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Shanta Martin has ‘pursued groundbreaking claims to secure justice for victims of modern slavery in the UK’ – Legal 500 2017

Shanta Martin is a partner in Leigh Day's International Department, specializing in corporate accountability cases.

Shanta qualified as a solicitor in Australia in 2000 and in England and Wales in 2012. For the past 15 years she has been working on corporate accountability for human rights in different parts of the world, focusing on the extractive industries, and textile and agricultural sectors.

Since joining Leigh Day in 2011, Shanta has been instrumental in key corporate accountability cases including claims against Monterrico plc brought by community members who were tortured in Peru; and against Anglo American South Africa and AngloGold Ashanti, brought by former gold miners with the debilitating lung disease silicosis, leading to the first silicosis settlement in South Africa and a second ground breaking settlement for 4,365 former miners. In 2015, The Lawyer identified as one of the top 20 global disputes of the year, the litigation Shanta led against African Barrick Gold (Acacia mining) on behalf of villagers in relation to injuries and deaths at the company’s Tanzanian mine.

In 2016, Shanta secured the first High Court judgment ever handed down against a company for claims arising from Modern Slavery. Having secured substantial compensation for six Lithuanian human trafficking victims, Shanta is currently representing a further 11 claimants in related proceedings. The civil case has also resulted in renewed interest by prosecutors internationally, with criminal proceedings being instituted in Lithuania. 

Shanta is also taking forward claims by Afghan civilians allegedly unlawfully detained and/or abused by British Forces.

Prior to joining Leigh Day, Shanta practised for five years as a litigator at a top Australian commercial law firm before working for non-governmental organisations in Central and South America. She led the business and human rights work at Oxfam Australia and at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London. 

Shanta is an advisor on business and human rights to The Law Society of England and Wales and regularly presents at local and international conferences. She has advocated at the United Nations and the OECD in relation to business and human rights, and given lectures on the topic at universities nationally and abroad. 

Shanta has presented written and oral evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Human Rights which in 2016 conducted an enquiry into business and human rights, and provided written evidence to a 2017 parliamentary inquiry into modern slavery in Australia.

She holds a Master of Laws, a Bachelor of Laws with Honours, a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts.

Shanta Martin's publications

The business sector's role in combating modern slavery. This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Commercial on 7 August 2017. 


  • Legal 500 2017 Recommended lawyer

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