Location: Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London,  EC2A 2HS.  In Person only. This event is not online!
If you have any technical issues with booking please contact

PLP’s annual conference is back for a day of cutting-edge analysis, insight and opinion from leading lawyers and legal thinkers, presented in partnership with Blackstone Chambers and Herbert Smith Freehills. 2023 is the 20th anniversary of the event, and our theme is Power and the Law. This event nearly always sells out so please, book now to avoid disappointment.   Please note the student ticket allocation has now sold out. 

What are the limits of legal power, and who exercises and has access to that power, especially in the face of global rights issues such as the environment, inequality and the threats posed by technology? We’ll also ask who the law protects, and what forces have shaped public law domestically in the last 20 years since PLP’s annual conference began!

This event is for:

All practitioners involved in all aspects of public law and judicial review, including those in private practice, Government, NGOs (including policy and advocacy work), researchers and academics.

Tickets and pricing

Tickets are priced at £295 full price, £230 discounted rate (for NGOs, those under 3 years call, trainees and paralegals). Block booking discounts for 3 or more places are available. Please see the end of this page for rates. Please e-mail the events team,, to make arrangements.

Delegate packs: We provide electronic versions of the pack only for environmental and accessibility reasons.  If you require a printed pack for accessibility reasons, please email to request one.  We do ask that you give a reason.
Devices: Please bring fully charged device as there are limited charging points available.
Lunch:  Responding to feedback, we will ensure catering is a focus this year!  We ask hosts to provide vegetarian food for environmental and simplicity reasons.

09.25 Introduction from morning chair

  • Shameem Ahmad, CEO, Public Law Project

9.30 Opening Address
Reimagining Legal Systems: Towards Equitable Power Distribution
Leslie will talk to the need for transformative change within legal systems to address power imbalances and provide effective protection for all members of society.

  • Prof Leslie Thomas KC, Garden Court Chambers

10.00 The top public law cases of the year

  • Shameem Ahmad, Public Law Project
  • Naina Patel, Blackstone Chambers
  • Nusrat Zar, Herbert Smith Freehills

10.45 Break

11.00 Power and the law: Fundamental Rights and the Duties and Obligations of Businesses and Other Non-State Actors.
Through the lens of principles of judicial review at domestic and European level, Robert will examine the overarching themes in recent regulatory initiatives in the sphere of environmental, social and governance (ESG), including online platform regulation, tech and artificial intelligence. Do traditional judicial review principles suffice in the face of increasing powers of regulatory authorities, the complexities of cross-border litigation and regulatory compliance assessment that need to be made in this sphere? This will be followed by a Q&A.

  • Robert Spano, Partner, Gibson Dunn (London/Paris), former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Visiting Professor of Law, University of Oxford
  • Chair, Shameem Ahmad, Public Law Project

11.45 –  13.00  Breakouts – choose one of four

1. Immigration law and policy
The panelists will address public law and human’s rights issues in immigration law and policy, including the Rwanda policy, the Illegal Migration Act and mental health disabilities and access to the immigration system. 

  • Chair: Rakesh Singh, Public Law Project
  • David Chirico, One Pump Court
  • Brian Dikoff, Migrants Organise
  • Alison Pickup, Asylum Aid

2. Judicial Review of the regulators

This is an update on the recent use of judicial review to challenge a range of regulators, and a look back at trends over the last 20 years.

  • Andrew Lidbetter and Jasveer Randhawa, Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Tim Ward KC, Monckton Chambers

3. The power of research
This session looks at how legal or social research can be used in impactful ways, including in litigation and campaigning for policy change. The session will also look at coproduction with lived experience experts so their voices can contribute to research and help shape policy and campaigning.

  • Chair: Dr Jo Hynes, Public Law Project
  • Chris Brill, Expert link
  • Prof Tom Hickman KC, Blackstone Chambers and UCL
  • Dr Jack Simson Caird, Deputy Counsel, Justice Committee, House of Commons

4. Power and the law: Human rights beyond the ECHR
How do we identify and give life to new rights in the UK? This session will look at developing the common law, international and treaty law, and devolutionary perspectives. It will look at rights across a spectrum of areas including immigration, and nationality, and economic, social and cultural rights.

