The Examination Board for the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information ("PC.foi") is comprised of the following FOI experts:



PDP Training | Damien Welfare - Barrister - Cornerstone Barristers

Damien Welfare
Cornerstone Barristers


Damien Welfare came to the Bar in 2001 after a career in Local Government. He specialises in freedom of information, data protection and the Environmental Information Regulations.

He appears in the Information Tribunal, advises on all aspects of information law, and speaks and writes regularly on information law matters.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of Freedom of Information Journal.


Paul Gibbons

Paul Gibbons
FOIMan (Blogger)



Paul Gibbons is best known for his FOIMan blog, and is also a consultant and trainer specialising in information rights. Paul is the author of The Freedom of Information Officer’s Handbook.

Paul started his career as an archivist and records manager, holding the post of Parliamentary Records Manager at one stage. In 2003 he moved to the Greater London Authority to set up its FOI procedures and provide advice on the new law to the Mayor of London and colleagues. Since then he has worked in a hospital trust and in higher education in information governance roles. He has also provided advice to the government of the Isle of Man on the implementation of their new FOI law.

Paul has a Masters in Law (with distinction) in Information Rights, Law and Practice along with a Masters in Archives Administration. He is special contributor to Freedom of Information Journal


Jonathan Baines Buckinghamshire County Council

Jonathan Baines
FOI Compliance &
Appeals Manager
Network Rail


Jonathan Baines is FOI Compliance & Appeals Manager at Network Rail.  He advises on data protection, freedom of information and privacy and surveillance matters. Jonathan holds a Master of Laws qualification in Information Rights Law and Practice from Northumbria University and gives talks and training on the subject to both internal and external clients.

Jonathan was recently elected as Chairman of NADPO (National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers).

He is also a Special Advisor for Freedom of Information Journal.



Patricia Barratt Lawyer Clifford Chance

Patricia Barratt
Clifford Chance


Patricia Barratt has been a lawyer with Clifford Chance since 1991. She has extensive experience of advising on all aspects of parliamentary and public policy related work with particular expertise in parliamentary procedure, freedom of information and standards of conduct in public life, including advice on corruption and political donations.

She travels regularly to Brussels for meetings of the European Services Forum Policy Committee, a pan-European organisation representing the interests of the services industry. She speaks frequently on freedom of information, and is a contributing author of the Law Society’s Freedom of Information Handbook, as well as co-author of the Clifford Chance guide to the Freedom of Information Act.

Patricia is a Member of the Editorial Board for Freedom of Information Journal.



Estelle Dehon, Cornerstone Barristers

Estelle Dehon
Cornerstone Barristers



Estelle Dehonis a public law barrister practising at Cornerstone Barristers. She works across a wide range of areas, including information law and environmental law. She is a member of the European Commission’s Multistakeholder Expert Group on the GDPR, which assists the Commission in dealing with potential challenges in implementing the GDPR across Europe. Estelle’s information law practice entails providing advice and advocacy in matters concerning data protection and the GDPR, freedom of information and environmental information. She has experience of appearing before the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) and of pursuing and resisting damages claims in the High Court alleging breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Estelle is a contributor to Coppel’s “Information Rights” (4th edn), having co-authored the chapter on “The Influence of the European Convention on Human Rights".




Liz Fitzsimons, Eversheds Sutherland

Liz Fitzsimons
Senior Associate
Eversheds Sutherland


Liz Fitzsimons is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland specialising in data protection and freedom of information. She works for a wide range of clients, both public and private sector, including in the education, health, transport, energy and government arenas. Liz has experience in helping clients with complex and sensitive information requests, internal appeals, defending complaints to the ICO and working with the Information Tribunal. She has advised on publication schemes, FOI planning and strategy, contractual provisions and negotiations, confidentiality arrangements and related data rooms, policies and procedures. Liz also advises on EIR issues.




PDP Training | Hazel Grant - Partner - Bristows

Hazel Grant


Hazel Grant is a Partner at Bristows, specialising in public procurements, complex information technology projects and information law. Hazel advises on data protection compliance, government data sharing projects, responses to FOI requests and handling appeals to decision notices. Hazel is an editor of the Encyclopedia of Data Protection and Privacy, and a contributing editor for the Encyclopedia of Information Technology Law. She has worked with central government departments and other public bodies such as the DCA, DWP, Ofwat, Defra, VOSA and special health authorities. Hazel is a member of the Editorial Board of Freedom of Information Journal.




