The Law Council of Wales Executive Committee has been announced today. Those named will be steered by Justice of the Supreme Court, Lord Lloyd-Jones, who will serve as President.
The Executive Committee members reflect a diverse range of experience, knowledge and interests in the legal sector in Wales: from legal education to the growing body of Welsh Law, private practice, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Bar, the Judiciary, in-house legal services and legal advice centres.
There are 15 member seats on the Executive Committee for its establishment year.
The confirmed committee members are:
- Lord Lloyd-Jones, UK Supreme Court (President of the Law Council of Wales)
- Professor Emyr Lewis, Aberystwyth University
- Alison Perry, Swansea University
- Dr Hephzibah Egede, Cardiff Metropolitan University
- Mark Davies, Goldstones Solicitors & Chair of The Law Society Wales Committee
- Dr Nerys Llewelyn-Jones, Agri Advisor
- David Elias QC, 9 Park Place Chambers
- Jonathan Elystan Rees QC, Apex Chambers
- In-house representative: one place will be shared on an alternate basis by Dan Caunt, Admiral Group PLC, and Daniela Mahapatra, NWSSP Legal & Risk Services
- Sir Wyn Williams, President of Welsh Tribunals
- Presiding Judge for Wales representative: one place will be shared on an alternate basis by the two Presiding Judges, who are currently Mr Justice Simon Picken and Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford
- Jenny Hopkins, Crown Prosecution Service
- Lord Justice Green, Law Commission
- Mr Justice Martin Griffiths, Judicial College
- Fran Targett, National Advice Network for Wales
(Full profiles can be found below.)
The Law Council of Wales has been established to promote legal education and training and awareness in Welsh law and support the economic development and sustainability of the legal sector in Wales. Its establishment was a recommendation of the independent Commission of Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, which delivered a landmark report in 2019 setting out a vision for justice in Wales.
The inaugural meeting of the Law Council of Wales Executive Committee will take place virtually on Tuesday 2 November 2021.
Law Society Wales will provide secretariat duties to the independent Council. This will mean Jonathan Davies, Head of Wales at the Law Society, will become Council Secretary with additional support from Sian Johnston, Office Executive at the Law Society.
A website will launch soon, with the aim of providing transparency and progress on the ambitions and activities of the Law Council.
Law Council of Wales Executive Committee: member profiles
Lord Lloyd-Jones, Justice of the UK Supreme Court
Lord Lloyd-Jones has been a Justice of the Supreme Court since October 2017. He is a Welsh speaker and was born and brought up in Pontypridd.
Lord Lloyd Jones was appointed to the High Court in 2005, served as a Presiding Judge on the Wales Circuit and Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh language from 2008 to -2011.
In 2012, he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and was Chairman of the Law Commission from 2012 to 2015. He will serve as President of the Law Council of Wales in its establishment year.
Professor Emyr Lewis, Head of Department of Law & Criminology, Aberystwyth University
Professor Emyr Lewis was appointed to be the Head of Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University in September 2019. Before then was the Senior Partner for Wales for Blake Morgan LLP, specialising in Public Law, Commercial Law and the law of State Aid and Public Procurement.
During his time in practice he was also involved with international human rights monitoring through his appointment for 12 years as the United Kingdom member on COMEX, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts monitoring states’ compliance with the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, and was Senior Fellow in Welsh Law at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University where as well as teaching he worked extensively on the Centre’s research projects relating to the devolution settlement in Wales.
He has given evidence to UK and Welsh Parliamentary Committees on devolution, language law and children’s rights. He is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts, a member of the Wales Advisory Committee of the Law Commission and of the steering Committees of Legal Wales and Public Law Wales. He is one of the representatives of the Law Schools in Wales on the Executive Committee of the prospective Law Council for Wales.
Alison Perry, Head of Department of Law, School of Law, Swansea University
Having graduated from Oxford University and King’s College London, Alison sat her Law Society Finals before deciding that legal practice was not for her and embarking instead on a career in academia.
She began her academic career in 1994 as a researcher at Cardiff Law School, working on a series of projects with Professors Gillian Douglas, Nigel Lowe and Mervyn Murch. In 1999 she took up a lectureship at Swansea University where she is now an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Law.
Dr Hephzibah Egede, Senior Lecturer in Law, Programme Director, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Dr Hephzibah Egede is a dual qualified lawyer with admissions in Nigeria, and in England and Wales. She is the LLB programme director and Collaborative Provision Field Chair at the Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University. Prior to joining the academia, she practised as a corporate-commercial lawyer in the leading Nigerian commercial law firm of Chris Ogunbanjo & Co and as contract lawyer with Mobil Producing Nigeria, an upstream subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
Before she joined Cardiff Metropolitan University, Hephzibah worked as senior lecturer in law at the University of Buckingham, and as co-director for the University of Buckingham Centre for Extractive Energy Studies (UBCEES). She also worked as visiting lecturer in International Comparative Oil and Gas Law at the Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham and as LLM tutor at the Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University. Hephzibah also researches in reproductive health care rights, health equity and gender equality.
