2018 Global Independent Law Firms Forum

Global Independent Law Firms Forum 2018 Conference Programme

25-26 April 2018
Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London SW1

Wednesday 25 April 2018

18:00 onwards
Networking drinks reception
Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London SW1 

Thursday 26 April 2018

08:15 – 08:55
Registration and networking breakfast

08:55 – 09:00
Co-Chairs' opening remarks 
Adam O. Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, USA
Charles Martin, S
enior Partner, Macfarlanes, UK

09:00 – 09:40 
Opening keynote
Smart collaboration: How professionals and their firms succeed by breaking down silos
Clients need their lawyers to help them address increasingly complex problems—the kinds that only teams of multidisciplinary experts can tackle. Yet, even the best-intentioned lawyers often confront barriers to collaboration: working together often seems messy, risky, and expensive, and the logistical and familiarity challenges may be especially acute when working with other law firms in other jurisdictions.  Yet the payout for smart collaboration is significant: Dr. Gardner's research shows that firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across boundaries. We will discuss practical ways to foster smart collaboration to reap benefits for you, your clients and your firm.
Professor Heidi K. Gardner, Distinguished Fellow & Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School, USA

09:40 – 10:25
Securing the future: Key strategic choices for today’s independent firm
Shifting client expectations and increased competitive pressures from the global players, the Big 4, alternative providers, technology and their own clients are amongst the challenges that independent law firms are faced with. What other key issues dictate the future of independent law firms and what strategic options should you as a law firm leader be considering? What tactical improvements should you be prioritising? This panel will look at the challenges and the choices firms are making today that will shape them for years to come, across people, clients, financial, IT and organisation.
Moderator: John Malpas, Publishing Director, Legal Week, UK 
Dimitry Afanasiev, Chairman & Co-Founding Partner, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, Russia  
Philip J. Boeckman, Partner & Co-Head of the Capital Markets Practice for EMEA, Cravath Swaine & Moore, UK
Jan Dernestam, Managing Partner, Mannheimer Swartling, Sweden 
Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes, UK

10:25 – 10:55
Refreshment and networking break 

10:55 – 11:45
Future proofing your firm: Is technology the conduit to success?  
Now is a time of huge change: how can independent firms turn this to their advantage. Artificial intelligence and blockchain technology are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but what should you really be investing in and who needs to make these decisions? IT? Managing Partners? This panel seeks to explore current market best practice in technology and how technology is set to change the future landscape of independent firms. Emphasis is given to what priorities clients have and how independent law firms need to innovate in their use of technology to ensure they stay competitive with the larger more deep-pocketed competitors, including the key questions that senior management needs to put to their IT teams.
Moderator: Rob Sumroy, Partner & Innovation Committee Chair, Slaughter and May, UK 
Esther Albers, Global Innovation Manager, Clifford Chance, Netherlands
Berys Amor, Director of Technology, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Australia
Clementine Fox, Legal Product Expert, Luminance, UK
Isabel Parker, Global Head of Legal Services Innovation, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, UK 

11:45 – 12:35
Interactive discussion groups
Our expertly facilitated workshop groups, run under the Chatham House Rule, allow you to choose topics that are of the most importance and relevance to you. Come prepared for in-depth discussions and detailed peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing.

A) Tackling difficult conversations 
Relationships are key to the role of a senior or managing partner, and navigating difficult conversations and personalities can be one of the biggest challenges you face. What is the best way to approach difficult partner reviews or to give disappointing news to lawyers of all levels? How should you tackle behavioural issues with key partners? With a host of real-life war stories being discussed, expect to share your experiences and be primed with practical takeaways to master those difficult conversations.
Jonathan Macfarlane, Director, PCP, UK
Per Magnusson, Founding Partner, Magnusson, Sweden 

B) The key to unlocking and retaining talent
Differentiation is essential for independent firms to thrive in the competitive legal market and one way to stand out is by creating an outstanding team and an attractive culture. Talent operates at every single level of the firm yet, how do you attract and retain talent from the trainee, right up to partner? Our speakers will consider career progression and evaluation, mentoring, alternative career structures, partnership structures and intergenerational issues amongst lawyers. Join this collaborative session as delegates share their experience as their firms try to develop an organisation that appeals to both millennials and senior talent. 
Pedro Pérez-Llorca, Senior Partner, Pérez-Llorca, Spain
Maria-Pia Hope,
Managing Partner, Vinge, Sweden 
Bahram Vakil, Founding Partner, AZB & Partners, India

C) Resolving cultural conflicts: Overcoming barriers in communication and knowledge 
Independent firms offer clients a significant competitive advantage in terms of quality and focus: the challenge is to demonstrate that they are as joined up in their services as global firms. The main challenge is ensuring optimal collaboration between other independent firms, as well as clients, is the ability to navigate multiple geographies and cultures. Join this session to share advice and pick up some tips and tricks on how best to tackle cultural differences between jurisdictions that independent law firms routinely have to bridge.
Peter Alfandary, Founder, PRA CrossCultural, UK 
Amir Bocayuva, Managing Partner, 
Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão, Brazil
Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, India 

12:35 – 13:25
Lunch and networking 

13:25 – 14:10
Millennials: The future of global independent law firms
In a first for the Global Independent Law Firm Forum, a selected panel of associates from independent firms will candidly discuss the challenges of the future for their firms, including their concerns about organisational business flexibility, technology and work/life balance. 
Moderator: Georgina Stanley, Editor-in-Chief, Legal Week, UK
Alexa Day, Senior Associate, Travers Smith, UK
Paras Maalde, Senior Solicitor, Macfarlanes, UK
Daisy Nijkamp, Senior Associate, Stibbe, Netherlands
Margaret Rallings,
Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, USA
Julia Signes, Associate, 
Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, Spain 

14:10 – 15:00
Interactive discussion groups
Our expertly facilitated workshop groups, run under the Chatham House Rule, allow you to choose topics that are of the most importance and relevance to you. Come prepared for in-depth discussions and detailed peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing.

