2020 Agenda

24 March 2020

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Welcome Drinks Reception


25 March 2020

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM | Registration and Networking Breakfast


8:50 AM - 9:00 AM | Opening Remarks

Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes LLP

Adam O. Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz


9:00 AM - 9:30 AM | Opening Keynote: A Law Firm's Purpose In The Business And Legal World

Our opening keynote by Professor Colin Mayer will delve into the role law firms will play in promoting the rapidly expanding area of corporate purpose. In today's world, what does this mean and how can law firms best contribute to it? The purpose of law firms themselves in 2019 is undergoing incredible change. Understanding the purpose of law firms themselves and how this will determine their competitive success in years to come will be vital to independent law firms. 

Professor Colin Mayer CBE FBA, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford


9:30 AM - 10:15 AM | The Change Agent: Leading Your Firm Through Change

In recent times, the legal profession has experienced change on an unprecedented scale. The traditional law firm model has thus had to adapt to these changing climates and trends in order for firms to retain a competitive edge. Those firms that are unable to keep up with these trends and adapt quickly will inevitably fall behind and fail to attract and retain clients and talent.

  • How can you become an effective leader and successful ‘change agent’ through uncertainty and successfully guide the firm?
  • What new tools and methodologies are out there to help drive positive change?  What role does a sense of purpose have in this?
  • How can you measure your firm’s response to change and compare it with competitor firms?
  • How to increase differentiation through response to change

Alexander Ritvay, Co-Managing Partner, Noerr

Kathleen Russ, Senior Partner, Travers Smith


10:15 AM - 11:00 AM | Breakout Session A: Data And Innovation: The Key To Success?

Much of the focus on the transformation that technology is driving in law firms has been on the rise of artificial intelligence in recent years. With the rise of ‘big data’ and its measurable impact on law firms becoming apparent, we take a look at how data and innovation is a critical factor in success for independent law firms and reshaping the traditional law firm model.

  • Demystifying the buzzwords: What does big data and innovation mean for law firms?
  • What has been measurable impact so far from data and innovation?
  • Best practices for integrating data and innovation

Alexandra Woods, Director of Knowledge & Innovation, Slaughter and May


10:15 AM - 11:00 AM | Breakout Session B: Transforming Your Firm With The Millennial Generation

The Millennial generation is key to future success for independent law firms. Over the past decade, Millennials have gradually dispersed throughout the workforce and with this have bought a fresh approach to digitalisation, flexible working and client service. As independent law firms it is important for us to stay on top of this change and best leverage the skill set of the newer generation as the future of the firm.

  • What does the millennial generation look for from a work environment generally and an independent law firm in particular?
  • How can you attract and retain the best performers from the millennial generation?
  • How can you best support their needs and provide a competitive and nurturing platform for professional and personal development?

Petra Zijp, Managaing Partner, NautaDutilh


11:00 AM - 11:30 AM | Networking and Refreshment Break


11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | The Rising Power Of The Big 4 and Alternative Providers

Alternative Providers, including the Big 4, have gained prominence in the legal market over the past years by demonstrating a competitive edge and corporate independent law firms in some segments of the market. 

Their ability to provide transparency, flexibility and adaptability in clientservice have drawn much attention from press, clients and other law firms.

 As independent firms seek to transform their own approach to client service delivery and stay ahead of the game:

  • What do firms need to have on their radar regarding alternative providers and the Big 4?
  • How can independent law firms maintain a competitive edge?  Does purpose have a role here?
  • What lessons can be learnt so far?

Richard Punt, CEO, PeerPoint, Allen & Overy


12:15 PM - 1:00 PM | The Secret Sauce To Building A Competitive Edge: Aligning Your Brand And Purpose

A strong brand is essential to the success of any independent law firm in today’s legal and business world. Ensuring your brand and purpose are aligned are therefore crucial to expressing and distilling your differentiation within an increasingly competitive and globalised market.

  • How can you ensure alignment between brand and purpose?
  • What strategies should you adopt in order to communicate this both internally and externally?
  • How can independent law firms elevate their brand and market themselves on a global scale?

Elliott Moss, Partner & Director of Business Development, Mishcon de Reya


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM | Networking Lunch Break


2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | World Café: Horizon Scanning Across The Globe

In our world café session, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the emerging trends and turbulences from across the globe and its impact on independent law firms. You will each be provided with a selection of articles in advance of the event to help stimulate conversation between roundtable groups discussions, with each table focused a particular theme drawn out from the articles. At the end of session, roundtable leaders will be invited to share briefly the information gathered with the rest of the room.


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM | Break out Session B: Asia-Pacific Market Update: Latest Developments From China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo

Host to the world’s second largest economy and high economic growth hubs, the Asia-Pacific region hasa strong market for independent law firms Global and international firms have deployed huge resources in the region. With the region rich in complex work, in house counsel need help to navigate expansion into and out of these emerging and valuable markets.

  • An update on the Asia-Pacific market for independent law firms
  • Which practice areas fall highest on the agenda for 2020 in Asia-Pacific countries?
  • Opportunities and risks of embarking in the Asia-Pacific region

NG Wai King, Managing Partner, WongPartnership


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM | Breakout Session A: Differentiate And Elevate Your Legal Service: The Fresh Approach To Legal Operations

In order to stay ahead of the game, independent law firms are choosing to invest more heavily in their legal operations. Legal operations is a growing workforce in the legal market and can be vital for providing an efficient and optimised legal service to clients. Many have already launched innovative programmes leveraging technology, data and an assortment of strategies to drive a leaner operation and service. However there are still some who are yet to take the plunge.

  • Hear tried and tested methods for driving a more efficient internal system
  • Discover new solutions and strategies and learn how to build your legal operations function from the ground up
  • How you can  measure the impact on the firms differentiation and service

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM | Networking Refreshment Break


4:15 PM - 5:00 PM | How Is The Cake Going To Be Cut In The Future?

Competition to attract and retain the best talent continues to intensify. Law firms are now faced with a big challenge – how should we cut the cake in the future?

Many independent law firms have begun to readdress the traditional law firm partner remuneration model, but that whilst important is not of course is the full story.

Independent law firms must also attract and retain the best talent across business services and at the associate level in order to maintain a competitive edge. In this session we look at holistic approaches to remuneration and address the growing challenges for current compensation models at all levels and in all areas of today’s independent law firm.

  • Where is the compensation model heading?
  • How can we build a holistic model for remuneration reflective of the changing law firm model?
  • Aligning your remuneration strategy with the firms purpose 

David Patient, Managing Partner, Travers Smith


5:00 PM - 5:30 PM | Closing Interview With Nigel Boardman

Nigel Boardman, Partner, Slaughter and May


5:30 PM - 5:40 PM | Closing Remarks

Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes LLP

Adam O. Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz