Conference: 2020 Vision

9.00: Registration

9.30: How the future looks from here

The Law Society has recently published a series of major reports assessing the current state of the legal market and the pressures and challenges it faces. Building on the evidence gathered during the project, the Law Society has created four scenarios for what the legal services market might look like in 2025 for use as a strategy planning tool. This session will outline the work and how the world might look in 12 years’ time.

Speaker:

Patricia Greer, Chief of Corporate Affairs, Law Society

10.00: Brand new

There may not yet be a national legal brand recognised by large numbers of consumers, but there is no shortage of competition to be the first. This session, held in debate format, will hear from those famous brands entering the law and the law firms hoping to become famous – including Jacoby & Meyers, the leading US consumer law firm now targeting England and Wales – on what it takes to build a brand, how legal practice will need to change and what this all means for the rest of the profession.

Speakers:

Christina Blacklaws, Co-operative Legal Services

Craig Holt, QualitySolicitors

Neil Kinsella, Slater & Gordon

Archana Makol, BT Law

Craig Underwood, Minster Law/BGL Group

Gabe Miller, Jacoby & Meyers

11.15: Coffee and networking break

11.45: Innovation nation

Legal Futures has always championed innovation in the provision of legal services and this session will hear from those who are embracing the new challenges facing the profession in the form through unbundling, employee ownership of law firms, dispersed practices and collective marketing.

Speakers:

Emel Hussein, iSolicitor

Emel is the founder of iSolicitor, an online business offering a range of unbundled legal services at fixed fees, including consultations via Skype for people who need help conducting their own cases.

Robert Postlethwaite, Postlethwaite

Postlethwaite is a law firm specialising in employee share schemes which is itself employee-owned.

Alex Mills, Dynamo Legal

Dynamo Legal – the brainchild of Apprentice candidate Alex Mills – is looking to recruit 245 law firms across England and Wales to its collective marketing scheme and build a £7m advertising warchest. It also wants to offer a white-label service for big brands.

Jonathan Whittaker, SAS Daniels LLP

Jonathan is the Senior Partner at SAS Daniels LLP, a leading North West law firm.

12.45: Sponsor presentations

13.00: Lunch and networking

14.00: ABS and proud of it

There are now well over 200 alternative business structures in England and Wales. Away from the high-profile names entering the law, there have been licenses awarded to many smaller firms with big plans. This session will showcase some of the most interesting ABSs in the market and explain how the flexibility of ABS is enabling them to make the most of the opportunities they see.

Speakers:

Simon Gibson, SGI Legal

SGI Legal is arguably the model for personal injury law firms of the future: all four partners manage full-time, there is a heavy focus on process and technology (10% of staff work in the IT team), and it recorded a turnover of £5m in its first year. The ABS licence will enable it to offer a full range of legal and non-legal accident management services.

Andrew Macleod, Triton Global

Triton is the first true, multi-disciplinary commercial claims organisation working with insurers. It incorporates specialist professional indemnity insurance law firm Robin Simon, claims administration outsourcer DCS Global, and loss adjusters Walsh PI+ to provide a cradle-to-grave claims resolution service.

David Redfern/Paul Stothard, Tees Solicitors

Tees Solicitors, a 200-person firm in the northern home counties, has completed a three-year restructuring plan with a view to attracting external investment and creating a ‘Tees’ umbrella to expand into other industries.

Christopher Mills, Schillings

Schillings has used the flexibility offered by its two ABS licences to become a reputation defence business that seamlessly combines IT security, legal advice and risk consulting. Schillings is redefining what it means to be a ‘law firm’

15.15: 2020 Vision

What will the legal market look like in 2020? What are the key regulatory, financial and business issues facing the law now and in the future? Our distinguished panel will debate with the audience about the good, bad and ugly of the post-Legal Services Act world and what is needed to ensure that clients receive the best possible advice and service, and that lawyers can run profitable, sustainable businesses to the highest professional standards.

Speakers:

Steve Arundale, NatWest

Matthew Briggs, Brilliant Law

Andrew Caplen, Law Society

Chris Kenny, Legal Services Board

Roger Smith

Kerry Underwood, Underwoods Solicitors

Lord Falconer QC

16.30: Networking drinks reception