Sole Practitioner & High Street Firm Conference (free online)

Date: 29th July 2020

Location:
Online

This free online conference is designed to interrogate and discuss the key issues and responses necessitated by recent events concerning Covid-19 with a focus on business readiness and recovery. Please join sole practitioners and high street solicitors from across Scotland to take part in a day of open and honest discussion on change and renewal.

Useful Links and Resources from the Conference

Visit our Business Support pages for information and guides focused on supporting members during the Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Find out more about our research and seven step action plan here
  • See our dedicated Covid-19 Wellbeing webpage which contains links, articles and access to free webinars relating to mental health.

For more information and resources from Flexibility Works please visit their website.

With Covid-19 leading to increasing numbers of people working remotely, visit our website to find out how documents and contracts can be signed and concluded.

See here for a summary of how to access Registers of Scotland services. 

Deborah Hair, Marketing Consultant at Stonefield Marketing, has summarised her marketing tips for your high street legal practice during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more about it here

Boyd Digital are international search engine optimisation experts. They can offer members a no cost audit of their websites from a technical and structural perspective. This would include looking at members' other digital channels and seeing how they compare with some of their competitors. Boyd Digital will then provide a breakdown along with some recommendations without any obligation for those involved.

Please see here for the presentation slides on Cyber Security: 'You wouldn't leave the front door open and safe unlocked.

As businesses and communities begin to emerge from the enforced lockdown, significant challenges will be faced by most Scottish law firms in the short, medium and long-term. Adaptability, resilience, creativity and flexibility will be essential as you and your firm respond to wide ranging, sweeping social and economic changes.

In the legal profession, the most dramatic fall off has been on the high street. Cash flow pressures and lower fee income as a result of massively reduced residential property transactions, reductions in court hearings while social distancing measures and lack of face-to-face meetings is causing difficulties in other areas, such as the execution of wills.

The responses needed to navigate these challenges are many and varied. High Street and Sole practice often demands a wide variety of skills and attributes: legal expertise and insight has to be married with management/leadership skill, financial acumen, business development and marketing, client relations, cashroom management and much else besides.

Speakers
Director, David Lee Media & Events
President, Law Society of Scotland
Lorna Jack
Chief Executive
Director & Co-Founder, Flexibility Works
Gillian Alexander
Head of Professional Practice, Law Society of Scotland
Keeper & Chief Executive, Registers of Scotland
Convener, Property Law Committee, Burness Paull
Solicitor & Notary Public, Blaney Carnan Solicitors
Managing Partner, Edinburgh, Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP
Managing Partner & Director, Livingstone Brown
Partner, Harper Macleod LLP
Partner, Bannantyne Kirkwood France & Co
Director of Interventions, Law Society of Scotland
Head of Technology, Millar & Bryce
Ventures Communications & Marketing, NatWest Group
Partner, Employment Law, Blackadders LLP, Blackadders LLP
Director, Employment Team, Blackadders LLP
Olivia Parker
Careers & Outreach Executive, Law Society of Scotland
Austin Lafferty
Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents
Partner, Davidson Chalmers Stewart
Advocate, Black Chambers
Senior Consultant/Costs Lawyer, Burcher Jennings
Chief Operations Officer, Scottish Courts and Tribunals
Deborah Anne Wilson
Wilson Defence, and Convener, Law Society of Scotland Criminal Law Committee, Wilson Defence
Knowledge and Development Lawyer, Burness Paull
EMEA Marketing Specialist, Clio
Area Manager for Scotland, Braemar Finance
Cyber Security Consultant, Mitigo Group
Partner, Brodies
Marketing Consultant, Stonefield Marketing
Vice President, Law Society of Scotland
Programme

Conference Chair

David Lee
Director, David Lee Media & Events,
  • Format and joining sessions
  • Aims and outcomes – practical guidance that you can use

Speaker

Amanda Millar
President, Law Society of Scotland,
  • Recovery on the High Street
  • Possibility and Danger
  • Wellbeing in the profession
  • Technology

Speaker

Lorna Jack
Chief Executive,
  • Financial packages and what it means to your firm
  • Help with regulatory requirements
  • Member Services available to help kickstart your renewal
Plenary Panel Session One

Amanda Millar
President, Law Society of Scotland,

Olivia Moore
Careers & Outreach Executive, Law Society of Scotland

Nikki Slowey
Director & Co-Founder, Flexibility Works

Host

David Lee
Director, David Lee Media & Events,

Employment and the world of work have changed in real time before our eyes. An appreciation of the importance of nurturing good wellbeing has taken on much deeper significance. Our report on wellbeing in the profession identifies a seven step action plan.

  • Changing nature of work post covid
  • Wellbeing report: seven steps
  • Opportunities and challenges for wellbeing at work
  • Advantages for employers of flexible working culture
  • Practical tips
11:10 - 11:35 Choose your breakout session

Alison Hempsey
Partner, TC Young

Jennifer Paton
Policy Executive, Solicitor, Secretary to Mental Health and Disability Sub-Committee, Law Society of Scotland

Host

Harriet Derrick
Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

Amanda Masson
Partner, Harper Macleod LLP

Fiona Murdoch
Divisional Director - Investment Management, Brewin Dolphin Ltd

Host

Dr Sara Zanovello
Research Officer, Law Society of Scotland

This session will consider how the global recession occasioned by the pandemic has affected financial provision, covering:

  • Valuation of matrimonial property
  • Special circumstances arguments
  • The significance of resources

