Modern Law Magazine Issue 67

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<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>67</strong><br />

ISSN 2976-9396<br />


MAKE IT<br />

PART OF<br />

YOUR<br />

DNA<br />

P06 Gihan P10 Caroline P32<br />

Hayes<br />

A Unique Approach To ESG<br />

May<br />

The Importance of<br />

Educated Involvement<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong><br />

Conveyancing<br />


Make It Part Of Your DNA<br />

“The first step towards reducing our impact on the planet is to become aware of it.”<br />

David Attenborough<br />

Streamline your<br />

compliance with our<br />

enhanced AML platform<br />

Our enhanced platform will modernise your<br />

compliance processes saving your business<br />

time and money<br />

As extreme weather events are becoming<br />

more and more prevalent and the issue of<br />

climate change is at the forefront of our<br />

minds, everyone must ask themselves, what<br />

can I do to help? We all have a part to play in<br />

making a positive change in how we operate<br />

in our professional and personal lives when<br />

it comes to the environment. With the rise<br />

of Eco-Anxiety, especially within younger<br />

generations, it often feels like a lost cause<br />

and as though time is running out. <strong>Modern</strong><br />

<strong>Law</strong> is here to say there is still hope, and<br />

there are steps we can take to fight climate<br />

change and protect the environment for<br />

future generations.<br />

All people and businesses can take action,<br />

and law firms are no different. In this issue<br />

of <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>, you will find<br />

advice, tips, and examples of what you<br />

and your business can do to help. From<br />

integrating ESG to community outreach<br />

initiatives that all contribute towards a<br />

better tomorrow for the legal profession<br />

and the world beyond.<br />

This issue opens with two interviews, our<br />

first from Gihan Hayes, CEO and Founder<br />

of CommUnique, and our second from<br />

Co-Chair of the LSA, Caroline May. Gihan<br />

discuss the importance and benefits of<br />

making ESG a part of your firms DNA.<br />

Caroline tells us the story of how she came<br />

to be Co-Chair of the LSA and reveals the<br />

initiatives undertaken by the LSA.<br />

to take into account when digitising<br />

our work. Our second Insight is from<br />

Natalie King-Barnard of Green Machine<br />

Computers, in which we learn all about<br />

E-Waste and the impact our old and<br />

abandoned tech has on our planet.<br />

We have a feature from Nigel Dews,<br />

Managing Director at Restore Records<br />

Management, who discusses why a paper<br />

lite approach is the smoothest way to get<br />

to your environmental goals.<br />

Following on, we have an introduction<br />

to our Editorial Board. Here you will<br />

find out who our Editorial Board are,<br />

what they do, and what their company<br />

does. Beyond this page you will find our<br />

usual Editorial Board thought leadership<br />

articles discussing what steps they are<br />

taking to protect the environment in their<br />

day-to-day operations.<br />

After the Editorial Board, you will find<br />

all the details and photos from the LEAP<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards<br />

2023. Congratulations to all our amazing<br />

winners, your dedication and hard work<br />

makes you all such deserving recipients.<br />

Thank you to our incredible judges for<br />

all the hard work and time you put in.<br />

We appreciate you all so much. Finally,<br />

a massive thank you to all our sponsors,<br />

without you none of this would be<br />

possible.<br />

Catch our section about our attendance<br />

at the Frenkel Topping Ball and see all<br />

the details of the Hollywood Glamour<br />

event raising money for the Frenkel<br />

Topping Charitable Foundation.<br />

We then have a wills and probate discussion<br />

with Ochresoft, and our Conveyancing<br />

Roundtable discussing the environmental<br />

aspects of the sector and what the<br />

industries is doing to fight climate change.<br />

Last, but not least, we have our 10<br />

Minutes with Heather Gaffney. See who<br />

she would invite round for dinner, and<br />

what her most memorable achievement<br />

has been in her career.<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> are taking steps to be more<br />

environmentally conscious, and we have<br />

taken the plunge to go fully digital. It feels<br />

quite fitting that we do this with our issue<br />

all about environmental action. Whilst<br />

we loved having our physical copies, we<br />

feel that this is a positive step, and we are<br />

proud to do so.<br />

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We have two Insights in this issue from<br />

Alexis Normand of Greenly, who tells us<br />

about the little-known impact of Digital<br />

Carbon Footprints, and what we need<br />

Bradley Collins is back with his<br />

LegalTechTalk series discussing the impact<br />

of legal tech on the environment, and the<br />

tech solutions out there.<br />

Emily Wade is Editor<br />

at <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

01765 600909 | emily@charltongrant.co.uk<br />

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Neville Dinshaw, <strong>Law</strong> Mergers & Acquisitions<br />

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Dave Seager, Matrix Capital<br />

Bronwyn Townsend, InfoTrack<br />

Dominic Hendry, Estate Research<br />

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ISSUE <strong>67</strong><br />

ISSN 2976-9396<br />

Editor<br />

Emily Wade<br />

Project Manager & Events Sales<br />

Kate McKittrick<br />

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BOARD<br />

06 A Unique Approach To ESG<br />

Gihan Hayes discuss the importance and benefits of make ESG a part of your<br />

firms DNA.<br />

10 Caroline May: The Importance of Educated Involvement<br />

Caroline tells us the story of how she came to be Co-Chair of the LSA and<br />

reveals the initiatives undertaken by the LSA.<br />

14 Navigating Your Digital Carbon Footprint<br />

Alexis Normand of Greenly, who tells us about the little-known impact of<br />

Digital Carbon Footprints, and what we need to take into account when<br />

digitising our work.<br />

15 The Green Machine<br />

Natalie King-Barnard of Green Machine Computers, in which we learn all about<br />

E-Waste and the impact our old and abandoned tech has on our planet.<br />

17 Navigating the digital journey: why a paperlite approach is the<br />

smoothest way to get there<br />

Nigel Dews, Managing Director at Restore Records Management, discusses why<br />

a paper lite approach is the smoothest way to get to your environmental goals.<br />

19 Meet the Editorial Board<br />

Meet our Editorial Board members and find out who they are and what they do.<br />

23 Taylor Rose<br />

Pioneering Environmental Concerns As A Top 60 <strong>Law</strong> Firm<br />

Adrian Jaggard, CEO, Taylor Rose MW<br />

23 Smartsearch<br />

Innovate Or Stagnate To Lead In Legal Ethics<br />

Martin Cheek, Managing Director, SmartSearch<br />

25 Dutton Gregory<br />

Leading By Example<br />

Paul Sams, Partner, Dutton Gregory<br />

25 Cashroom<br />

Contributing To The Development of Innovative Legal Solutions<br />

Alex Holt, Director of Business Development, Cashroom<br />

27 Frenkel Topping<br />

Socially Conscious Advice That Delivers Results<br />

Mark Holt, COO, Frenkel Topping<br />

27 <strong>Law</strong> Mergers & Acquisitions<br />

The Potential Implications Of Greenwashing<br />

Neville Dinshaw, Managing Director, <strong>Law</strong> Mergers & Acquisitions<br />

29 Speech.com<br />

Leveraging Technology To Minimise Your Digital Carbon Footprint?<br />

Kathliya Harwood, Marketing Manager, Speech Processing Solutions<br />

29 Matrix Capital<br />

Is Your Supply Chain Ethically Compatible?<br />

Dave Seager, Consulting Adviser, Matrix Capital<br />


BOARD<br />

AWARDS<br />




FORUM<br />

10 MINS WITH<br />

31 InfoTrack<br />

Digital Onboarding: Better For Productivity, Accessibility, And The<br />

Environment<br />

Bronwyn Townsend, Senior Marketing Manager, InfoTrack<br />

31 Estate Research<br />

The <strong>Law</strong> Commission’s <strong>Law</strong> of Wills Reform<br />

Dominic Hendry, Head of Private Client, Estate Research<br />

32 A Night At The Circus<br />

Details and photos from the LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023.<br />

Emily Wade, <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong><br />

45 LegalTechTalk<br />

Bradley Collins is back with his LegalTechTalk series discussing the impact of<br />

legal tech on the environment, and the tech solutions out there.<br />

48 Frenkel Topping Ball<br />

Catch our section about our attendance at the Frenkel Topping Ball and see<br />

all the details of the Hollywood Glamour event raising money for the Frenkel<br />

Topping Charitable Foundation.<br />

50 Wills and Probate Discussion<br />

A discussion with Ochresoft about the environmental aspects of the<br />

sector and what the industry is doing to fight climate change. Emily Wade,<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong>.<br />

53 Conveyancing Forum<br />

A forum discussion about the conveyancing sectors environmental impact,<br />

and what everyone conveyancer can do to take positive steps to becoming<br />

environmentally friendly. Emily Wade, <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong><br />

