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Grow and remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing legal industry. Stay on top of the latest trends, technology, and issues in the profession.
This one-day virtual conference, you will get practical advice about all the latest changes and challenges currently facing the legal sector.
This year's conference theme is around seeing the opportunities in the challenges of a rapidly changing legal sector.
Early Bird ratesWe are offering an Early bird rate which is valid until 2 August 2023
Group discountsWhen you purchase 5 or more tickets, you will automatically receive 20% off at checkout.
*20% group discount is applied automatically at checkout.**Only one discount can be used per booking.
Should you experience any difficulties booking onto the event, please go to our events support page - how to book.
The opinions expressed by external guest speakers in interviews or other publications included on this website are, by their nature, those of the speaker. They are not necessarily fully endorsed by the ICAEW or purport to reflect the official policies and views of the ICAEW or its members.
Please note that the programme is subject to change
Opening Remarks Ian Johnson, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW
SRA UpdateThis session will give attendees an update on the latest policy activities at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, including amendments to the SRA Accounts Rules, Recent SRA Accounts Rules guidance, SRA regulatory insights on matters relating to the SRA Accounts Rules and also emerging trends in relation to the use of AI and compliance from our innovation and horizon scanning teams. Matthew Byng, Policy Manager, Solicitors Regulation Authority
Delivering a return from investments in IT and TechnologyAlex Hutchinson, a Freelance IT Director for law firms, will highlight the importance of delivering a return from investments made in IT and Software. He will discuss why a number of firms feel they never realise the expected returns, along with high-level info on how to change this! He will also share some insights around the future direction of IT for law firms, AI and the Microsoft evolution.
Benchmarking: Using the data to drive performanceIn this session, our speakers will examine some key areas of benchmarking for law firms, both financial and non-financial. For those advising law firm, or for individual working within law firms, you'll learn how to leverage data to help drive performance. Whether looking to improve client or staff satisfaction, increase efficiency or improve profitability, this session will provide insights from a group of experts with years of experiencing not only working closely with law firms, but also preparing their own unique benchmarking reports.
Ian Johnson, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEWLeon Hutchinson, Director, Assurance, PwCRobert Blech, Director, MHA
The changing face of property riskJohn Kunzler will cover recent claims trends in property work, and the possible combined impact of new legislation, lenders requirements, and climate change concerns.
Changing legal Industry - Why It Matters To YouIn this session, Dana Denis Smith will explore how demographic changes and the rise of women will affect the shape of the future legal profession.
Are you ready to earn more interest on your client moniesInterest rates have risen to levels not seen since 2008. With rising interest rates firms must consider what level of interest is fair to pass back to their clients. The problem is high street banks are reluctant to pass on interest rates which encourages firms to negotiate bespoke pricing. In this presentation we will highlight how firms can comply with their SRA obligations whilst still generating significant income for the firm, without falling foul of the SRA Accounts Rules.
Paul McCluskey, Managing Director, Gemstone Legal
Millennials - supporting the next generationMillennials have very different expectations of leadership to that which has been traditionally known within the professional sector. As the world of work is changing rapidly around us, and there is a generational shift in the workforce of today, we must consider how our workplace can adapt to support our new generation of leaders. Together with Michelle Howard you will explore this concept, preparing your business for future sustainability.
SRA Accounts Rules UpdateJanet Taylor's annual update for conference delegates on the impacts of any changes, common problems and risks around compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules.
Closing Remarks Ian Johnson, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEW
Ian Johnson, Chair, Solicitors Community, ICAEWIan is a qualified accountant and auditor and has spent his professional life working almost exclusively with law firms, ranging from small sole practitioners to large international LLPs, Limited Companies and PLCs. Ian spent a number of years as an auditor at a Big 4 accountancy firm, working with some of the UK’s largest law firms. He then spent more than 15 years as a legal sector specialist and is currently part of the Executive Council of The Institute of Legal Finance and Management (ILFM) and Vice Chair of the ICAEW Solicitors Advisory Committee.
Michelle Howard, Consultant and Director, Michelle Howard Consulting LtdMichelle is a skilled and experienced leadership, management and marketing consultant and trainer working with professional service firms and organisations across the public, private and the voluntary sector. Her career began in marketing within Legal 500 Law Firms as a Chartered Marketer, a title she has held for over 20 years. It progressed to the public sector where Michelle built up a great level of expertise implementing change initiatives and leading transformational projects, often developing strategic practices which were recognised for their contribution to national best practice.
John Kunzler, Risk and Error Management Leader, MarshJohn 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.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.
Janet Taylor FCA, Taylor Mowbray LLPJanet has been joint owner of Taylor Mowbray LLP for over 15 years. Prior to that she spent over 10 years with a top 20 accounting firm heading up their specialist solicitors’ group. A highly experienced presenter Janet and over the last 20 years she has also become known as a specialist on the SRA Accounts Rules She presents to a wide range of law firms through in-house and public seminars.
Alex Hutchinson,Freelance IT Director for law firmsAlex has specialised in helping law firms with their IT challenges Since 2017. He focusses on the firms who have a headcount of 30 -200 people and markets himself as the "IT Director for the law firms who do not want (or need) a full-time IT Director".
There are lots of firms who have challenges with Cloud, Case Management, Cyber Security, IT Staff, IT Suppliers, Software selection, replacement or development. More and more firms realise that they need additional skills and expertise to help address these challenges. But how do they find someone truly independent, who can work in the best interest of the firm and without having to recruit an IT Director! Alex helps address that problem.
Dana Denis Smith, Founder and CEO, Obelisk SupportDana Denis-Smith is the CEO of Obelisk Support and the founder of the First 100 Years campaign. A TedX speaker, Dana is regularly invited to address industry events and comment in the media on gender equality, entrepreneurship and legal technology. In 2020, she was recognised for her work as a women's advocate and champion of gender equality with the Special Contribution Award at the Women in Law Awards. In 2019, she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services by The Legal 500 and, in 2018, she was voted Legal Personality of the Year at the LexisNexis Awards. Most recently, Dana has been shortlisted in the 2022 FT Innovative Lawyers Europe awards and she was awarded her second honorary doctorate in laws from the University of Glasgow in recognition of her contribution, achievements and positive impact on the legal profession in June 2022.
Leon Hutchinson, Director, Aurruance, PwCLeon is an Audit Director in PwC's Law Firms' Advisory Group. He works with a number of national and international law firm clients, advising them on accounting issues and SRA Accounts Rules compliance. Leon also co-leads PwC Annual Law Firm's Survey, which provides insight and thought leadership covering the Top 100 UK law firms. PwC's survey has been running for over 30 years and the areas covered includes financial performance, people, financing, working capital and business support.
Robert Blech, Director, MHARobert is a qualified accountant and specialises in accounts preparation, audit and general consultancy as well as areas of taxation. Robert has a legal background and due to his extensive technical knowledge and deep understanding of the sector, takes charge of Solicitor Accounts Rules audits and is responsible for training within the firm. Robert has worked within the industry for over 20 years and joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson in April 2019.
*Early bird rate valid until Wednesday 2 August 2023
Group discountsWhen you purchase 5 or more tickets, you will automatically receive 20% off at checkout. *20% group discount is applied automatically at checkout. **Only one discount can be used per booking.
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