Conference Week 2021

We are delighted to present the programme for our 2021 Annual Conference. It will be updated regularly as speakers confirm, so do check back. 

Day 1 - Monday 14 June 2021

7.30am: Yoga - join us for a 45 minute session to start the day

Breakfast – 9-10am: WP session - Wales : The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 – Jane Davidson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, UWTSD and Chair of Wales Inquiry, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Lunch – WP session – Water

6pm Welcome to Conference Week from Alison Boyd, Executive Director, UKELA

6.10pm – 7.30pm: Academic Round table

High level overview of the future of environmental law/rights of nature Looking ahead to 2025 and beyond, our three panellists will each present a positive vision of the way in which they hope to see environmental law develop. Each of our panellists will adopt a key perspective on this issue, climate, land management and the marine environment, but with an overall focus on meeting our aims in terms of net zero, nature recovery and the control of pollution. We hope that the discussion that follows will involve our participants in creating a shared sense of direction for the making of 'better law for the environment'.  

Chair – Anne Johnstone, Founder, Fair Futures Partnership


  • Climate / Air: Professor Liz Fisher - Professor of Environmental Law, University of Oxford
  • Nature Recovery/Land Management:  Professor Chris Rodgers - Professor of Law, Newcastle University  
  • Marine Law:  Professor Lynda Warren - Emeritus, Professor of Law, Aberystwyth University  

Day 2 - Tuesday 15 June 2021

7.30am: Yoga - join us for a 45 minute session to start the day

Breakfast – Climate Change and Energy

Lunch – WP session – Waste


6 – 7.30 pm: International Panel

People and countries around the world experience the environment differently. Some regions are blessed with diverse resources and habitats; some enjoy relatively benign climates; and others are particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Equally, some countries contribute more to climate change, leaving other regions around the globe to deal with the consequences. But despite our local differences, many challenges are similar. Issues such as decarbonisation, boosting biodiversity, and reducing plastic consumption are universal. However, the legal mechanisms being deployed to tackle these problems are not always the same. There are parallels to be drawn; practices to learn; and policy ideas to adopt or adapt. In this panel we will hear from environmental lawyers practising around the world, who will briefly describe the particular environmental issues in their jurisdictions. The presentation will then be followed by a panel discussion reflecting on some of the key global environmental issues of the day.

Chair – Paul Davies, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP


  • Howard Kenison, Partner, Jones & Keller, Denver Colorado; Chair of American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy & Resources
  • Carey Ni, Partner, Jun He, Shanghai, China
  • Lina Pimentel GarciaMattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, Brazil & Co-Chair of the International Bar Association, Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee
  • Nkiruka Chidia Maduekwe, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies & Member of the International Bar Association, Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee
  • David Browne, Irish Environmental Law Association

Day 3 - Wednesday 16 June 2021

7.30am: Meditation - join us for a short guided meditation to start the day

Breakfast - WP session - Environmental Litigation

Lunch – WP session – Noise

Afternoon – 3.30pm: WP session – Nature Conservation : Biodiversity Net Gain - Dr Nick White, Natural England; Georgina Chandler, RSPB; Charles Banner QC, Keating Chambers

Evening – Public Health and Environmental Law

7.30pm: Film - please join us for a live screening of Kiss the Ground, followed by an informal guided discussion hosted by Ned Westaway, UKELA Chair-Elect.

Day 4 - Thursday 17 June 2021 

7.30am: Yoga - join us for a 45 minute session to start the day

8.45am Welcome from Conference Chair: Ben Stansfield, Partner, Gowling GWG UK LLP & UKELA Trustee


9am – 10.30am Plenary One Fast Fashion

For most of us, clothing is more than simply utilitarian. Through it we make a statement.  In recent years, manufacturing processes have become faster and cheaper, clothing cheaper and durability less important and so, "fast fashion" has emerged.  Aside from ethical concerns associated with some parts of the fashion industry, the environmental effects of fast fashion are significant. The use of land and water to grow the raw materials, the use of chemicals in the treatment of or dyeing of fabrics and leather, the plastics necessary for man-made "technical" fabrics and the emissions associated with transport; not forgetting what we do with our clothes when trends change.  Sustainable fashion is on trend, from sustainability linked corporate bonds to supply chain transformation, new brands and innovative solutions.  This plenary will consider some of the environmental impacts of fashion particularly in relation to waste.  Can clothes be made from waste?  What happened to all the excess clothes during the global pandemic, both new and used?  What happens to clothes at the end of their (first) use – are we committing a crime when we dispose of them; and what are the legal barriers that the fashion and textiles industry face with respect to waste?

Chair: Catherine Dobson, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers


  • Eleanor Reeves, Partner, Ashurst LLP
  • Frankie Phillips, Founder and Creative Director, To Be Frank UK
  • Catherine Salvidge & Clare Carroll, WRAP

10.30am BREAK 15 minutes


10.45am – 12pm Plenary Two - Climate Science and the Law – a complex relationship?

There are rarely straightforward legal answers to climate issues.  This is primarily due to the complexity of both environmental law and climate science.  This plenary will look at the complexities inherent in climate science, relating to not only the subject matter, but also as a result of the many socio-political factors present, together with the limitations that exist in scientific research.  It will then go on to discuss the role of climate science in the development of effective climate policy, targets and laws, the importance of multidisciplinary working in reconciling science and law and the implications to consider and the challenges that need to be overcome for those attempting to frame the issues relating to climate change from a legal point of view.

