Confirmed speakers include:
James Backhouse qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and began specialising in road transport law in 1994 whenhe joined the family practice which has specialised in transport law since 1930.
James has been involved in two Article 177 references to the European Court of Justice, an Appeal to the House of Lords and numerous Court of Appeal and Divisional Court cases. He has also been consulted in the process ofvetting impending legislation dealing with aspects of road transport.
The 2016 Chambers Guide describes James as having “specific experience in road transport aspects of vehicle operation.” They also mentioned that he “has advised government appointed consultants regarding new regulations for motorway management and is widely respected as an authority on drivers’ hours, driver training and Working Time issues.”
When not defending operators, James enjoys sailing with his family.
Nigel has been CommercialVehicle Manager at SMMT since March 2011, following an entire career in the automotive sector.
He started as an apprentice at a local garage and then went on to study mechanical engineering.Following a period abroad he entered the world of business management running a truck dealership, a leasing company, a vehicle engineering business and a stint in the defence sector.
Responsibilities at SMMT include: leading the development of commercial vehicle activities ensuring SMMT remains the key body for commercial vehicle affairs; inform and influence policy making and raise awareness of CV related issues to all stakeholders and speaking at events; creating opportunities for SMMT and its members to influence the debate.
John’s career started at Barclays where he spent seven years in banking before moving to the Bank of Scotland (NWS/Capital Bank) for seven years, to focus specifically on asset finance and latterly specialising in the Transportation market.
He joined Close Brothers Asset Finance in 2001 and was appointed Managing Director of the Tolworth Transport business in 2006, before heading up the Transport Division from March 2012. John is now CEO of the Transport Division, managing its four businesses, and is a strong advocate of addressing the issues affecting today’s Transport businesses, ranging from driver retention to apprenticeship schemes.
Rob was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 General Election for Stoke-on-Trent South following the retirement of George Stevenson. Rob held the seat with a majority of 8,681. He retained the seat at the 2010 and 2015 General Elections.
In Parliament Rob is a member of the House of Commons Transport Committee and is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Freight Transport. In addition, he has a keen interest in animal welfare, trade union rights at home and abroad, and religious issues.
Previously he was a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee and was the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Lord Chancellor before becoming PPS to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears. In 2009 he became PPS to the Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, and he served as a shadow minister for Justice from 2010 until 2013.
Steve joined Abbey in 1995 as a Trainee Accountant and later became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts and a Fellow of the Institute of Logistics & Transport. During his career at Abbey, Steve has held the positions of Management Accountant and Finance Director before being appointed Managing Director in 2009 aged just 29. In 2016 he led an MBO of Abbey Logistics Group with Northedge Capital and other members of the Management team.
Since his appointment as MD on 2009, the business has grown from £18m turnover to £55m and is now the largest bulk tanker food business in the UK. He also founded the employer-led initiative ‘Think Logistics’ which aims to encourage Logistics Employers to engage directly with Schools are attract more young people to the industry. This led to 6 Logistics Academies opening across the UK with ambitious plan for 50 by 2020.
Philip advises a wide variety of UK employers upon all aspects of employment law and HR practice including large scale reorganisations, TUPE and executive departures. In particular Philip has extensive experience in the transport and logistics industry having acted in the sector for many years. Philip is a member of the DWF transport sector group. Philip regularly advises employers upon industrial relations issues including recognition, collective bargaining and industrial disputes.
Philip also acts for employers and senior employees in pursuing or defending claims in the Employment Tribunal with a particular focus on legally complex or highly ‘sensitive’ claims involving a high financial or reputational value.
Philip is known for his pragmatic, accessible and innovative style, providing practical and commercially informed legal advice. Philip was the North West Representative of the Employment Lawyers Association for 5 years between 2005 and 2010.
Philip has a particular interest in the European aspect of Employment Law.
Elaine has been the managing director of Action Express since March 2011 and with her business partner Syed Ziaullah set up their training business AE Driver Training in the summer of 2014 to tackle the growing driver shortage. She currently sits on the NEP’s logistics sector strategy board and is also part of the Trailblazer working group helping to develop the new apprenticeship schemes for the logistics industry.
Elaine is also a volunteer for her local hospice in Milton Keynes and spends much of her spare time trying to raise awareness and funds for the hospice. A keen cyclist, she took part in the London to Paris Cycle Ride in 2005, riding 300 miles in 4 days and raising over £2500 for the hospice. She is also a mentor on the Can Do Women program for a local school.
Laura spent a number of years working for the UK Border Agency (as was) before qualifying as a solicitor.
She began her legal career as a Court Legal Adviser and now specialises in Transport and Motoring Law at Rothera Sharp. Laura represents private and professional drivers and Operators before the Traffic Commissioner and in the criminal courts. She also advises clients on all aspects of compliance and Operator Licencing and in disputes in relation to civil penalties, impounding and cabotage.
Laura enjoys travelling and in her spare time enjoys cooking, running and spending time with family and friends.
Rob Riddleston is Head of the Transport & Logistics team at Barclays Corporate . He manages banking relationships with corporate clients in the sector providing banking solutions and ideas.
Rob has 30 years corporate banking experience and has specialised in the Transport & Logistics sector for 15 years, heading up the industry team since 2005.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
Nick qualified as a Solicitor in 1987 and has been an Employment Lawyer throughout his career.
He specialises in all aspects of employment law (both contentious and non-contentious) including the drafting of employment documentation, Employment Tribunal claims of all kinds, senior executive terminations, redundancy and restructuring programmes, TUPE and the enforcement of post termination restrictions.
He is a regular speaker at employment events, undertakes training for employer clients on equality and diversity and other matters and has written extensively about employment law. He was one of the two original co-authors of the United Kingdom Chapter of “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law: An International Survey”, which is published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Labour and Employment Law.
Nick’s client base includes many operators within the Road Transport Sector and he is part of Woodfines’ Road Transport Sector Group. His work within the Sector includes advising employers on holiday pay claims in the wake of Williams v British Airways and Lock v British Gas, as well as advising on Collective Agreements and related issues.
Jack Semple joined the Road Haulage Association as director of policy 10 years ago. He had spent most of the preceding 25 years as a transport journalist, following the development of the logistics and truck industries and the evolution of the European market.
His last role was on Motor Transport, where his responsibilities included all news content. He spent three years as press officer at WS Atkins in the early 1990s.
Chris Yarsley has represented FTA in the Brussels office since 2005 where he has acted as the liaison between the Association and the European Institutions, ensuring FTA members’ views are fully represented in the legislative process. He also maintains close relations with other national and European associations present in Brussels in the transport field.