On the weekend of the 16th-18th of March, over ninety participants from across the world descended upon London for the inaugural International Conference on Energy Law.
The Conference, jointly organised by the ELSA groups at King’s College London, the London School of Economics, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London, aimed to offers students, academics, and practitioners a thorough analysis of the field through lectures, panels and workshops. It was the joint contribution of the four groups to ELSA’s International Focus Programme on Environmental Law. With an organising committee made up of students from all four universities, this was a truly collaborative event that demonstrated the strength of the ELSA network in the United Kingdom.
Attendees were treated to a rigorous and varied academic programme encompassing topics such as the energy transition, the impact of Brexit on energy law, and block-chain technology. The diverse range of speakers from law firms, academia, and NGOs ensured that there was a topic of interest to every participant. In addition to enlightening lectures and panel discussions, participants were able to develop their knowledge of more specialised areas through interactive workshops.
In addition to the academic programme, participants had a chance to attend The Grid, our unique networking session which aimed to provide an unmatched platform through which students could interact with representatives of the field’s leading international law firms, energy regulators, think tanks, and universities. This event was a fantastic way for students to learn about new opportunities in their field of interest, and to develop a deeper understanding of the day to day lives of the professionals present. The event also allowed attendees to learn more about the opportunities ELSA provides, including STEP traineeships and ELSA Law Schools.
Participants were also able to take part in an exciting social programme that allowed them to network with professionals and to get to know each other in a less formal setting. This included welcome drinks at Bounce on Friday, one of London’s coolest and quirkiest bars. Through many games of ping-pong and endless chats, our participants quickly got to know each other. These relationships were further cemented at Saturday’s black-tie reception, held at the beautiful Court Room in the historic Senate House library. This event, kindly sponsored by UCL, was followed by an evening out at Monarch. As Sara Osmanağaoğlu, Secretary-General of ELSA Queen Mary put it, ‘this gorgeous venue was the perfect setting to connect with ELSA friends, both old and new.’
The Conference would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Dentons. In addition to their financial contribution, Dentons was kind enough to send Michał Motylewski, an ELSA alumnus and energy lawyer, to speak on e-mobility and energy resources. Special thanks also go to the law faculties at UCL, LSE, and KCL for their contributions to the conference, as well as to the incredible organising committee that worked tirelessly for months to make this conference come to life. Matti Gurreck, head of the Organising Committee, commented that ‘being able to provide an opportunity for our participants to meaningfully engage with high-level scholars and practitioners in the field made this a very rewarding experience’
Rachel Yafet is a second year law student at Queen Mary University of London. She has served as Vice President for Seminars & Conferences at ELSA Queen Mary for the 2017-2018 term, and was Co-Head of the Academic Programme and Head of Participants’ Liaison for the Organising Committee of the International Conference on Energy Law.