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Governance Conference 2023 Day 2

17 November 2023 09:00 - 16:30


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17 November 2023  |  From £190 + VAT

Following Day 1 of the Conference in Sheffield last week, Day 2 will be delivered remotely on Zoom. To join us, book online and you will receive your joining instructions.  

Packages for the conference start at £190.00 + VAT for LLG Members.  Please click the 'Book Now' tab to find full pricing information. Please note, you are required to select number of delegates on a package before a price appears. 

The Governance Conference is a must-attend event for legal professionals interested in exploring the issues surrounding governance and ways to improve governance in practice. Our Conference brings together a diverse range of perspectives to consider how excellent governance can enable our local authorities to make the greatest impact they can for all.

Following the great success of Day 1 of the Governance Conference in Sheffield on 10th November, we are now looking forward to bringing you Day 2 on Friday, 17th November.

We will begin with a session from Chris Handford and Kerry Murison from the Solicitors Regulation Authority discussing the specific challenges facing in-house solicitors, the outcomes of the SRA’s recent thematic review of the sector, and what the SRA is doing to support in-house solicitors meet their regulatory duties. This session will be followed by an exploration of the next tranche of changes coming into force as a result of the Elections Act 2022 with Mark Heath and Lisa Kirkman from VWV, including online absent vote applications, postal and proxy voting requirements, overseas electors and European Union citizens voting and candidacy rights. The session will look at the practical considerations for delivering those changes, as well as the overall impact of the Act on the delivery of elections and what ROs and their teams should be focused on for May 2024, but with the addition of a possible General Election at the forefront of all our minds. 

Session 3 will explore the governance essentials of severance pay with Sarah Lamont of Bevan Brittan, before we look at the roles and responsibilities of local authorities in relation to the Building Safety Act with Simon Lewis and Sarah White from Womble Bond Dickinson. This session will look at the various claims that arise under the BSA and will include considerations where an authority is the owner of an asset, in the context of housing developments, and through the building control function. For session 5 we will welcome Mark Cook from Anthony Collins and Alan Cavill from Blackpool Council who will be looking at what has been achieved in Blackpool, the approach of the Council to the delivery of projects, and the way in which LUF funding has been utilised.

Session 6 will look at future challenges in relation to housing disrepair claims with Paul Lloyd and Katrina Robinson MBE from Capsticks, including recent cases and key governance considerations. Our final session of the day will provide a Conference round up with Jonathan Goolden and Estelle Culligan from Wilkin Chapman, who will be discussing the crucial link between conduct and behaviour and effective governance, what good governance looks like going into 2024, and your role in achieving it.

All sessions will be recorded, and delegates will have access to the recordings and slides after the Conference.

If your question is not answered below, and you have questions regarding the conference, please do not hesitate to email and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Tickets prices start at £190 + VAT for LLG members.    


All virtual delegates will have access to the following features:

  • live-streamed sessions of speakers and panel discussions
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments during all sessions
  • full online support throughout the day
  • opportunity to interact with other delegates from other local authorities in a virtual networking space

Full instructions on how to join the conference via Zoom will be emailed to all delegates in advance of the conference. 

LLG are delighted to be joined by the LLG Corporate Partner firms and exhibiting companies. 


Rachel McKoy, LLG President and Director of Law & Governance (Monitoring Officer), London Borough of Hounslow

Rachel is a commercial law specialist, with extensive experience acquired within local and central government. She is passionate about both championing the voices of our members and showcasing the breadth of complexity local government law offers through the work of LLG, as reflected by her former role as Chief Projects Assessor for the Diploma in Local Government Law and Practice (2016-19).

Rachel is currently Director of Law & Governance & Monitoring Officer, London Borough of Hounslow.

Deborah Evans, CEO, LLG

Deborah was appointed in 2018 as the first Chief Executive of LLG. Having started her career in local government at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, she has since gone on to work in senior roles across the legal sector, including the in-house legal team of a major retailer; as a Practice Director of a law firm; in management at the Legal Aid Board; Chief Executive of the Legal Complaints Service, and most recently as Chief Executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

Deborah has also been involved with digital claims resolution platforms such as Claims Portal and MedCo.

Aneeka Sarwar, Solicitor, Calderdale Borough Council and LLG Vice President

Aneeka Sarwar is currently the Vice President of LLG and also delivers LLG training on regulatory prosecutions.

