She is currently mainly dividing her time between working as communications and campaigns director at the award-winning charity Just for Kids Law, consultant at The Legal Education Foundation, and commissioning editor for Legal Voice, the news website aimed at access to justice professionals.
During her stint as editor of Legal Action (October 2014 to February 2016), the magazine won the 2015 Halsbury award for legal journalism.
The judging panel praised Legal Action as ‘this extraordinary publication and its small and hugely talented team for reinvention. Its commitment to publicly funded law is unmatched, as is its insightful and exceptional reporting.’
She worked on Just for Kids successful #stillachildat17 campaign, which led to a change in the law to give better protection to arrested 17 year olds; and is now involved in Let us Learn, which supports children from migrant backgrounds who are blocked from going to university. Watch its ‘Young, Gifted and Blocked’ campaign film here.
In May 2015, she co-founded Act for the Act, with barristers Caoilfhionn Gallagher and Martha Spurrier. This ground-breaking, crowd-funded campaign, run entirely by volunteers, aims to generate public support for the Human Rights Act in the face of Conservative government plans to scrap the act.
Fiona was co-founder and is coordinator of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (in conjunction with the Legal Aid Practitioners Group). Now into their 16th year, the LALYs are a unique, non-profit-making celebration of the work of lawyers at the legal aid coalface.
From 2013-2014, she worked (part-time) as research and communications director of Legal Action Group’s Immigration and Asylum Law Project (funded by New York-based Unbound Philanthropy). She wrote its ‘Chasing Status’ report (published October 2014), about the plight of ‘surprised Brits’, who find they are living with irregular immigration status.
From September 2011 to July 2012, she worked as senior researcher for the Guardian/London School of Economics research project, ‘Reading the Riots’, which investigated the August 2011 disturbances.
She is co-author of ‘Ricin! The inside story of the terror plot that never was’ (Pluto Publishing, 2010), which was written with Lawrence Archer, who was the foreman of the jury in the case. In this ground-breaking book, Fiona and Lawrence debunk the myths that still surround the 2005 so-called ‘ricin plot trial’, and expose the way the case was seized on by politicians here and in the US to bolster the ‘war on terror’ in the run up to the Iraq invasion.
Fiona was deputy chair of the campaigning group Women in Journalism from 2008-2013, and has been involved with the group since its launch in 1995. She has led two key pieces of WiJ research into the impact of the press on young people, ‘Hoodies or Altar Boys: What is media demonisation doing to our British boys?’; and ‘Am I Bovvered? What are teenage girls really thinking? How is the media shaping the ambitions and aspirations of the next generation of young women?’ (2007). Most recently, she was involved with WiJ’s research. ‘Seen but not heard – how women make front page news’, published in October 2012.
In 2010, she completed a masters degree (distinction) in Criminology at Kings College London, during which she expanded her earlier research for Women in Journalism into media stereotyping of teenage boys for her dissertation.