62 10 Mins With... Heather Gaffney<br />

See who Heather would invite round for dinner, and what her most<br />

memorable achievement has been in her career.<br />

Disclaimer: Our publications contain advertising material submitted by third parties. Each individual advertiser is solely responsible for the content of its advertising material. We accept<br />

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4<br />




A Unique Approach to ESG<br />

A Life of Fighting Climate Change<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Sat Down the Gihan Hayes, CEO and Founder of<br />

CommUnique, to talk about her work helping businesses achieve<br />

their ESG goals, and the importance of making it part of your DNA.<br />

Can you tell us about your journey<br />

and what inspired you to start<br />

CommUnique?<br />

I founded CommUnique for two reasons.<br />

The first reason is that I noticed a gap<br />

in the market, and I needed to fill it<br />

as soon as possible, before someone<br />

else figured out there was a gap in the<br />

market. Secondly, I wanted to create<br />

a company that brought my personal<br />

purpose to life. My personal purpose is<br />

to help the invisible become visible, and<br />

CommUnique does that. We do this by<br />

hiring freelancers from underdeveloped<br />

countries and under-represented<br />

communities. We mentor, and coach<br />

them, and then they deliver the work<br />

with me. If our clients like the work<br />

we have done, they then can go on<br />

and hire our freelancers. Every year<br />

we get 15 sustainability enthusiast or<br />

communication specialists onboard and<br />

work together with clients, and although<br />

this business model can be difficult,<br />

it is definitely working for us. We are<br />

an ESG communications advisory firm,<br />

and we do this through three different<br />

services. The first one is to integrate<br />

ESG into a businesses business model<br />

by creating a strategy and helping the<br />

client understand what initiatives they<br />

need to take or what companies they<br />

need to partner with so the strategy<br />

can be brought to life. If a company<br />

decides to become carbon neutral, we<br />

will advise them on what that means<br />

for the company’s growth, but also who<br />

they should partner with to help them<br />

achieve their goal. The second service is<br />

ESG communications where we help the<br />

company to humanise the sustainability<br />

initiatives in a clear, transparent, and<br />

storytelling way. The third service is<br />

training. This is where we train leadership<br />

teams and employees to understand the<br />

role they play in the sustainability journey,<br />

and more importantly, why they should<br />

care about it. We are a B-Corp certified<br />

organisation which means meeting the<br />

high standards of environmental and<br />

social performance, I am an advisor to<br />

the B-Corp in the U.K. I also sit on the<br />

board of the Money 2020, the largest<br />

FinTech networking platform, and I am<br />

the only person from an ethnic minority<br />

background who is a sustainability mentor<br />

for Accenture’s FinTech innovation lab.<br />

What is the mission and vision of<br />

CommUnique, and how do you<br />

work towards achieving it?<br />

My vision is to grow and to also help<br />

companies to understand the importance<br />

of sustainability but also the importance of<br />

a diverse talent pool. Our mission and goals<br />

are still evolving, but my ultimate goal is<br />

for CommUnique to be the largest ESG<br />

communications and advisory firm in the<br />

world where by the majority of employees<br />

are from underdeveloped countries and<br />

underrepresented communities.<br />

How does CommUnique<br />

incorporate ESG principles<br />

into its own business strategy<br />

and operations?<br />

For us the E has come naturally as I am<br />

the only one from CommUnique in the<br />

U.k. and all my freelancers are from<br />

around the world. This means that we<br />

do everything online and everything<br />

is digitised. However, our mindsets are<br />

not stagnant on this issue and we are<br />

always looking for ways we can become<br />

more environmentally friendly, and<br />

how we can quantify our progress. As<br />

for the S, as I have previously stated,<br />

CommUnique is made up of people from<br />

underrepresented backgrounds and<br />

underdeveloped countries. We pay all our<br />

freelancers a fair wage, and give them<br />

training to future their careers and help<br />

them progress. For our G we have a board<br />

that hold me accountable, we aim to<br />

work with companies who have previously<br />

struggled with ESG and are wanting to<br />

make positive changes.<br />

It is very important to me that<br />

CommUnique is a company that<br />

practices what we preach, and that<br />

we show we are constantly striving<br />

to improve ourselves and up hold our<br />

core values.<br />

Can you share some specific<br />

examples of environmental<br />

sustainability initiatives that<br />

CommUnique has implemented?<br />

The initiative I am extremely proud of<br />

is one we did with a large organisation<br />

in the Stock Exchange. They wanted to<br />

humanise their strategy and wanted to<br />

bring their employees with them on their<br />

journey. So, we created an application<br />

that employees would voluntarily be<br />

able to download that would collect data<br />

from where the employee had commute<br />

from. It would then translate this data<br />

into easily consumable information on the<br />

employee’s carbon footprint. For example,<br />

it would say that if you were to drive into<br />

work everyday you would produce five<br />

swimming pools worth of carbon, but if<br />

you were to walk for 5 minutes and take<br />

public transport you could reduce that by<br />

half a swimming pool.<br />

“I would be a very proud women<br />

when I see that there is an ecosystem<br />

of sustainability that is as diverse,<br />

inclusive, and as equal as possible.”<br />

6<br />




We linked this to their HR profile, and<br />

if they showed that they had reduced<br />

their carbon footprint, because we<br />

had educated them, they would get a<br />

congratulatory message from HR on<br />

their achievement. It would also go<br />

towards their appraisal as the employee<br />

would have helped the company achieve<br />

their mission of reducing their carbon<br />

footprint, and they would also receive a<br />

voucher as a thank you.<br />

What social impact programs<br />

or initiatives has CommUnique<br />

undertaken to benefit its<br />

employees, communities, or<br />

society at large?<br />

There are two social programmes we are<br />

now leading on. The first one is working<br />

towards getting more ethnic minority<br />

business founders to be more sustainable.<br />

This is done through our “Sustainovate”<br />

roundtable discussions alongside<br />

other organisations, such as B-Corp.<br />

Sustainovate events are run where we<br />

link Ethnic minority business owners<br />

with investors who will invest in their<br />

companies once they become sustainable,<br />

and sustainability experts who can talk<br />

them through starting their journey<br />

to becoming sustainable. The second<br />

initiative is part of Accenture’s Innovation<br />

Lab ‘s Accelerations programme. I am<br />

promoting ethnic minority business<br />

founders to join this leading acceleration<br />

programme this programme.<br />

What is your approach to creating<br />

ESG strategies for companies?<br />

What does this process look like?<br />

We begin a discovery session where we<br />

deep dive into the companies ESG metrics.<br />

We look at what is concerning their<br />

stakeholders and what is the best practice<br />

in the industry. After, we assess what is the<br />

gap and what seems to be missing, and<br />

how do we fill in the gap. Engaging the<br />

stakeholders in the process is vital. We ask<br />

them why they think we should care about<br />

sustainability as we need to understand<br />

the concerns they have. From here we can<br />

formulate a strategy, which will be based<br />

on the values and mission of the company.<br />

Then we role it out! However, the most<br />

important part for me is the constant<br />

monitoring of the strategy to make sure it<br />

“My vision is to<br />

grow and to also<br />

help companies<br />

to understand<br />

the importance of<br />

sustainability but also<br />

the importance of<br />

a diverse talent pool.”<br />

is achieving all the milestones we have set<br />

in place, and that it is the correct strategy<br />

for the company.<br />

How can law firms ensure<br />

transparency and accountability<br />

in their practices, especially<br />

regarding ESG issues?<br />

The beauty of law firms is that they will<br />

already be documenting things. The advice<br />

I would give to law firms, which I would<br />

give to any company, would be to seek<br />

out third party auditing. You cannot audit<br />

yourself. Just as you have legal bodies<br />

that will audit firms, such as the SRA, a<br />

third party will assess your ESG claims, and<br />

assess the validity of said claims. A third<br />

party, such as myself, will come in and will<br />

audit your communications, and I will pick<br />

the holes in your communications. This<br />

would be party of our Discovery sessions.<br />

After this, every firm would need to put<br />

in place a clear communications strategy<br />

and plan. My final piece of advice would<br />

be to commit to feedback and testing. This<br />

is the only way to get results from ESG<br />

implementation.<br />

Have you encountered any<br />

challenges or obstacles while<br />

integrating ESG principles into<br />

a business, and how have you<br />

addressed them?<br />

I’ve encountered a lot of challenges.<br />

The first challenge would be leadership<br />

advocacy. I’ve found that not all company<br />

leaders believe in the importance of<br />

ESG. We are often brought in to help<br />

communications teams showcase the<br />

importance of sustainability.<br />

The second challenges are companies not<br />

knowing where to start or what steps they<br />

need to take. That is why our process is so<br />

important to follow.<br />

“Commit to feedback and testing. This is the only way to get<br />

results from ESG implementation.”<br />

The third challenge, which is the most frequent, is knowing<br />

how companies can bring their employees with them on the<br />

journey. For example, companies what to know how they can<br />

communicate, across all offices, that it is important for employees<br />

to recycle. So, for this challenge education is key.<br />

Can you discuss the long-term benefits that<br />

businesses can experience as a result of<br />

focussing on ESG?<br />

There are so many benefits, and the data is telling us that.<br />

Reputational management is one thing that can benefit from<br />

implementing ESG. With a strong ESG a company can boost their<br />

brand, and you can attract clients who prioritise sustainable and<br />

ethical operations. Another aspect of data is that you can see<br />

what and where the risks are, but you can also see where the<br />

opportunities are. When you know what the risks are, you know<br />

how to mitigate them, and that is a huge advantage to have.<br />

Implementing ESG can also help with attracting the right talent to<br />

a company. Millennials said they would only work for a company<br />

that has a clear People and Planet Strategy, and that the<br />

company’s values align with their own. The next generation are<br />

steadfast in their convictions and it is important that companies<br />

take not. Last, but not least, is the investment appeal. ESG<br />

investment is currently worth 53 trillion dollars. Companies will<br />

not have a piece of this market if they are not sustainable.<br />

How do you see the role of ESG evolving in the<br />

business world, and what trends do you anticipate in<br />

this area?<br />

I believe that the regulations that will be put in place will force<br />

companies to start reporting on their ESG. Countries are really<br />

coming up against the clock to reach the Paris Agreement<br />

commitments. In Europe there is a new law called CSRD<br />

(Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) which will make<br />

people panic. It will force everyone in Europe or dealing with<br />

companies in Europe to repost on their ESG. The changes in<br />

regulation are going to be one of the biggest changes as they<br />

become more serious and demanding.<br />

Another trend I predict is the holistic approach towards ESG<br />

and how to run a company. Business will start seeing ESG from<br />

centred holistic from what it has been up to now, which is from a<br />

separate initiative point of view.<br />

“I want to normalise the saving of<br />

people and the planet.”<br />

Gihan Hayes,<br />

CEO and Founder, CommUnique<br />

What advice do you have for companies looking to<br />

embrace ESG practices and make a positive impact on<br />

the environment, society, and governance?<br />

Number one; integrate, don’t isolate. Meaning that companies<br />

should make it part of their DNA. It needs to be normalised in<br />

communications. Make ESG part of the employee journey from<br />

asking questions about sustainability at interview stages, to having<br />

objective appraisals for employees to meet. Finally, education<br />

is key. ESG is an ever-evolving topic and constant education is<br />

needed for all leaders and employees. Setting clear benchmarks is<br />

vital as then you are able to see from data what aspects need more<br />

attention and people need more education on the matter.<br />

Finally, as the CEO of CommUnique, what legacy do<br />

you hope to leave in the industry and for your team?<br />

This reminded me to write my will!<br />

I would be a very proud woman when I see that there is an ecosystem<br />

of sustainability that is as diverse, inclusive, and as equal<br />

as possible. So far, the numbers are shocking when it comes to<br />

the number of diverse thought leaders. So, I would like my legacy<br />

to be known for normalising ESG initiatives and reporting, and<br />

making it part of the DNA of companies. I want to normalise the<br />

saving of people and the planet.<br />

8 9



Caroline May:<br />

The Importance of<br />

Educated Involvement<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> sat down with Caroline May of the LSA, <strong>Law</strong> Society,<br />

and Norton Rose Fullbright to discuss her journey to becoming<br />

Co-Chair of the LSA, what the LSA and <strong>Law</strong> Society have been up to,<br />

and her predictions for the future of environmental commitments.<br />

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming Co-<br />

Chair of the Legal Sustainability Alliance and Partner<br />

at Norton Rose Fulbright?What inspired you to<br />

pursue a career in law and sustainability?<br />

I’ve been doing Environmental <strong>Law</strong> long before it was called<br />

sustainability. I have been in this area of work for around 35 years,<br />

well before it was fashionable, and my route into it was Toxic<br />

Tort Litigation. When I was a young lawyer at Clifford Chance, I<br />

handled two very big cases of tort litigation, one involving dioxin<br />

contamination and the other involving an explosive landfill site.<br />

Both cases were very high profile and involved organisations such<br />

as Greenpeace. These cases took between five to eight years<br />

each, and by the time they were high court multi-party pieces of<br />

litigation, I was the pollution and contamination expert in-house.<br />

Shortly after came the Environmental Protection Act (1990)<br />

meaning that what had been water and land contamination<br />

became environmental contamination when the law was codified.<br />

Thereafter, I became a fully-fledged environmental lawyer.<br />

As for my journey to becoming Co-Chair of the LSA, I first<br />

became a member when it was first formed and eventually, I was<br />

approached when the previous leader was standing down to take<br />

the position alongside Matt Sparks, who is the Sustainability<br />

Manager at Linklaters.<br />

I came to be Chair of the <strong>Law</strong> Society’s Climate Change Working<br />

Group again by being approached by the then president. At<br />

the time, the <strong>Law</strong> Society was facing a challenge from its own<br />

members asking what the <strong>Law</strong> Society was doing about climate<br />

change, and why there was no specific committee to respond<br />

to issues and government consultation. We spoke with the <strong>Law</strong><br />

Society’s council about a committee, and the Climate Change<br />

Working Group was born. This led to the <strong>Law</strong> Society Resolution<br />

on Climate Emergency in October 2021, just before COP in<br />

Glasgow. After that, we were mandated to produce the first <strong>Law</strong><br />

Society guidance for the profession on climate change, the first<br />

of its kind in any profession. It has now been picked up by many<br />

Bar and <strong>Law</strong> councils and societies around the world.<br />

What are some of the key initiatives or projects that<br />

the LSA has been involved in to promote/integrate<br />

sustainability and responsible business practices<br />

among law firms?<br />

The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) has been actively involved<br />

in promoting sustainability and responsible business practices<br />

among law firms through various initiatives. Carbon Footprint<br />

Reporting: Encouraging law firms to measure and report<br />

their environmental impact. Sustainable Practices Guidance:<br />

Providing guidance on energy efficiency, waste reduction,<br />

and eco-friendly procurement. Legal Sector Alliance Carbon<br />

Commitment: Collaborating with law firms committed to reducing<br />

carbon emissions. Knowledge Sharing and Events: Organising<br />

events for firms to share experiences, best practices, and discuss<br />

sustainability. Collaboration with Stakeholders: Working with<br />

legal professionals, clients, and environmental organisations to<br />

promote sustainability. Biodiversity and Nature-Based Solutions:<br />

Encouraging firms to consider biodiversity and nature-based<br />

solutions. Advocacy for Policy Change: Engaging in advocacy<br />

efforts for policies supporting sustainability in the legal sector.<br />

Employee Engagement Programmes: Encouraging firms to<br />

implement programmes that raise awareness and involve<br />

employees in sustainability initiatives.<br />

How can law firms effectively integrate sustainability<br />

practices into their operations and services, and what<br />

benefits can they derive from doing so?<br />

They can follow the guidance firstly. Sustainability has challenges<br />

and opportunities. The challenges are the supply chain, gathering<br />

ESG data from them, setting and verifying net zero targets, and<br />

other things like reducing emissions from work travel. Sustainability<br />

management needs to be integrated into a firm with a committee<br />

that every department is represented on. Enshrining environmental<br />

management principles through every area of the business is<br />

vital. The benefits from integrating sustainable practices are farreaching.<br />

Clients are expecting firms to be setting goals and striving<br />

to reach them. Sticking to environmental goals can help with client<br />

retention, and is a business-critical issue. There are also lots of new<br />

areas of law that have opened up in the profession and has allowed<br />

new and different talent to join.<br />

“Sustainability has challenges<br />

and opportunities.”<br />

“We work with some of the<br />

biggest clients in the world<br />

and that allows us to promote<br />

the agenda. Our responsible<br />

business and sustainability<br />

initiatives are something to<br />

be proud of.”<br />

Norton Rose Fulbright has been recognized<br />

for its commitment to sustainability, including<br />

its ranking in the FTSE4Good Index. Could you<br />

share some specific examples of sustainability<br />

initiatives or achievements that you’re<br />

particularly proud of within the firm?<br />

We won the first Infrastructure Journal ESG Award, and that<br />

recognized some of the work around the world, such as<br />

renewable energy projects. That kind of pioneering work is<br />

something I am very proud we were involved in. Other things I am<br />

proud of is our work within carbon capture, and working on new<br />

technology and initiatives, and energy transitions.<br />

We work with some of the biggest clients in the world and that<br />

allows us to promote the agenda. Our responsible business and<br />

sustainability initiatives are something to be proud of. How we<br />

produce and deliver our work in this area, such as our work with<br />

Save the Children, is something else I’m pleased to be a part of.<br />

NRF also does a lot of small community projects we don’t shout<br />

about, but are of equal importance to us, and our staff give<br />

up their time to volunteer in the community. I am proud of us<br />

professionally for what we do, and it is gratifying to find that it is<br />

recognized by our clients, peers, and industry leaders.<br />

10 11


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Stakeholder engagement is crucial<br />

for sustainable practices. How can<br />

firms actively engage with clients,<br />

employees, and communities<br />

to ensure alignment with<br />

sustainability goals and values?<br />

Transparent communication is<br />

paramount—regular updates on<br />

sustainability initiatives build trust and<br />

accountability with clients, employees,<br />

and the community. Collaborating with<br />

clients to understand their sustainability<br />

expectations integrates these values into<br />

legal initiatives. Employee involvement<br />

is crucial, fostering a sustainable<br />

culture through feedback, awareness<br />

programmes, and training. Actively<br />

participating in community outreach,<br />

such as supporting local sustainability<br />

projects, reinforces the firm’s commitment<br />

to shared environmental and social<br />

goals. Forming partnerships and alliances<br />

amplifies the impact of sustainability<br />

initiatives and broadens the support<br />

network. Sustainability should be<br />

integrated into the firm’s core values,<br />

guiding decision-making processes<br />

and operations. Educating clients on<br />

sustainable legal practices and providing<br />

resources facilitates their integration<br />

into business initiatives. Regular<br />

sustainability reporting demonstrates<br />

commitment to improvement. Supporting<br />

employee volunteering and incentivizing<br />

sustainable practices fosters a positive<br />

environment and strengthens connections<br />

with stakeholders. Through these<br />

initiatives, law firms can actively engage<br />

stakeholders, creating a collaborative<br />

approach to sustainability that aligns<br />

with the values and goals of clients,<br />

employees, and the wider community.<br />

Collaboration is often key<br />

to advancing sustainability<br />

goals. Can you discuss any<br />

partnerships or collaborations<br />

that the LSA has entered into<br />

with other organisations or law<br />

firms to drive sustainability<br />

initiatives forward?<br />

The LSA itself is a mixture of 120 law<br />

firms and is built on collaboration. LSA<br />

also collaborates with the Chancery<br />

Lane Project, and the <strong>Law</strong> Society to<br />

roll out the Guidance on Sustainability<br />

in the new year. We liaise with the Net<br />

Zero <strong>Law</strong>yers Alliance and many other<br />

initiatives, and where it is possible to do<br />

so, we collaborate. Collaborations across<br />

our industry sector are key, and the<br />

educational element of that is important,<br />

but collaboration for legal professionals<br />

is a multi-disciplinary area.<br />

What long-term goals and<br />

strategies does The <strong>Law</strong> Society<br />

have in place to further its<br />

commitment to combating<br />

climate change through the<br />

legal profession?<br />

The <strong>Law</strong> Society is going to build on the<br />

guidance that is already out there, and<br />

also produce sector-specific guidance,<br />

in which the work is already underway.<br />

We are also speaking with the SRA on<br />

whether regulations are necessary in<br />

the area, as our guidance is voluntary.<br />

The regulators are watching the space<br />

as to whether anything mandatory is<br />

required. So, watch this space. There is<br />

a role to play there in developing those<br />

regulations. Once again education is key<br />

and The <strong>Law</strong> Society’s aim is to make sure<br />

lawyers are informed and up-to-date with<br />

the latest information and guidance.<br />

“Collaborations<br />

across our industry<br />

sector are key.”<br />

Do you think that any of the<br />

guidance will become mandatory,<br />

and do you think it should?<br />

I think it’s a possibility that there will be<br />

mandatory guidance, particularly around<br />

solicitors’ duty of care and responsibility.<br />

These are the areas that I think will<br />

become mandatory first. It’s already here<br />

to some extent. Do I think there should<br />

be some guidance made mandatory?<br />

Yes. I think there should be, depending<br />

on what it is. I think that unless you have<br />

a framework against which to judge, it is<br />

very difficult to drive standards of what<br />

is required and what is a benchmark.<br />

As with everything in society, I think<br />

you need the law and the framework to<br />

govern the area so people know what is<br />

expected of them.<br />

Finally, what advice would you<br />

like to give to every lawyer on the<br />

topic of sustainability?<br />

Educate yourself about how it affects<br />

your practice, and get involved. Educated<br />

involvement is key.<br />

Caroline May,<br />

Co-Chair, LSA<br />

Get in touch to find out how we can support your business.<br />

03300 366 700 | enquiries@ochresoft.com | ochresoft.com<br />




Navigating Your Digital Carbon Footprint<br />

When it comes to being kind to the planet, the role of the legal industry isn’t just to safeguard<br />

and advise clients on the legal implications of their actions, but also to do its own part to<br />

operate in a climate-efficient way. Here, we’ll look specifically at digital carbon footprints in law<br />

firms and what those in the industry need to be mindful of in order to reduce carbon emissions<br />

stemming from digital activities.<br />

Digital carbon footprint<br />

A common assumption is that the<br />

growth of hybrid working must have<br />

been good for the planet, with fewer<br />

people commuting back and forth to<br />

work every day in polluting vehicles<br />

and less energy consumption needed<br />

to power office buildings. But the<br />

fact that remote and hybrid working<br />

has increased the amount of digital<br />

communication taking place doesn’t<br />

come without its own environmental<br />

impact. In fact, The Shift Project<br />

(source*) estimates that the carbon<br />

footprint linked to digital activities<br />

accounts for around 4% of the world’s<br />

total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -<br />

with the IT sector’s emissions projected<br />

to continue rising exponentially.<br />

The main contributors to the digital<br />

carbon footprint of a business are<br />

typically on-site and remote use of<br />

computers, servers and other digital<br />

devices (such as mobile phones,<br />

tablets, projectors etc.) and the use of<br />

remote internet services like the cloud.<br />

With the emissions from both of these<br />

activities typically coming from both<br />

the manufacturing and use of said<br />

equipment and services.<br />

How law firms can be more<br />

conscious of their digital<br />

carbon footprint<br />

When deciding what equipment is<br />

needed in an office and for employees<br />

to use remotely, law firms should take<br />

into consideration how equipment<br />

is manufactured, what materials are<br />

used, and also the options for disposal.<br />

Ultimate buying decisions should be<br />

made based on this information.<br />

In addition to this, and equally<br />

important, is knowing what servers and<br />

data centres that cloud services use.<br />

Whilst it’s very easy to fall into an ‘out<br />

of sight, out of mind’ mentality when<br />

it comes to cloud services, increasing<br />

regulation will soon make it essential<br />

for all businesses to know - and be able<br />

to report on - the carbon emissions of<br />

all of their suppliers. And that includes<br />

cloud suppliers.<br />

Other, specific steps that law firms can<br />

take to reduce their corporate digital<br />

carbon footprint include:<br />

• Extend the life of IT equipment<br />

Firms should only replace equipment<br />

that has stopped working and is<br />

beyond repair. When replacing<br />

equipment, don’t always buy new<br />

- instead, consider second-hand<br />

or refurbished equipment. There<br />

are also now labels to certify that a<br />

product meets certain sustainability<br />

requirements, so be sure to seek<br />

these out too.<br />

• Identify suppliers with good<br />

carbon intensity<br />

Simply selecting the right partners<br />

can help a business align with the<br />

Paris agreement trajectory to net<br />

zero. Commit to undertaking a<br />

supplier audit to understand the<br />

environmental performance of<br />

existing suppliers and set parameters<br />

that future suppliers must meet.<br />

• Review your cloud supplier<br />

Most cloud providers are huge<br />

contributors to emissions because<br />

of the exponential growth of their<br />

operations. Cloud computing uses<br />

up electricity, and the source of<br />

electricity is not always green. Think<br />

about choosing cloud instances<br />

located in countries with low carbon<br />

energy mixes (such as the Nordics,<br />

Switzerland, France) as opposed to<br />

countries like Ireland.<br />

“It’s more important<br />

than ever for<br />

individuals and firms<br />

of all sizes to get<br />

their house in order.”<br />

How to reduce your own digital<br />

carbon footprint as an employee<br />

The use of computer and electronic<br />

equipment generates a third of an<br />

employee’s total GHG emissions at work.<br />

Therefore, thinking about how you use<br />

this equipment and what you use it for can<br />

help you to reduce your own emissions:<br />

• Turn off your camera<br />

Amazingly, simply having your<br />

camera turned off during a one hour<br />

Zoom call can reduce the carbon<br />

emissions of that call by 96%*.<br />

• Avoid unnecessary email<br />

attachments<br />

Sending an email with a photo<br />

attachment emits over ten times as<br />

many CO2 equivalent emissions as<br />

sending a regular email*. Therefore,<br />

instead opt for links to shared<br />

drives to share files.<br />

• Opt for WiFi over 4G or 5G<br />

Wherever possible, login to local<br />

WiFi networks when needing the<br />

internet. As - for example - watching<br />

a video using WiFi, rather than 4G,<br />

consumes 23 times less energy.<br />

Green credentials, commitments and<br />

policies are becoming a key factor in all<br />

manner of commercial transactions. And<br />

increasing regulation related to carbon<br />

emissions means it’s more important<br />

than ever for individuals and firms of all<br />

sizes to get their house in order to help<br />

future proof their business.<br />

Alexis Normand, co-founder and CEO<br />

at carbon accounting platform, Greenly<br />

The Green Machine<br />

In our tech-centric world, electronic devices have become our faithful companions. From<br />

the moment we wake to our smartphone alarms, to the late-night Netflix binge on our<br />

smart TVs, technology is ever-present. But there’s a dark side to this relentless innovation:<br />

a colossal pile of electronic waste (e-waste), which takes up valuable space and poses a<br />

significant environmental threat.<br />

Our electronic devices have a significant<br />

impact on our environment. The process<br />

of manufacturing a single desktop<br />

computer requires around 539 pounds<br />

of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals,<br />

and at least 1.5 tons of water. That’s<br />

a staggering number of resources for<br />

just one piece of technology. But it<br />

doesn’t stop there. The production<br />

process generates roughly 150 kgs<br />

of greenhouse gases. Inside your<br />

electronics are rare Earth materials such<br />

as gold, silver, copper, and cobalt. These<br />

resources have limited supplies and are<br />

often hazardous to extract.<br />

So, what’s the answer to this growing<br />

problem? Recycling and Reuse. When<br />

we recycle our electrical equipment,<br />

we reduce its negative effect on the<br />

environment significantly. Creating a more<br />

eco-conscious and circular life cycle for<br />

technology is vital for protecting the planet<br />

from the harmful materials in our devices.<br />

The number of electrical items that get<br />

thrown away is constantly growing, and<br />

currently, only 17.5% of this waste is<br />

recycled appropriately. When we recycle<br />

our old devices, the precious materials<br />

can be extracted and reused, meaning<br />

that we don’t need to mine for more. It<br />

also stops more greenhouse gases from<br />

entering the atmosphere.<br />

Meet Natalie King-Barnard, Head of<br />

Sales and Marketing at Green Machine<br />

Computers. For 12 years, they’ve been<br />

on a mission to protect the environment<br />

and tackle digital poverty by helping<br />

businesses dispose of obsolete IT<br />

equipment securely. The Wiltshire-based<br />

recycling facility is committed to proper<br />

e-waste recycling and disposal. Their<br />

accreditations are proof that they handle<br />

both data and waste materials in a safe<br />

and environmentally friendly way. They<br />

repair and reuse absolutely everything<br />

possible (down to screws and office<br />

furniture), and partner with a number<br />

of charities to rehome useful hardware.<br />

Working with a refinery, they break down<br />

irreparable IT equipment to their core<br />

materials, so that these can be melted<br />

down and reused.<br />

This process liberates office space and<br />

maintains GDPR compliance while<br />

lowering carbon emissions and ensuring<br />

these devices benefit less fortunate<br />

individuals. Green Machine Computers,<br />

with its customers’ help, has cut CO2<br />

emissions by 13,500 metric tonnes in<br />

the last five years. That’s equivalent<br />

to powering 1,701 homes for a year.<br />

This isn’t just about numbers; it’s a<br />

commitment to sustainability. The<br />

dedicated team tests, repairs and reuses<br />

every useable component from the<br />

devices collected, ensuring that nothing<br />

goes to waste. Moreover, Green Machine<br />

Computers offers customers a clear<br />

breakdown of their CO2 savings.<br />

But what about your data? Many<br />

businesses worry about recycling their<br />

devices because of the data they<br />

contain. However, recycling companies<br />

like Green Machine take data security<br />

extremely seriously. They wipe all the<br />

data from every device they recycle as<br />

standard and can provide certificates to<br />

prove this along with a full audit trail of<br />

what has been collected.<br />

Instead of trashing perfectly functional<br />

devices, Green Machine Computers<br />

specialises in refurbishing and<br />

extending the lifespan of electronic<br />

equipment. While collecting and<br />

diverting this equipment, they’ve<br />

been able to refurbish thousands of<br />

devices which have then been donated<br />

to schools, charities and non-profit<br />

organisations across the UK. Green<br />

Machine Computers recognise the<br />

social inequalities perpetuated by the<br />

‘digital divide’. Through partnerships<br />

with schools, charities, and non-profit<br />

organisations, they donate refurbished<br />

devices to disadvantaged communities.<br />

By securely wiping and restoring<br />

unwanted technology, the team can<br />

rehome devices with people in need<br />

who can utilise them for educational,<br />

employment, and social opportunities.<br />

“As our world<br />

continues to<br />

go digital, our<br />

responsibilities<br />

grow.”<br />

So far, their donations have supported<br />

a wide variety of people, from refugees<br />

to local youth groups, from women’s<br />

shelters to children’s hospices. Their<br />

work has ensured that all of that ‘waste’,<br />

has not been wasted.<br />

As our world continues to go digital,<br />

our responsibilities grow. Green<br />

Machine Computers proves that<br />

tackling e-waste is a collective<br />

responsibility to build a sustainable<br />

future for the technology industry.<br />

Natalie King-Barnard, Head of<br />

Sales and Marketing, Green Machine<br />

Computers.<br />

14 15


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The call to go digital and ditch the paper trail is<br />

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But let’s be honest – it’s not always as<br />

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Legal requirements for<br />

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Legal requirements are another obstacle<br />

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Counting the costs<br />

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17<br />

This enables the delivery of a ‘paperlite’<br />

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‘paperless’ - and that’s ideal for businesses<br />

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These days physical records are easier than<br />

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Embracing a hybrid, paperlite, approach<br />

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As the retention date for specific records<br />

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certificate as a testament to compliance.<br />

These measures free up valuable space<br />

that can be repurposed to serve other<br />

pressing business requirements.<br />

In essence, comprehensive knowledge<br />

of your records is the key to making<br />

well-informed choices regarding what<br />

warrants digitisation.<br />

Embracing a hybrid approach isn’t just<br />

a compromise; it’s a strategic advantage<br />

that blends tradition and innovation.<br />

Offering enhanced efficiency, unwavering<br />

compliance, and substantial savings - all<br />

the benefits of going digital, with much<br />

less of the faff!<br />

To find out how we can help you adopt<br />

the paperlite approach, please visit:<br />

www.restore.co.uk/Legal<br />

Nigel Dews<br />

Managing Director,<br />

Restore Records Management


BOARD<br />

It all starts<br />

with eCOS<br />

Effective client onboarding is critical<br />

to starting strong relationships and<br />

ensuring that you meet your KYC<br />

and AML requirements.<br />

Source<br />

of Funds<br />

One-click<br />

AML<br />

Info<br />

Gathering<br />

eCOS<br />

Digital ID<br />

Checks<br />

eCOS is one simple platform that includes matter-specific client<br />

questionnaires, digital ID and AML checks, and Source of Funds and<br />

Wealth information gathering. It does all the hard work for you and gives<br />

your clients one seamless experience.<br />

Meet The<br />

Editorial Board<br />

In the following pages you will meet<br />

our incredible Editorial Board members<br />

who contribute to every issue to<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>. They offer<br />

their thought leadership, and industry<br />

expertise in all their articles that help<br />

modernise the legal industry. Their<br />

vital knowledge of the legal landscape<br />

and the issues every person in this<br />

industry faces makes them invaluable<br />

contributors to the conversations<br />

taking place in the industry.<br />

The Editorial Board members’ aim, as well<br />

as <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong>’s, is that every reader takes<br />

something away from each issue that will<br />

help them in their careers and enable them<br />

to have a deeper understanding of industry<br />

topics, and what actions they can take to be<br />

at the forefront of the legal sector.<br />

Every issue you read their thoughts and<br />

ideas, and now it is time to meet them<br />

properly. On the following pages you will<br />

find out more about our Editorial Board<br />

members, who they are, and what they do.<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> would like to say a special<br />

