Ian White outlines what members can expect from this year’s National Property Law Conference on 9 October

The Property Section has always strived to help solicitors deal with the many issues that confront them today.

From the outset, the Section has faced what seems like an endless stream of changes in the profession and marketplace, many of which have fundamentally changed the way we work in all types of property transactions. Property solicitors have become (some might say have been forced to become) gatekeepers in combating money laundering. Continuous compliance-related changes have hit us all hard. Alongside this, there have been serious market pressures that have radically affected our firms, and legal practice more generally.

Since the last edition of Property in Practice, our series of seminars with Catax Solutions has come to an end, although a webinar is scheduled for September (see page 3 for more information). The seminars have been a timely reminder that in commercial property transactions, to serve the best interests of the client and to protect our own professional position, we need to refer capital allowances issues to appropriate experts to ensure that full and proper advice is given on the matter. It is just another facet of our working life, but we overlook it at our peril.

This year’s National Property Law Conference, the Property Section’s flagship event, takes place on 9 October at the Victoria Park Plaza in London. This is our 14th annual conference. I have attended each and every one. They have all been relevant and challenging, helping delegates to learn about, and share their experiences of, the issues of the day with peers and colleagues, from compliance and management, to marketing and technology.

The programme for the day looks very strong. We have two keynote addresses: Law Society president Jonathan Smithers will give an update on Veyo, and discuss other key issues for practitioners; and Stephanie McMahon, head of research at major property agents Strutt and Parker, will give an overview of the market and its prospects post-election. There will be a choice of breakout sessions on a variety of issues, including compliance, social media marketing, and new developments in residential and commercial property law.

After this, Louise Waugh, Property Section committee member and senior solicitor at Virgin Money, will lead a panel discussion on managing risk and avoiding claims. Also sitting on the panel will be Amy Bell, chair of the Law Society’s money laundering task force and head of risk and compliance at QualitySolicitors; Michael Blüthner Speight, risk manager at Zurich; and Nick Larkins, senior manager in the mortgage fraud strategy unit at Lloyds Banking Group. This promises to be an informative and rewarding debate. Further breakout sessions follow after lunch, on marketing and business development strategies, cybersecurity, and pitfalls in buying new builds.

The Section has been engaging with the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in its quest to put quality at the heart of this quality mark. In the penultimate session of the afternoon, CQS will outline where it is on the journey to ‘Q’.

The main part of the day will end with an update from the new conveyancing portal, Veyo. Now that Veyo is live, what does the future hold?

Advance bookings are strong, but there is always some space for more delegates. I look forward to meeting you there.