The immense disruption already caused by COVID-19 has catapulted individuals and business alike into unchartered territory. At home and abroad, financial markets and hitherto buoyant economic sectors have experienced significant fluctuation, replicating the uncertainty inherent in a global pandemic of this nature. On both sides of the Atlantic, political norms have been shattered and democratic constructs challenged in new and often alarming ways. And of course, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union will soon begin to play out in real time, bringing more disruption and change.

Many of the recent changes necessitated by COVID-19’s impact are well understood now. Foremost amongst these is broader acceptance of the fundamental significance of our own and each other’s wellbeing. This is indicative of some of the subtle changes afoot, changes reflected in our choices and personal behaviours.

All these factors combine and compound, bringing a whole new set of challenges requiring careful navigation. This year’s annual conference will look at some of these changes – both obvious and subtle, and all points in-between. Participants can expect to hear from some of the leading experts and commentators able to contextualise and articulate these changes.

And we will look forward positively, encouraging conversations amongst members by using the online format to bring people together in symposium style sessions, to share best practice and winning strategies.

Conference sessions will run over five days. Monday 26 April to Thursday 29 April will consist of short optional panel discussions and workshops, and Friday 30 April a full day of keynotes. Each day will focus on a major theme:

Day One, Monday 26 April: Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing (2 hours 15 mins CPD)

Amanda Millar
Past President 2021/22, Law Society of Scotland

Yvonne Brady
Consultant, Morton Fraser

Amanda Millar
Past President 2021/22, Law Society of Scotland

Musab Hemsi
Partner, LexLeyton

Naeema Yaqoob Sajid
Solicitor, Founder Diversity+, Co-founder, SEMLA

Chair

Olivia Moore
Careers & Wellbeing Manager, Law Society of Scotland
  • Compassionate cultures for working parents
  • Wellbeing – walking the walk
  • Discrimination and unconscious bias
  • Equality within the profession: many miles left to travel?
Workshops 11:30 - 12:15

Emma Bell
Coach, Resilience Expert, Author of ‘9 secrets to thriving, formerly Partner, Brodies LLP; MacRoberts LLP

chair

Jim McKay
Head of CPD, Law Society of Scotland

Marliese Perks
Legal Counsel - Outsourcing, Technology & IP, RBS

Mark Cruickshank
Managing IP Legal Counsel, RBS

Linzi Penman
Senior Associate, DLA Piper

chair

Paul Mosson
Executive Director of Member Services, Law Society of Scotland
  • Law Society of Scotland wellbeing survey trends
  • New initiatives in this space, and challenges
  • How can we influence for positive change?
  • Progress over the past 5 years, and areas where greater focus is needed
  • How can we best support wellbeing in a more remote world going forward?
Workshops 14:00 - 14:45

Gary Young
Founder, The Mindful Enterprise

chair

Rachel Wood
Executive Director of Regulation,

Book now - Monday 26 April only

Panel discussion and workshop on diversity, inclusion & wellbeing.

 


Day Two, Tuesday 27 April: The Economy (2 hours 45 mins CPD)

Tracy Black
Scotland Director, Confederation of British Industry

Scott Foster
S&S Foster Associates, Training and Management Consultancy

Professor David Bell
Stirling University

chair

Lorna Jack
Chief Executive, Law Society of Scotland

Tuesday’s session will focus on the economy. Our panel of business leaders and economists will contextualise the current economic situation, what trends there are emerging and look at the best way for rebooting the economy – is this the best chance we will get to positively disrupt and reshape the economy and how should law firms position and ready themselves for the ‘new economic reality’?

