Civil Litigation Section committee member Alison Kirby outlines what you can expect from the Section autumn conference on 27 September, which is free of charge for Section members.

The committee approached this year’s autumn conference with an eye on risk and what civil litigation practitioners need to understand. At what level of risk do we operate, and what do we do when it goes wrong?

We researched an appropriate keynote speaker – someone who could set the scene and help us to understand the behavioural science behind the calculation and miscalculation of risk. Highly recommended was Zoe Theocharis PhD, a behavioural specialist at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management.

Zoe is opening the conference, and we expect to understand risk as a concept and learn some techniques to manage business risk.

Following Zoe, we have Roger Mallilieu, barrister of 4 New Square, who will address the risks relating to the retainer. Roger specialises in the linked areas of costs, professional liability and disciplinary.

There will then be a symposium of practitioners discussing risks surrounding litigation, including unbundling, professional negligence, compliance issues and reputational damage. The symposium includes the following experts:

  • Susanna Heley, commercial litigation partner, RacliffesLeBrasseur and co-author of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Book
  • Simon Davis, vice-president, The Law Society and commercial litigation partner, Clifford Chance
  • Nick Bird, partner, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
  • Michelle Garlick, partner, Weightmans LLP and consultant for the Law Society’s Risk and Compliance service.

Delegates can ask the symposium questions on the day, or pre-submit them to

We hope you gain a lot from our autumn conference, and that it helps you become a more confident practitioner. See you there!