Chair: Jamie Carpenter, Editor, ENDS Report & ENDS Europe


  • Professor Kevin Anderson, Professor of energy & climate change, University of Manchester
  • Joana Setzer, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • James Maurici QC, Barrister, Landmark Chambers

12pm Case Law Update 1: Climate change case law


  • Nina Pindham, Barrister, No5 Chambers & UKELA Trustee
  • Ruchi Parekh, Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers

12.30pm KEYNOTE ADDRESS – speaker invited

1pm – Lunch

1.45pm – Welcome back from Conference Chair


1.45pm Plenary 3Biodiversity & Rewilding

The session addresses the progressive movements of Biodiversity Net Gain and Rewilding.  Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development where biodiversity is left in a better state than before. When a development may cause an adverse impact on biodiversity, developers are instead encouraged to provide an increase in appropriate natural habitats and ecological features over beyond the area affected by development so that biodiversity loss through development is halted and ecological networks restored.  This approach is expected to become mandatory in England via the current Environment Bill.  Rewilding is a form of ecological restoration and conservation where habitats are encouraged to return to their natural state, often stimulated by the reintroduction of species.  Rewilding projects throughout the UK and abroad have provided striking examples of how biodiversity can be increased, environmental services restored and land health improved.

Chair – Jamie Whittle, Partner, R&R Urquhart & UKELA Trustee


  • Dr Stephanie Wray – Founder, Nature Positive, RSK Group
  • Charlie Burrell, Founder, Knepp Estate
  • Roy Dennis MBE, ornithologist, conservationist and author of Restoring the Wild

3pm: Speakers’ Corner 1: Dr Mya-Rose Craig, Birdgirl

3.15pm Case Law Update 2: Habitats/EIA/SEA


  • Caroline Daly, Barrister, Francis Taylor Building
  • Adam Boukraa, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers

3.45pm BREAK


4pm Plenary Four - Climate Litigation: the past, present and future

Climate change-related court cases have been growing in number and importance over recent years. According to one report, the year to May 2020 saw 374 climate cases filed across six continents. But just what difference do and could these cases make? 

In this plenary session, we will have the privilege of an introduction from Senior President of Tribunals Sir Keith Lindblom and then hear from experienced international and UK climate litigators; as well as renowned academics and commentators about the role and need for climate specific litigation – as well as the trajectory of the recent trends in such litigation.

Chair: The Rt Hon Sir Keith Lindblom – Senior President of Tribunals, UKELA Patron


  • Dr Kim Bouwer, Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter
  • Vanessa Havard-Williams, Partner, Linklaters LLP
  • Samantha Atukunda K. Mwesigwa, Director & Legal Counsel, Greenwatch, Kampala, Uganda

5.30pm AGM

5.45pm Close

From 7.30pm Gala speaker and social activities

Day 5 - Friday 18 June 2021

7.30am: Yoga - join us for a 45 minute session to start the day

8.45am Welcome from Chair, Ben Stansfield


9am Plenary Five The role of specialised Environmental Courts and Tribunals 

Is there a case for a specialised environmental court in the UK? Has Brexit given us the opportunity to reopen the debate on this topic? In this plenary, we are honoured to hear from esteemed judges of specialised environmental courts in different jurisdictions. The panel will consider the role of specialised courts and tribunals, the key characteristics of successful environmental courts and tribunals, and some of the barriers to their establishment. The session will be chaired by Professor Richard Macrory QC, who has published widely in this area, including his seminal report co-authored with Michael Woods ‘Modernizing Environment Justice: Regulation and the role of an environmental tribunal’ (2003).

Chair: Professor Richard Macrory QC, Emeritus Professor at University College London, UKELA Patron


  • The Hon. Justice Brian J Preston FRSN SC, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, New South Wales, Australia
  • Judge Moira Macmillan, Tribunal Judge, General Regulatory Chamber
  • Justice Anders Bengtsson, Land and Environment Court Växjö, Sweden, and member of the Association of European Administrative Judges
  • Honourable Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chair, National Green Tribunal, India

10.30am Case Law Update 3Legislation update


  • Constanze Bell, Barrister, Kings Chambers
  • Kimberley Ziya, Barrister, Landmark Chambers


11am Speakers Corner 2: Andrew Lees essay prize winner

11.15am BREAK


11.30am Plenary Six - Governance in the UK post Brexit

Brexit – the single most controversial policy in British and European politics of the last decade, and only now are we seeing its reality. In place of the European Commission, we have a whole new world of environmental law and governance operating through varying regimes across the four UK nations.  How have those legal regimes been translating into reality? Will we see divergence, and if so, where? How have each of the new national governance bodies been handling their briefs and are changes already required? Join us and our supercharged panel of both industry representatives and academic experts for what promises to be a lively discussion and debate on our new governance reforms.

Chair – David Elvin QC, Landmark Chambers


  • Professor Eloise Scotford – Professor of Environmental Law, University College London
  • Dr Viviane Gravey – Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Victoria Jenkins - Associate Professor of Law, Swansea University
  • Professor Colin Reid – Professor of Environmental Law, University of Dundee

Panel discussion


  • Dame Glenys Stacey - Chair-Designate, Office for Environmental Protection
  • Dr Nerys Llewellyn Jones - Interim Assessor for Environmental Protection for Wales
  • Mr Jim Martin, Chair, Environmental Standards Scotland

1.15pm Closing Address - Rt Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO, UKELA Honorary President

1.30pm Farewell and final thanks - Kirsty Schneeberger MBE, UKELA Chair

1.45pm Close followed by sponsors’ hubs and social activities

 UKELA reserves the right to amend the programme and speakers at any time 


Presentations, papers and recordings from the 2020 Annual Conference are available exclusively to members in our Reading Room.

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For general information on environmental issues, visit our sister site Law and Your environment