About Bethan Evans
Background & Experience
I have been a qualified solicitor for 35 years.
I was born in Wednesbury in the West Midlands. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was clearly a sign of my future career – the leading court case on how a local authority makes lawful and robust decisions involved Wednesbury Council!
After a law degree at Bristol University, I trained in private practice then moved into local government where I worked as an in-house lawyer for nearly 20 years at four different councils. During that time, I advised councils where there was a clear political majority (Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat) and also balanced councils with no overall control.
In 1999 I became the Executive Director of Syniad, the Welsh Local Government Agency responsible for improvement, development and employment issues in Welsh local government. I worked with the 22 unitary councils in Wales and the National Assembly, focusing on the introduction of new decision making, standards and probity and best value.
I then moved to a role as a partner with Bevan Brittan LLP where I led the local government team for 15 years. The firm has, for recent years, been ranked Band One legal advisors for local authorities. During my time at Bevan Brittan I was elected as Senior Partner for 4 years.
Throughout my career, I have worked closely with elected councillors and love the involvement with members, working with them to support their democratic role. I have been personally involved in designing and delivering training programmes and modules for elected members as follows:
In house lawyer
in four different councils
- Undertaking training needs analysis for councillors
- Planning overall development programmes
- Supporting personal development plans
- Running induction programmes for newly elected councillors
Syniad (Welsh Local Government Association)
- Instigating the Member Development Charter in Wales
- Planning and personally delivering member training modules
- Introduction of best value
- New executive and scrutiny arrangements
- Role of a councillor as a corporate parent
- Standards and conduct
Bevan Brittan LLP
- Delivering training courses and workshops to client councils including
- New ways of working
- Probity and standards
- Roles on outside bodies
Originally from Walsall, I have lived in Bristol for many years although I have worked in Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and London. I am now based in London and the West Country, from where I can operate across England and Wales.
“Beth Evans is an excellent trainer. Brilliant course. Superbly insightful.”
Legal 500 Rankings
Bethan Evans is the ‘undisputed leader in the field’
Rankings 2017 (UK Local Government)
Chambers2018 - Ranked Band One
Bethan Evans is “an experienced public sector practitioner, specialising in local government”.
“She is very knowledgeable, always very accommodating and very responsive. It was great to work with her”.
Ranked Band One individual lawyer, UK-wide for Local Government
I work with a few, carefully identified, associates who share my approach and ethos to councillor training. They have significant experience in their fields.
Gill is an experienced local government lawyer who has worked for over 20 years in the fields of governance, standards and planning.
Gill has extensive experience of providing advice to councils on decision-making, probity, standards and the Member Code of Conduct. She has undertaken all aspects of work relating to allegations of breaches of the Code, including assessment and investigation of complaints, reporting and advising the Standards Committee and providing training to Councillors.
She has also advised on all aspects of planning related matters, including major planning applications for new neighbourhoods, high profile planning appeals, strategic planning policies and plans (including joint strategic plans and Mayoral Strategic Development Strategies) and judicial reviews.
Gill regularly advised Councillors on interests and conflicts in relation to planning matters and the importance of probity in the planning process.
Gill works with me on Probity in Planning, sessions on standards and on investigations into Code of Conduct complaints.
Martin is an experienced planning lawyer who has worked for a number of local authorities over a 30 year period. He has advised members on high-profile planning determinations and has dealt with difficult issues relating to declarations of interest and decision-making. He has also represented local planning authorities in over 150 planning and enforcement appeals as well as conducted many judicial review cases in the High Court.
Martin works with me on Probity in Planning.
Susie is a procurement lawyer who has been rated World Procurement Lawyer of the Year on two occasions. She has practised in procurement law for over 20 years and has advised local authorities on all aspects of commercial contracting and procurement. Susie has worked in house for a local authority and has significant experience in delivering engaging and practical procurement training. Susie is an honorary Professor of Procurement Law at the University of Nottingham.
Susie works with me on Procurement and Commercial Contracting for Councillors
Steve is an experienced local government officer with over 25 years’ experience at director level. He has worked in a District Council, London Boroughs and a Unitary Council. He has led services including leisure, environment, commercial services, highways, planning and transport. He has significant experience in developing and modernising services and in implementing strategy. Steve has worked closely with elected members over many years in both committee and cabinet systems. Steve provides research and operational support to the consultancy and works with me on Effective scrutiny methods and New models of service delivery.
Byron is an experienced OD consultant, trainer and coach with over 20 years’ experience of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion, including leadership development. He has worked with public sector organisations and regulatory bodies to build equitable and inclusive practices and cultures and support individuals and teams address difficult issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. With a strong academic background and thousands of hours of experience, Byron brings a wealth of practical knowledge and evidence-based practice to help people apply the learning and make a real difference.
Byron works with me on Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion.