Law Society National Property Conference 2013

Law Society National Property Conference 2013

David Gilroy of Concious Solutions reviews the Law Society Property Section Conference.

by David Gilroy on 13-October-2013 @ 11:00

Friday was the National Property Law Conference of the Property Section of The Law Society. It’s self styled title was “Solicitors fight back”. Any names that are hyperlinked below, lead to their LinkedIn profiles in case you want to connect with them.

Bearing in mind the first panel discussion of the morning included Tracey Carr (Financial Crime Manager, Santander) and Andrew Baddeley-Chappell (Head of Mortgage Strategy and Policy, Nationwide) you can see why the organisers might have thought there was going to be a punch up. They even provided green boxing gloves on the front page of the conference flyer as shown on the right!

As it was, there were no punch-ups and the “bankers” seemed to get off pretty lightly, apart from one delegate wanting to ‘have a go” at the guy from Nationwide, but Richard Barnett did a damn fine job of cutting him off.

The evergreen Justin Urquhart Stewart was as entertaining as ever. How relevant his talk was to a bunch of property lawyers was questioned by Eddie Goldsmith via Twitter. That said, Justin’s comic timing was impeccable his observations on money laundering and the inward investment into the UK but Russian interests was funny to some people. The hashtag was #lsnatpropconf if you want to go and check the rest of what was said throughout the day.

There were a number of breakout sessions in the morning and again in the afternoon and I’m pleased to say that the “PR and how to market your practice” presented by myself and Graham Capper was well attended as was the “How to get the best out of social media in 2013” that I presented in the afternoon (sorry Graham, I just shaved it in terms of the numbers of bums on seats).

As long as everyone goes away from one of my training sessions or workshops happy having a) learned something new b) reminding themselves of something they already knew or c) preening themselves when they realise how good they are already, then I also leave happy.

Conveyancing Portal Launch

The big news of the day was the update on the Conveyancing Portal that the Law Society are working on. I won’t go into massive detail here, you can read all about it on the Law Society website. My take on it was that this was indeed a “massive infrastructure” project as was said during the day. Is it HS2? Not quite, but could it revolutionise the way the property transactions take place in the UK, absolutely. Could any one practice management software company pull it off, no, I don’t think so. Are the Law Society ideally placed to give it go, absolutely. Will they, abso…..ah, now there is something we will have to wait and see.


The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel was a pretty good venue. Although being at least 40’ below street level, knowing there was a 13 storey hotel above you was a little bit unsettling for some people at first it would seem.

As a speaker, all you want is for the “tech” to work properly and on that front, the hotel was perfect. Excellent wifi strength throughout the venue and super helpful staff, in particular the audio-visual technician, Phil Watkins who was covering my breakout room (thanks Phil!).

My only comment to the hotel would be “C’mon, it’s 2013, give us healthy eaters a salad option at lunchtime. The food was good, but, really, only protein & starch (sorry, I take that back, there was a vegetable)! That said, the STP & ice-cream was excellent…..oh, did I say something about “us” healthy eaters 😉 ?

After Party

Not that much of a party really, just a nice relaxed drink with friends. It was the Wetherspoons pub right next door to the hotel where @RobcHailstone, @EddieGoldsmith, @Attwells_Lisa and others retired. After all, it was Friday night and we were either a) going back to Bristol b) getting home for a Sainsburys’ delivery c) going back to the hotel to watch the football or d) going back to Exeter.

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