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Our Trustees are drawn from our wide ranging membership and represent all sectors of environmental law, from barristers to academics and with a range of experience. They are known as the Council and we have 22 elected trustees at present. Our Council is responsible for ensuring UKELA achieves its strategic and charitable aims. Because UKELA is also a limited company, our trustees are also directors. We have a senior team, known as the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation.

Meet them below.

Executive Committee


Stephen Sykes, Chair

Stephen started his career as a solicitor, but has worked in business for many years. He has co-founded and chaired ventures in the environmental data, insurance and consulting sectors. He is Managing Partner of Sykes Environmental LLP. He is a Visiting Fellow at Birkbeck College's school of entrepreneurship. Stephen was awarded honorary membership in 2014.


Nick Whitaker, Honorary Treasurer

Nick qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1977. Until March 2015, when he retired from full time work, he was a partner in BDO LLP (and before that PKF (UK) LLP) providing audit, forensic and corporate finance services. This included work in the charity and not for profit sectors as well as for corporates and Government departments and bodies.


Anne Johnstone, Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Anne is a Partner at Malcolm Hollis LLP and has over sixteen years’ experience in environmental consultancy, previously at Ramboll Environ and Atkins. She is head of Malcolm Hollis’ Environmental practice in the UK, Ireland and Europe. She specialises in environmental due diligence, risk assessment and permitting.

Special Responsibilities: Devolved administrations, marketing/social media/comms

0141 331 4045


Ben Stansfield, Vice Chair

Ben is a solicitor and head of the Environment and Planning Group at Stephenson Harwood. Ben was previously a Senior Associate at Clifford Chance. Ben advises on a broad spectrum on environmental, climate change and energy issues.

Special Responsibilities: Conference sponsorship, Conference team 2017, international links.

0207 809 2500


Kirsty Schneeberger MBE, Vice Chair

Kirsty is Head of Grants and Trusts at Client Earth. Previously, Kirsty was a Manager in the Climate Change team at CIFF, leading on the ‘Strategic Climate Litigation’ and ‘Initiative for Climate Action Transparency’ grants and, before that, an Advisor in the Office of the Executive Secretary at the UNFCCC, leading on non-state actor engagement with Paris COP21 focusing particularly on the investment community.

Special Responsibilities: Wild Law, e-law editorial board, Conference team 2017, marketing/social media/comms



Haydn Davies, Assistant Vice Chair

Haydn Davies is Deputy Director of Research at the School of Law at Birmingham City University. He has a background in both biochemistry and law and his research interests centre around the Environmental Justice Movement and comparative environmental governance.

Special Responsibilities:National Council member for Wales; e-law editorial board; devolved administrations group, Working Parties co-ordinator, assistant Treasurer

01213 316703


Penelope Latorre

Penelope is the head of Environmental Due Diligence at Waterman. She is a qualified solicitor in Spain and the UK, specialising in environmental advisory support in the transactional and risk management context.

Special Responsibilities: Working Parties co-ordinator, international monitor

0207 928 7888

Other Council Members


Charles Banner

Charles is a barrister at Landmark Chambers.His specialisms include environmental law, planning & infrastructure, energy & natural resources, EU law and international law. He is a member of the Attorney-General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Special Responsibilities: Northern Ireland activity, London meetings

020 7430 1221


Karen Blair

Karen Blair is Managing Director of Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors, a leading commercial law practice in Belfast. Karen specialises in planning and environmental law with particular interest in waste, energy, aviation and regeneration.

Special Responsibilities: National Council member for Northern Ireland; contracts, devolved administrations group

028 9027 1320


James Burton

James Burton is a barrister at Thirty Nine Essex Chambers. He specialises in environmental, energy, planning and related areas. He is also a founder member of the Recyclists, UKELA's cycling/fundraising club.

