Kerry UnderwoodSenior Partner and Solicitor
Kerry is an acknowledged expert on funding, costs, regulatory matters relating to fee arrangements between solicitors and clients, and the legal system generally.
He is the author of several books on these matters.
He is a former Judge, current author, lecturer, broadcaster and a former Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate.
Kerry has extensive experience in virtually all types of litigation and has appeared as an advocate in many high profile and reported cases.
Kerry is mentioned in the Dictionary of International Biography, Debrett’s People of Today and American Biography Institute – Great Minds of the 21st Century. Kerry is a Regional Committee Member of the Lord’s Taverners Charity for disadvantaged children and is Knight Commander of the Order of St John (for charity work). He is a patron of Cape Town Opera.
Kerry travels extensively and home is his beloved adopted town of Hemel Hempstead.
In his spare time Kerry enjoys watching cricket and football and can be found during the football season cheering on QPR and Hemel Hempstead Town FC. Underwoods Solicitors is a Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador. He also enjoys gardening and reading. Nelson Mandela, TS Eliot and Elvis are amongst his heroes.
Robert MalesManaging Partner and Solicitor
Robert has over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of litigation matters including personal injury, clinical negligence and building and contract disputes. He also has considerable experience on advising companies both small and large on a range of business issues. He has a particular specialism in stress at work claims having been successful in the leading case of Dickins v O2 in the Court of Appeal.
Robert is also experienced in Corporate Insolvency having acted for the Insolvency Practitioners in the winding up of the Cambridge Analytica group of companies. Robert used his extensive knowledge of Data Protection issues when dealing with the Information Commissioners Office in relation to this high-profile case.
Robert has contributed to Butterworths Personal Injury Law service and other legal journals. Robert also appears on local radio and national radio as an expert on a variety of legal issues.
Robert is a member of the Lord's Taverners Charity for disadvantaged children.
Robert is also a Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador and legal adviser to Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club.
In his spare time Robert can be found umpiring hockey games or aiming for a hole in one on the golf course.
Caitlin BurgerConveyancing Manager
Caitlin has re-joined Underwoods Solicitors as Conveyancing Manager having previously worked for Underwoods in their South African Office as Office Manager.
Caitlin has spent the last 6 years in busy residential and commercial real estate departments of law firms and specialises in residential conveyancing, having worked with both individual clients and developers.
Caitlin has a passion for conveyancing and understands that moving home can be a stressful time for her clients and is committed to providing a service second to none, and making sure her clients are informed and updated every step of the way.
Caitlin's life away from work is dedicated to her family and her rescue animals. She loves horse riding, cooking, reading and anything to do with Harry Potter.
Imtiaz is a solicitor who joined Underwoods in April 2019. He deals with a wide range of private client matters including Probate, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys.
Imtiaz completed his LLB at the University of Buckingham and went further to complete his LPC at the University of Hertfordshire. Following the completion of studies, Imtiaz joined a High Street firm in Hertfordshire where he secured a Training Contract. Imtiaz was admitted to the Rolls of Solicitors in February 2019.
In his spare time Imtiaz enjoys socialising with friends and family.
Jatin PatelTrainee Solicitor
Jatin is training to become a Solicitor. After completing his LLB and LPC Jatin secured the positon of Trainee Solicitor at Underwoods Solicitors.
Jatin is involved within all the areas of law that Underwoods deal with and works alongside the Partners and Solicitors on their caseloads as well as carrying out various administrative tasks.
Jatin enjoys his time off work socialising with his friends and family. He keeps active by attending the gym and regular yoga sessions. Jatin also has a keen interest in football and supports his hometown club, Aston Villa.
Claire LongAdvertising and Marketing Manager
Claire is responsible for all marketing and business development activities within the firm including direct marketing, digital marketing, advertising, seminar and event planning, sponsorship and PR.
Claire has over thirteen years’ marketing experience within the professional services industry.
With a height of only 4ft 10.5in Claire is smaller than petite Australian singer Kylie Minogue.
In her spare time Claire enjoys keeping fit, trips to the theatre and spending quality family time with her husband and two daughters.
Emily WalkerLegal Assistant
Emily is likely to be the voice you hear on the phone and the face that greets you at the door. Behind the scenes, Emily is responsible for most tasks involved in the day to day running of a Law firm but her priority is to assist the partners and solicitors with any ad hoc tasks that need doing.
Emily joined Underwoods after completing her Law Degree and decided that she wanted to get a feel for what it is like to work in a law firm before pursuing the LPC and training contract.
Emily prides herself on being a people’s person, resilient and her ability to cope under pressure.
In her spare time she enjoys a glass of prosecco or two at the weekend with friends and days out in central London – her favourite place.