thank you to our Editorial Board members<br />

whose continuous support and contributions<br />

are greatly appreciated.<br />

More convenient onboarding, better information, improved compliance…<br />

It all starts with eCOS.<br />

Find out more:<br />

sales@infotrack.co.uk<br />

0207 186 8090<br />



BOARD<br />


BOARD<br />

Paul Sams<br />

Paul Sams has over 20 years’ experience in<br />

residential, commercial, and development<br />

property law, developed niche specialisms<br />

in leasehold enfranchisement matters and<br />

equity release. Paul also leads a team of 50<br />

people at Dutton Gregory Solicitors, where<br />

he is Head of Property. Paul has written<br />

six industry books to date, including ‘New<br />

Build Conveyancing: The Essential Guide’,<br />

and become an award-winning, nationally<br />

recognised expert in the field of residential<br />

property. As well as being asked to deliver<br />

lectures and seminars to members of the<br />

legal profession, Housing Associations<br />

and for RICS, Paul is regularly asked to<br />

contribute his advice, opinion and insight<br />

to subjects relating to the residential<br />

property sector and conveyancing in the<br />

industry media.<br />

Adrian Jaggard<br />

Co-founder and CEO of two innovative<br />

and fast-growing companies: AIIC Group<br />

and Taylor Rose MW. AIIC Group provides<br />

investment, strategic collaborations, and<br />

a platform for growth to our enterprises,<br />

while Taylor Rose MW is a top 60 smart,<br />

modern law firm with offices across the<br />

UK and Australia.<br />

My educational background includes<br />

completing a GDL, LPC, and a master’s in<br />

law and business. My core competencies<br />

include strategy development and<br />

execution, risk management. I started<br />

my career as a trainee costs draftsman,<br />

co-founding Jaggards Legal Costs<br />

Consultants with my brother, before<br />

transitioning to Taylor Rose.<br />

Dave Seager<br />

With over 35 years in financial services,<br />

Dave has spent the last 15 focused on and<br />

specialising in the overlap between legal<br />

services and financial planning.<br />

Until 2021 he was the MD of SIFA<br />

Professional, assisting quality financial<br />

advisory firms forge mutually beneficial<br />

and compliant partnerships with solicitors.<br />

Dave still advises his former company but<br />

proudly acts as a consultant for carefully<br />

selected well qualified and respected<br />

financial planning businesses, seeking<br />

to develop client beneficial relationships<br />

with law firms.<br />

He was delighted to ask to work with<br />

Robin Melley, one of the UK’s most<br />

experienced and respected financial<br />

planners and his award-winning Shropshire<br />

based advisory firm, Matrix Capital.<br />

Bronwyn Townsend<br />

Bronwyn Townsend, Senior Marketing<br />

Manager, InfoTrack<br />

Bronwyn joined InfoTrack in 2016, shortly<br />

after the business launched in the UK. She<br />

has contributed to delivering key industry<br />

projects including the Digital Conveyancing<br />

Summit, Digital Conveyancing Maturity<br />

Index, and a series of topical ebooks and<br />

articles on the latest insights and trends in<br />

digital conveyancing.<br />

InfoTrack are pioneers in digitising legal<br />

processes. They provide a powerful suite<br />

of solutions across client onboarding,<br />

identity verification, e-signature, and<br />

conveyancing services. InfoTrack’s services<br />

help to assure compliance, enhance<br />

the client experience, and improve<br />

productivity within law firms.<br />

Neville Dinshaw<br />

Neville Dinshaw is the managing director<br />

of <strong>Law</strong> Mergers & Acquisitions. Having<br />

joined the firm in 1995, Neville was made<br />

partner in 1997 and managing director<br />

in 2019. Under Neville’s leadership, the<br />

business has grown and is now widely<br />

recognised in England and Wales as the<br />

‘go-to’ brokerage for law practice sales,<br />

mergers, acquisitions and valuations.<br />

Neville is passionate about helping law<br />

firms in difficulty or just looking for a<br />

different horizon. Neville feels proud<br />

of the support he has provided to many<br />

young professionals looking to start their<br />

working journey in the legal industry.<br />

Notably, Neville’s company has achieved<br />

multiple awards for work in its sector and<br />

is a respected player on the global stage.<br />

Outside of work, Neville enjoys spending<br />

time with his family, travelling when<br />

work allows and learning about different<br />

cultures. Neville is committed to charities<br />

he supports and with the sponsorship of<br />

education for children in need.<br />

Alex Holt<br />

Alex qualified as a Solicitor in 1993 and<br />

became a partner at two top 100 law<br />

firms before moving on to set up his own<br />

Executive Search business specialising<br />

in strategic resourcing and M&A for law<br />

firms. Alex then went on to join a global IT<br />

outsourcer called Steria where he created<br />

and delivered their strategy for developing<br />

a legal sector offering. In 2014 Alex joined<br />

Cashroom to head up Business Development<br />

and open Cashroom in England and Wales,<br />

and then the USA in 2022, leading new<br />

market and product exploration.<br />

Martin Cheek<br />

Martin Cheek is managing director of<br />

SmartSearch, the UK’s leading provider<br />

of digital compliance and anti-money<br />

laundering (AML) software and solutions.<br />

As well as one of the company’s cofounders,<br />

Martin himself is a qualified<br />

lawyer, holding a law degree and an MBA<br />

in business from the Open University.<br />

With his extensive regulatory knowledge<br />

across the legal, financial services,<br />

accountancy, and property sectors, as well as<br />

other regulated industries, Martin has been<br />

instrumental. His profound understanding<br />

and strategic guidance have been essential<br />

in helping law firms fortify their defences<br />

against criminal networks seeking to exploit<br />

firms for illicit financial activities.<br />

From start-up to scale-up, SmartSearch<br />

has grown from strength to strength, with<br />

its digital compliance platform now trusted<br />

by more than 6,500 clients and 60,000<br />

users – including one-in-three of the UK’s<br />

top 200 law firms.<br />

As managing director, Martin works<br />

closely with the board of directors and<br />

SmartSearch’s team of almost 200 staff<br />

to support the continued fight against<br />

financial crime and growth of the business<br />

across all regulated markets.<br />

Kathliya Harwood<br />

Kathliya Harwood is the Marketing<br />

Manager for Philips Dictation UK; she<br />

has 15+ years’ experience in marketing<br />

and over 10 years’ experience working in<br />

the software sector. Kathliya manages<br />

and executes all marketing activities such<br />

as digital and print advertising, content<br />

creation, events management and PR for<br />

Philips Dictation UK, Ireland, and South<br />

Africa; she has worked for Philips Dictation<br />

for nearly 2 years. Philips Dictation is<br />

an international technology company<br />

headquartered in Vienna, Austria and is a<br />

global leader in dictation solutions. Their<br />

solutions include web-based and desktop<br />

workflow software as well as dictation<br />

devices; to help automate document<br />

creation for efficient working.<br />

Dominic Hendry<br />

Dominic Hendry, Head of Private Client at<br />

Estate Research<br />

Dominic heads up Estate Research’s<br />

large Private Client team, all of whom<br />

are focused on delivering top-class<br />

genealogy services to solicitors. He has<br />

worked within the probate research and<br />

genealogy industry for the more than 15<br />

years and has specialised in private client<br />

genealogy for most of the last decade.<br />

Since 2015, Dominic has travelled across<br />

the UK & internationally speaking at legal<br />

conferences and meeting with private<br />

client practitioners to educate them on<br />

avoiding risk in estate administration. He<br />

is a qualified paralegal and a member of<br />

the Professional Paralegal Register.<br />

Mark Holt<br />

With a solid background in mathematics<br />

and accounting, Mark’s career in financial<br />

services began in 1996, leading to his<br />

role at Barclays Financial Management<br />

in 1998 and the setting up of his own IFA<br />

firm before joining Frenkel Topping in<br />

2010. Mark’s mathematical acumen has<br />

contributed to his rapid career progression<br />

and his success as the Chief Operating<br />

Officer of Frenkel Topping Group and<br />

Frenkel Topping Ltd, heading up the<br />

Litigation Support Team and as the<br />

leading expert in periodical payments and<br />

structured settlements within the industry.<br />

Mark is a distinguished influencer and<br />

educator in the Personal Injury arena,<br />

known for his expertise in financial matters<br />

related to large-claim cases. His work is<br />

pivotal in cases where the personal injury<br />

discount rate is instrumental in determining<br />

settlement sizes. His collaboration with<br />

premier chambers and stables across<br />

England and Scotland is a testament to the<br />

trust placed in his industry knowledge.<br />

Mark’s understanding of the discount<br />

rate’s impact, both from an industry-wide<br />