Mark Davies, Goldstones Solicitors & Chair of The Law Society Wales Committee
Mark Davies is the current Chair of the Wales Committee of The Law Society of England & Wales. He is also the Senior Partner of Goldstones Solicitors based in Swansea. Goldstones is the largest high street practice in Wales, with six offices across the country. Educated at Cardiff University, Marks professional career began when he qualified in 1999 with the Swansea based firm Edward Harris & Son before moving to Goldstones later that year.
Goldstones has one of the largest Criminal Defence departments in the region. Mark is a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme and is also a High Court Advocate. As a criminal solicitor, he has extensive advocacy experience and deals with all matters of Criminal Law but specialises in ‘serious crime’. Throughout his 22-year career he has successfully represented individuals in many of Wales’ most serious, demanding and high-profile criminal cases of recent years, including murder, fraud and high value drug conspiracies. He is one few Solicitors in Wales to hold Grade A Solicitor status to conduct Very High Costs Cases on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency.
Mark was recently appointed to the Training, Operations and Guidance Task Group to provide specialist advice in relation to the upcoming change in Welsh legislation concerning the safeguarding of children – Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment Wales Act 2020. Mark also sits on The Law Society’s Professional Standards and Ethics Committee as well as the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee. He is very active in local law societies across Wales.
Dr Nerys Llewelyn-Jones, Managing Director, Agri Advisor
Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones is the founder and current Managing Partner which was established on her home farm in Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire in 2011. Nerys is an experienced agricultural solicitor who also has first-hand knowledge of the farming industry.
She has a PhD in Sustainable Agriculture and its Implementation and Enforcement at an International, European and regional level. She is a regular speaker on agricultural policy in the UK and Europe. A fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, Nerys can provide advice on all aspects of agricultural law and can offer holistic farm business planning.
She is an ADR Accredited Mediator and her agricultural background makes her the obvious choice as a mediator for any agricultural, rural property and commercial disputes.
David Elias QC, Barrister, 9 Park Place Chambers
David Elias QC is Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit and practises from 9 Park Place Chambers, Cardiff and Linenhall Chambers, Chester.
He is Head of the Criminal Team at 9 Park Place and additionally sits as a Recorder in the Crown Courts in Wales. He took silk in 2017, since when he has been instructed in numerous high profile cases many of which have garnered significant local and national publicity. He has been consistently highly-rated in the legal directories.
David prosecutes and defends the most serious cases including murder and other serious violent crimes, serious sexual assaults, drug conspiracies and alleged corporate failings such as gross negligence manslaughter. He was appointed as Leader of the Circuit in January 2020 and, as such, has been a key stakeholder in the logistical re-adjustment of the courts system in Wales as it continues to recover from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
David was educated at Malvern College before going on to study at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge and Inns of Court School of Law. He is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.
Jonathan Elystan Rees QC, Apex Chambers
Jonathan is a silk based at Apex Chambers in Cardiff, specialising in serious, complex and international crime. He is currently appearing before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in the Hague in the case of Specialist Prosecutor v Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj. Jonathan is also Treasurer of the Wales & Chester Circuit and a Bencher of the Inner Temple.
Dan Caunt, Group Head of Legal & Deputy Group Company Secretary, Admiral Group Plc
Dan is the Group Head of Legal at Admiral Plc and one of two of the in-house representatives to join the Law Council of Wales Executive Committee. This seat will be shared on an alternate basis.
Dan is a general in-house commercial lawyer, specialising in: Intellectual Property, Technology, Data Protection, Commercial Law and Commercial Litigation.
Daniela Mahapatra, Deputy Director, NWSSP Legal & Risk Services
Daniela is one of two of the in-house representatives to join the Law Council of Wales Executive Committee. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2005.
Daniela is a member of the HPMA Wales Committee, arranging various training events for the NHS Wales HR workforce (Workforce & OD).
In May 2016, she was elected as the Wales representative for the Employment Lawyers Association. As part of this role, Daniela assisted with the roll out of the Employment Tribunal Litigants in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS) in the Wales Employment Tribunal, which provides free assistance to unrepresented litigants (claimants and respondents) at the Employment Tribunal.
Daniela has taught the Employment Law module on the HRM course at the University of South Wales. Daniela is also a mentor as part of the Coleg Y Cymoedd mentoring scheme. Daniela feels privileged to work as part of the NHS in Wales. She is a keen advocate of collaborative working to achieve the best outcomes for colleagues and patients.
Sir Wyn Williams, President of Welsh Tribunals
Sir Williams became a barrister in 1974 and practised from Chambers in Cardiff between 1975 and 1998 and from London Chambers between 1998 and 2004. He was appointed a QC in 1992.
In April 2004, Sir Williams was appointed the specialist Chancery Circuit Judge for Wales. In January 2007 he was appointed a High Court Judge. Between 2012 and 2016 WW was a presiding judge for Wales. He retired from the High Court Bench in February 2017.
