UKELA Conference 2024: Environmental Law within a Shifting Political Landscape
11-12 June online / 14-15 June Manchester 

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Please note – themes and running order for plenary sessions are not fixed – they can be reordered/changed.


Tuesday 11 June (online)  

9.30 am Water

12.00pm Climate Change & Energy

2.30pm Waste

5.00pm Noise & Nuisance - John Stewart "Noise issues which will face the new government"


Wednesday 12 June (online)

9.30 am  Environmental Litigation

12.00pm Nature Conservation

2.30pm EDI Forum (open to all UKELA members)

5.00pm GDG

7.00pm Student Advisers (open to all UKELA Student members)


Thursday 13 June – no formal activity 

Delegates have the option to arrive in Manchester on Thursday evening for sponsor drinks and networking (6.30pm). We particularly encourage those who are the next generation of practitioners in environmental law to meet those already established in the sector. Come and have a drink on us, courtesy of 39 Essex who are sponsoring the evening. All are welcome - please book your accommodation to include Thursday as required. 


Day 3 Friday 14 June – in person 


9.30 am Registration with tea/coffee, networking with sponsors 

10.30 am Introduction and welcome

  • Alison York - Head of Legal in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Conference Chair
  • Gareth de Graaff - Executive Director UKELA
  • Liv Torc - Performance poet, Hot Poets

11.00 am Opening Address

Rt Hon Lord Justice Lindblom, President of UKELA, Court of Appeal Supervising Lord Justice for Planning and Environmental law and Senior President of Tribunals



11.20 am PLENARY 1 

Clean Air & Transport

How are cities dealing with current challenges regarding air pollution? Discussion on the legislative and regulatory framework governing air pollution in the UK, including policy insights and legal implications.

Chair: Dr Lois Lane - Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers


  • Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah - WHO BreathLife Ambassador, Founder and Trustee of The Ella Roberts Foundation 
  • Eloise Scotford - Dean of UCL Faculty of Law and advisor to the UNEP
  • Stephen Moorcroft - Director, Air Quality Consultants
  • Prof. Alastair Lewis - Professor of atmospheric chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of York

12.30pm Lunch and networking with sponsors



1.30 pm PLENARY 2

Climate Change -  Session 1 Energy 

This session will cover the rapidly evolving legal and policy landscape around the low carbon energy technologies that will be critical to reaching both net zero and the Government’s target of a decarbonised energy system by 2035.

Chair: Stephen Hockman KC - Barrister, Six Pump Court


  • Daria Shapovalova - Director, Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law
  • Ana Musat - Executive Director Policy & Engagement, Renewal UK
  • Ross Fairley - Partner and Head of Renewable Energy and Net Zero, Burges Salmon LLP
  • Sulaiman Ilyas -Jarrett, Head of Policy, Strategy and Renewable Delivery, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero


Climate Change - Session 2 Green Finance

This session will shine a spotlight on the status of the regulatory framework for green finance in the UK, focussing on environmental lawyers’ practice in this area. The session will take in the current status of the Government’s Green Finance Strategy as well as latest developments in the FCA’s ESG handbook and anti-greenwashing rules.

Chair: Caroline May - Head of Environment, health and safety, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Partner Norton Rose Fulbright LLP


  • Martin Baxter - Deputy CEO IEMA
  • Ruth Knox - Partner, Corporate practice and global Co-Chair of the ESG and Sustainable Finance, Paul Hastings LLP
  • Amy Merrill - Chief Operating Officer ICVCM, Head of Global Carbon Markets, C2ES
  • Varnika Chawla - Legal Manager, Climate Asset Management

3.45 pm Break, networking with sponsors

3.15 pm Keynote address -   David Shukman, British journalist, and former Science Editor of BBC News

4.00 pm AGM


4.30 pm PLENARY 3 

Innovation & AI in Environmental Law

Technological innovation and artificial intelligence: the risks and opportunities for environmental regulation, law and lawyers.

Chair: Katherine Apps KC - Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers


  • Paul Collins - Environmental Lawyer, Ashfords LLP
  • Matt Hervey - Partner, Head of Artificial Intelligence Law, Gowling WLG
  • Sian McGibbon - Barrister, Landmark Chambers and PhD student at University College London


5.45 pm Close

7.00 pm Pre-dinner drinks -  Christie’s

8.30 pm Dinner - Whitworth Hall 


Day 4 Saturday 15 June – in person


9.00 am PLENARY 4 


The role of protected sites in nature conservation - A consideration of the history of protected sites in the UK and a discussion on the successes, failures and future directions for the use of such a legal framework for nature recovery.

Chair: Richard Broadbent - Legal Director, Environmental Law team, Freeths LLP and former head of legal services at Natural England


  • Peter Ashford - General Counsel, Office for Environmental Protection
  • Dr Stephanie Wray - Director, Nature Positive (an RSK Group) and chair of the Mammal Society
  • Eunice Pinn - Marine Indicators Advisor, NatureScot / NadarAlba and co-convenor of UKELA Nature Conservation Working Party

10.15 am  Mentoring scheme 

10.30 am  Break, networking with sponsors

11.15 am  Case Law Update

12.15 am  Special Address - International Perspective

  Jeff Dennis, Chair American Bar Association Section of Environmental Energy and Resources (ABA SEER)

 1.00 pm  LUNCH and sponsor networking



2.00 pm PLENARY 5 

Water regulation 

Storm sewage overflows: A clash of policy, politics and regulation. In this plenary, expert speakers will explore the role of storm sewage overflows, the regulatory tools governing their use, and ask whether the current key legal and policy issues. 

Chair: tbc


  • Kate Tandy - Head of Litigation and Casework, The Office for Environmental Protection
  • Helen Wakeham - Director of Water, the Environment Agency
  • Environmental Standards Scotland


3.15 pm Closing address, Farewell and thanks – Warren Percival Chair, UKELA 


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