Aneeka has worked in local government since 2006, qualifying in criminal and civil litigation teams. She has been a magistrates' court advocate for local government for over 15 years and continues to undertake regulatory prosecutions and advisory work in the area of enforcement for regulatory environmental work.

Aneeka is also the regional lead for prosecutions for LLG SAA, Yorkshire and Humberside.

Chris Handford, Director of Regulatory Policy, Solicitors Regulation Authority

As Director of Regulatory Policy, Chris is responsible for leading the SRA’s policy work aimed at driving trust and confidence in legal services. This includes delivering high professional standards in a way that is fair, proportionate and robust. And supporting innovation and technology that improves the delivery of legal services and access to them. With more than 20 years’ experience in the legal service sector, Chris was previously Head of Research and Development at the Legal Services Board.

Kerry Murison, Policy Associate, Solicitors Regulation Authority

As a Policy Associate in the SRA’s Regulatory Policy Team, Kerry has been responsible for the development of a package of regulatory guidance for in-house solicitors following the SRA’s in-house thematic report which was published in March this year. Kerry previously worked in healthcare regulation on various national legislative policy reform programmes.

Fiona Anthony, Solicitor and Practice & Professional Development Manager, nplaw

Fiona joined nplaw in July 2015 as a Professional Support Lawyer, having spent many years practising law in local government. She has a wide-ranging role which includes research and training for members of staff and clients. Fiona is nplaw’s Training Principal with responsibility for the team of six trainee solicitors and she co-ordinates work experience placements and student internships. She is a member of nplaw’s Management Team.

Over the last few years, Fiona has developed expertise in the area of compulsory purchase, streamlining the organisation’s processes, producing guidance notes and keeping lawyers and clients up-to-date with the many recent changes in the law. She speaks at national conferences and delivers training in this area across the country. Fiona has produced training materials for managers within a large public sector organisation which has involved writing manuals on “Compulsory Purchase Policy and Procedure” and “Compulsory Purchase Compensation and Valuation”, delivering a series of live and recorded webinars and producing assessments.

Mark Heath, Consultant, VWV

Mark Heath is a solicitor and consultant at VWV where he specialises in providing advice to clients in the public sector. He is also the Returning Officer at Southampton.

Mark has over 30 years' service within the public sector. Until December 2016 he held the positions of Solicitor to the Council (and Monitoring Officer) for 20 years and subsequently Director of Resources / Director of Place and finally Chief Operating Officer at Southampton City Council.

He became Southampton's Electoral Registration and Returning Officer in 1994, roles he still holds. He has served as Regional Returning Officer for the South-East Region of the UK in various elections and referendums as well as Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) for the Hampshire Force Area. He also sits on various bodies convened by Government and the Electoral Commission that look at electoral law, policy and practice as well as writing and lecturing on the topic.

Lisa Kirkman, Consultant, VWV

Lisa joined VWV after previously working at two ambitious Hampshire authorities. Having most recently been Strategic Director and Monitoring Officer at Winchester City Council she has a unique insight having led teams beyond the legal sphere in areas such as audit, finance, procurement and contract management, policy, emergency planning and business continuity, communications, democratic services, elections, IT and HR. 

Lisa trained and qualified at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, spending a further 17 years working her way up to Head of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer before moving to Winchester City Council. 

Helen McGrath, Executive Director of Policy and Governance, LLG

Helen is responsible for driving forward the campaign element of LLG's work and contributes to the formation of policy and membership benefits. Helen leads on responses to government consultations and written evidence; producing guidance, protocols, and briefings of benefit to the membership whilst engaging in stakeholder and corporate partner liaison.

Helen oversees the National Lead programme, provides supports to the Regions and oversees communications and press liaison. Helen is a qualified solicitor and is LLG's company secretary.

Sarah Lamont, Partner, Bevan Brittan

Sarah is a specialist employment lawyer with over 25 years' experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. She has particular expertise in TUPE transfers, restructuring and redundancies, complex employment litigation, discrimination/equality issues and senior staff exits. Sarah acts for clients across a wide range of sectors including major corporate employers, housing associations, education bodies and charities and is the Firm’s lead on providing employment advice to local authorities. 

Sarah's general experience includes all areas of employment work and she has dealt with a number of high profile cases in Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. She has specific expertise in advising on equal pay and discrimination, restructuring and redundancy programmes, negotiated exits, changing terms and conditions, and providing TUPE advice in connection with service delivery models including shared services, partnering arrangements, joint ventures and outsourcing. Sarah also provides support to in-house legal and HR teams, acting as a sounding board on both strategic and operational HR issues.

