Embassy | Consular Conference 2015

Andile Makubalo (South African High Commission) meets Sue Ackerman (Rowland Brothers International)

Cabeer and Shabnam Ahmed of Hartley Bain Solicitors

Visas on the move: Ashwin Balse (VFS Global) demonstrates biometric enrolment to Chirelle Sciberras (Malta) with VFS’s mobile kit

Consuls get down to some serious networking over coffee

Lina Goncalves (Portugal) meets Lucy Loizu (The International Family Law Group LLP)

Kate Hooper and Thomas Kingsmill of Fragomen meet Souliya Chanvixay (Laos)

Clara Koroma (Sierra Leone) chats to iivToni McCloggan (Embassy Events)

Andrew Hamilton (FCO Legalisation Office) addresses a packed audience

Marcel Borg (HM Passport Office) explains the anti-fraud technology of the new British passport

Marcel Borg (HMPO), Mrinal Mandal (VFS Global) and Stephen Chapman (HMPO) answer questions about secure passports and visas

Books for Prisoners appeal: CCL President Christiaan Sys (Belgium), Governor of HMP Maidstone Dave Atkinson, Sue Ackerman (Rowland Brothers International) and Embassy Editor Elizabeth Stewart

Jefri Harun (Malaysia) talks to Vicky Comb and Lauren Birks-Nicola (Blair Consular Services Ltd)

Panelists in the family justice session: Sir Mathew Thorpe, Ruth Griffiths (Peterborough City Council), Karen Goodman (BASW), Zafer Yilkan (CAFCASS), Angela Wilson (CFAB), Alison Shalaby (Reunite), David Rowe (FCO) and David Hodson (IFLG LLP

Dr Karim Mahjoubi meets officers from from the US and Canadian consulates

Larry Shaw and Kieran Mitchell of Slater and Gordon in conversation with Alice Navratilova (Czech Republic)

Marcelino Herrera Sanchez (Mexico) meets Beatriz Watts of Albin International Repatriation Ltd

Alison Shalaby (Reunite) talks to Carol Ngere (Nigeria High Commission)

Sebastian Lorenzini, Crisitan Faundez and Mario Benavente (all Embassy of Chile) find out more about CFAB

Saranbayar Sed-Ochir (Mongolia) talks to Beth Clayton (Grayson’s)

Julia McMenemy (Royal Over-Seas League) meets Herbert Lawrence (Jamaica)

Embassy Consular Conference

With globally mobile citizens and rising insecurity, never has the job of a consul been more challenging. Consuls from nearly 100 missions gathered at the Royal Over-Seas League for the annual Embassy Consular Conference where they heard talks from key policy makers in government on topics as diverse as migration and asylum, secure travel documents, legalisation and cross border child protection and family justice (see Consular Special Report).

An exhibition area enabled consuls to meet experts in a variety of fields – from legal services and visa outsourcing, to repatriation and legalisation, all of whom can help them offer better customer service to their citizens.

The conference also offered a valuable opportunity for consuls to network with each other and share best practice. The day ended with a networking reception and the presentation of foreign language books to the Governor of Maidstone Prison who hopes to restock the prison library as part of the Consular Corps Books For Prisoners Appeal.


The Rt Hon Sir Mathew Thorpe gives an overview of international family justice issues

Consular Corps President Christiaan Sys opens the AGM

Kerry Low draws the lucky winner with Elizabeth Newbold (A&N Solicitors)

Kerry Low draws the lucky winner with Elizabeth Newbold (A&N Solicitors)

Alicia Ioaonnu (Home Office) gives an overview of the UK government’s migration policy

Kaye Hales (Embassy Events) assists Paul Cullinan of CIBT

Samantha Hill (Home Office) answers questions about the UK’s asylum policy

Michal Mazurek (Poland) networks with Iain Graham (FCO)

Bennet Gyau Yeboah (Ghana) poses a question

Lindsey Mepstead (My Mailing Room – Mailroom Security) meets Paul Gardner (Chacalli De Decker)

Andrew Hamilton of the FCO Legalisation Office

Christiaan Sys thanks Hayk Khemchyan (Armenia) for his service to the CCL Committee

Stephen Chapman of HM Passport Office

Cynthia Casburn (Australia) in conversation with Stephen Chapman (HMPO)

The Governor of HMP Maidstone thanks the consuls for their generous collection of foreign reading material for prisoners

Christiaan Sys thanks Hayk Khemchyan (Armenia) for his service to the CCL Committee