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In-house annual conference 2019

Date: 13th June 2019

Time: 09:00 - 16:40

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
19 North Bridge

CPD Hours: 6hours

We welcome all in-house lawyers for a day of networking, valuable insights and essential updates.

Our one-day conference will bring together in-house solicitors from the public, corporate and third sectors. Join us on Thursday 13 June 2019 in Edinburgh for key legal updates, strategic insight and practical debate facilitated by leading in-house counsel to equip you and your colleagues with the tools to ‘collaborate, respond and innovate’.

The varied programme for 2019 reflects the diverse legal and practical issues currently facing in-house legal teams.

Peer-learning and debate will provide a pool of information throughout the day on the matters that are vital to your in-house legal role and environment.

Whatever your sector, this conference offers an opportunity to keep up to date with recent developments in the law, as well as a spectrum of perspectives from across the in-house legal community.

The conference will close with a drinks reception where you’ll have the opportunity to share experiences with fellow in-house lawyers across multiple sectors. We’ll also be celebrating the brilliance of an up-and-coming talent in the in-house community with the presentation of our In-house Rising Star Award.


Collaborate – our opening keynote will explore the critical contribution legal makes to an organisation and provide valuable insight into management expectations of in-house counsel. You’ll also hear from a panel of in-house solicitors with practical guidance on how you can demonstrate value to your internal stakeholders.

Respond – hear from our sponsor law firms with the latest updates on data protection, contracts and other black letter law essentials to ensure you are equipped to respond to the legal needs of your employer.

Innovate – a further panel session will see in-house solicitors explore legal technology innovations and how they’ve put them into practice. Our closing keynote will look forward, towards a bright future for in-house counsel despite challenging times.

At this conference you will:

  • Learn what your critical contribution as in-house counsel should look like and how to demonstrate value to your employer
  • Identify how legal technology can work for you and improve delivery of legal services, resulting in innovation led by legal
  • Get vital insights on the current developments in the ever-changing data protection environment
  • Explore latest commercial, IP, outsourcing and tech trends and how they impact on contract negotiation

“I am really looking forward to chairing our flagship in-house annual conference 2019 on 13 June in Edinburgh, which we expect to sell out. With a wide range of sessions delivering on key themes of “collaborate, respond and innovate”, the programme includes black letter law updates on contracts, employment and data protection. We will also hear from in-house peers at panel sessions focusing on legal technology and demonstrating value as in-house counsel. The closing keynote comes from the Legal Business Rising Star In-house Counsel of 2019, Frances Coats. To top it all off, there will be a closing drinks reception, at which will be presented this year’s In-house Rising Star Award. ”

Graeme McWilliams, as quoted in The Journal

  • 09:00 - 09:30

    Registration, refreshments and networking
  • Graeme McWilliams, Legal Counsel, Commercial Legal Team, Phoenix Life Legal

  • Chair: Graeme McWilliams, Legal Counsel, Commercial Legal Team, Phoenix Life Legal

    • In-house counsel - an automotive comparison: steering, engine, accelerator or brake?
    • Why in-house; what difference does that make?
    • The importance of a balanced perspective: the relationship between in-house and outsourced.
    • So you want to be a GC or a CEO? Really? Are you sure? How do you know?


    For the last 20 years Bruce has operated as a GC or equivalent, CEO or Board Director or Chair (though considers himself far too young to have done anything for 20 years). He has amassed a very broad range of legal and organisational experience both strategically and at the coal face. He is passionate about supporting those earlier in their careers. For more than a decade he has regularly facilitated at LBC Wise Counsel’s unique and transformational in-house talent development programme. 

    Some career highlights are: Lord President’s Legal Secretary; Deputy Keeper of RoS; Head of part of Rural Affairs; Chair of thinkWhere Ltd; Office Bearer in the WS Society; CEO of BSAS; and currently CEO of Storas Uibhist. And of course President of the Law Society of Scotland.


  • Chair: Katy McNeil, CivTech®  Intrapreneurship Programme Lead 

    • Beyond the hype – what’s the reality of legal tech
    • Benefits and pitfalls of introducing technology
    • Getting buy in from your senior management
    • Lived experience of panel members' organisations

    Leigh Kirkpatrick, Managing Legal Counsel, Outsourcing, Technology and IP, RBS Legal
    Christopher Morgan

    Christopher Morgan is the Group General Counsel for Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited, one of the UK’s most successful privately owned companies. Christopher is responsible for all legal, regulatory, compliance and governance matters at Arnold Clark.

    Before joining Arnold Clark, Christopher was the General Counsel & Company Secretary for the Weir Group PLC and before that, the General Counsel of Balfour Beatty’s Rail Division, based in London. He has previously held legal roles with Honda Motor Company both in Europe and Japan and with British Airways.

    He trained as a solicitor in Glasgow and is both Scottish and English qualified, as well as passing the New York state Bar.

