafts contracts, grants and other legal agreements. She deals with students’ complaints and disciplinary matters; advises on Intellectual Property and Data Protection enquiries, and works closely with the rest of her Team for the development of the School’s Policies and Procedures. 

Tel: 020 7106 1919 | 



Rachael Maguire, Information and Records Manager
Rachael is the School's Data Protection Officer (DPO) and responsible for records management, managing FoI and DPA requests, managing DPA queries and compliance, developing policies, procedures, briefings, training materials and guidelines relating to records management and information rights. She is the Chair of the Information Management Steering Group. Rachael is a member of the Information Governance Management Board, Research Data Management Working Group and other groups as DPO, including leading the Data Protection Champions network.

Tel: 020 7849 4622 |


Bhavika Dhanak-Jodha, Information and Records Management Assistant

Bhavika manages Freedom of Information Requests and Data Protection Act requests. She also helps Rachael where needed for other day to day activities. 

Tel: 020 7107 5687 |


Sarah Anou, Audit and Insurance Officer

Sarah is responsible for coordinating internal audit activity and insurance within the School. She has audit and risk experience in the HE and healthcare sectors, as well as experience in project management.


Melissa Nicholson, Head of International Compliance (IGC)

Melissa has overall responsibility within the LSE for monitoring and managing all compliance and governance related requirements related to the School’s registered international entities and the International Growth Centre (IGC) activities in its countries of operation. She is responsible for international risk and security management; international tax, registration, and regulatory compliance (T&RC) and related due diligence for the IGC activities and programmes. She has expert knowledge of international regulatory and ethical compliance matters, due diligence,  risk management and safeguarding.

Tel: 020 7955 6144 |