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In light of the recent passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020, Legal News collaborated with 30 Park Park Place chambers and Michael Imperato of Watkins & Gunn to share an insightful and essential overview of the impact this Act will have in Wales.

The event attracted 100 public law professionals, charities and others in the third sector, public bodies, care and support professionals, court of protection specialists and others.


Topics covered (in order as visible in the video, below):

  • An introduction from the event Chair, Christian Howells, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • Education and special educational needs – Michael Imperato, Partner & Head of Administrative & Public Law, Watkins & Gunn
  • Amendments to Mental Health Act 1983 made under Coronavirus Act 2020 (covering changes to mental health detention) – Laura Shepherd, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • Local authority care and support, and mental health – Mark Allen, Barrister, 30 Park Place
  • ‘Police powers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020’ – David Hughes, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Event video

Please note: this event was live.

Event notes

  • Click here for Laura Shepherd’s notes on Amendments to Mental Health Act 1983 made under Coronavirus Act 2020
  • Click here for Michael Imperato’s slides in PDF format

Any questions?

For further information or to ask a question on The Coronavirus Act 2020 and its impact in Wales, please email Christian Howells: or Phillip Griffiths, Senior Clerk:



Christian Howells, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Christian J Howells is a public law specialist. He is on the Attorney General’s Regional A Panel and the Counsel General for Wales’ B Panel. He is ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in public law, described as “tenacious with a very sharp intellect”.

He has extensive experience in the higher courts, including the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Christian is instructed on behalf of claimants, local authorities, health boards, police forces, the Home Department, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence and several charities.

Michael Imperato, Partner, Watkins & Gunn

Michael is a Partner, Solicitor and Head of Public & Administrative Law at Watkins & Gunn.

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.

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.

David Hughes, Barrister, 30 Park Place

David has a broad common law, commercial and public law practice, with a particular emphasis on civil actions against the police, mental health and mental capacity work, defamation and commercial work. He appears for and advises claimants in actions against the Police. He is an experienced jury advocate. He is instructed in claims across England and Wales, and is a member of the Police Action Lawyers’ Group.

David is a committee member of Public Law Wales. His public law practice involves advising public bodies and potential claimants and appearing on behalf of both claimants and defendants in judicial review actions. He also appears in cases involving mental health issues, most often in cases involving the displacement of a nearest relative, and regularly appears in the Court of Protection, most often (but not exclusively) for local authorities or health boards. He also appears in planning and village green inquiries and appeals. He has given evidence to both the Welsh Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the establishment of a separate Welsh jurisdiction, and also to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the same subject.

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.

With thanks to:



Emma Waddingham

Emma Waddingham

Editor, Legal News

Emma Waddingham is the Editor & Founder of Legal News. She is a seasoned legal editor and journalist and experienced marketing & events consultant, working almost exclusively with the UK legal sector.