The West Midlands region covers West Midlands, Staffordshire, part of Shropshire, part of Worcestershire.
Events have focused on the following:
. Environmental Crime
• Fracking (the lead drilling company is based in our region and we were fortunate enough to have a visiting speaker from the British Geological Survey);
• Flooding (highly relevant to everyone in our region and particularly those based near the river Severn!);
• Environmental nuisance;
• Contaminated land (we explored the new guidance that has been issued for Category 4 screening levels and had a comparative talk on the regime in Western Australia).
In addition, the group regularly arranges for local members to view webinars that are screened from other UKELA events taking place nationally. Future events are being planned all the time with the impact of the environmental sentencing guidelines and expansion of the civil sanctions regime currently being considered.
Given the large number of universities that are based in the region, the group is keen to attract new student members as we believe this is the best way of securing both UKELA and our group’s future. Efforts are also being made to build links with other environmental organisations in our region. We are always keen to attract both new members and existing UKELA members to our events. With HS2 very much on the horizon for most in our region these are interesting times for environmental law in the West Midlands and we look forward to our group continuing to act as an important local forum for UKELA members in future.
About our Group
A new regional committee was formed in 2014 bringing together a wide range of different member skill sets with representation from national law firms, the bar, environmental consultancies and academia.The group is chaired by Jill Crawford from BLM with Chris Hopkins barrister at No.5 Chambers as secretary. Other members of the committee include Kevin Hegarty Q.C. (St Philips Chambers), Cairo Nickolls (Irwin Mitchell), Richard Mitchener (Atkins Global) and Steven Vaughan (University of Birmingham). This broad range of different experiences and expertise is reflective of its members and has helped contribute to the diverse mix of local events that have been put on in the region. The group always tries to strike a balance at events between the legal and more practical aspects.
Contact the convenor if you would like to join the group.
Chair Jill Crawford, Berrymans Lace Mawer
Secretary Chris Hopkins, No5 Chambers
Treasurer Cairo Nickolls, Irwin Mitchell
Kevin Hegarty QC, St Philips Chambers
Richard Mitchener, Atkins Global
Steven Vaughan, Birmingham University.