Join us on Friday 26 October to take part in the conversations that matter at our Annual conference: Leading Legal Excellence, the pre-eminent legal conference of the year.

Hear from our keynote speakers; choose from a variety of talks and panel debates; take part in interactive fringe sessions; and network with hundreds of fellow legal professions, business leaders and other attendees.

This event is worth 6 hours verifiable CPD

Join us for breakfast and your first chance to chat to our sponsors and exhibitors

Welcome and opening keynote

 Alison Atack, President, Law Society of Scotland

  • Immediate legal issues as they stand in October 2018
  • The future tensions and complexities businesses and their legal advisers are likely to face
  • What can be learnt from the intervention cases so far?

Aidan O'Neill QC (Scot), Matrix Chambers & Ampersand Advocates

Chair: Alison Atack, President, Law Society of Scotland

This session includes time for questions and discussion

Delegates will make their way to their chosen breakout session or fringe event

Breakout sessions

Chair: Graham Mackenzie, Head of AML, Law Society of Scotland

Graham Barrow, GR Business Process Solutions
Joyce Cullen, Partner, Brodies
Suzie Ogilvie, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Talking Brexit … of course
A TED-Style talk delivered by Iain Anderson

•    Business perspective
•    Running a firm post Brexit
•    Feedback on Summit of European Council
•    What the ‘new world’ will look like
•    Macro politics and Scotland’s place in global Britain

Chair: Paul Carlyle, Partner, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

Iain Anderson
, Executive Chairman, Cicero Group

  • Success stories from a variety of firms
  • Leading innovation in your firm
  • Insights from London and the South

Chair: Austin Lafferty, Austin Lafferty Limited

Lisa Law, Director, Innes Mackay 
Catriona Watt, Partner, Anderson Strathern
Tania Hemming, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Morton Fraser
Matt Sullivan, National Head of Professional Services, Brewin Dolphin Plc

Breakout sessions

GDPR, coupled with a heightened risk of cyber-crime, and changing attitudes towards data protection and privacy claims in the courts, has brought the protection of data into sharper focus for both the legal profession and our clients. Set this against the increasing value of personal data as a business asset, constantly evolving technology to help us exploit, manage and protect data, and the ever growing stream of data available online, and we have a powerful cocktail of risk versus opportunity. Security of data is at the very core of every business, and yet we don’t need to look too far to find data security breach headlines. So where does this leave us post-GDPR? In this session, we will look at the risks to the profession and our clients and the trends we are seeing in preventing, managing and reporting security breaches.

Helena Brown, Partner, Head of Data, Addleshaw Goddard

Chair: Laura Irvine, Partner, BTO Solicitors

A TED-style talk delivered by Ciarán Fenton

  • Macro-channge: something is changing in the sector but,  if it’s not ”disruption”, what Is it and how should you respond, if at all?
  • Micro toolkit: by this I mean behaviour and approaches that are relevant to your context
  • Budgets: how to escape the ”more for less” trap
  • Relationships: how to build and manage your ”relationship grid”
  • Ethics: how you can become enablers of better and ethical decision-making without ”owning” ethics

Ciarán Fenton, Leadership & Behavioural Change Consultant

Chair: Graeme McWilliams, Legal Counsel, Standard Life Assurance Legal

  • Retaining and developing valued future leaders
  • Millennial insights: Entering roles with ideas and aspirations

Chair: Thomas Chalmers, Executive Coach, Leading Figures

Elaine Motion, Chairman and Partner, Litigation Department, Balfour & Manson
Martha Clark, McSherry Halliday
Graham Robertson, Development Director, Project Scotland

Delegates will make their way to the plenary room

Keynote session

Dr. Heidi Gardner, Harvard Law School Distinguished Fellow and author of the best-selling book: “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos”

Dr Gardner shares research showing how firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when lawyers work across boundaries.  We’ll talk about what stands in the way, and how to overcome the barriers.

Chair: Graham Matthews, Immediate Past President, Law Society of Scotland

Keynote session

Lady Hale of Richmond, President of the Supreme Court 

  • The well-known contribution of Scottish cases to development of law of negligence continues with McFarlane v Tayside Health Board, Mitchell v Glasgow City Council and Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board
  • Scottish cases have led to important break-throughs in other areas, such as constitutional law in Burmah Oil v Lord Advocate, private international law in ‘The Spiliada’, and discrimination law in Archibald v Fife Council
  • Above all, these days, Scottish cases have been at the forefront of the developing devolution jurisprudence, from Martin v Most, AXA General Insurance v Lord Advocate, Imperial Tobacco v Lord Advocate, Christian Institute v Lord Advocate, and Scotch Whisky Association v Lord Advocate, as well as the Lord Advocate’s intervention in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
  • What can the whole of the United Kingdom learn from these and other examples? Do they tell us anything about the special character of Scottish litigators? Or are we more alike than we are different?  

Chair: Alison Atack, President, Law Society of Scotland

Delegates will make their way to their chosen breakout session or fringe event

Breakout sessions
  • Most significant technologies for legal businesses
  • What will assist practitioners in high street and in-house practice

Chair: John McKinlay, Partner, DLA Pipier


Joe De Wet, Sales Manager - Scotland, LEAP
Lucy Shurwood, Partner, Pinsent Masons

Chair: Michael P Clancy OBE, Director of Law Reform, Law Society of Scotland


Dr Kirsteen Shields, Lecturer in International Law and Food Security, University of Edinburgh
María Elena Sanchez Arcas, Head of Legal Corporate Governance and Compliance, Scottish Power
Ivan Smith, Legal Counsellor, UK Representation to the EU

  • Risk and reputation in results
  • Implications for tenders, suppliers and supply chains
  • Closing the gap: How can change be embedded?

Chair: Val Dougan, Professional Support Lawyer, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP


Elizabeth Gardiner, First Parliamentary Counsel, Cabinet Office
Judith Morrison, Head of Legal Services, Procurement & Audit, The Scottish Parliament, The Scottish Parliament
Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal, Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland

David Hoey, Partner, BTO Solicitors


Breakout sessions

Professor Bill Buchanan OBE, Professor of Computing, Napier University

Chair: Gail Cook, Client Executive, Master Policy Practice Management, Lockton Companies LLP

  • Trends in mergers and consolidation in Scotland & UK
  • Evolving market: Freelance models and consultancy models
  • Agile/low overhead firms

Chair: John Mulholland, Vice President 2018-2019, Law Society of Scotland


Stephen Gold, Stephen Gold Consulting
Rachel Wood, Founder, Indigo Zoom Limited

Philip Yelland, Executive Director of Regulation, Law Society of Scotland
Carole Ford, Convenor, Regulatory Committee, Law Society of Scotland

Delegates will make their way to the plenary room

Delegates in the main conference hall

Book now

Register now to join us on Friday 26 October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Fringe sessions

View more information about our interactive fringe sessions