Commenting on the appointment, Ms Ali, Founder and Director of Bushra Ali Solicitors and The Bushra Ali Group said, “We are proud to say Aisha’s appointment falls in line with our core values as a firm who are deeply committed to our social responsibility work and driving the conversation on thought provoking social issues that matter. We are looking forward to Aisha playing an integral role in driving many key equality, diversity and inclusion conversations and initiatives, overlapping with our work through The Bushra Ali Group.”
Miss Seedat is a recent graduate in Health Studies from De Montfort University and, as well as her position with The Bushra Ali Group, is a guest speaker for the Health and Wellbeing Society Degree talking to students about mental health and disability management.
Aisha is also a motivational speaker speaking at events to raise awareness of the rare disease she lives with. MPS IVa is an ultra-rare degenerative disease caused by an enzyme deficiency due to mutations in a specific gene. The disorder primarily affects the skeleton and the immune system. Signs and symptoms include skeletal abnormalities such as short stature, knock knees, and malformations of the spine, hips and wrists. Individuals also progressively experience involvement of other organ systems such as respiratory problems, valvular heart disease, hearing impairment, corneal clouding, dental abnormalities, weak joints and spinal cord compression. Management and treatments are available to an extent to some patients, however, there is no known cure.
Speaking of her appointment Miss Seedat said, “I share my story in the hope of breaking down barriers. I’m also very aware that my story is just one among many, many others and I’m looking forward to raising the profile across all manner of issues including disability, mental health, poverty, equality, diversity and inclusion. What Bushra has already done is incredible and I know she has plans to do so much more. I’m very much looking forward to working with her and to helping raise awareness of key issues that, one way or another, affect us all, so we can continue to work towards being a more inclusive and accepting society.
“This role, specifically, gives me the opportunity to greatly expand on my development and skills. It will enable me to set out and achieve my goals and dreams of helping individuals and to become a voice for the voiceless. I am a people person and this position gives me the opportunity of meeting individuals from various backgrounds and cultures.
“I personally think that firms should be investing in roles such as this to ensure there is awareness. Awareness is key and I’m glad to be given an opportunity to lead conversations and to take action about social issues that are present and that could come up in the near future. Equality and Diversity plays a huge role in my life due to my disability and I feel firms should invest in roles such as mine to raise awareness on the stigma that exists in the wider community. By more firms investing in this area it will break down barriers far faster and enable voices to be heard.
“My work is all about allowing people to interact whilst being in a non-judgemental environment. Our events will enable our speakers to voice their concerns and talk about their life experiences and feel listened to in a diverse setting. Invited speakers will have an expertise in their field which, in turn, will enable The Bushra Ali Group to be at the forefront in an area that other firms have not yet invested in.”
Whilst Miss Seedat’s appointment officially commenced on the 2nd of August 2021 she has spoken at a Bushra Ali Group events. The event discussed Social Interaction Post Lockdown and looked specifically at social interaction anxiety post- lockdown. The event was held in collaboration with Mind Apples and speakers including Ms Seedat and Julian Harrison from Mind Apples shared their experiences of lockdown and how to adjust to the new normal as well as sharing useful tips in how to manage anxiety. Adds Ms Seedat, “The overall message from this event was to take things at your own pace and be considerate of others. We still need to look after one another and help keep everyone safe.”
Aisha is very excited to be co-ordinating chart fund raisers through The Group, webinars, seminars, debates and panel discussions on all issues equality, diversity and inclusion.
Bushra was born with severe cataracts in both eyes, resulting in her being partially blind and received additional support at school through supported learning and special needs. Although she had a real passion for learning, she was held back by her restrictions in eye sight.
Bushra attended Rhostyllen Primary School and, at that time, her family were the only family of colour in the local village. Needless to say, racism and discrimination were at their height back then.
Through the ages of thirteen to fifteen Bushra received three operations to remove the cataracts from both her eyes. Having her eye sight significantly restored Bushra went on to successfully complete her GCSEs, achieving good grades.
During an advice session with her career’s advisor she stated she had a desire to study law. The careers teacher laughed and advised her given her special needs, her being a female and of colour, there was no place in the law for her and she would be better off studying home economics.