John Purvis, Solicitor, Leeds City Council and LLG Junior Director

John is an Assistant Solicitor at Leeds City Council, specialising in Procurement and Commercial Contracts. After a short spell in private practice, John started his local government legal career in 2013 as a Legal Apprentice, before moving between various local authorities and gaining experience in a wide variety of areas, and eventually qualifying in June 2021. 

Outside of the Council, John is an active member of the Leeds Junior Lawyers Division and a member of the Procurement Lawyers Association.

Simon Lewis, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

Simon is a Partner in the Construction and Engineering Team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP.  He has over 30 years' experience of working in the construction industry for a variety of public and private sector clients. He specialises in dispute resolution, in particular in infrastructure and PFI/PPP projects and energy sector disputes.

Simon is also the head of the firm's Building Safety Working Group and has been tracking the development of the Building Safety Act (BSA) from the consultation phase to its final implementation.  He is responsible for coordinating the firm's response to the industry-wide changes being brought about by the BSA and its regulatory framework. He advises clients in relation to building safety and cladding and remediation issues.

Sarah White, Legal Director, Womble Bond Dickinson

Sarah specialises in planning, highways, environment and local government projects. Sarah regularly advises clients on regeneration projects, compulsory purchase, development consent orders, planning applications, planning appeals, planning and highways agreements, enforcement, judicial review, data protection and governance. Most recently Sarah was Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer for Guildford Borough Council and managed a team of lawyers across a range of disciplines. Sarah has been involved in large projects that have required co-ordination and cross working across a range of departments and areas of experience. 

Mark Cook, Partner, Anthony Collins

Mark is a partner with over 32 years’ experience of advising people and organisations on how to work together across the public, private and civil society sectors. He provides strategic advice on models for transforming public services and resources, using the law to create flexible routes for achieving change. He has a particular track record in enabling social value to be a core feature in the delivery of public services. Mark works hard to deliver solutions that involve people in local communities, and he believes in the ability of those on the ground to make the difference in the neighbourhoods where they live and work.

Typical areas covered by Mark include: funding and grant agreements; social housing; alternative delivery models; contracts and disputes; major and complex projects; partnering and alliance arrangements; project finance; public procurement; subsidy control; administrative; environmental; judicial reviews; local government law (including statutory and fiduciary functions); public infrastructure; and governance (especially local government and combined authority, NHS/local government), joint venture vehicles and not-for-profit structures).

He is also writer and performer of “All you need is LUF”, a song that is very popular with the LLG membership.

Alan Cavill, Director of Communication and Regeneration, Blackpool Council

Alan became Director of Communication and Regeneration at Blackpool Council in April 2014.  This area is responsible for Regeneration, Enterprise and Employment, Tourism, Business & Visitor Economy Strategy, Libraries, Heritage, Planning, Illuminations, Communications and the Transport department.  Prior to this he was Assistant Chief Executive of Regeneration, Tourism and Culture, a position he was appointed to in July 2011 and he has been on Council’s corporate leadership team for over 10 years.

Specifically Alan now carries the responsibility for the Council owned Leisure Assets which includes Blackpool Tower and the Winter gardens Complex.  The Winter Gardens is the home of the Blackpool Dance Festival; the competition and brand that is now owned by Blackpool Council.

He has over 30 years of experience working on various aspect and projects in tourism and regeneration in the North West including Salford Quays, Workington Ironworks, Preston Docks, East Manchester and of course Blackpool. 

Before moving to Blackpool in 1997 to manage Blackpool Challenge Partnership he spent 15 years with Central Government in Manchester in the Department of Transport, Department of Environment and Government Office for the North West.

He was also Chairman of Blackpool & the Fylde College; a Queens Award winning outstanding educational institute with over 20,000 students.  He is vice chairman of British Destinations (a national body representing tourism destinations), holds a number of trustee positions on charitable bodies, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry from Salford University and is a MIED (Member of the Institute of Economic Development).

Paul Lloyd, Partner, Capsticks

Paul has over 20 years’ experience advising social housing providers on the full remit of their interactions with residents, the Regulator and stakeholders.  He is regularly called upon to advise on complex and high visibility cases.  He twins this with delivering quality bespoke training, receiving plaudits for the inclusive and relevant content.

Paul is committed to ensuring an exemplar service, ensuring clients are supported to navigate through the complex housing landscape at both national and local level.  Refraining from the politics of personality, Paul provides discreet support and advice to key players, maintaining their trust by his breadth of knowledge and critical insight.

