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ICAEW events

Virtual Solicitors Conference 2022

Tuesday 13 September

ICAEW's annual Solicitors Conference provides finance professionals working in this specialist area with expert insight and knowledge.

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Highlights

Sessions will cover a range of practical and technical issues to keep you at the top of your field, enabling you to provide your clients with solutions to the challenges in this ever-changing sector.
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Discover the key triggers that lead the SRA to intervene in a practice and how the process works

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‘Post COVID’ insights from our panel on the implications for lenders, insurers and the regulator when things are going/will go wrong

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Accounts Rules Guidance from the SRA and the Top 5 qualification issues seen by Reporting Accountants

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Understand how professional service sector firms can attract and retain the best talent in a highly competitive recruitment market

The programme

Please note that the programme is subject to change.

Morning sessions

Chair's Welcome and Introduction
Andy Harris, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW
09:25
SRA interventions
Hear from Sean Hankin, Head of Forensic Investigation and Intelligence at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the key triggers that lead them to intervene in a practice and how the process works. Are there any early warning signs that can be taken to avoid this worst-case scenario?
09:30
Managing law firms’ cash flows in the post-COVID era – what to do if the cashflow goes wrong
Iceberg‘s managing director, Mike Stevenson, will discuss: major reasons why Iceberg might turn down an application for funding; what firms can do to put things right and make Iceberg more likely to accept an application; what is the approach taken by the clearing banks; how do Iceberg differ from the approach taken by the clearing banks; and the effect that the change in the Crown Preference rules in an insolvency may have on a bank relationship.
10:10
Quantuma
Andrew Hosking and Sean Bucknall from Quantuma will provide an update on the trends that they are currently seeing within the sector and the warning signs reporting accountants should look out for with regards to viability. The session will look into what happens when an administrator is appointed, a look at the key stages and processes that Quantuma follow when brought into a distressed law firm and what are the metrics/approach for sale of assets from firms that have ceased trading?
10:20
Insurance Outlook
In this session, John Kunzler, Risk and Error Management Leader at Marsh, will talk about claims trends and professional indemnity insurance costs for law firms, and how to prepare for renewal. Red flags and signals, on the path to run-off and restructuring. Lessons learned from Halliwells and other closures, as well as lessons learned on key risk exposures: ransomware and identity fraud, fractional development/investment schemes. Controls assurance, partner independence and ultimate margin – three key differences between accounting and legal mindsets.
10:45
Break
11:10
Panel: Post-COVID State of Play
In these ‘Post-COVID’ times, this Q&A session with Marsh, Iceberg, Quantuma and the SRA will give delegates some insight into when things are/will go wrong and the different implications for lenders, insurers and the regulator.
11:30

Afternoon sessions

Basis Period Reform
James Kipping, Partner at MHA will look at the impact of the reforms to tax basis periods set to be introduced in 2023/24, including practical examples.
12:10
Lunch
12:50
SRA Accounts Rules Updates
In this session Janet Taylor, from Taylor Mowbray LLP will help delegates keep up to date with all the latest Accounts Rules Guidance from the SRA and the Top 5 qualification issues seen by Reporting Accountants.
13:30
Performance and Productivity
In this session, Graham Moore, Founder and Managing Director at Katchr, will share some of his learnings and observations from helping law firms with their practice management, with a particular focus on how data can lead to better decision making and improved outcomes. The talk will cover the following key themes, which he and his business Katchr are promoting across the UK legal sector: aligning KPIs with business objectives – measurement beyond fees and time; using measurement to drive activity and results – sMart Objectives with a capital M; leading and lagging indicators – why, if both are needed is one is rarely used?
14:20
Break
14:45
Employee recruitment and retention
In this session, consultant Michelle Howard explores how professional service sector firms can attract and retain the best talent in a highly competitive recruitment market through mobilising their brand. Michelle looks at the current recruitment challenges that are facing the professional service industry today and brings a fresh approach with a marketing edge.
15:05
Chair’s closing remarks
Andy Harris, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW
15:35
Event Close
15:45

Testimonials

Excellent Conference - covered a lot of ground - for any Reporting Accountant

2021 Solicitors Conference attendee

An absolute must for anyone working in or advising law firms.

2021 Solicitors Conference attendee

The virtual conference worked really well and was a better use of my time than a real one would have been. The quality of speakers was, as usual, very good.