Bushra followed her desire, knowing she was not prepared to be placed inside a box of conforming to what was expected of `her kind’. Bushra went on to College (Coleg Cambria) where she studied three A Levels in Law, Welsh and English Literature. Bushra achieved above average grades in her A-Levels (A, B and C) and was ready to study the world of law at degree level.
Bushra was adamant that Law was her vocation but the local university did not teach Law at degree level. Bushra and parents were advised it was neither acceptable nor the `done thing’ for single Muslim females to study away from home. It was a major issue, and achievement, as a single Muslim female at that time to go on to move to Manchester where she studied and graduated with a degree in Law. Bushra had been adamant whilst studying law at degree level she did not want additional support and so refused all additional support she was entitled to due to her eye sight, as she was continuing to fight for acceptable in order to `fit in’ and did not want to be treated differently to others.
Anyone that knows Bushra knows she has a loud and bubbly personality. Bushra often heard women in Asian community say that `girls are to be seen and not heard’. Bushra refused to accept this, being loud and proud. This helped her carve out her path to move forwards in her chosen vocation.
Bushra then studied the Bar professional training course and successfully graduated as a Barrister. Prior to having completed the Bar course Bushra secured a post as an Appeals Advocate at Duncan Lewis & Co Solicitors in London. Bushra practiced as an Immigration Appeals Advocate before going on to cross-qualify as a Solicitor in 2008 and moving to practice in Birmingham at TRP Solicitors, specialising in immigration work. She then qualified under the Immigration Asylum Accreditation Scheme as a Supervisor and Senior Caseworker before being headhunted for a post with a Leicester firm as Head of Immigration Department where she set up and ran an Immigration Department at Thaliwal and Co Solicitors.
Bushra founded Bushra Ali Solicitors in 2015 and covers six areas of law;
Bushra is particularly passionate about empowerment of persons from diverse and not so traditional backgrounds and this is key to all her work and activities.
Bushra was awarded Solicitor of the Year by the Leicestershire Law Society in 2012 and is the only person in history to win it for a second time in 2016. Her accolades, roles and responsibilities include serving as the youngest President of the Leicestershire Law Society having served in Office for the term of 2018/ 2019. Bushra was only the eighth female to serve in 158 years and the second female of colour.
Bushra’s focus during her tenure as President was to promote diversity in the profession, to celebrate local diversity and to take the Society and profession into the heart of the community to break down barriers and to encourage individuals from not so traditional backgrounds to believe they could have a successful career in law. Bushra also served as Chair of Membership and Chair of Equality and Diversity.
Having achieved great heights in England, Bushra is now also focussing on giving back to where it all started and building strong foundations in Wales having opened her second office in Wrexham, North Wales.
Bushra is enjoying building relationships with Cheshire and North Wales Law Society. Bushra was co-opted and joined the Committee of Cheshire and North Wales Law Society. Bushra is excited to be focussing on driving the conversation on all issues equality, diversity and Inclusion at Cheshire and North Wales Law Society.
Bushra has also joined Birmingham Law Society and is currently serving as a Committee Member at The Law Society of England and Wales on the Immigration Law and Policy Committee.
Bushra was delighted to have been recognised nationally for her work, by being Shortlisted for The Law Society Legal Excellence Awards 2021 in the categories of Woman Solicitor of the year and Sole Practitioner of the year.
Outside of work Bushra remains extremely busy, her interests and commitments include;
Bushra is an experienced and talented speaker who is equally at home speaking to live audiences as she is speaking or being interviewed on Zoom or Teams. Bushra is also an experienced Podcast guest. She speaks on the topics of;
You can watch Bushra in action here being interviewed by Adam Pipe who is ranked Band 1 for Immigration in the Midlands by Chambers and Partners 2016. In 2015 Chambers and Partners noted of Adam, “An immigration specialist with a particular focus on refugee law. He is an experienced advocate”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHE3CD-Nb_M&t=20s
Bushra Ali Solicitors have been recognised by multi newspaper publications over August 2021 as being the UKs first law firm to create a roel for an equality, diversity and corporate social responsibility lead. You can read those articles here:-
The Bushra Ali Group is delighted and very proud to have Yasmin Surti and Piotr Kuhiwczak as board directors, bringing invaluable experience to the table on all issues equality, diversity and inclusion.