  • Current and future business environment in Scotland
  • Lessons from 2009 and past recessions for today
  • How the pandemic has rearranged the board: airlines v zoom, consumerism now. Winners and losers and opportunities from positive disruption
  • What the economy needs from legal community (and vice versa)
  • Support for youth employment and PACE support
Workshops 11:25 - 12:10

Austin Lafferty
Partner & Director, Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents

Tracey Campbell-Hynd
TCH Law

Ally Thomson
Consultant, Glasgow Law Practice

chair

Jim McKay
Head of CPD, Law Society of Scotland
  • Innovations within profession
  • Time for change: defining characteristics of successful firms of the future
  • Helping leaders succeed
  • Price transparency

Scott Foster
S&S Foster Associates, Training and Management Consultancy

chair

Loraine Strachan
Executive Director of Finance & Operations,
  • Lessons from 2008 economy
  • Current and future economic environment for Scottish law firms
  • Cashflow and funding structures
  • Seeking advice in uncertain times
Workshop 12:20 - 13:05

Mark Bell
Co-Founder and Partner, Anderson Anderson & Brown Consulting

Lesley Fordyce
Co-Founder and CEO, Anderson Anderson & Brown Consulting

chair

Matt Constable
CPD Operations Officer, Law Society of Scotland

This participative session from Anderson Anderson and Brown Consulting will focus on the change of pace necessitated in recent months to stay competitive in the race. Drawing an analogy with Formula One, and sharing on AAB’s intimate knowledge of other industries, AAB will explain why law firms are not immune to the challenges. 

Workshop 14:00 - 14:45

Michael Fleming
Business Development for Lawyers, Kissing With Confidence
  • Business Development in lockdown and the new virtual world – what’s changed?
  • Getting comfortable with “selling” – avoiding the “hard sell” and the “never sell” lunch loop
  • Why optimists outsell pessimists and why you need to re-chip your thinking
  • Learning to embrace rejection: “no” is the second best answer to “yes”!
  • The opportunities for developing more trust in the virtual business world – the power of small talk, “intimacy” and appropriate self, disclosure
  • Time: making time for Business Development and prioritising it
  • Systems: getting more organised and systematic in your approach to Business Development
  • Following-up with and keeping in touch with contacts and clients

Book now - Tuesday 26 April only

Panel discussion and workshop on the economy.

 


Day Three, Wednesday 28 April: EU Withdrawal & International Law (2 hours 45 mins CPD)

Dominic Grieve QC
Temple Garden Chambers

chair

Michael Clancy OBE
Director of Law Reform, Law Society of Scotland

Christine O'Neill QC
Partner & Chairman, Brodies LLP

Elaine Motion
Chairman, Balfour+Manson

Dominic Grieve QC
Temple Garden Chambers

CHAIR

Michael Clancy OBE
Director of Law Reform, Law Society of Scotland

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will proceed on January 01 2021, at the end of the transition period. Of immediate significance, the UK will automatically drop out of the EU’s main trading agreements. What we will have learnt by April 2021 that will help inform the Scottish legal profession in the months and years ahead?

Workshops 11:30 - 12:15

Gillian McCluskey
Associate, MacRoberts LLP

Nicolas J Lockhart
Trade Lawyer, Sidley Austin LLP

Dr Kirsty J Hood QC
Senior Advocate, Themis Advocates

Roddy Forgie
Solicitor, Shepherd and Wedderburn

Chair

Carolyn Thurston Smith
Policy Executive, Law Society of Scotland
  • Trade agreements & WTO perspective
  • Civil international agreements supporting business
Workshops 14:00 - 14:45

Krista Johnston
Director, Martin, Johnston & Socha

Laura Irvine
Partner, Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Stuart Munro
Managing Partner & Director, Livingstone Brown

chair

Rob Marrs
Head of Education, Law Society of Scotland

Rachael Kelsey
Partner, SKO Family Law Specialists

Sarah Hoskinson
Partner, Burges Salmon

Stephen Cullen
Principal, Miles & Stockbridge, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC

John West
Associate, SKO Family Law Specialists

chair

Janys M Scott QC
Westwater Advocates

Book now - Wednesday 28 April only

Panel discussion and workshop on EU withdrawal & international law.

 


Day Four, Thursday 29 April: Scots Law - Developments and Changing Nature of Court Practice (4 hours 30 minutes CPD)

Workshops 10:15 - 11:15

Jennifer Henderson
Keeper & Chief Executive, Registers of Scotland

John Sinclair
Convener, Property Law Committee, Burness Paull

Ann Stewart
Property and Professional Development Adviser, Shepherd & Wedderburn

Callum Murray
CEO, Amiqus Resolution Ltd

chair

Jennifer Paton
Policy Executive, Law Society of Scotland
  • Digital conveyancing and property market

chair

Shelagh McCall QC
Advocate, Black Chambers

Julia McPartlin
President, Edinburgh Bar Association

Liam McAllister
Partner, Lefevre Litigation

Jodie Blackstock
Legal Director, JUSTICE

This workshop will draw upon JUSTICE Scotland’s report ‘Legal Assistance in the Police Station’, which found that there continues to be a lack of understanding of the importance of the right to legal assistance during police detention.

Speakers from across Scotland will provide a thorough and comprehensive exchange of views, and attendees will be invited to ask questions and provide their own observations.

  • Statistics on solicitors present at interview
  • Cadder v HM Advocate – implications and applications
  • Legal representation as a human right
  • Police station phase
  • Attendance and protecting client welfare
  • Major barriers and financial limitations
  • Lessons from pandemic
Workshops 11:30 - 12:30

Simon Allison
Partner, Employment Law, Blackadders LLP

Jack Boyle
Director, Employment Team, Blackadders LLP

chair

Natalia Shibli
CPD Legal Researcher , Law Society of Scotland
  • Practical hints for your Linked In and Twitter professional accounts
  • Five tips and tricks to build up your social media following
  • The three questions you should ask yourself (as a solicitor) when using social media

Manjula Bray
Business Psychologist and Executive/Career Coach
  • Are you inaccurately self-assessing?
  • What qualities do you need to evidence to be successful in a judicial appointment?
  • Five step strategy for success
  • Judicial Appointments Training in Scotland – what does it involve?

Stephen Bennett
BAFTA winning Film Director & Producer
Plenary Panel: Trauma Awareness within Criminal Justice

Callum Hutchison
Development Officer, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

chair

Dr Sara Zanovello
CPD Legal Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

Iain Smith
Partner, Keegan Smith; and Scottish Lawyer of the Year 2020

chair

Dr Sara Zanovello
CPD Legal Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

Myrna McCallum
Founding Lawyer, Miyo Pimatisiwin Legal Services in North Vancouver, British Columbia

Iain Smith
Partner, Keegan Smith; and Scottish Lawyer of the Year 2020

James Docherty
Development Officer, Violence Reduction Unit; Advisor to Community Justice Scotland

Dr Caroline Bruce
Psychologist and Head of Trauma , Scottish Government

Ret. Sheriff David Mackie

Stephen Bennett
BAFTA winning Film Director & Producer

Kirsty Giles
Psychotherapist, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

chair

Dr Sara Zanovello
CPD Legal Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

Kate Silverton
Journalist, Broadcaster, Author and Child Psychotherapist (in training)

Chair

Iain Smith
Partner, Keegan Smith; and Scottish Lawyer of the Year 2020

Book now - Thursday 29 April only

Panel discussion and workshop on Scots Law - developments and changing nature of court practice.

 


Day Five, Friday 30 April: Full Day of Keynotes (5 hours 30 mins CPD)

chair

Austin Lafferty
Partner & Director, Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents

Amanda Millar
Past President 2021/22, Law Society of Scotland

Debora Kayembe
Rector, University of Edinburgh

The speaker will share her journey in the quest of her rights as an immigrant, and how reaching out to tell her story has allowed her to fully integrate into society.