and macro-economic angle, is augmented<br />

by his role at Frenkel Topping, where<br />

he witnesses firsthand the effects of<br />

settlements on claimants with life-altering<br />

injuries. Frenkel Topping’s reputation as<br />

the authority on discount rate matters in<br />

personal injury claims reflects the firm’s<br />

unmatched depth of knowledge, bolstered<br />

by Mark’s guidance.<br />

20<br />



BOARD<br />

Enjoy a career without<br />

limits, earning up to<br />

75% of your billing.<br />

Taylor Rose MW is a top 60 law firm with<br />

over 30 offices nationwide and we are<br />

seeking legal professionals that are keen to<br />

work on a consultancy, fee sharing basis.<br />

We are seeking likeminded individuals and<br />

groups of Solicitors, FCILEx or Licensed<br />

Conveyancers with 4 years PQE+ to join<br />

our consultant programme.<br />

We provide lawyers with a unique opportunity<br />

to thrive as part of our consultant arrangement,<br />

taking back control of their life and earnings in a<br />

smart, modern and supportive environment.<br />

You can choose to work from home, one of our<br />

offices or both!<br />

“The consultancy<br />

model has turned<br />

my career on its<br />

head. This model of<br />

working is superb.”<br />

Mark Quinn,<br />

Consultant Solicitor<br />

Why choose us?<br />

· Earn up to 75% of what you bill;<br />

minimum earning 70%<br />

· Choose your own clients, fees,<br />

hours and volume of work<br />

· Work from home, 100 days access<br />

to hot-desking facilities<br />

· PII cover up to £20 million<br />

· Free calls via our app<br />

· Access to nationwide offices and meeting rooms<br />

· Fully optimised CMS and electronic systems<br />

· Access to business development<br />

· Dedicated liaison team and technical head<br />

for ops, legal support and training<br />

To find out more, read our brochure or<br />

arrange a confidential call, please email<br />

consultantrecruitment@taylor-rose.co.uk<br />

or visit our website<br />

www.consultant-solicitor.co.uk<br />

Pioneering Environmental<br />

Concerns As A Top 60 <strong>Law</strong> Firm<br />

In today’s rapidly evolving world,<br />

evolutionary demands are placed on<br />

our systems at an ever-increasing<br />

rate. As we prioritise valuable<br />

resources, we must give due<br />

consideration to environmental and<br />

ethical impact alongside conventional<br />

benchmarks like risk and efficiency.<br />

Firms are under increasing client pressure<br />

to operate sustainably and ethically while<br />

ensuring their continuity. The legal industry<br />

can play a pivotal role in driving innovative<br />

solutions that strike a balance between<br />

critical aspects.<br />

Basic aspirations such as a paperless<br />

operation and reducing travel burden have<br />

not been overlooked. Technology has<br />

allowed us to streamline our operations<br />

and enhance efficiency, not just for our<br />

personnel but also for our clients by<br />

developing portals that they are able to<br />

access 24 hours, 365 days a year.<br />

Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation<br />

distinguishes between a leader and a<br />

follower”. A quote that is especially<br />

resonant when considering the<br />

heightened focus on Environmental,<br />

Social, and Governance (ESG) policy<br />

that has made it so important for the<br />

legal industry to innovate.<br />

This is not just a trend – it is a fundamental<br />

shift in how the legal industry operates and<br />

is evaluated by clients and stakeholders.<br />

In my role as the managing director of an<br />

award-winning digital compliance platform,<br />

I have seen firsthand how innovation<br />

can drive ethical solutions. Automation,<br />

for instance, can integrate with existing<br />

processes to streamline customer<br />

onboarding, improving client experience<br />

while trimming operational costs. Such<br />

platforms offer the capability to conduct<br />

real-time checks against global sanctions<br />

and watchlists, adding an extra layer of<br />

due diligence.<br />

Another way is by using AI to implement<br />

automated and secure identity verification<br />

to streamline our “Know Your Customer”<br />

Fraud Detection, and User Onboarding<br />

for home buyers online. The partnership<br />

that we have created with Onfido has<br />

had immediate results allowing clients to<br />

onboard to the point of an open live file<br />

in as little as 20 minutes, instead of having<br />

to arrange an appointment for the clients<br />

to come in for an ID check – therefore,<br />

helping our carbon footprint by making<br />

the process digital and easy access.<br />

But it’s not just about efficiency - it’s about<br />

responsibility. Anti-money laundering<br />

(AML) and compliance solutions can be part<br />

of a broader strategy that not only tackles<br />

compliance but also drives innovation.<br />

Digital compliance can help legal firms<br />

conduct due diligence while onboarding<br />

clients with the peace of mind that they<br />

are not “sleep walking” in to supporting<br />

damaging activities or unethical practices.<br />

The role of innovation extends to the<br />

development of new legal processes and<br />

formalised agreements that take ESG factors<br />

in to account. For example, smart contracts<br />

can be programmed to execute only when<br />

certain ethical and environmental criteria are<br />

met, automating compliance and reducing<br />

the risk of a breach.<br />

Data analytics capabilities can provide<br />

valuable insights into client behaviour<br />

and market trends. These insights can<br />

inform the development of new services<br />

At Taylor Rose MW, we actively monitor<br />

and publicly report on our carbon footprint<br />

through our statutory accounts. By doing<br />

this, we force ourselves to address the<br />

challenge head on. As a result, we are<br />

getting better and have executed many<br />

environmental changes within the firm<br />

to help reduce our carbon footprint. This<br />

includes initiatives such as a firm-wide<br />

paper light project, introduced followme<br />

printing and recycling our old IT<br />

equipment. This has resulted in reporting<br />

reducing carbon footprint relative to our<br />

turnover.<br />

We hope that leading by example<br />

reinforces credibility and authenticity when<br />

advising clients on matters.<br />

“Firms are under<br />

increasing client pressure<br />

to operate sustainably<br />

and ethically while<br />

ensuring their continuity.”<br />

Adrian Jaggard,<br />

CEO, Taylor Rose MW<br />

Innovate Or Stagnate<br />

To Lead In Legal Ethics<br />

and solutions that not only meet the strict<br />

requirements of the regulator, but also<br />

address the broader ethical concerns.<br />

Circling back to Steve Jobs’ insight,<br />

innovation is indeed what distinguishes<br />

leaders from followers. By integrating<br />

advanced compliance solutions that meet<br />

regulatory demands, legal firms can drive<br />

innovation and support the development<br />

of solutions that support a more<br />

sustainable, and ethical, legal industry.<br />

For more information please visit:<br />

www.smartsearch.com<br />

“This is not just a trend –<br />

it is a fundamental shift<br />

in how the legal industry<br />

operates.”<br />

Martin Cheek,<br />

managing director, SmartSearch<br />



BOARD<br />

Paul Sams,<br />

Partner, Dutton Gregory<br />

Alex Holt<br />

Director of Business<br />

Development,<br />

The Cashroom<br />

HELLO<br />


Having celebrated our Diamond Anniversary last year,<br />

we are proud to be one of the fastest-growing law firms<br />

in the South, and breaking new ground in the North.<br />

Dutton Gregory Solicitors has<br />

been providing award-winning<br />

client services and career<br />

opportunities in the legal<br />

profession for over 75 years.<br />

To find out more, visit<br />

www.duttongregory.co.uk<br />




NEW<br />

POOLE<br />

LONDON<br />


Leading<br />

By Example<br />

“In recent months, I have started to wonder if the<br />

main objection to environmentally friendly practices<br />

isn’t, in fact, the solution - price. We all know that<br />

clients want a five-star hotel service, but are only<br />

prepared to pay the price of cardboard box under<br />

a railway arch, but could this be used to help the<br />

promotion and adoption of the green agenda? Can<br />

we incentivise clients to adopt environmentally<br />

friendly ways of working? Why not offer reduced fees<br />

or discounts to clients who accept correspondence<br />

electronically, (reducing paper) are happy to have<br />

video meetings (reducing use of vehicles) or need<br />

legal support on issues of employment, manufacturing<br />

and transport that support a greener future?<br />

Perhaps more importantly, law firms should lead by example<br />

and start implementing sustainable practices within their own<br />

operations. This can include reducing paper usage, implementing<br />

recycling programs, and adopting energy-efficient technologies.<br />

Only companies that can demonstrate their own commitment<br />

to sustainability are in a position to encourage others. We could<br />

include sustainability clauses in client contracts and agreements,<br />

making it a requirement for those we represent to adhere to<br />

certain environmental standards.<br />

Once that is achieved, the next key element is education. <strong>Law</strong><br />

