Join us for LAPG’s first foray into a fully digital conference. With a superb mix of workshops delivering practitioner-focused content.

We have a packed calendar of events to help you develop new skills and refine your existing ones, sessions to enable you to feed into policy development and social events.

With launch and closing events, 21 workshops, 3 evening socials, a plenary, our AGM, the APPG on Legal Aid Inquiry, and a couple of pilates sessions to get you moving, there is something for everyone across the legal aid community. All included in one very low price as we know times are tough for our legal aid friends and colleagues.

This year we have teamed up with PLP to deliver three sessions focusing on the access to justice in Wales, a pre-cursor to the PLP Wales Conference scheduled for late March 2021.


(further details to be added)

Monday, 22nd of February 2021

18:00 – 19:00 – Conference Launch Event (Livestreamed on YouTube)

  • Opening Address: Nicola Mackintosh, Mackintosh Law and LAPG Co-Chair
  • David Lammy MP, Shadow Lord Chancellor in conversation with Fiona Bawdon, legal affairs journalist
  • Launch of LALY21

Tuesday, 23rd of February 2021

08:00 – 08:30 Pilates with Lucy Merriman (All on Zoom)

A beginners level group pilates session with Lucy of Pilates by Nature designed to get you moving and stretching and specifically tailored for those stuck in front of a screen all day.

09:00-10:00 Workshop Session 1

  • Advice Needs in Wales: Strategic Litigation to Bring About Systemic Change with Public Law Project: Daniel Rourke, Lead Lawyer, Public Law Project and Tim Baldwin, Garden Court Chambers
  • The Westminster Commission on Legal Aid – Lessons Learned so Far – Criminal Defence, Family, Civil, Public Law and the Publicly-Funded Bar: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid – Karen Buck MP, James Daly MP, Rohini Teather, Head of Parliamentary Affairs, LAPG

12:30-14:00 Advice Needs in Wales: Access to Justice – Plenary Discussion


  • Juliet Morris, Welsh Government
  • JJ Costello, Head of Housing Services (South), Shelter Cymru
  • Rebecca Woolley, Citizens Advice
  • Fran Targett, Commissioner
  • Practitioner speaker TBC

13:00 – 14:00 Workshop Session 2

  • Managing for the Future: Confidentially: Nick Hanning, Consultant, DG Legal
  • Court of Protection Cases – Practical Tips: Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon) and Zena Soormally Bolwig, Directors, Mackintosh Law

16:30 – 17:30 Workshop Session 3

  • Advice Needs in Wales: A Career in Legal Aid with Young Legal Aid Lawyers and Public Law Project: Chair: Crash Wrigley, YLAL Cymru: Speakers: David Gardner, No5 Chambers, Hussein Said, Speakeasy Law Centre, Katie White, Shelter Cymru, Matthew Court, Wales Lawyer, Public Law Project
  • Ministry of Justice Engagement Event – The Means Test Review: Phoebe Clapham, Head of Legal Aid Means Test Review, Ministry of Justice
  • Managing for the Future: The Role of the COFA: Sarah Charlton, Consultant, DG Legal

EVENING SOCIAL: 19:00 – 20:00 Caribbean Cook-Along and Cocktails

With author and TV chef Shivi Ramoutar ( Zoom from your kitchen and cook along (recipes sent out in advance) or sit back and relax with a drink. Join us for an interactive session of cooking and cocktails.

Wednesday, 24th of February 2021

09:00-10:00 Workshop Session 4

  • Civil/Public Law Costs Maximisation: Kenny Shealey, Legal Aid Training Co-Ordinator, The John M Hayes Partnership Limited
  • Family Law Update: Jenny Beck, Partner, Beck Fitzgerald & LAPG Co-chair and Daniel Rourke, PLP Lead Lawyer
  • The Bar Council – Running on Empty: what is the future of the Civil Legal Aid Bar?: Kathy Wong, Policy Analyst: Legal Practice and Remuneration and Dr Rose Holmes, Research Manager, The Bar Council; Sarah Hemingway, Garden Court Chambers

13:00 – 14:00 LAPG AGM (All LAPG members welcome)

An opportunity for LAPG members to hear from the Board of Directors and staff team about LAPG’s activities over 2020 and plans for 2021 and beyond. The meeting will address the election of Board of Directors and reports from the Co-Chairs, Treasurer and CEO.

16:30 – 17:30 Workshop Session 5

  • Latest Issues in Housing Law: Giles Peaker, Partner, Anthony Gold and Simon Mullings, Edwards Duthie Shamash and co-chair of HLPA
  • VHCCs in Family & Care Matters: Shaun Williams, South West and Wales Deputy Regional Manager, The John M Hayes Partnership Limited

EVENING SOCIAL: 18:00-19:00 LAG book launch

LAPG in conjunction with LAG are pleased to announce that the book launch of ‘Vicarious Trauma in the Legal Profession: a practical guide to trauma, burnout and collective care’ will take place as part of the LAPG Annual Conference.

‘This book is a wake-up call about what is happening to law and access to justice – but it is also a clarion as to what is happening to lawyers.’ Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Thursday, 25th of February 2021

10.00 – 13.00 The Westminster Commission on Legal Aid’s Inquiry into the Sustainability of Legal Aid

Fifth Oral Evidence Session: Access to Justice. Brought to you by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid.

Witness Panel:

  • Clients with direct lived experience of legal aid and the justice system: Inquests; Community Care; Domestic Abuse
  • Marcia Willis Stewart, Partner, Birnberg Peirce
  • Deborah Coles, Executive Director, Inquest
  • Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network

Cross-Party Panel:

  • Karen Buck MP, Chair
  • James Daly MP, Vice-Chair
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy
  • Baroness Natalie Bennett
  • Lord Willy Bach
  • Lord Colin Low
  • Andy Slaughter MP
  • Gareth Bacon MP
  • Laura Farris MP
  • Yvonne Fovargue MP

16:30 – 17:30 Workshop Session 6

  • Crown Court Costs: Marc Banyard, Costs Draftsman, The John M Hayes Partnership Limited
  • Managing for the Future: Planning for the New Normal: Vicky Ling, Partnership Quality Systems and Matthew Howgate, Meran Consulting
  • Ministry of Justice Engagement Event – Civil Sustainability Review: Housing Sustainability: James Wrigley, Head of Civil and Family Legal Aid and Natalie Geary, Policy Officer, Ministry of Justice

EVENING SOCIAL: 20:00 – 22:00 The Legal Aid Quiz of the Year

Do you and your colleagues have what it takes to be crowned Legal Aid Quiz Champions 2021? It’s Firm vs Firm vs NfP vs Anyone else brave enough to take you on. And we promise not to ask any questions about legal aid!

Friday, 26th of February 2021

09:00-10:00 Workshop Session 7

  • Family & Care Costs Maximisation: Kenny Shealey, Legal Aid Training Co-Ordinator, The John M Hayes Partnership Limited
  • Improving LAA decision-making: Kat Grainger, Head of Customer Service & Case Management Improvement Team, Legal Aid Agency and Kate Pasfield, Director of Legal Aid Policy and Member Services, LAPG

12:30 – 13:00 Pilates with Lucy Merriman

A beginners level group pilates session with Lucy of Pilates by Nature designed to get you moving and stretching and specifically tailored for those stuck in front of a screen all day.

13:00 – 14:00 Workshop Session 8

  • Working Remotely with Clients During the Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond: Louise Bowers, Registered Forensic Psychologist and Lucy Verity, Partner, Philcox Gray
  • Housing Costs Maximisation : Kenny Shealey, Legal Aid Training Co-Ordinator, The John M Hayes Partnership Limited

16:30 – 17:30 Workshop Session 9

  • Access to Immigration Advice in Prisons (YLAL Session): Chair: Ollie Persey, Garden Court Chambers and YLAL Committee: Speakers: Jeremy Bloom, Duncan Lewis, Emma McClure, Swain & Co/ YLAL Committee, Marcela Navarrete, Wilson Solicitors LLP, Rudy Schulkind, Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID)
  • How Technology Can Make Crime and Civil Legal Aid Pay: Karl Viedman, Advanced and Kelly Rotheram, Sternberg Reed

18:00 – 19:00 Closing Addresses

Jenny Beck, Beck Fitzgerald and LAPG co-chair, will provide a round-up of the key lessons and themes from this year’s conference plus a look ahead to the critical issues that the government must address to ensure the long-term sustainability of the legal aid system and the viability of those working within it.

Alex Chalk MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for legal aid, will provide the closing address for the conference.