The Law Society has been forced to cancel its national conference – which would have been the first for seven years – because of insufficient interest from corporate lawyers in travelling to south Wales.
The ‘Law Conference’ next month at well-known golf resort Celtic Manor, though badged as the society’s annual conference, was primarily aimed at corporate and in-house lawyers.
As first revealed on Legal Futures, the society was expecting to attract at least 300 delegates to the conference, which had already secured LexisNexis as a platinum sponsor and Wincanton Records Management as a gold sponsor.
Speakers were to include Will Whitehorn, former president of Virgin Galactic, Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, and Eddie Ryan, retiring head of Co-operative Legal Services.
In a statement, while the society said its plans “attracted considerable support from speakers and delegates, regrettably it has become clear that the geographical location presented something of an obstacle to the intended audience.
“Rather than proceed with a smaller event, we have contacted the speakers and attendees to explain our decision to cancel. We plan a London-based conference in 2013 to appeal to the same sector of our membership.
“We remain committed to providing an annual forum for corporate-focused lawyers, and will continue to build on our range of events, products and engagement with all members of the solicitors’ profession, irrespective of the different priorities they may have and challenges they may face.”
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has successfully run its annual conference at Celtic Manor for the past four years.
A Law Society spokesman added that the conference was billed as Chancery Lane’s annual conference “because it is to be held annually rather than anything to do with which section of the membership it was targeted at”.
He said that such is the diverse make-up of the profession, a general conference would not be viable.