2018 Speaker Profiles

img
Richard Macrory CBE

Richard Macrory is Emeritus Professor at UCL and he is considered to be one of the most distinguished and experienced environmental lawyers in the country, who has pioneered the development of the field of law. He was the UK’s first professor of environmental law.

Professor Macrory was a Member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution between 1992 and 2003, and was a Board Member of the Environment Agency in England and Wales between 1999 and 2004. He was the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Environmental Law (Oxford University Press) and is currently legal correspondent to ENDS Report. He was Hon. President of the National Society for Clean Air 2005-6, and chairman of Merchant Ivory Film Productions between 1988 and 2004. In 2001-2003 he was elected chairman of the Steering Group of the European Environmental Advisory Councils, an informal network of official environmental advisory bodies throughout Europe. Professor Macrory is a Patron of the UK Environmental Law Association.

In 2006 he was appointed by the Cabinet Office for lead a Review on Regulatory Sanctions covering nearly all areas of business regulation. All the recommendations in his Review were accepted by Government. Important new powers for regulators resulting from his Review are now contained in the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008.

Richard is also a barrister of Brick Court Chambers and has been awarded a CBE for services to the environment and law.

Sophie Marjanac 

Ms. Marjanac is an Australian qualified lawyer with specialist knowledge in climate change litigation. She obtained her Bachelor of Law with a first class honours and a Bachelor of International Studies with a Distinction from the University of New South Wales in 2009. She has worked at the Torres Strait Regional Authority, engaging in litigation, negotiation and advocacy on behalf of indigenous Australian community. Thereafter she was a senior lawyer at Clayton Utz: the largest independent Law firm in Australia specialising in Environmental and Planning Law. She joined Client Earth in 2015, one of the largest charitable organisations working to protect the environment through litigation, advocacy and science. Client Earth’s public interest litigation takes an innovative approach to environmental litigation in the UK. At ClientEarth she works n the Climate Litigation Program (Company and Financial and Climate Accountability Projects).   

Sophie’s ideology and commitment towards environment is reflected in her words: “I am passionate about using the law to protect the environment and the rights of communities.ClientEarthunderstands that the impacts of anthropogenic climate change will be the defining feature of this century and is working to encourage shifts in state policy and corporate behaviour to facilitate a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We work creatively with a range of partners in order to drive positive environmental outcomes.”  

She constantly writes opinion pieces and analysis on current climate change issues and climate litigation. She has also co-authored a report indicating the increasing risk of litigation against governments and business as a result of climate change, and she has spoken extensively on the liability of companies’ directors in regard to climate risks.  

 

Adrienne Copithorne

Ms. Copithorne qualified in Law at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, having earned the Sir David Williams Prize for the highest results at the final examination in law at the college. She worked in the NGO and charity sector for several years, including  the Refugee Legal Centre and ICRC in Kashmir. She holds a Masters degree in South Asia Studies from University of California, Berkeley and a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada. 

Since 2014 she has been a partner at Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law, a leading firm in claimant focussed environmental litigation. She has acted for clients in many leading cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal . Her interests involve public open space, energy infrastructure, climate change and public law principles such as the need for effective consultation. She was appointed a non-executive director of Sandbag, a non-profit  think-tank which researches and campaigns for smarter climate policy in June 2017. 

 

Professor Gitanjali Gill

Professor Gill enjoys a distinguished career as an academic. Currently she is the Professor of Environmental Law at the Law School, Northumbria University. She previously worked at Cardiff University, Queen Mary University and Delhi University.  She holds a BA, LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD. Her research interests and expertise focus on social and environmental justice issues, human rights, public interest litigation and sustainable development. 

She is widely published on environmental law in India and has articles in the Environmental Law Journal, Environmental Law Review, Transnational Environmental Law, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Public Law and chapters in several books. 

In January 2017, her research findings and conclusions were published in her book ‘Environmental Justice in India: The National Green Tribunal’ [Routledge, Earthscan, UK]. Her research agenda will continue to focus on India and will also include comparative work within China. 

 

Dr. Emily Barritt

Dr Barritt teaches Tort and Environmental Law at King’s College London, where she is a Lecturer in Tort Law and a member of the Climate Law and Governance Hub. She also teaches a course on Public Interest Litigation at HMP Belmarsh as part of the Learning Together Initiative.

She was previously a Lecturer in Law at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford and a Fellow at the Centre for Environment. Energy and Natural Resource Governance, University of Cambridge. She studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and has been awarded the Academy of European Law Diploma in Human Rights Law. She obtained her PhD in 2014 from King’s College London.

The principal focus of her research is on how environmental rights, democracy and stewardship are promoted by the Aarhus Convention, which was the basis of her PhD research. A monograph based on this research, entitled Foundations of the Aarhus Convention will be published by Hart Publishing.