2021 Solicitors Conference attendee

Very enjoyable and interesting event and very well organised

2021 Solicitors Conference attendee

Our speakers

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John Kunzler Risk and Error Management Leader, Marsh

John specialises in risk and claim reduction in the FINPRO PI area at Marsh JLT Specialty,and delivers risk management advice and consultancy for UK and global law firm clients. John has experience of Professional Indemnity for Solicitors, Surveyors, Architects, Technology companies, Local Government, and Financial Advisers. John is a Solicitor and has a postgraduate degree in Management from Guildhall University.

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Michelle Howard Consultant and Director, Michelle Howard Consulting Ltd

Michelle is a skilled consultant experienced in engaging and advising professional service firms across the UK covering aspects of leadership management and marketing. She supports partners to achieve and exceed business aims and objectives by utilising her over twenty-five years of cross-sector experience. Michelle also has a university associate position delivering professional leadership programmes whilst also developing award-winning multi-partner projects nationally recognised for generating significant innovation and positive outcomes.

Sean Hankin, Head of Forensic Investigation and Intelligence at SRA and speaker at ICAEW Solicitors' Conference 2021
Sean Hankin Head of Forensic Investigation and Intelligence at SRA

Sean has been with the SRA and previously The Law Society for over 25 years. His Forensic Investigation teams conduct on-site investigations with a focus on compliance with the Standards and Regulations including the Accounts Rules. The Intelligence team liaises with other regulators, law enforcement and various government departments. Sean specialises in the Accounts Rules, Anti-money laundering and financial stability. As a Chartered Accountant, Sean has previously worked with EY and PKF.

Headshot of Graham Moore
Graham Moore Founder and Managing Director, Katchr

Graham is a customer-focussed legal technology expert with over 30 years' experience successfully helping law firms to solve business problems. In his early career he developed law firm Practice Management Systems and founded Katchr in 2011 to help law firms make better use of the data that was buried in their back-office systems. Katchr is and now established as the leading Business Intelligence solution for mid-sized UK law firms.

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Andrew Hosking Managing Director, Quantuma

Andrew is a licenced insolvency practitioner and is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Prior to joining Quantuma, Andrew was a restructuring partner at a top 10 global firm of chartered accountants.

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Sean Bucknall Managing Director, Quantuma

Sean is a licensed insolvency practitioner and holds the Joint Insolvency Examination Board qualification. He is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and the Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Prior to joining Quantuma in 2013, he held roles in the restructuring departments of a number of mid-tier and boutique firms.

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James Kipping Partner, MHA

James is a Tax Partner and Head of Private Client at MHA. James advises on a broad range of taxation matters concerning individuals, trusts and family companies, partnerships and professional practices including those with UK and international aspects.

Janet Taylor is Director at PKF Francis Clark and a speaker at ICAEW's Solicitors' Conference 2021
Janet Taylor Director at PKF Francis Clark

Janet joined PKF Francis Clark as part of the firm’s specialist legal team in 2018, having been an owner in Taylor Mowbray LLP for over 12 years. Over the last 18 years she has regularly presented training on the SRA Accounts Rules to a wide range of accounting and law firms through in-house and public seminars. Janet is the current Subject Matter Expert for the ICAEW’s Solicitors Community Advisory Group.

Andy Harris, Partner  at Hazlewoods LLP  and speaker at ICAEW Solicitors' Conference 2021
Andy Harris Partner, Hazlewoods LLP

Andy has worked closely with law firms since he joined Hazlewoods LLP in 1997. The Hazlewoods Legal Team works with around 170 law firms on projects such as structure changes, mergers and acquisitions, benchmarking, valuations, and succession planning. Andy writes and produces the Law Society’s LMS Financial Benchmarking Survey and is the current Chair of the ICAEW Solicitors Group.

Mike Stevenson
Mike Stevenson Managing Director, Iceberg

Michael Stevenson is a Chartered Accountant and worked for many years as an Insolvency Practitioner, predominantly for Smith & Williamson, now Evelyn Partners. Since 2009, he has been instrumental in the setting up and managing of the Iceberg business, which provides working capital loans to UK law firms. Since 2017, Iceberg has been part of the Paragon Banking Group, and this year is on target to return to its pre-Covid lending levels in excess of £100 million per annum.

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