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16 June 2021 - 23 June 2021


1:00 pm - 2:45 pm


Online (FREE)

30 Park Place is delighted to announce its hugely popular Welsh Education Law Conference will take online, covering nine areas of insight for local authorities, the general public, schools, health authorities and lawyers – including the impact of new legislation.

The annual conference usually takes place in person but this year, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions governing events in Wales, Legal News Wales will support chambers in hosting the event, split across two lunchtime sessions on the 16th and 23rd June 2021 (1-2:45pm).

Booking details and link below. 

Programme & speakers

Day one: 16th June, 13:00 – 14:45
  • Overview of the new legislation  what has come into force and when it will be implemented: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • The new legislation – what schools have to do – including fee paying schools: Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • The new legislation – what local authorities have to do: Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place
Day two: 23th June, 13:00 – 14:45
  • The new legislation – what education professionals have to do (ALNCOs and EPs): Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • The new legislation – what parents have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • The new legislation – what FEs have to do: Michael Imperato, Partner & Head of Public & Administrative Law, Watkins & Gunn
  • The new legislation – what health authorities have to do: Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • The new Education Tribunal regulations: Mark Allen, Barrister & Head of the Education Team, 30 Park Place.

WELC 2021 will be hosted via Zoom, by Legal News Wales. Useful information on the platform and accessing the event is listed below.

Donations for SNAP Cymru

In lieu of an attendance fee this year, we ask that those that can make a donation to SNAP Cymru to support the fantastic work they do. (Recommended donation fee of £5 pp). To make a donation, please visit:

To read more about the work of SNAP Cymru, please click here.

Book now!

To book your place, for yourself or on behalf of a colleague, please email

Speaker profiles

Mark Allen, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Mark is highly experienced in difficult high profile and high value cases as well as cases with vulnerable clients. He prides himself on being a friendly, approachable and very patient barrister – necessary when dealing with these cases. He remains aware of the anxiety caused to clients by the proceedings / dispute and is conscious of the need to save costs as far as possible, sometimes by thinking out of the box.

Mark’s practice sits predominantly across South and West Wales and into border counties in England.

He is Head of the Education Team and sits across Wales conducting Tribunal Hearings. Mark is also fully qualified to carry out advocacy work on a direct access basis. Click here for his full profile.

Michael Imperato, Head of Public & Administrative Law, Watkins & Gunn

Michael is a Partner and Solicitor at Watkins & Gunn and the Head of Public & Administrative law at the firm. Michael has been involved in some of the highest profile cases in Wales in recent years that cover Judicial Review, Education law and Personal Injury matters. He is regularly asked to speak at national Personal Injury and Public Law conferences and events and has a back catalogue of high profile articles and media commentaries on his cases (see below).

Michael has been ranked as a leading Administrative Law Lawyer in both the Chambers UK Guide and the Legal 500 Directory –independent guides that gather client opinion and that of other legal professionals to rank lawyers regionally and nationally. Click here for his full profile.

Abla O’Callaghan, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Abla has a busy mixed practice with a focus on Public Law, Family and Civil Law. Her Public Law practice is rapidly developing particularly in the areas of Education, Court of Protection and Immigration.

In the field of Education Law, Abla has advised and represented both local authorities and parents in the Special Education Needs Tribunal and has experience of attending Court both in Wales and in England. Abla has experience in and is happy to assist in the drafting of Case Statements, Advices, and Appeal Grounds. Her experience also extends to exclusions, admissions, and further/higher education matters. Abla regularly provides presentations and training to organisations and authorities in this field.

Abla is also fluent in Arabic which has assisted in cases which involve interpretation for clients who speak the language. Click here for her full profile.

Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Laura became a tenant at 30 Park Place in 2017 following successful completion of her pupillage where she expanded her knowledge and gained experience across all of Chambers’ practice areas. Since becoming a tenant, Laura has developed a busy Criminal, Civil and Public Law practice.

Her Public Law practice is rapidly developing particularly in the areas of Licensing, Education, Court of Protection, and Immigration.

After having studied English at Oxford University Laura went on to study for the GDL and Bar Course in Birmingham.  Whilst studying for the GDL Laura volunteered for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, advising clients across a wide range of topics including debt, housing and benefits. This experience gave Laura the opportunity to hone her skills in advising members of the public, and particularly in dealing with vulnerable people. Click here for her full profile.

Melissa Jones, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Melissa joined 30 Park Place in 2018 following the successful completion of her pupillage under the supervision of Christian J Howells (Civil and Public) and Catherine Heyworth (Family). Since then, Melissa has developed a busy Civil, Family and Public law practice.

Melissa is well-experienced in providing detailed, clear and sensible advice on all aspects of the litigation process across all practice areas in which she operates, as well as having a real proficiency for courtroom advocacy. Melissa is an approachable, personable advocate who has an empathetic but pragmatic approach with both lay and professional clients. Since becoming a tenant, Melissa has developed a busy paper practice across all areas of law, and welcomes this in addition to court work. Click here for her full profile.

Event presented by:


Hosted by:

Useful information

We will send you the password within 24 hours of the event. You will receive the event link upon booking but please look out for an email from containing the password.

To join the session via the Zoom video conferencing platform, you just need to click on the link we send you around 3 minutes before the session time. You can do this from a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop, but the best functionality and quality of connection is achieved with a laptop or desktop computer, I would advise only using a mobile as a last resort. Zoom is free to use but if you are using it on a mobile phone without connection to wireless internet your mobile service provider may charge you.

When you click on the link you will need to accept pop ups and insert your name and to choose audio by computer if given that choice. When entering your name please enter the name by which you would like us to call you during the session.

Please Note:

When you join the session you will find yourself placed in a waiting room. Please don’t panic, we’ll let you in at the publicised event time.

You will then find yourself on mute. Please remain muted until the host opens the Q&A session. This is to ensure the recording isn’t disrupted. Thank you!

We record all sessions if suitable for sharing – so that as many people as possible can view the event afterwards. You can turn your camera off if you’d prefer to do so. We aim to crop any Q&A sessions out to retain anonymity and confidentiality – or, if appropriate to do so, upload the audio version of the Q&A only.

It’s very quick and easy to join the session and when you do, your camera image will automatically show to myself and the rest of the group and we will be able to hear what you say and any sounds around you. You should see and hear us too. You may communicate by typing things to the whole group and by speaking and you can click on prompts to invite us to go more quickly or more slowly.

If you have any technical difficulties on the day, please text the Editor, Emma Waddingham, on 07769203856.