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Solicitors Conference 2019

This year’s Solicitors Conference, held at Chartered Accountants Hall, was a great success, judging by the positive feedback.

In a packed programme, we heard from Chris Nichols of the Legal Services Board who set the scene for the day with a look at the current legal landscape and regulatory changes in the pipeline. Chris was followed by Jatinder Loyal and Sean Hankin from the SRA who provided the background to the new Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and explained what they had been seeing in practice, following the recent changes to the Accountants Report. Janet Taylor then considered some of the practical implications of the new Rules.

After the mid-morning  break, the topic was succession and exit planning with Ed O’Rourke, CEO of Ashtons, sharing his experience of managing succession, followed by John Llewellyn-Lloyd of Arden Partners looking at exit options, drawing particularly on his experience of taking law firms to AIM. This part of the programme concluded with a panel session which produced a lively debate.

In the afternoon, the focus was on a number of areas currently challenging the legal sector. Paul Smith, until recently Global Chairman of Eversheds, considered the qualities required for effective leadership. Nigel Haddon of Burcher Jennings spoke about the topical matter of pricing including an insight into the psychology of pricing and how to price for profit. Gary Carrington, CFO of Fletchers, considered the impact of current and future reforms in the Personal Injury sector and the day ended with a look at the opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence with a somewhat scary presentation from Bernard Marrs!

The committee is already working on the agenda for next year’s conference so please watch this space for the date for your diaries!

Andrew Alder – Consultant, Saffery Champness LLP