Meet the team

Find out more about the ILM team

Matthew Lagden – Chief Exec

Matthew joined ILM as CEO in July 2018. With many years’ experience in fundraising and legacies, Matthew has most recently worked as Director of Fundraising at St Paul’s Cathedral, and prior to joining St Paul’s, Matthew worked for a number of major charities including Action for Children, the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation.

Nichola Sims – Head of Training and Professional Standards

Nichola is responsible for our professional development programme as well as the Certificate in Charity Legacy Administration qualification (CiCLA), which ILM delivers in association with the University of Law.

Sonya Dallat – Head of Communications

Sonya looks after all of our communications and marketing channels, and has had 20 years’ experience in communications in both the public and private sectors, working on magazines, websites, social media and more.

Tracey Bryson – Head of Member Services

Tracey is responsible for the day to day running of the ILM office. She is the first point of contact for all enquiries.

The Board

Six ILM members currently sit on the board. These directors are elected by their peers, other ILM members.


Maria King – Cancer Research UK (Chair)

Maria was appointed to the role of Director at ILM in February 2013, bringing with her a combination of legal, charity and educational experience. Maria qualified as a solicitor in 2001, and has always specialised in Private Client work, including Wills, Tax, Trusts, Probate and Capacity. In 2005 she left private practice at Shoosmiths and joined the College of Law as a Professional Development Trainer. A key responsibility was managing the ILM’s Certificate in Charity Legacy Administration programme, which sparked Maria’s interest in charity legacy administration and led to her joining the NSPCC to head up their team in 2011. Maria joined Cancer Research UK in September 2012 and has acted as Chair of ILM since June 2014.

Chrissie Paphitis – Dog’s Trust (Finance Director)

Chrissie was appointed as Finance Director of ILM in April 2012. Chrissie worked in the Diplomatic Service before pursuing a career in law and she brings a combination of skills and experience to  ILM. Chrissie trained in-house at Dogs Trust and qualified as a solicitor in 2004 where she still works as an in-house lawyer. Chrissie provides legal advice within a variety of legal disciplines involving both contentious and non-contentious matters. Chrissie has also gained experience in mediation, has a broad caseload in legacy and estate administration and has experience of administering estates in-house.

Philip Black – Legacy Consultant

Philip joined Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK) in 1992. During his time at CRC, Philip was first responsible for Legacy Fundraising, conceiving and implementing their FreeWill Service, the world’s first charitably paid for Will-writing service which has to date raised almost £500 million in legacy pledges for the two charities with which he has been most involved. In 1994 Philip became CRC’s Director of Legacies, handling circa £50 million of annual legacy income.
Philip joined The Institute of Cancer Research in 2001 as Director of Fundraising where, naturally, he maintained his interest and involvement in the more complex estates. He joined Legacy Link in November 2010 and also works as Legacy Consultant to The National Deaf Children’s Society.

James Stebbings – Macmillan Cancer Support

James was proud to be elected to the Board of ILM in December 2014 and he is committed to ensuring that ILM continues to provide its members with the training, support and leadership that it has provided so well over the past 15 years. He brings to the board nine years of legacy administration experience at Cancer Research UK and more recently as Interim Head of Legacy Income at Macmillan Cancer Support. He led ILM’s response to the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Technical Issues in charity law and looks forward to working with members to ensure that the law governing our work is fit for purpose.


Fiona Burne – British Heart Foundation

Fiona studied Law at Sheffield University and then completed the LPC at the College of Law in London. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2008, working on traditional private client matters at a high street firm in Hertfordshire, before moving into legacy management in 2009 when she joined Alzheimer’s Society.

Fiona then moved back into private practice, working for six years on a wide caseload of wills, probate and estate management matters as well as powers of attorney and trust administration at a firm in Bedfordshire. Fiona completed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) diploma in 2012.

Fiona briefly worked for Legacy Link in 2017 at a small number of charities, and since summer 2017 has been at British Heart Foundation, where she is now a Legacy Manager, and was appointed to the board of directors of ILM in April 2019.


Blerta Clubb – Save the Children UK

Blerta started her legacy career with Cancer Research UK’s legacy team and went on to qualify as a solicitor in 2012. She then worked in private practice before joining the charity sector once again where she currently leads the Legacy Income team at Save the Children and was appointed to the board of directors of ILM in April 2019.

Blerta is passionate about the sector, and is known widely among her peers as championing change and promoting best practice. She has proactively established a peer support group and has worked with HMCTS to highlight the importance of the Smee & Ford notification service.

Blerta successfully won the Legacy Professional of the Year 2019 award. Out of 11 other nominees with over 100 peers voting, Blerta scooped the award to recognise her passion, hard work and achievements within the sector.