Phoebe RangerParliamentary Liaison Officer
Phoebe started work at Underwoods part time when she was 16 in-between studying for her A Levels and has continued to work part time whilst studying for her degree in musical theatre. Phoebe is currently studying for her masters before continuing to do a PhD.
Phoebe is now seconded part-time, funded by Underwoods Solicitors, to the House of Commons where she works as Parliamentary Assistant to Sir Mike Penning MP, the Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead.
Phoebe assists Kerry in liaising with senior politicians from both of the main political parties.
Phoebe is responsible for answering and dealing with incoming telephone and email queries and welcoming clients into the office, opening and closing client files, scanning and destroying, and supporting the Solicitors and Partners with any administration work that needs doing.
In her spare time Phoebe enjoys going to the gym, spending time with friends and reading.
Georgina MalesHuman Resources Consultant
Georgina is our Human Resources Consultant. She has worked with us as our HR Manager in preparation for this contractor role.
Georgina has a post-graduate Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and a modern languages degree from the University of Leeds.
Georgina is currently the HR Advisor for BRE Group, and was previously an HR Business Advisor for easyJet.
Georgina has a keen interest in environmental sustainability and a passion for the South African outback; she hopes to do some conservation work there in the future.
In her spare time Georgina enjoys reading and spending time with her partner and their nephews
Tracy OntongOffice Manager
Tracy Ontong, born in Paarl the heart of the Boland Cape, joined the company in 2015 as a legal typist and is based in the South African office. Tracy took over general management of the company and works closely with the Senior Partner of the firm.
Her role involves administration in the office as well as Human Resources and financial duties.
Tracy is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.
In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, reading and being close to the beach. She has a son and absolutely loves spending time with him.
JP La GrangeLegal Secretary
JP La Grange works as a Legal Secretary, contributing to the typing of legal documents etc.
JP enjoys writing articles, some of which have appeared in school newspapers. He is also a brilliant artist and enjoys drawing and has done illustrations for books and other forms of media
It is JP who designs and sets the popular and influential Hemel Hempstead Newsletter as well as assisting Claire Long in relation to the Underwoods Solicitors Newsletter.
He also loves music and in his spare time plays the guitar. He is a quiet person and so a fitting saying that describes him would be “Still waters run deep”.
Charney LateganLegal Secretary
Charney Lategan, born in Paarl, works for Underwoods Solicitors as a Legal Secretary based at the South African office.
She is a Human Resource Management Graduate and has four years of experience in various roles such as Receptionist, Admin Assistant, Data Capturer and HR In-service Trainee.
Charney has a passion for working with people, being client orientated as well as working with fellow employees. She believes being professional and consistent all the time is a very important aspect.
Charney is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.
In her spare time Charney enjoys music, reading and the company of her beautiful funny daughter.
Michelle GermishuysLegal Secretary
Michelle Germishuys – Born in Paarl, is a legal secretary and is based at the South African office.
Michelle has been in the retail industry for 10 years. She is well organised and considers prioritising of importance. Michelle is a team player and aims to satisfy organisational goals as well as her own. When there is an opportunity to learn new things and gain more experience, Michelle takes it as a challenge and makes the best of it.
Michelle is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.
Michelle enjoys listening to music, reading and spending every possible minute she can with her precious daughter.
Dominique SimpsonLegal Secretary
Dominique was born in Cape Town and raised in Paarl and is an undergraduate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. She has worked in different fields of administration as well as retail groups.
Dominique has a love for working with disabled children, since her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and she believes in seeing the good in any human being.
Dominique is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.
She comes from a musical background, although cannot sing or play an instrument and loves spending her free time reading or going to historical buildings.
Tamson OlivierLegal Secretary
Tamson Olivier joined the company in February 2019. She studied Hospitality Management and worked in the Hospitality industry for a few years. Becoming part of the team has been an experience and although this is all new to her, she enjoys working as a Legal Secretary and it has been an amazing learning curve for her.
She would someday love to further her studies within the Law and wish to focus a bit more on Family Law. Many single mothers out there need help, and she would like to make a difference in some of their lives.
She enjoys music, spending time with family and friends. She has a beautiful daughter whom she would do anything and give everything for
Julius MupingaProperty Maintenance
Julius was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in 2009. He has been working for Underwoods Solicitors since 2017.
Julius is in charge of the property maintenance at the office in Wellington, South Africa and the extensive grounds and gardens.
In his spare time, Julius loves spending time with his two children at home and visits his eldest son in the Northern Cape when on holiday.
Julius also enjoys watching football and listening to music.
Andrew McCabeWeb Manager
Andrew created our website including the online booking and payment systems. He also manages our email system. He's worked with Underwoods for 14 years.
He lives in the south of Spain between the mountains and the sea.