The legal sector continues to face an ongoing roller coaster ride in terms of evolution. The ever changing needs of clients, an evolving regulatory environment and the transformations brought about by technology present what may seem like an endless list of challenges. Law firms have to embrace these challenges and the significant impact they have on the way in which they work.Whether you are managing a law firm at financial or strategic level or advising those who are, having a clear grasp of these current and impending challenges is vital. This conference will provide delegates with valuable information, insights and the tools needed to meet these changes and the opportunities they present with confidence, and in ways that bring positive commercial results. By attending you will: • Hear directly from the Legal Services Board their views on the current and future legal landscape.• Get the latest from the SRA concerning the new accounts rules, relevant guidance and their expectations of the impact of these changes.• Learn from those with direct experience of managing difficult succession issues; how to ensure the talent comes through; developing strategies that lead to success; alternative exit routes – what has worked and what hasn’t. • Get tips and insight from IT specialists, using their own personal experiences to show you the very latest AI applications in law firms and how further digital transformation will affect the bigger picture.• Hear from a leading proponent of innovative pricing mechanisms which deliver real improvements in profitability.
Event terms and conditions
ICAEW's terms and conditions for events.
The Legal Landscape
Chris will set out the Board’s role in a shifting legal landscape, and the value of engagement and participation in regulatory change. With key developments on the horizon over the next 12 months, Chris will establish how the LSB will respond, its work as an agent of change in the sector and its continuing work to improve outcomes across the regulatory space.
Chris Nichols, Policy Director, Legal Services Board
The new SRA Accounts Rules etc
This session will cover:
Jatinder Loyal and Sean Hankin, SRA Janet Taylor FCA, PKF Francis Clark
Succession strategiesEd will discuss some of the challenges facing the legal sector in planning for succession, how the industry is changing and what some firms are doing. Ed will share his views on the reported challenges of dealing with Millennials and will offer an insight as to what Ashtons Legal has been doing with regard to developing succession strategies, both those that appear to be working and where he has been less successful.
Ed O’Rourke, CEO and Partner, Ashtons Legal
Exit strategies/ABSs/IPOs etc
The continuing consolidation of the legal sector especially on the High Street and within the Middle Market . The increasing appetite from external investors in legal assets and the acceleration of the debut of consumer law firms onto the public stage.The challenge to the sector from regulators and other professional service firms that are increasing the pace of change to which management teams are having to respond.
John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Arden Partners
Succession/Exit Panel Session
John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Arden Partners Ed O’Rourke, CEO and Partner, Ashtons LegalPaul Smith, Principal, Swincliffe ConsultingJames Sheridan, Knights plc
Lessons learned from being Chairman of Eversheds Sutherland and reflections on the future of the legal market.
Paul Smith, Principal, Swincliffe Consulting
AI in Law Firms – Seizing the opportunities?
Dan Taylor, Director of Systems, Fletchers SolicitorsBernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co
The Personal Injury Reforms 2020 – opportunities for the few
An outline of the proposed personal injury reforms focussing on Road Traffic Accident and Clinical Negligence claims. The potential effects of the reforms on profitability, cash flow and business processes. How can law firms react? To survive they will need much greater investment in processing technology and customer journeys and this will be a ‘push’ factor to greater consolidation in consumer legal services. Some will decide to exit the personal injury sector and law firms need to look at their strategies now to maximise value in that context.
Gary Carrington, Chief Financial Officer, Fletchers Solicitors
Pricing – psychology and profitability
Nigel’s session will cover the following:
• Pricing psychology• The choice effect• The decoy effect • Pricing for profit
Nigel Haddon, Burcher Jennings
Chair's Closing Remarks
Andrew Alder, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW
Andrew Alder, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW. Andrew heads up the national legal sector team at top 20 Chartered Accountants, Saffery Champness LLP which provides a comprehensive range of services to law firms from its nine offices in England and Scotland. Having advised Solicitors for over 30 years, Andrew is well respected in the sector with clients ranging from an AIM listed legal and professional services group to traditional high street practices. As a former managing partner of a successful 12 partner accounting practice for 10 years, Andrew is able to draw upon his experience when advising clients on strategic and management issues. Andrew has been a member of the ICAEW Solicitors Community Committee for the past 5 years.
Chris Nichols, Director of Regulation and Policy, LSB. Chris is responsible for the LSB’s regulatory and policy work. This includes overseeing the performance of legal services regulators and decisions on whether to approve rule changes and regulatory fees. Over the last year, this has included determining rule change applications on price and service transparency, education and training reforms and the SRA’s Looking to the Future reforms.
Sean Hankin, Head of Forensic Investigation, SRA. Sean is a Chartered Accountant and worked at Ernst & Young and PKF International before joining the SRA. Sean has over 20 years’ experience of financial and conduct investigations and his specialisms include:• financial stability• the SRA Accounts Rules• the work of the Reporting Accountant• Anti-Money LaunderingSean has responsibility for the review of all qualified Accountants Reports received by the SRA and he decides what action should be taken consequently.