    Stefano Rinaldi

    Stefano qualified in September 2001 after an in-house traineeship at RBS. He worked in various in-house and private practice roles before joining the Litigation Department at the NHS Central Legal Office in 2007. Stefano has been at the CLO ever since and is currently Team Leader of a new general litigation team within the Litigation Department. In 2018, he took on the role of Product Owner for the CLO in relation to the wider Digital Transformation programme of NHS National Services Scotland.

    The main focus of Stefano's work has been and remains in relation to Medical Negligence Law and he is an accredited specialist by the Law Society of Scotland in this area. He is the most senior solicitor in the CLO’s Digital Innovation Team, which seeks to promote and expand the use of digital technologies and solutions by staff at the CLO.


  • 11:25 - 11:40

    Refreshments and networking
  • Chair: David Bryson, Senior Legal Counsel, Baillie Gifford & Co

    John McKinlay

    John McKinlay advises a range of businesses and public sector organisations on contractual, technology, and intellectual property matters. His core practice is negotiating commercial, outsourcing and technology contracts.

    He advises clients in a range of industries, most commonly financial services, life sciences, and public sector, and regularly advises on projects which involve working across a number of international jurisdictions.

    John heads DLA Piper's UK Intellectual Property and Technology practice.

  •  Chair: David Bryson, Senior Legal Counsel, Baillie Gifford & Co

    Euan Smith

    Euan is a Partner who advises clients in all areas of employment law, in contentious and non-contentious matters. He leads the Employment Energy Sector and Corporate Immigration practices and manages key client relationships. He regularly advises blue-chip companies and public sector organisations on executive recruitment and termination, organisational change programmes, TUPE strategies, contract drafting, interpretation, industrial actions and collective employee relations.
    He has represented clients before Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals in Scotland and England, in a wide range of cases including unfair dismissal and discrimination. He has designed and delivered effective training programmes for employees on employment law issues. Euan is recognised as an expert in his field and regularly speaks at conferences for employment lawyers. He is a member of the Employment Law Group and CIPD.

  • 13:10 - 14:00

    Lunch, exhibition and networking
  • Chair: David Bryson, Senior Legal Counsel, Baillie Gifford & Co

    • One year on from GDPR: the privacy breach landscape
    • Breach incidents – ICO fines and claims for damages by individuals
    • Scaling it up: class actions
    • Are you ready? Practical steps to manage and mitigate risk

    Duncan Turner

    Duncan is a partner in the Technology Media and Telecommunications Team at CMS Edinburgh.  

    Duncan specialises in information technology, intellectual property, data protection and commercial contracts.  His experience includes drafting and negotiating complex IT and commercial contracts, including outsourcing agreements, software development and licensing agreements and software as a service contracts.  Duncan also has extensive experience advising on the IT, IP and data protection aspects of M&A transactions.

    Catriona Garcia-Alis

    Catriona Garcia-Alis is a Senior Associate in the Disputes Team at CMS in Edinburgh.

  • Chair: Thembe McInnes, Legal Manager, Whyte & Mackay Ltd

    • How to demonstrate value to your senior management team
    • Winning trust and maintaining it
    • KPIs and benchmarking for in-house legal

    Alison York

    Alison left private practice in 1997 to become an in-house lawyer at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). She has been there ever since, becoming Head of Legal in 2017. She is a United Kingdom Environmental Law Association Council member and, until recently, was a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Environmental Law Sub-Committee.

    Stephen Taylor

    Stephen spent several years in private practice with McGrigors LLP’s IP team before joining A.G. BARR’s in-house legal team in 2012. He has been Legal Counsel since April 2018. He advises the business on a range of legal matters with a particular focus on brand protection. He loves brands - especially A.G. BARR's. He apologises in advance to anyone who doesn’t like the reformulated IRN-BRU.

    Lindsay started her legal career as an in-house lawyer with Stirling Council, which included a six months secondment to a large private sector firm. She then took up legal roles in professional regulation, working as the Head of Fitness to Practice for GTC Scotland and the Head of Hearings for SSSC. Lindsay is now the Monitoring Officer and Service Manager for Legal and Governance at Clackmannanshire Council.

  • 15:45 - 16:00

    Refreshments and networking
  • Chair: Graeme McWilliams, Legal Counsel, Commercial Legal Team, Phoenix Life Legal

    The closing keynote will focus on what the in house profession might look like in the future, including the additional challenges and capabilities we’ll need to build but with a reminder on what should stay consistent.

    Frances Coats

    Frances heads the non-contentious legal team at The Ardonagh Group, a family of leading businesses spanning the insurance distribution chain. Prior to this, she was responsible for advising Tesco’s Group Food division, covering the UK, Ireland and Central Europe. Before going in house, Frances was a corporate/M&A specialist at Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins in London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including a secondment acting as sole legal counsel for Mondelez International’s Middle East and North Africa business. 

  • Drinks reception and presentation by Alison Atack, Past President of the Law Society of Scotland


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