Paul employs a direct approach with housing management teams, advising on anti-social behaviours, tenancy fraud, human rights issues and land and service charge cases. He regularly advises commercial heavyweights, regional front-runners, and north-east based associations.  Clients seek him out on the back of the many events at which he speaks including on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Housing Quality Network, Housemark and Resolve.  Paul continues his association with the CIH as a Chartered Member and as a Regional Champion.

Katrina Robinson MBE, Partner, Capsticks

Katrina is a Partner at Capsticks and specialises in advising on a range of housing management matters including tenancy fraud, anti-social behaviour, disrepair and access. She is the Chair of the Tenancy Fraud Forum, the past immediate Chair of the Law Society’s LGBT+ Committee, the founder of the Disrepair Focus Group and was previously the Independent Adjudicator for Grenfell.   She also chairs our internal networking group for disability and wellbeing. In 2016 she was honoured with an MBE for Services to Social Housing.

Katrina has substantial experience of working with housing associations and local authorities and regularly obtains possession orders and Unlawful Profit Orders in complex fraud and ASB cases as well as achieving fantastic outcomes in disrepair cases. She also prepares tenancy agreements with clauses that have been reported in the national press and prepares policies and procedures for social landlords as well as working on large tenancy variation projects.

Helen Bradley, Head of Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer, Durham County Council, and LLG National Lead for Monitoring Officers and Governance

Helen has nearly 20 years' local government experience having worked in both district and unitary authorities. Initially specialising in criminal and civil litigation, all of Helen’s roles have included a focus on local authority governance, which reflects her interest in this area of expertise. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with elected Members and considers that strong working relationships with all members are essential to good governance and high standards of ethical conduct.

Having trained in local government, Helen is particularly interested in developing local authority lawyers and the Monitoring Officers in the future. She was appointed as National Lead for Monitoring Officers and Governance for Lawyers in Local Government in December 2016.

Estelle Culligan, Partner, Wilkin Chapman

Estelle graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in modern languages and pursued a career in human resources before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She worked for four years as a family solicitor, before moving into local government as a litigation solicitor. She rapidly progressed and, for several years, has worked as head or director of law and monitoring officer for various councils. She has managed a number of related services within local government, including legal services, human resources, democratic services, information governance and elections.

Estelle’s experience within local government law is wide ranging. She advises on issues including constitutional matters, councillors’ conduct, decision making and powers, planning, housing and all aspects of local authority governance. She has developed a particular interest and expertise in dealing with grievance and disciplinary matters involving statutory officers.

Jonathan Goolden, Partner, Wilkin Chapman

Jonathan is a highly experienced regulatory and public sector lawyer and former senior manager. He trained as a solicitor in Manchester, London and Brussels before joining Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in 1991. In 1993 he moved to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council initially undertaking planning and corporate work, before managing a litigation and social services legal team. He was seconded to the Council's Internal Inquiry team investigating serious corruption and misconduct amongst senior staff and councillors.

In 1998, Jonathan became Secretary and Solicitor to Derbyshire Dales District Council and its monitoring officer. In 2000, he moved to Lincolnshire, becoming a Deputy Clerk and Monitoring Officer, then Clerk to Lincolnshire Police Authority. He left the Police Authority in 2004 to set up his own firm which he merged with Wilkin Chapman LLP in 2010 and he is currently based at the firm's main office in Grimsby.

He was a member of the core drafting team for INLOGOV working on the modular constitutions project for English local government and lectures widely on governance and ethical standards issues.

Together with his team of experienced former police and local government officers, he has investigated and led a large number of reviews of complex and politically high profile cases of alleged misconduct in the public sector. His investigation of Boris Johnson’s conduct as Mayor of London and Chairman of the then Metropolitan Police Authority in relation to the arrest of Damien Green MP was cited as an example of best practice of a high pressured investigation by Hull Business School in research for the Standards Board for England.

More recently, he has reviewed the handling of significant whistle blowing allegations in a mental health NHS trust, child safeguarding and taxi licensing issues at a district council and assisted a London Borough hold its first full council meeting after a major and very high profile disaster.

Jonathan advises a range of commercial and public sector bodies on information governance, including data protection and information security and is a member of the Humber Business Resilience Forum.

Day 2 Governance Conference Programme

Mercure St Paul's Hotel

119 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 2JE

Supported by

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor


Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor




Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor

Corporate Partner and Exhibitor


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