Special Responsibilities: Young UKELA, Conference team 2017

020 7832 1111


Fiona Darroch

Fiona was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1994. Her practice consists of environmental law and litigation, with an emphasis on environmental contamination and corporate social responsibility. Internationally, her practice has included corporate corruption in Lesotho, EIA and procurement processes in general, together with their wider implications within developing communities.

Special Responsibilities: Membership Development

0845 083 3000


Heather Hamilton

Heather is a lawyer in the Biodiversity Team at ClientEarth, focusing on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, as well as its interaction with EU environmental legislation such as the Birds and Habitats Directives. Prior to this, she was a solicitor at Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, working on judicial review and nuisance cases.

0203 030 5984

Philip Hunter

Phil is a Partner and head of environmental law at leading Scottish law firm Brodies LLP. He advises on a broad range of environmental matters including management of environmental risks and liabilities.

Special Responsibilities: National Council Member for Scotland

0131 656 0279

john jolliffe_edited-1

John Jolliffe

John Jolliffe is a barrister who specialises in environmental and public law. He was called to the Bar in 2005 and practises at 1 Crown Office Row. He is a member of the Attorney General’s panel of counsel to the Crown (B panel). His environmental work includes nuisance claims (including group actions) and contaminated land.

Special responsibilities: Law and your Environment (E/W), Marketing/social media/comms

020 7797 7500


Paul Leonard

Chief Consultant at Corporate Risk Associates Limited since 2007 advising on science-based evidence, especially pollution impacts from industrial operations. Former Nuclear Inspector & Principal Scientist at Defra, having publishing over 50 scientific papers. Internationally recognised expertise on emergency response and advice on the interpretation of EU Environmental Directives.

Special Responsibilities: CPD accreditation, student support and competitions

01372 860 840


Bridget Marshall

Head Solicitor at SEPA, Bridget sits on SEPA's newly formed Better Regulation Project Board.

Special Responsibilities: Law and Your Environment (Scotland), UKELA development in Scotland, e-law editorial board, Garner lecture

01786 457700


Georgie Messent

Georgie is Head of Environment at Pinsent Masons. She advises clients on regulatory and compliance issues, litigation and risk management on environmental transactions and projects. Georgie has been an active UKELA member since she qualified in 1998.

Special Responsibilities: Conference team 2017, contracts

020 7418 7000


Hayley Tam

Hayley is head of Environment at LexisPSL, LexisNexis having previously worked in both the private and public sector at the Environment Agency, Allen & Overy, Stephenson Harwood and Ashurst Australia. She is qualified as an environmental lawyer in Australia, England and Wales.

Special Responsibilities: E-law editor



Simon Tilling

Simon is a partner in Burges Salmon's Environment team and specialises in the resolution of complex environmental disputes in the civil and criminal courts, statutory appeals, compliance and enforcement. Simon is UKELA's Company Secretary.

Special Responsibilities: Company Secretary, regional groups co-ordinator, devolved administration group, Garner lecture, Conference committee 2017

0117 902 7794


Richard Wald

A barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, Richard is acknowledged as a leading junior in Environmental, Planning, Energy and Administrative law. He was appointed to the AG’s B-Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in 2009 and to the AG’s C-Panel of Prosecution Counsel in 2003. He is also a founder member of the Recyclists.

Special Responsibilities: London meetings

0207 832 1111


Ned Westaway

Ned Westaway is a barrister practising at Francis Taylor Building; he is ranked as a leading junior by Chambers and Partners for environmental law, planning law and agricultural and rural affairs; he is on Attorney General’s panel of counsel and has an LLM (environmental laws) from UCL.

Special Responsibilities: Conference committee 2017, PEBA liaison, Young UKELA

020 7353 8415


Jamie Whittle

Partner at R&R Urquhart LLP Solicitors in Inverness where he advises and represents clients in all aspects of environmental and land related law. Jamie also lectures part-time on environmental law at Edinburgh University.

Special Responsibilities: UKELA development in Scotland; contracts; Wild Law

01463 714477
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