Prior to retirement, he was asked by the Lord Chief Justice to investigate whether there should be a President of Welsh Tribunals and he was appointed to that office in August 2017. Also in that year, Sir Williams was appointed a judge of the Courts of Appeal of Guernsey and Jersey. In 2020, he was appointed to chair the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry. Sir Williams currently combines that role with the Presidency of Welsh Tribunals and his membership of the Courts of Appeal of Guernsey and Jersey.
Mr Justice Simon Picken
Sir Simon Picken was called to the Bar in 1989, after study at Cardiff University and Cambridge University where he obtained a Starred First Class in the LLM. His practice was in commercial law, with a particular emphasis on insurance and reinsurance, oil and gas, professional negligence and shipping.
He was appointed a QC in 2006. He was made a Recorder in 2005, becoming a Deputy High Court Judge in 2010. He was the Commercial Law QC to the Welsh Government from 2009 until 2015. He was also the QC Church Commissioner (appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York) between 2013 and 2015. He was appointed a High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division in June 2015. In July 2016, he was appointed a Judge of the Commercial Court.
Sir Simon Picken is also the Senior Judiciary’s representative on the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary and the High Court representative in the International Association of Judges. With effect from January 2018, he is to be Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit. He already chairs the Wales Training Committee of the Judicial College.
Lord Justice Green, Law Commission
Lord Justice Green was called to the Bar in 1986. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1998 and a Recorder in 2003. At the Bar he specialised in EU law, constitutional and public law, competition and economic regulatory law, and general civil and commercial law. He was Chairman of the Bar Council in 2010. He was appointed Chairman of the Advocacy Training Council in 2011.
He was appointed to the High Court in October 2013 (Queens Bench Division) and was made a Presiding Judge on the South Eastern Circuit in 2016. He was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission in August 2018 and a Lord Justice of Appeal in October 2018. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Leicester. He holds both a Ph.d and a LL.D.
Mr Justice Martin Griffiths, Judicial College
Mr Justice Griffiths practised as a barrister 1986-2019 (appointed QC in 2006). He was a member of Essex Court Chambers. He was on the Bar Council 2008-15. He ran a pro bono scheme in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and was a Trustee of the North Kensington Law Centre.
He is a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple, where he is currently a member of the Executive Committee, the International Committee, Chairman of the Advocacy Training Committee and Vice Chairman of the Education and Training Committee.
He was a Recorder of the Crown Court 2009-19, Deputy High Court Judge 2016-19, Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Peterborough 2017-. Appointed a High Court judge (Queen’s Bench Division) in 2019. He was appointed as the Presiding Judge in Wales with effect from 1 January 2022. He now divides his time between sitting as a High Court judge at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and in civil and criminal courts across Wales.
Mr Justice Griffiths is a member of the Judicial Communications Committee; a board member of the Judicial College; Chairman of the Wales Training Committee (with responsibility for the training of Courts and Tribunals judiciary in Wales) and a member of the Judges’ Council Committee for Wales.
Fran Targett OBE, National Advice Network for Wales
Fran is currently the independent Chair of the Welsh Government’s National Advice Network providing expert advice, guidance, and support to Welsh Ministers on how to strategically develop the provision of social welfare information and advice services throughout Wales.
Fran retired in February 2019 as the Director for Citizens Advice Cymru having been associated with Citizens Advice since 1978 when she started as a volunteer adviser, and was appointed Director of Citizens Advice Cymru in 2000, responsible for Citizens Advice services across Wales. She is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action Board. WCVA’s purpose is to enable voluntary organisations in Wales to make a bigger difference together and is the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales.
She has recently been appointed to the Future Generations Commissioner’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. She has been a member of a range of Welsh Government and other public sector advisory boards and currently represents the voluntary sector on a working group advising Welsh Ministers on Strengthening and Advancing Equality & Human Rights in Wales.
Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford
Mrs Justice Jefford DBE was born and brought up in Swansea. She was educated at Olchfa Comprehensive School in Swansea before studying law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and at the University of Virginia, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
Mrs Justice Jefford was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1986 and practised at Keating Chambers in London, specialising in construction and engineering law. She was appointed as a Recorder in 2007 and as Queen’s Counsel in 2008. She was appointed a High Court Judge in 2016. In 2020 she was appointed a Presiding Judge of the Wales circuit.
Mrs Justice Jefford has maintained her links with Wales through long-standing membership of the London Welsh Chorale and her involvement with the Association of London Welsh Lawyers and the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust.
Jenny Hopkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Cymru-Wales
Jenny Hopkins is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales and the first woman to hold this post.
Jenny grew up in Wales and was a solicitor in private practice before joining CPS London in 1998 as a Senior Crown Prosecutor. She became a Legal Manager in CPS London before spending five years as a Unit Head in the Organised Crime Division. She returned to CPS London as the Head of Homicide and in 2011 was appointed the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor with responsibility for the Complex Casework Unit.
Between 2014 and 2018 Jenny was the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS East of England Area before taking up her post as the Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division. Jenny was appointed as the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales in May 2021.