 

Gillian Lobo

Gillian Lobo is a qualified solicitor and holds a law degree from the University of Sheffield and a master’s degree in Law and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Before joining ClientEarth she worked for the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, where she undertook a mix of work, including claims in negligence, human rights and inquests into the deaths of British soldiers whilst on operations. Gillian was the government lawyer in the leading Supreme Court judgment of Smith & Ors v the Ministry of Defence [2013] UKSC 41, the leading test cases on the scope of combat immunity and application of Article 2 of the ECHR to soldiers whilst on military operations. She also worked on the Equality Bill during its passage through Parliament and on the implementation of the Equality Act 2010.

Gillian has worked as a lawyer specialising in civil litigation at Client Earth since 2015. Her work spans the broad field of ‘climate change litigation’, focussing on the legal duties and responsibilities States and private actors owe to others. She also works on access to justice issues in the UK, and has been involved in ClientEarth’s important and successful clean air litigation, including the recent case ClientEarth 3 challenge, where the Administrative Court declared that the Governments Air Quality Plan is ‘unlawful’.

Gillian’s commitment to the protection of the environment is demonstrated by her own words. She has stated: “Working at ClientEarth allows me to use my legal experience and skills to achieve innovative and positive outcomes for the environment. As a lawyer, it is truly rewarding to work at the cutting edge, where you can help develop the law in a way that protects current and future generations.”

 

Dr. Virginie Rouas

Dr. Virginie Rouas holds a PhD in Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law from the University of Strasbourg. Her main areas of expertise include environmental law and human rights. In her doctoral thesis, she provided an analysis of access to justice in the European Union (mainly France and the Netherlands) in the context of human rights and environmental litigation against multinational enterprises. Dr. Rouas has worked for various national and international organizations and NGOs, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Global Witness, the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), and Frank Bold. She has also been a graduate teaching assistant and a guest lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Dr. Rouas currently works as a Legal Advisor for Milieu, a multi-disciplinary consultancy based in Brussels, specialising in providing legal and policy services for the European Union institutions and other international organisations. At Milieu, she has been involved in various environmental and human rights projects, including a research project on effective access to justice in the European Union for the European Parliament. Dr. Rouas is also a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies where she is pursuing research in her fields of interest (access to justice; business and human rights).

 

Nina Pindham

Nina Pindham is a Barrister specialising in planning and environmental law at No 5 Chambers. She advises a variety of clients including landowners, developers and local planning authorities on a wide range of planning and environmental matters. She was trained as a research scientist in Canada. Her undergraduate research involved water quality in the context of proposed development which resulted in a revision of government policy and considerable media coverable. Before joining No 5 Chambers Nina has worked in a number of international development agencies and she continues to promote increased participation of women and disadvantaged groups. Nina has appeared in many of water law, energy and nuisance related matters.

 

David Roberts

David Roberts studied Biodiversity Conservation and Management at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and completed an LLM in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Kent.  Mr. Roberts interned at WWF-UK and he is currently a solicitor in the international and group claims department at Leigh Day. He specializes in international human rights and environmental claims against multinational companies and claims against the British Government. Since joining Leigh Day, David has assisted on number of different matters, including:

  • The Ivory Coast claims where Leigh Day successfully represented 30,000 claimants from Cote d’Ivoire against an oil trader, which allegedly dumped toxic waste in the country’s commercial capital, Abidjan.
  • The Mau Mau claims, where Leigh Day successfully represented 5,228 Kenyan victims of colonial torture who alleged that they were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the British colonial administration in the 1950’s.
  • The Bodo claims in which Leigh Day brought a claim against Shell Petroleum on behalf of 15,000 Nigerian fishermen and women for the environmental damage suffered by their community as a result of two large oil spills.

 

Veerle Heyvaert

Veerle Heyvaert is an Associate Professor at the LSE Law Department. She has obtained her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and LLM from Harvard Law School. She was the inaugural Sir Peter North Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and Keble College, Oxford from 1998-1999. Her areas of expertise include Environmental Law, Regulation and EU Law. Her extensive research profile includes work on cutting- edge areas such as transnational environmental regulation, climate risk regulation, compliance with international commitments and European and international environmental law.

She is also a Founding Editor-in-Chief of Transnational Environmental Law. Her most recent publications include a book on European Environmental Law (CUP, 2017) with S. Kingston and A. Čavoški, and an extensive list of articles on issues including: ‘The transnationalisation of law: rethinking law through transnational environmental regulation’ ‘Environmental Law After Brexit (with A. Čavoški), and ‘Regulatory competition: accounting for the transnational dimension of environmental regulation’.