Programme and speakers

9.30:        Welcome

9.35:       The new kid on the block

London law firm Gordon Dadds has not just made waves by becoming only the second UK law firm to list on the stock exchange, but also with its ambitious acquisition strategy. It aims to double its £25m revenue over the next three years by becoming a major consolidator of both top 200 law firms and also smaller practices through a back-office platform that it has developed. The firm’s chief executive and the corporate financier who steered the flotation will speak about the rationale behind going public, the plans for the future and where the market might go from here.

Adrian Biles, Chief Executive, Gordon Dadds Group plc
John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Corporate Finance Director, Arden Partners plc

10.15:       Investment opportunities

External investment is creeping across the legal landscape in many shapes and forms. In this session, we will hear from one firm that has recently received private equity backing, as well as the world’s biggest litigation finance business, which also has its own ABS.

Craig Arnott, London Director, Burford Capital plc
Guy Setford, CEO, Setfords Solicitors

10.45:      Presentations from sponsors and exhibitors

11.15:       Break

11.45:       New kids on the block

The six years of ABS have brought with them a multitude of non-legal organisations buying or setting up their own law firms, such as trade unions, global insurance companies and business recovery specialists. What are the benefits? How does the relationship work? What will this increasing trend mean for the future of legal services?

Andrew Gregory, Managing Director, Leonard Curtis Legal
Graham Neyt, Managing Director, LHS Solicitors
Tony Rupa, Executive Board Member, UnionLine

12.30:       The great divide

The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plan to allow solicitors to practise from unregulated businesses has kicked up a massive argument, not least with the Law Society. In this session, we will hear and test the two sides of the argument.

Simon Davis, Deputy Vice-President, The Law Society
Richard Collins, Executive Director – Strategy and Resources, SRA

13.00:       Lunch

14.00:       Rethinking your law firm

The ABS era has unleashed innovative thinking across the legal market. This session will highlight firms that have transformed their practices in a variety of ways – from incubating tech start-ups and developing complementary non-legal service lines, to embracing multi-disciplinary businesses. We will also hear from technology and marketing specialists on how their areas of expertise will help transform legal businesses.

Ed Turner, Managing Partner, Taylor Vinters
Jon Whittle, Market Development Director, LexisNexis
Andrew Cullwick, Head of Marketing, First4Lawyers
Garry Mackay, CEO, Ashfords LLP
Richard Turner, Chief Executive, Alpaca
Simon Goldhill, Founder and Director of Strategy, Metamorph Law

15.30:       Break

16.00:       Chatbots and Robots – The future face of the law?

Are Billy Bot and LISA the future faces of the law? These recently launched chatbots could be the start of a major shift in the delivery of legal services, and the headlines generated all over the world by Joshua Browder with his DoNotPay chatbot – which started out helping consumers challenge parking tickets – show there is considerable public appetite for them. We will hear from these pioneers and also AI specialists on what these technologies may mean for the practice of law.

Joshua Browder, Founder,
Stephen Ward, Managing Director, Clerksroom
Chrissie Lightfoot, Founder, LISA

17.00       Close