Lila Gailling
Knowledge and Development Lawyer, Burness Paull

James Ness
Head of Data Analytics, Law Society of Scotland

Host

Antony McFadyen
Senior Solicitor Professional Practice Team, Law Society of Scotland

Morna Grandison
Director of Interventions, Law Society of Scotland

Tristan Hodgson
Cyber Security Consultant, Mitigo Group

Host

Charlotta Cederqvist
Head of Business Development, Law Society of Scotland
  • Organised cyber criminal activity post pandemic
  • Examples of recent online scams
  • Where to get help if you are concerned about your firm
Plenary Panel Session Two

Gillian Alexander
Head of Professional Practice, Law Society of Scotland

Jennifer Henderson
Keeper & Chief Executive, Registers of Scotland

John Sinclair
Convener, Property Law Committee, Burness Paull

Paul Carnan
Solicitor & Notary Public, Blaney Carnan Solicitors

Host

David Lee
Director, David Lee Media & Events,
  • Digital submissions & electronic signatures
  • Know Your Client: remote onboarding
  • Digital registration and conveyancing
  • Land register completion
  • LBTT
13:10 - 13:35 Choose your breakout session

Simon Allison
Partner, Employment Law, Blackadders LLP, Blackadders LLP

Jack Boyle
Director, Employment Team, Blackadders LLP,

Host

Harriet Derrick
Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland

With the gradual lifting of lockdown, the Blackadders’ Employment Team are being asked about the practical and legal consequences of a return to work. With that in mind, Simon and Jack will be answering their clients’ five most common questions during this session, along with identifying and answering questions about their clients’ regular pet peeves. 

Amanda Masson
Partner, Harper Macleod LLP

Host

Dr Sara Zanovello
Research Officer, Law Society of Scotland

This session will look at how the practice of child law has changed as a result of the pandemic, and future considerations, specifically:

  • Contact and residence
  • Child relocation and repatriation
  • Access to justice
  • Client care considerations

Gail Cormack
Area Manager for Scotland, Braemar Finance

Host

Jim McKay
Head of CPD, Law Society of Scotland
  • Borrowing on favourable terms
  • Cash flow – understanding your options
  • Finance options
    • Short term
    • Longer term

Geraldine O'Reilly
EMEA Marketing Specialist, Clio

Martin Sloan
Partner, Brodies

Host

Antony McFadyen
Senior Solicitor Professional Practice Team, Law Society of Scotland

Over the past few months the legal industry has been forced to rethink and reform. Most law firms have had to shift their entire operating processes, such as client and peer interaction to a fully virtual world. During this session Brodies' Martin Sloan and Clio's Geraldine O'Reilly, will discuss how cloud technology has helped firms through the COVID-19 pandemic and what you should consider when joining the mass migration to the cloud. 

  • Why are law firms moving to the Cloud–now more than ever?
  • What are the benefits of Cloud technology?
  • The questions you should ask before buying
Plenary Panel Session Three

Lyn Calder
Managing Partner, Edinburgh, Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP

Austin Lafferty
Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents

Geraldine O'Reilly
EMEA Marketing Specialist, Clio

Host

David Lee
Director, David Lee Media & Events,
  • Return to office: logistics, protocols and useful tips
  • Morale and teamwork: agility and flexibility
  • Communication
  • Connecting productivity with profitability
  • Preparing for what is over the hill
  • Managing cashflow
  •  Forecasting
  • Scenario planning and data driven decision making
14:40 - 15:05 Choose your breakout session

Richard Allen
Senior Consultant/Costs Lawyer, Burcher Jennings,

Host

Harriet Derrick
Research Manager, Law Society of Scotland
  • Transparent pricing - pitfalls to avoid
  • Pricing and avoiding "write-offs"
  • Fixed fees actually do work!
  • Getting the documentation right

Alan Eccles
Partner, Bannantyne Kirkwood France & Co

Dr Sara Zanovello
Research Officer, Law Society of Scotland
  • Dealing with lockdown issues
  • Looking at points and risks that will arise after lockdown and into the ‘normal’ (new or otherwise)
  • The importance of and opportunities in private client… protecting people and wealth
15:10 - 15:35 Choose your breakout session

Duncan Robertson
Ventures Communications & Marketing, NatWest Group

Andre Boyle
Head of Technology, Millar & Bryce

Deborah Hair
Marketing Consultant, Stonefield Marketing

Host

Jim McKay
Head of CPD, Law Society of Scotland
  • Simple steps to get your business working online
  • Customer needs and how to help
  • Buying and selling online
  • Conveyancing online
  • Web SEO
  • Website tips

Sheila Webster
Partner, Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Host

Beth Anderson
Head of in-house member engagement,
  • Civil court work – where are we?
  • Beating delays – dispute resolution options
  • New trends in claims
Plenary Panel Session Four

Stuart Munro
Managing Partner & Director, Livingstone Brown

Iain McSporran QC

Shelagh McCall QC
Advocate, Black Chambers

David Fraser
Chief Operations Officer, Scottish Courts and Tribunals

Host

Deborah Anne Wilson
Wilson Defence, and Convener, Law Society of Scotland Criminal Law Committee, Wilson Defence
  • Submitting documents
  • Variations across courts
  • Obtaining information
  • Communication channels – how do you take client’s instructions when at a virtual hearing
  • Evidence – how do you assess credibility and reliability?
  • Witnesses – is there any influence being placed on them?
  • Productions – how much do you send to witnesses (and how)
  • Productions – how do you prevent information getting into the public domain?
Closing

Kenneth Dalling
Vice President, Law Society of Scotland

Please note the programme is subject to change

Prices

This is a free event

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