Some of you may have attended our Autumn conference last month in Leeds but in case you missed it, we had over 100 delegates on the day with a packed programme covering SRA changes, price transparency, AI and blockchain, AML, GDPR as well as ethics and social media and privacy.

Conference report

If you did attend, we hope you found the day insightful and that it reinforced your knowledge on achieving best practice in compliance. If you didn’t make it, don’t despair. Due to high demand and popularity we will be hosting our annual London event on 15 March 2019.

To avoid disappointment, we recommend you book your place well in advance.

The conference kicked off with an introduction to the day by David Cowgill, president of Leeds Law Society and Pearl Moses, head of risk and compliance at the Law Society, who also chaired the conference.

Keynote address

The keynote address, ‘COLPS: How Compliant are You?’ was delivered by Michelle Garlick, vice president of Manchester Law Society and partner at Weightmans. Outlining the role of the COLP in light of the new version of the SRA Handbook, Michelle reviewed all the key changes and what they might mean for providers of legal services.

Looking ahead, she reiterated that at the very least all policies and procedures will have to be revised and staff will have to be trained when the changes come into effect (thought to be Spring 2019).

AI, blockchain and cryptocurrencies

The opening address was nicely followed by an informative, if somewhat scary session on the forthcoming new technologies and their inevitable impact on the way legal businesses operate.

Speakers Lucy Walker, Adrian Knight and Andrew Lloyd demystified what can be a baffling area with a dynamic joint presentation. There were some good pointers given and the session generated loads of questions from delegates.

Price transparency

Next up was Iain Miller, partner at Kingsley Napley, an always entertaining and informative speaker, who outlined the upcoming price and service transparency requirements initiated by the SRA.

Coming into force this December, Iain discussed what this was likely to look like in practice but the key point was that firms can charge what they like but that they must make that transparent and clear to clients, either online or in print. SRA guidance is expected shortly.

Lunch was followed by two breakout sessions on:

  1. Practical tips for AML compliance with Amy Bell, and
  2. GDPR - data considerations four months on with Deirdre LaBassiere

Ethical compliance

In the next session Iain Miller, Professor Joan Loughrey of Leeds University and Tracey Calvert of Oakhalls Consultancy discussed interesting examples around office culture and sexual harassment as well as the ethical behaviours of solicitors both professionally and privately.

A lively and interesting panel, it generated a lot of questions on how to balance competing interests and still come to ethical solutions.

Privacy, data and social media

The final session of the day looked at social media, privacy and data and Jo Edwards gave us some practical insights into a firm’s use of social media and how to comply with new privacy rules and the ownership of data.

Contact us

We would be happy to discuss in detail our current offering to risk and compliance members. Contact us by email: or by telephone on 0207 316 5655.