Robin Hopkins




Robin Hopkins is a Barrister at 11KBW in London. A major part of Robin’s practice involves advisory and litigation work on freedom of information, data protection and environmental information matters. He regularly appears in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals on issues ranging from national security to commercial confidentiality, often against or alongside silks or senior juniors.

Robin’s notable recent cases include Bruton v IC and Duchy of Cornwall (Duchy of Cornwall a public authority for EIR purposes), Marriott v IC and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (police information on the “Jack the Ripper” case), All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition v IC and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK’s role in rendition to Guantanamo Bay) and Chichester District Council v IC and Friel (local authority planning decisions and commercial confidentiality).

Together with Tim Pitt-Payne QC and Anya Proops, Robin edits the Information Law Reports. He also regularly advises public and private sector parties on data protection duties and on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Robin is a Member of the Editorial Board of Freedom of Information Journal.


PDP Training | James Leaton Gray - BBC

James Leaton Gray
Head of Policy
& Compliance

James Leaton Gray heads the BBC’s Information Policy and Compliance Department. He oversees the operation of the Corporation’s systems for compliance with the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. His team are involved in many high profile cases in this rapidly evolving area of the law.

James has been working in broadcasting, mainly for the BBC, for over 30 years. Before joining the Strategy Division he was a programme maker and spent much of his time in political journalism. He edited many of the BBC’s Political and Parliamentary programmes including Today/Yesterday in Parliament, The Week in Westminster, Westminster Live, and the documentary series Scrutiny. James is a member of the Royal Television Society and the Radio Academy.


PDP Training | Jackie Gray - Director - Dickinson Dees

Jackie Gray
Dickinson Dees

Jackie Gray  is a Director in the Public Services Team at Dickinson Dees. She has acted on a variety of PPP/PFI Projects and advised on a wide range of public sector commercial work, with particular expertise in BSF, IT and outsourcing.

Jackie specialises in Freedom of Information and Data Protection for Public Sector clients but advises on all aspects of information governance in the Public Sector.

Jackie has worked with public authorities on the implementation of FOI and advises on the application of exemptions in relation to specific requests, handling reviews and appeals and dealing with information requests and confidentiality issues in public procurements. She also advises on a wide range of data protection issues including data sharing arrangements, subject access requests, dealing with data security issues and advising on compliance programmes.

She regularly provides client training on FOI and DPA and speaks at conferences and presents seminars on information law issues. Jackie has had a number of articles published and is an Editorial Board member of the Freedom of Information Journal.


PDP Training | Hazel Moffat - Partner - DLA Piper

Hazel Moffat
DLA Piper

Hazel Moffat is a Partner at DLA Piper and is a key member of the firm’s Information Law Group. She specialises particularly in freedom of information, data protection, data sharing and privacy. Hazel has worked with both public and private sector clients on all aspects of information law including central government departments on major data sharing projects, global financial institutions, parliamentary authorities and the UK Information Commissioner.

Hazel is a Member of the Examination Board for the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information and is a Member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Accreditation Panel for FOI and data protection.

Hazel is a member of the Editorial Board of Freedom of Information Journal


Lynn Wyeth

Lynn Wyeth
Head of Information
Leicester City Council

Lynn Wyeth is the Head of Information Governance and Risk at Leicester City Council. Having previously worked as an MP and MEP’s political assistant, Lynn moved to her local council where she now oversees the Council’s Information Governance agenda including data protection, Freedom of Information, information sharing, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, transparency and CCTV. Lynn is the author of two books, ‘A Practical Guide to Handling Freedom of Information Requests’ and ‘Data Protection: Compliance in Practice’. She also contributed a chapter to the book 'Freedom Fighters or Lazy Journalism: Critical reflections on freedom of information' edited by John Mair and Tom Felle. She previously advised the Government of Jersey on the implementation of Freedom of Information legislation prior to its launch on the island. She is an Editorial Board Member and Contributor to Freedom of Information Journal, and currently undertaking a PhD on Freedom of Information and the media/pressure groups in local government, and any unintended consequences



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