Janet Taylor FCA, PKF Francis Clark. Janet joined PKF Francis Clark as part of the firm’s specialist legal team in 2018 having been part of Taylor Mowbray LLP for the last 12 years. Prior to that she spent over 10 years with another top 20 accounting firm heading up their specialist solicitors’ group. A highly experienced presenter Janet provides relevant and practical training on a number of financial issues for lawyers. 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. Clients have included several major international and national law firms as well as their reporting accountants. Janet is the current Subject Matter Expert for the ICAEW’s Solicitors Community Advisory Group and is the co-author of A Practical Guide for COFAs and Finance Professionals.
Edward O'Rourke, Ashtons Legal. Edward has been the CEO of Ashtons Legal since 1 January 2013. Ashtons Legal are a regional firm based in East Anglia ranked inside the top 120 firms (based on size) and employing about 380 people with 30 partners. In addition to this role Edward is also a director of LawNet Limited, a collaborative network of 73 law firms throughout the UK. Edward spent fifteen years as a practicing solicitor (the latter part of which was as the head of Ashtons Legal Corporate and Commercial team) prior to taking on the role as CEO.
John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Arden Partners. John joined Arden from BESI/Execution Noble in 2015, bringing over 25 years of corporate finance experience including senior roles at Hill Samuel and Close Brothers. Having run and built people businesses for many years, since 2008 John has focused on advising professional service businesses with a particular emphasis on fundraising and M&A. At Arden he leads the development of sector specialisation in this area.
Paul Smith, Swincliffe Consulting. Paul is the Principal of Swincliffe Consulting, a UK based legal consulting firm, which advises law firms big and small across the world on leadership, strategy and change. Paul was until recently the Global Chairman of Eversheds Sutherland, where he implemented many change programmes including the merger with US firm Sutherland, to create a global law firm with revenues in excess of $1 billion. Paul also put in place many ground breaking arrangements with global clients such as DuPont and Tyco.Legal Business magazine named him Lawyer of the Year for his work in creating innovative client models. He went on to found the consulting business at Eversheds Sutherland.
James Sheridan, Knights plc. James has worked as a corporate lawyer since 1994 in regional, national and global law firms both in the UK and overseas. Having joined Turner Parkinson in 2011 and led its sale to Knights plc in 2018, James has spearheaded the firm’s recent growth and continues to manage the Knights Manchester office. He has been one of the North West’s top ranked deals lawyers for the last 15 years, having advised on some of the region’s best known deals across a wide variety of business sectors. James is senior independent director at Lancashire Cricket, vice chairman of Lancashire Cricket Foundation and until 2016 was a non-executive director of drug development company Phosphate Therapeutics, leaving after its successful £30m disposal as part of a £180m IPO. Legal 500 describes James as “exceptional”, while Chambers & Partners ranks James as a “Leading Individual” and describes him as “practical and technically excellent, with a great reputation in the North West”. James is one of few lawyers holding the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales “Corporate Finance” qualification.
Gary Carrington, Chief Financial Officer, Fletchers Solicitors. After spending many years in senior roles at some of the UK’s largest accountancy firms, laterally Baker Tilly (now RSM) where he was a key member of the Professional Practices Group advising law firms, Gary joined Fletchers in 2014 as Finance Director. His role has developed into the Chief Financial Officer where he assists the fee earning teams to reach their performance objectives including financial performance. Using his experience and skills, he also assists with other innovative commercial initiatives developed by the business. With his extensive experience in the field of finance and operations, Gary is a key player in the growth of Fletchers, assisting the company in achieving our vision of becoming the top medical negligence and serious injury firm in the country.
Nigel Haddon, Burcher Jennings. Nigel is a Consultant working with Burcher Jennings, the UK’s leading law firm pricing consultancy. Nigel spent nine years as the Managing Partner of regional law firm SAS Daniels LLP, and has 30+ years’ experience as a practicing solicitor - at five different law firms - and led SAS Daniels through four successful mergers and acquisitions. Nigel has worked with Burcher Jennings since 2014 and now counts almost 100 law firms – and some accountants! - in the UK and Europe as clients. As well as his work as a pricing consultant with Burcher Jennings, Nigel is a consultant to the leadership of professional service firms and offers an M&A service through Mosaic Legal.
Find out more about the benefits of joining the Solicitors Community.
“This was a really insightful day, covering a broad range of challenging topics such as digital data analysis, business development in the Private Client sector, cyber risk management and regulatory changes.”“As always, a great day and very informative.”“A valuable opportunity to update on what is now happening in the sector and what the future will be bringing.”“Thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was well planned, well organised with a varied and interesting range of relevant topics.”“Good mix of speakers and content.”“A thoroughly enjoyable conference with a good mix of interesting topics.”
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