Dispute resolution, general litigation, accident and professional negligence claims, housing, welfare benefits, social and medical needs

The Hansen Palomares Team

Ole Hansen - Partner

Ole Hansen now works mainly on general and commercial litigation, professional negligence and personal injury cases. He trained and practised in the City before deciding that there was more to legal life than looking after large corporations and accepting an invitation from a legal aid firm in Hackney. He later spent 7 years as Co-Director and Director of the Legal Action Group and then combined work as a journalist, lecturer, legal consultant, and television producer/presenter before returning to full-time practice in 1995, setting up Ole Hansen & Co, which is now Hansen Palomares. He is a member of the Law Society Access to Justice Committee and a director of the Colombia Caravana of Lawyers.

Ole has a long-standing interest in co-operative law. He was one of the drafters of the Industrial Common Ownership Act 1976 and the model constitutions for worker co-operatives promoted by the Industrial Common Ownership Movement (now part of Co-operatives UK). He has written three books and innumerable articles on legal practice. In 2005 he was the Legal Aid Practitioners' Group "Legal Aid Personality of the Year". Since going back into full time practice in 1995 he has not had much time for writing

Ole is fluent in Danish and speaks some Spanish.

His reported cases include:

David Truex (A Firm) v Simone Kitchin [2007) EWCA Civ 618

Michael Archangel v Lambeth Borough Council (2001) 33 HLR 480

Bigden and others v Lambeth Borough Council (2001) HLR (2001) 33 HLR 478

Waters v Metropolitan Police Commissioner HL (2000) 4 All ER 934

Eileen Annette Waters v Sarah Ruth Maguire LTL 13/5/99


Maria Mercedes Palomares - Partner

Maria Mercedes Palomares is the partner in overall charge of our housing and community care work. Maria specialises in access to housing and social services with focus on the rights of disabled people, migrant workers and asylum seekers. She has particular experience in representing mentally incapacitated people.

Maria was born in Colombia. After studying sociology she obtained post-graduate qualifications in welfare economics and housing/planning and trained as a social worker in the UK. She set up community organisations for Latin American women and has been involved in promoting the rights of migrant and refugee women as well as international human rights.

From 1983 onwards Maria was employed in law centres as a housing adviser before becoming involved in setting up Ole Hansen and Co and qualifying as a solicitor in 1996.

Her reported cases include:

Osei v Southwark LBC [2007] EWCA Civ 787

Anufrijeva v LB Southwark [2003] EWCA Civ 1406

R v Southwark LBC ex p Kuzjeva [2002] EWCA Civ 781

R v Secretary of State v Consuela Hashmi LTL 25/4/2002

R (on the application of Savva) v Kensington & Chelsea Royal London Borough Council [2010] EWCA Civ 1209


Lara ten Caten - Associate

Lara ten Caten works mainly in community care and housing. She has particular expertise in obtaining social services support for under 18 asylum seekers (especially where the age is in dispute) and for children leaving care.

Lara was born in Brazil, trained with us and qualified as a solicitor in June 2004. Previously she specialised in mental health law in a law centre and in private practice. She also undertook voluntary work as an advocate for gays and lesbians with mental health problems.

Lara is a native Portuguese speaker and also speaks fluent Spanish and is proficient in French.

Her reported cases include:

M v Croydon London Borough Council [2012] EWCA Civ 595

Gordon Binomugisha v Southwark London Borough Council [2006] EWHC 2254 (Admin)

Lambeth London Borough Council (2) Hyde Southbank v O’Kane; [2005] EWCA Civ 1010


Christian Hansen - Associate

Christian Hansen is head of our housing department. He has particular expertise in homelessness, possession and disrepair and is an experienced advocate. He has been a supervisor of housing cases and has been a duty advocate in possession cases at Lambeth County Court.

Christian studied social anthropology at university before training as a lawyer. He qualified as a solicitor in 2002 after training with us.

In 2011 he advised over 1,300 Crown Estate tenants in negotiations over their tenancy conditions and the sale of their homes to a housing association.

His reported cases include

Crown Estate Commissioners v (1) Governors of the Peabody Trust (2) Margaret Poplak [2011] EWHC 1467 (Ch)


Jacobo Borrero - Associate - Office Manager

Jacobo Borrero is head of our welfare benefits department and has particular knowledge and expertise in protecting the rights of citizens of the European Union living in the UK. He also specialises in housing law, including possession, and disrepair and personal injury claims. Jacobo qualified in May 2011 after training with us. He has been a duty advocate in possession cases at Lambeth County Court.

Jacobo also acts as office manager. He is in charge of our administration and is our first point of contact for IT support. He has customised our case management system and developed and implemented the automation of document templates.

Jacobo was born in Colombia, is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks some Portuguese.


Cordelia Prokofiev - Associate

Cordelia Prokofiev studied English literature before studying law. She trained with us and qualified as a solicitor in November 2011. She has been a duty advocate in possession cases at Lambeth County Court.

Cordelia specialises in housing, community care and welfare benefits law.

Cordelia speaks Spanish and some Russian and French.


Laura Sarkis - Associate

Laura Sarkis is at present on maternity leave. Laura studied Law and Hispanic Law which involved a year studying in Madrid. She then completed the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School as a Jules Thorn Scholar of Middle Temple and was admitted as a barrister in 2010. Laura qualified as a solicitor in August 2012 after training with us. She specialises in housing law, community care and welfare benefits.

She is Vice-Chair of the Camden Independent Custody Visitors, a role which involves unannounced visits to police stations to ensure detainees’ rights are being respected whilst in custody.

Laura speaks Spanish and is conversational in both French and Armenian.


Julian Becker - Paralegal

Julian Becker is a paralegal who assists our solicitors. He studied Economics and Spanish and worked in different research and analytical roles in the private and non-profit sectors before completing a law conversion course and the Legal Practice Course.

Julian speaks Spanish.


Thomas Orrell - Paralegal

Thomas Orrell is a paralegal who assists our solicitors. He studied International Relations and completed the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School.

Tom speaks Greek and some French and Spanish.


Begoņa Roca - Administrative Assistant

Begoņa Roca’s responsibilities include archiving, assisting with accounts and undertaking translations into Spanish and Portuguese. She is from Galicia and has an interest in languages. She has an English Language and Literature degree and has studied translation and subtitling.

Begoņa also speaks Galician.


Rocio Calero - Receptionist

Rocio Calero is in charge of reception and is the firm's first point of contact. She is from Gran Canaria, Spain, and is a graduate in English and American Literature. She is a native Spanish speaker and understands some Portuguese.

Rocio is interested in music and literature.


Martha Silva - Accountant

Martha Silva carries out all our financial functions including management accounts, payroll, VAT and maintenance of the client account. She grew up in Colombia where she obtained a degree in computer sciences and also studied systems engineering. She came to the UK in 1985 and retrained as a Book-keeper / Accountant, working in a firm of chartered accountants specialising in the voluntary sector. Twelve years ago Marta became self employed and one of her first jobs was as accountant to our firm. She has been here ever since.

Marta is a native Spanish speaker.