Wainwright Prize 2020 Winners Announced!

Wainwright Prize 2020 Winners Announced!

16-year-old Dara McAnulty wins the Prize for Nature Writing and Benedict Macdonald wins first ever Writing on Global Conservation Prize

The winner for the much-loved Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing has been announced at a virtual awards ceremony on September 8th. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty chronicles the turning of the then 15-year-old’s world and breaks the mould of modern nature writing. As the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize, Dara’s book is an extraordinary portrayal of his intense connection to the natural world alongside his perspective as an autistic teenager juggling exams, friendships and a life of campaigning. Mike Parker’s beautiful On the Red Hill was awarded highly commended in the category.

Hear Dara McAnulty sharing his thoughts on winning the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing here

This year’s prize has been extended to include a second category for books about global conservation and climate change, and Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald is its inaugural winner. Praised as ‘visionary’ by conservationists and landowners alike, Rebirding sets out a compelling manifesto for restoring Britain’s wildlife, rewilding its species and restoring rural jobs – to the benefit of all. Irreplaceable by Justin Hoffman was awarded highly commended in the category.

Hear Benedict Macdonald expressing his thanks for winning the Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation here

Listen to the stories behind each one of this year’s 13 shortlisted books across the two categories as told by the authors to Planet Pod here





This webinar is next in the series of Green Recovery webinars produced by Achill Management and Planet Pod. Our guests Juliet Davenport – Founder and CEO of Good Energy, Dr Jeff Hardy – Senior Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute and Sandy Abrahams – founding partner of Lux Nova Partners talk with host Amanda Carpenter about what policy, legal and financial incentive changes are needed for renewable energy to power a green recovery.

LSA response to Jonathan Goldsmith Article for Law Gazette

LSA response to Jonathan Goldsmith Article for Law Gazette

‘Closing the Circle on Climate Change’ 1st June 2020


Covid 19 has impacted every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Across all professions and businesses, talk is now of the ‘new normal’ of a safe return to work and post the pandemic and what that might look like. Addressing the climate emergency must be central to that new way of working. Lawyers and law firms have adapted to an alternative way of working, time in front of a screen has replaced time commuting with the obvious environmental benefits that brings. Overnight, ideas that the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) has been advocating for the last 14 years such as reducing air travel and cutting carbon emissions from plant and practices, have become operational everyday practice.

Pollution levels are down, air quality is visibly improved, wildlife is returning to urban landscapes and nature is regenerating. Carbon emissions are predicted to be down in 2020 by between 4-7% which although not huge, it is a significant shift towards helping the UK to achieve its Net Zero targets by 2050. This shutdown is not desirable, the pain and loss of Covid 19 are immense and not the route any of us would have chosen to address climate catastrophe. We do however have to learn the lessons, both for public health and the environment, as well as to see how we can move forwards sustainably.

The LSA is at the forefront of this agenda for the legal profession as a UK network of over 180 law firms supported by the Law Society which seeks to encourage the profession to work more sustainably and to reduce its impact on the planet, not just be reducing emissions but through changed behaviours by working collaboratively with clients and colleagues to share best practice.

At the LSA we would argue that as influencers and leaders, lawyers have the ability to support and challenge themselves, their clients and the policy makers to move this agenda forward. The pandemic shows that we are globally connected and climate change, like Covid, has the power to affect us all. The legal profession has a key role to play. Sustainable business is good business and will of itself become the “new normal”.

The success of The Chancery Lane Project launched in late 2019 which has now, with the help of thousands of hours of pro bono time, created the Climate Contract Playbook and the Green Paper of Model Laws. Both are evidence that “the legal community has a responsibility to ensure the whole machinery of law, public and private, is brought into line with the objective of a just transition to a climate resilient and net zero emissions economy” as Lord Robert Carnwath, CVO, Justice of the Supreme Court says in his foreword to the first edition of the playbook.

As Greta Thunberg says ‘if not now then when? If not you then who?’ This call to action matters now more than ever.

Caroline May, Partner Legal Sustainability Alliance Co Chair LSA

Matt Sparkes, Head of CR Linklaters, Co Chair LSA

If you would like to join the LSA please contact the team at i[email protected] or find out more at www.Legalsustainabilityalliance.com

The Future of the Civil Justice System Post-Covid 19 – Eliza Bond, LSA Intern

The Future of the Civil Justice System Post-Covid 19 – Eliza Bond, LSA Intern

The Law Society has recently issued a response to the Civil Justice Council’s rapid consultation on the impact of COVID-19 measures on the Civil Justice System (1). Their take-home message is that this “new normal is not accepted as a permanent way of accessing and upholding justice in the future” and it is “crucial that courts are able to re-open once it is safe to do so” (2). They have particular concerns surrounding the high barriers to entry (3), the impact on vulnerable parties and witnesses (4), and the inability of litigants in person to participate fully in remote hearings (5).

From an environmental and sustainability perspective, remote hearings in private disputes seem to represent an inherently positive step towards reducing the “legal carbon footprint”. At face value, it prevents swathes of lawyers from travelling, often internationally, to court. Less plane trips, train rides and car journeys are something that we at LSA are constantly pushing for. However, in order to be truly sustainable, it must have the capacity to deliver effective and open justice. It is unlikely that a permanent Zoom-court can fulfil this function.

As the Law Society notes, certain cases are more suited to remote hearings than others, the implication being that they could continue after the pandemic. Procedural, direction and case management hearings are cited as examples of this (6). It is likely that with a bit of adjustment, and technological support for those who need it, this could be a sensible way to reduce unnecessary travel and ensure that barristers, solicitors and laymen alike, are using their time wisely, However, this forms a relatively small part of the civil justice system, a “one-size-fits-all” approach would be inappropriate.

The problems that the Law Society outlined with virtual hearings are particularly acute in the family justice system. Indeed, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family High Court has recently welcomed the Nuffield Report (7) which outlines the “significant concerns” and the “worrying descriptions of the way some cases have been conducted to date” (8). Not only this, but the report outlines the negative impact on practitioner’s health and well-being. The impact of this should not be underestimated: a demotivated, isolated workforce is not a sustainable situation.

Problems are not just unique to the family justice system. Although Lord Burnett of Maldon suggested that there would be “no going back to the pre-corona days”, suggesting that practitioners and judges would demand greater use of remote hearings (9), his enthusiasm does not seem to be wholly shared by those on the ground (10).

Only time will tell whether a technological revolution in the courts will be forthcoming. In order to be truly sustainable, however, it must work for everyone, users and practitioners alike.


Eliza Bond, LSA Intern


(1)  The Law Society’s response to the Civil Justice Council’s rapid consultation on the impact of COVID-19 measures on the civil justice system May 2020
(2) Ibid at page 2.
(3) Ibid at page 5-6.
(4) Ibid at page 4.
(5) Ibid at page 8.
(6) Ibid at page 2.
(7) Remote hearings in the family justice system: a rapid consultation
(8) Ibid at page 1.
(9) https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/lcj-no-going-back-to-pre-covid-ways/5104263.article
(10) https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice-points/remote-hearings-during-the-covid-19-crisis/5103900.article