 

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

Sir John Curtice
Professor of Politics, Strathclyde University; Senior Research Fellow, NatCen
  • Holyrood elections May 2021: the likeliest outcomes
  • Scotland and the UK
  • Westminster voting intentions
  • Is Indyref 2 inevitable

Professor Abbe Brown
MA (Cantab), Dip IP (Bristol), PhD (Edinburgh), FHEA, Solicitor (non practising) England and Wales, Victoria and Scotland, University of Aberdeen

Professor Tahseen Jafry
Director of the Pioneering Centre for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University

Emma Dixon
Senior Legal Advisor, Oil and Gas Authority
  • Law Society Activity

  • Opportunities for all: COP26 Principles, Sustainability and Technology

  • COP26, Climate Justice and delivering a Just Transition

Keynote

The Right Hon Lord Hodge
Deputy President of the Supreme Court

Allison Harrison
Student, Teacher and Director, Hot Yoga Edinburgh Ltd

This session is suitable for all levels and requires no special equipment other than yourself and a chair. We will start with some gentle stretches for the neck and shoulders and a calming breathing exercise, before you are guided through a gentle yoga practice which moves and stretches the spine, shoulders and hips. The sequence is designed to be accessible to all, we will start in a seated position, and you’ll have the option to stand for part of the practice, challenging your balance while strengthening the hip flexors, hamstrings and back. The teacher will give clear instructions and offer modifications so that each participant can find a safe stretch.

Keynote

Stephen Cullen
Principal, Miles & Stockbridge, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC

Jeff Langlands
General Counsel, BT Global; Director EE Limited

Emma Bell
Coach, Resilience Expert, Author of ‘9 secrets to thriving, formerly Partner, Brodies LLP; MacRoberts LLP

chair

Kevin Lang
Executive Director of External Relations, Law Society of Scotland
14:35 - 15:15 Please choose your session

chair

Matthew Thomson
Client Executive, Lockton

Rona Paterson
Senior Financial Lines Underwriter, RSA Insurance plc

Mark Gray
Service Leader Mid-Market PI , Lockton

Alan Eadie
BTO Solicitors

John Kerrigan
Consultant, Blackadders

Kate Dowdalls QC

chair

Dr Sara Zanovello
CPD Legal Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

Kenny Robertson
Head of Outsourcing, Technology & IP legal team, RBS; and Chair, Wellbeing Steering Group, Law Society of Scotland

Roddy Wan
Head of Corporate Legal and Governance, Secretary to the ScottishPower Management Committee, ScottishPower

Susan Ferguson-Snedden
Head of Legal and Compliance | Chief Executive’s Office, Historic Environment Scotland

Christine McGregor
BayWa r.e. UK Limited

chair

Fiona Menzies
Member Engagement Manager, Law Society of Scotland
  • Commerciality: balancing legal and commercial considerations
  • Trainee talent and development post covid and post Brexit
  • Digitalisation/innovation
  • Green recovery and sustainability

Steve Taylor
Business Development Manager, Thirdfort

chair

Natalia Shibli
CPD Legal Researcher , Law Society of Scotland

In this session, Thirdfort's Business Development Manager Steve Taylor will cover:

  • Common misconceptions around legaltech
  • How legaltech helps firms meet regulatory requirements
  • The current solutions out there
  • How legaltech lets lawyers get back to legal, without the compliance guesswork

Lorna Jack
Chief Executive, Law Society of Scotland

Harriet Beveridge
Executive Coach, Broadcaster and Comic, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?

In this Olympic year, what business insights can we glean from the experiences of a gold-medal-winning crew? Our speaker, Harriet Beveridge, is co-author of the bestselling business book, ‘Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?’ She’s a TED.com and BBC Radio 4 speaker. In this inspirational, but highly practical session, she’ll share Olympic Winning secrets for:

  • Focus: how to ensure we stay focussed on what’s strategically important – as individuals and across organisations; how to make everyday actions and decisions aligned to overall goals.
  • Change: how to mitigate, handle or leverage the ongoing uncertainties (relating to the pandemic, politics, regulatory change and more) to drive business success
  • ‘Bouncebackability’: how to deal with setback and bounce back stronger

Lorna Jack
Chief Executive, Law Society of Scotland

Book now - Friday 30 April only

Full day of exceptional keynotes.