Workshop on Committees, Scrutiny and Standards


Theme: Local Government Law

14 March 2019, 9.30am registration (9.45am start) – 1.00pm (followed by lunch) Freeths Nottingham, (with Video Conferencing Equipment to Freeths offices in Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Sheffield)

Please note we offer the option to attend this course via video conference at another of our offices to make it accessible to as many EM Lawshare members as possible. We do our best to deliver the best experience we can with the technology we have, but inevitably it may not be as effective as attending the course in person. We always appreciate your feedback and make improvements if we can.

Presented by Weightmans and Freeths

Course overview

• Council, Cabinet and committees; their roles and responsibilities
• Overview and Scrutiny; what is it and how do you get the best out of it?
• The role of the legal advisor at meetings
• Quasi-judicial committees
• Publicity, information and filming
• Managing meetings the role of the chair and procedure rules
• How to conduct a Conduct investigation-principles and practice.
• Role of the Investigating Officer
• Applicability of Nolan Principles
• Limitations of the system, scope of the Code of Conduct
• When are you “acting as Councillor” in the world of Social Media?
• Availability of Sanctions, use of Criminal regime for DPI issues
• What does “disrespect” and “disrepute” mean in the modern world?
• Local Resolution-what is it?
• Relevance of the recent Hussain v Sandwell and Ledbury Town Council cases
• Proposals for reform, outcome of consultation exercise

Suitable audience:

Legal officers

Overview and topics to be covered include:

Please see above

Interactive elements

We will take you through a case study

Duration: Half a day (3 training hours) including lunch


This course will cover:
A Ethics professionalism and judgement

B Technical legal practice

B2 Legal research

B4 Draft documents

B5 Advocacy

B6 Negotiation

C Working with other people

C1 Communicate clearly and effectively

D Managing themselves and their own work

Presenter profiles:

Simon Goacher joined Weightmans in February 2013 to head up the Local Government team.

Formerly Head of Legal and Democratic Services at Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, Simon has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in local government law spanning almost two decades.

He has led on significant projects including an innovative housing stock transfer at Wirral Council and on the promotion of a private Act of Parliament. He was awarded the title of Local Government Young Solicitor of the year in 2006. As Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer at Wirral Council, Simon was the lead legal adviser for key projects including regeneration schemes in New Brighton and Birkenhead.

In 2009, he was appointed Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer of the newly created Cheshire West and Chester Council. This involved the creation of a single authority from four councils.

Simon has been a member of the projects boards for a number of major projects including the creation of Council-owned companies, as well as significant outsourcing and regeneration projects.

Since joining Weightmans Simon has advised a number of local authorities on powers and governance on high profile matters. He has also provided training to council officers and members on governance and ethical standards and carried out a number of complex and sensitive investigations.

John Riddell, Partner, Weightmans LLP – John has nearly thirty years experience of acting for local authorities in public law litigation. His expertise includes all kinds of negligence claims and judicial review. He is the client partner for EM Lawshare.

Stephen Pearson is a partner at Freeths specialising in Local Government and governance matters, initially qualifying in Local Government and having been seconded to the governance units of several public bodies and Local Authority owned entities.

Stephen has advised on a range of governance issues for a range of public and education bodies including Local Authorities, Academies, FE Colleges and NHS Bodies. He has carried out a large number of LA Member code of conduct investigations and hearings as well as investigations into alleged misfeasance/misconduct, safeguarding issues, and alleged political interference with Officer roles.

He has developed governance and ombudsman codes for a range of public/not for profit and trade bodies, been chair of a Parish Council and a Non-Executive Director of an Acute Hospital Trust so has seen the issues involved from both sides!

Please note, EM LawShare events are only open to existing members. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

If you would like to send a list of registrants, please email Julie.Scheller@freeths.co.uk.