  • Chair: Shaheed Fatima KC, Blackstone Chambers
  • Rhian Davies, Disability Wales
  • Helen Flynn & Jess McQuail, Just Fair
  • Rachel Jones, Blackstone Chambers
  • Saba Shakil, Public Law Project

13.00 Lunch

14.00 -15.00 Power and the law: Exceptionalism in immigration and terror legislation.
Exceptionalism is often used to describe a space where powers and processes are used in ways that would be intolerable elsewhere. Conor and Charlotte will discuss exceptionalism from a constitutional perspective, and specifically in the context of anti-terrorism and immigration law. What are the consequences of exceptionalism, and could there be other exceptions?

  • Prof Conor Gearty KC (Hon), LSE and Matrix Chambers
  • Charlotte Kilroy KC, Blackstone Chambers
  • Introduced by Lee Marsons, Public Law project

15.00  – 16.15 Afternoon breakouts – choose one of four

5. Tracking automated Government and regulating AI
This session looks at PLP’s Tracking Automated Government (TAG) register, our project to increase transparency and accountability of automated decision-making systems (ADMs) used by Government, and, amongst other things, AI regulation.

  • Chair: Joseph Summers, Public Law Project
  • Alex Lawrence-Archer, AWO Legal
  • Mia Leslie, Public Law Project

6. Power and the law: Impunity and accountability
Are we entering a new paradigm of Government impunity, with the executive ignoring reports and advice, and using secondary legislation to circumvent parliament’s explicit intentions? And if parliament cannot hold Government to account, can the law?

  • Chair: Alexandra Sinclair, Public Law Project
  • Jacqueline McKenzie, Leigh Day
  • Theresa Schleicher, Medical Justice
  • Katy Watts, Liberty

More speakers TBC

7. Climate and environmental justice
Our panel will address:
The intersection between planning and the UK’s net zero target; The role of the Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) in investigating suspected failures to comply with environmental law by government and public authorities, and enforcing compliance particularly through Environmental Judicial Review; and Transnational remedies for environmental harm: soft law approaches.

  • Chair: Ilinca Tuvene, Public Law Project
  • Gillian Lobo Client Earth
  • Natasha Maugueret, Bindmans
  • Sue Willman, Deighton Pierce Glynn and King’s Legal Clinic

8. Preparing policy: A defendant’s view on public law

This session looks at policy formation and implementation from a Government perspective, including legal risk analysis, and undertaking consultations and Equalities Impact Assessments (EIAs).

  • Chair: Azeem Suterwalla, Monckton Chambers
  • Dr Laura Bellingham, Deputy Director, Civil Service Policy Profession Unit
  • John Ward OBE, Legal Director, Government Legal Department 
  • James Wood, Herbert Smith Freehills

16.15 Break

16.35 Closing address: The future of strategic litigation

  • Nani Jansen Reventlow, Systemic Justice and Doughty Street Chambers (Associate)

For our 20th anniversary conference closing address Nani will deliver a talk on nothing less than the future of strategic litigation. How can we ensure our legal system is tenable for the long run, and what role should lawyers, communities, and the courts play in making that happen? The issues raised in Nani’s address will then be discussed by our panel and thrown open to the audience.

  • Panel chair: Carla Clarke, Public Law Project
  • Lui Asquith, Russell Cooke
  • Cyrilia Knight, Partner at Saunders Law & Founding Member of UNJUST’s Legal Group’
  • Ife Thompson, 1MCB Chambers, BLAM UK, UN Human Rights Fellow

17.35 Closing remarks followed  by drinks reception


PRICE: £245.00
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PRICE: £190.00
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PRICE: £235.00
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PRICE: £220.00
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PRICE: £210.00
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PRICE: £200.00
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12 October 2023
9:30 am - 5:45 pm

Book now

Exchange House, Primrose Street

Standard Ticket

Price: £295.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £295.00

Discounted Ticket

Price: £230.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £230.00

Student Ticket

Price: £20.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £20.00

Standard Ticket (Block booking 3-6 places)

Price: £245.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £245.00

Discounted Ticket (Block booking 3-6 places)

Price: £190.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £190.00

Book a place

Bookings are closed for this event.