Baljinder Singh Atwal
Bal is a Commercial Lawyer at West Midlands Police, the second largest police force in the country, specialising in Commercial Property and Commercial. Bal trained and qualified in international and global law firms before making the move in-house.
Bal enjoys the variety of work he can be involved in while in-house and the impact he can make across the whole organisation. Bal is a previous Co-Chair of the Birmingham Solicitor’s Group and a nationally elected Council Member for The Law Society representing Junior Lawyers (0-6 years PQE) across England and Wales. Outside of the day job, Bal is a big fan of the UFC.
Heidi is in-house Legal Counsel at Housing 21. With over 23 years’ experience in both commercial private practice, and as in-house legal counsel – Heidi manages a varied portfolio of work, dealing with all aspects of property and commercial matters.
In addition to sitting on various committees within her organisation, Heidi is also a Trustee on the Boards for: WAITS a charity supporting women fleeing domestic abuse; and The Endometriosis Foundation. As founder of the UK HRT & Menopause Support group Heidi is passionate about supporting and advocating for women’s health, she has previously attended Parliamentary APPG roundtable meetings; been a speaker on a radio show and featured on a news channel. Heidi grew up in South Africa. In her spare time she enjoys exploring her creative interests and the outdoors – walking, painting and photography.
Cleo Stewart is the In-House Lawyer of the Year Birmingham Law Society Legal Award winner (2022 – 2023) and shortlisted Black Lawyer of the Year. Currently, she works as a Consultant and Director for Stewart Hill Law Limited specialising in In-House Legal Consultancy, Commercial Contract and Property Law. Cleo also works separately as legal freelancer on Commercial Contracts, Property Law and as a Public Speaker. Cleo is also the current Chair of Birmingham Law Society In-House Committee raising the profile and advocating for the advancement and recognition of the excellent work of in-house lawyers.
Cleo also sits as an Independent Member of West Midlands Combined Authority Race Equalities Taskforce alongside strategic leaders from key public bodies contributing to research, drafting and implementation of a racial strategy for the region. The Taskforce’s work, though challenging, will make a lasting difference to the opportunities and lives of people from the West Midland’s diverse communities to achieve the vision that within the region ethnicity, race and heritage should never be obstacles to people having a fair start in life or the opportunity for people to reach their full potential and flourish.
Cleo is passionate about her work, which requires not only excellent legal and commercial acumen, but also compassion and an in-depth understanding of the personality dynamics of the multiplicity of customers and colleagues with a view that more diversity produces a more skilled and motivated workforce. Cleo therefore recognises senior management and boards need to demand strong levels of accountability, responsibility, respect and confidence from its members in order to transcend bias and accomplish fair outcomes for all. It is vital to accommodate and embrace diversity in all areas of business especially from leadership teams.
Deputy Chief Crown Prosecution, Crown Prosecution Service
An empathetic and intuitive solicitor, with decades of legal and business experience, from working in Top Tier law firms to running a High Street practice, Michael has been part of the In-House world since 2018. Michael is currently Head of Information Governance and Legal Services in a large Birmingham NHS Trust.
Michael has recently returned from two decades in South Africa, where he combined a legal, business and debt recovery consultancy with various grass roots humanitarian projects. He provides balanced and pragmatic counsel in an increasingly complex world.
I am a Senior Legal Counsel working at a leading consumer insights technology company, Zappi. My role mianly involves reviewing commercial contracts (customer and supplier agreements); handling IP and data protection queries amongst other matters in-house. I enjoy travelling and in my spare time doing creative activities such as drawing.
Past President of Birmingham Law Society
Siobhan Blake is the Chief Crown Prosecutor of the West Midlands. She was appointed to this post in April 2021.
Prior to this role she was the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Mersey-Cheshire Area. She took up the appointment in 2016.
Siobhan qualified as a solicitor having studied law at Southampton and joined the CPS in 1994 as a trainee solicitor. After qualification Siobhan worked in private practice for a period before returning to the CPS.
Siobhan is an experienced prosecutor who specialises rape and serious sexual offences prosecutions. She is the CCP lead for RASSO and has advised upon and prosecuted many high-profile cases. As the Chief Crown Prosecutor of the West Midlands, she is responsible for the criminal prosecutions conducted within a geographic area which is home for 6 million people.