A) Reaping the rewards of a diverse and inclusive workplace
Diversity and inclusion is an integral characteristic of the law firm of the future and you need to adapt to the expectations of clients as well as the future generation. Nonetheless, have you really made substantial changes to ensure that biases are ironed out of recruitment and partner selection? What formulas have been successful and what best practices should management be adopting? Join this panel to hear real-life examples of steps that they have taken to evolve the culture of their firm to be more inclusive. 
Alexandra Naumann, Director of Consulting, Mason & Cook, UK
Brian O'Gorman, Managing Partner, Arthur Cox, Ireland 
Lesley Wan, General Counsel, FBN Bank, UK 

B) Risk management: Reputation and regulation 
What are independent law firms doing to ensure that the wide-ranging risks to their business are properly managed? Regulatory compliance, conflict of interest, terms of client engagement, supervision and sign off of advice, handling of client complaints and claims, negotiating and managing insurance arrangements and employee fidelity are examples of the rules that independent firms need to manage.  Managing these risks with the lean and financial approach to administrative cost and the culture of partner independence that most independent firms foster poses particular challenges. Come away with some practical ideas about how to manage those business crucial issues. 
Geert Potjewijd, Managing Partner, De Brauw, Holland
Jo Riddick, General Counsel, Macfarlanes, UK 
Luis Pais Antunes, Managing Partner, PLMJ, Portugal 

C) Fresh approaches to creative law firm marketing
Strong marketing and brand positioning are crucial if you want to stay ahead of the game. What are the challenges that independent firms face in marketing their model externally to clients? What fresh approaches should you be adopting to make sure that your overall communications strategy, tone of voice, client materials and social media output form a strong and coherent whole? Discover how your brand can thrive in the future by bringing your competitive positioning to life. 
Clint Evans, Director of Brand & Talent, RPC, UK
Elliot Moss, Partner & Director of Business Development, Mishcon de Reya, UK 

15:00 – 15:20
Networking and refreshment break  

15:20 – 16:05
An A-Z guide on smooth succession management and generational change
A smooth transition of leadership and management responsibility is critically important for an independent firm. How can succession be achieved well and what pitfalls should you avoid? What are the younger generation looking for and how can you best equip the leader of the future? Expect to come away with a list of ideas you can include in your own succession plan. 
Moderator: Mark Stroyan, Partner, Manchester Square Partners, UK 
Chris Carroll, Former Managing Partner, Travers Smith, UK
David Morley, Former Senior Partner, Allen & Overy, UK
Christopher SaulFormer Senior Partner, Slaughter and May, UK 

16:05 – 16:55
Surviving brand death: Cybersecurity – are you prepared? 
Cybersecurity is one of the largest risks facing any organisation today and law firms are key targets.  Keeping up with cyber and information threats is a never-ending job and independent law firms are increasingly experiencing mounting pressures from their clients to prove and enhance their security. Roger Meltzer will share his story and offer us an insight into the DLA Piper attack, our expert panelists will then share their war stories and key takeaways that will ensure you are prepared and can survive the inevitable attack; 
• What should your incident response plan include?
• How should you manage the PR storm that follows a data breach?
• Are you doing enough to stay ahead of the hackers and fully up to date with industry best practice?
Moderator: Dominic Carman, Independent Journalist, Writer & Consultant, UK
Steve Albrecht, General Counsel, Strategy, Structure & Operations, Barclays, UK
Roger Meltzer, Global Co-Chairman & Americas Co-Chairman, DLA Piper, USA 
Amy Pope, Partner, Schillings, UK 
Abhirukt Sapru, Head of Business Development, Tessian, UK

16:55 –17:30
Closing keynote
Building the confident independent law firm
Given the on-going significant changes in the legal profession, what are the behaviours that will allow independent law firms to thrive in a crowded market? Professionals have often been labelled ‘under-confident over-achievers’ – given this profile, the key challenge is in creating a ‘confident’ firm. This means avoiding the excesses of both over and under-confidence. During this session, we will explore this confidence spectrum and the behaviours in the crucial middle ground where independent law firms can play to their strengths and consolidate their market position.
Professor Richard Jolly, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School, UK

17:30 –17:45
Closing comment: so what now?
Our co-chairma
n will pull together some of the threads of the day. 
Adam O. Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, NY, USA
Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes, UK

Close of conference

Sponsorship enquiries 
For information on sponsorship opportunities at the Legal Week Independent Law Firms Forum 2019 email James Woolf at JWoolf@alm.com