firms can organise workshops, webinars, or record videos to<br />

showcase the benefits of adopting environmentally friendly<br />

practices. They can also provide resources such as guides,<br />

checklists, and case studies to help clients understand the<br />

steps that can be taken to become more sustainable. We can<br />

partner with environmental organizations to provide clients with<br />

access to expertise and resources, helping clients understand<br />

the environmental impact of their practices and identify<br />

opportunities for improvement. I know I certainly benefited<br />

from hearing the range of speakers at the Momentum and 360<br />

Hub Liverpool Sustainability Conference I attend recently in<br />

Liverpool City Centre.<br />

By adopting these strategies, law firms can effectively<br />

encourage their clients to adopt more environmentally friendly<br />

practices. Through incentives, education and collaboration, law<br />

firms can play a vital role in promoting sustainability and driving<br />

positive change in the legal industry. I think it is increasingly<br />

something that clients are paying attention to, so should be<br />

seen as an investment in the future or else be left behind.”<br />

How can the legal industry<br />

contribute to the development<br />

of innovative legal solutions<br />

that address environmental and<br />

ethical concerns while ensuring<br />

business continuity?<br />

There’s a constant balancing act for law firms as they<br />

seek to address environmental and ethical concerns.<br />

There is the challenge of providing the best possible service to<br />

their clients. Clients’ demands have never been more exacting,<br />

with speed of communication and cost efficiency paramount.<br />

They must operate within strict regulatory guidelines and<br />

regimes, both sector specific and wider regulations such as<br />

GDPR and AML, which are part of an ever changing geopolitical<br />

landscape - constantly tightening and evolving.<br />

They are overwhelmed by technological advances- new practice<br />

management systems, data storage, paperless functionality and<br />

the ever increasing threats from cyber criminals. And don’t even<br />

get me started on the lawyers’ concerns about the likely impact<br />

of Artificial Intelligence!<br />

They face huge challenges around staffing and recruitment,<br />

exacerbated by the requirement for hybrid working from<br />

particular generations, with the inherent challenges of creating<br />

and maintaining a firm’s culture in those circumstances.<br />

Taking all these elements into account, and more, how on earth<br />

are they to address environmental and ethical concerns as well?<br />

Well…as with many things they need to begin by considering<br />

the steps they will have already, almost unknowingly, made.<br />

Using any practice management system will have brought about<br />

communication improvement and better processes generally<br />

from which their staff and their clients will have benefitted. The<br />

same tech enabled processes will almost certainly have enabled<br />

digital document storage and archiving, and paperless (or paper<br />

light) process adoption. Aside from being a cost saving move,<br />

the environmental benefits across the legal sector are huge.<br />

Many firms have now, as standard, inhouse CSR teams,<br />

focusing on societal improvements they can be part of. When<br />

recruiting Gen Y and Gen Z, a firm’s CSR approach will be a huge<br />

attraction- there is a desire among those generations to get<br />

involved with environmental and ethical issues, and some will be<br />

actively attracted to the firms that have the best opportunities for<br />

charity and environmental initiatives. These staff will in fact help<br />

drive the forward thinking that might otherwise be challenging.<br />

<strong>Law</strong> firms are not alone in facing these challenges, but from the<br />

work I’ve done judging many awards over recent years, I can say<br />

with certainty that these issues are deemed incredibly important<br />

by a growing number of firms. Their willingness to embrace<br />

this is in fact reaping benefits as they attract and retain better<br />

staff and as a result look to the future with a renewed and more<br />

steady confidence.<br />


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BOARD<br />

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Environmental, Social, and Governance<br />

(ESG) or sustainability or ethical<br />

investing – myriad terms for being a<br />

socially conscious and ethical firm –<br />

has been core to Frenkel Topping for<br />

decades. Working in the personal<br />

injury space, all of our clients are<br />

‘vulnerable’ individuals, therefore our<br />

ethics and values are paramount in our<br />

work managing the financial futures<br />

for people after life-changing events.<br />

This commitment is deeply ingrained in<br />

our investment philosophy, managed<br />

by our Discretionary Fund Manager,<br />

Ascencia, which employs both positive<br />

and negative screening to identify<br />

those companies that excel in ESG<br />

practices, and those that fall short.<br />

Adhering to these core principles offers<br />

tangible benefits to clients, especially<br />

those who are environmentally and<br />

socially conscious.<br />

It’s fair to say we have been at the forefront<br />

of ethical investment – we pioneered one<br />

of the UK’s only true Shariah-compliant<br />

portfolios – and we have proven that safety<br />

and performance can go together – a<br />

sentiment encapsulated in the VT Freedom<br />

Defensive Fund which recently ranked #1<br />

out of 64 in the IA 0-35% shares category,<br />

a testament to the team’s unwavering<br />

commitment to safeguarding the interests<br />

of vulnerable clients, particularly in<br />

turbulent market scenarios.<br />

But our commitment to ESG extends<br />

beyond our investment portfolios. It is in<br />

the fabric of our business, in the services<br />

and products we create, in our behaviours<br />

and practices, our training and talent<br />

development plans and in our charitable<br />

work. In 2015 we created the Frenkel<br />

Topping Charitable Foundation to meet our<br />

duty not only to clients who have a claim<br />

but also to those who don’t.<br />

We are not merely creating robust financial<br />

futures; we are also building a legacy<br />

of trust, excellence, and unwavering<br />

commitment to clients’ financial wellbeing.<br />

We’re proof that financial acumen and<br />

ethical considerations can not only coexist<br />

but can deliver strong returns and have a<br />

positive impact on society.<br />

“Our commitment to<br />

ESG extends beyond our<br />

investment portfolios.”<br />

Mark Holt,<br />

COO, Frenkel Topping<br />

What Are The Potential Implications<br />

Of Greenwashing And How Can The<br />

Legal Industry Combat This Practice<br />

In today’s era of heightened<br />

environmental awareness,<br />

organisations are under increased<br />

scrutiny for their environmental<br />

claims. While many genuinely strive<br />

to reduce their environmental<br />

footprint, a concerning practice<br />

known as greenwashing has emerged.<br />

Greenwashing involves the deceptive<br />

exaggeration or falsification of a<br />

company’s environmental efforts to<br />

make it appear more environmentally<br />

conscious than it truly is. This unethical<br />

practice not only misleads consumers<br />

and investors but also undermines<br />

legitimate sustainability initiatives.<br />

Greenwashing takes various forms, including<br />

vague or unsubstantiated claims of being<br />

“green” or “eco-friendly,” the use of<br />

misleading labels and logos, and selective<br />

reporting of sustainability achievements. It<br />

erodes trust in corporate responsibility and<br />

can lead to financial and reputational harm<br />

for businesses and investors alike. However,<br />

the legal industry can play a pivotal role<br />

in ensuring that companies uphold their<br />

environmental responsibilities.<br />

<strong>Law</strong>yers can encourage companies to adopt<br />

transparent reporting practices, including<br />

third-party verification of environmental<br />

claims. Ensuring that sustainability reports<br />

adhere to recognised standards, such as<br />

the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the<br />

Task Force on Climate-related Financial<br />

Disclosures (TCFD). The legal sector<br />

can also play a pivotal role in consumer<br />

education. By collaborating with consumer<br />

advocacy groups, they can educate the<br />

public about common greenwashing<br />

tactics and empower individuals to make<br />

informed choices that act as a deterrent to<br />

greenwashing.<br />

Corporate responsibility audits are another<br />

valuable approach. <strong>Law</strong>yers can collaborate<br />

with companies to conduct comprehensive<br />

audits of their sustainability practices,<br />

ensuring alignment with their public claims.<br />

This process can help identify and rectify<br />

any discrepancies between a company’s<br />

actions and its environmental messaging.<br />

Closer to home, lawyers can champion<br />

sustainable practices within their own<br />

firms and among their corporate clients.<br />

Encouraging ethical behaviour and<br />

responsible environmental stewardship can<br />

help prevent greenwashing from within<br />

and promote genuine sustainability.<br />

Through collective effort and a<br />

commitment to genuine sustainability, we<br />

can all contribute to a more transparent<br />

and accountable business environment<br />

that benefits both the planet and its<br />

inhabitants.<br />

Neville Dinshaw,<br />

Managing Director, <strong>Law</strong> Mergers<br />

& Acquisitions<br />



BOARD<br />

Kathliya Harwood,<br />

Marketing Manager, Speech<br />

Processing Solutions<br />

Leveraging<br />

Technology To<br />

Minimise Your Digital<br />

Carbon Footprint?<br />

Many traditional firms can be resistant to change,<br />

especially when it comes to the adoption of new<br />

technology and digital transformation, however these<br />

businesses now compete on a battlefield shaped by<br />

time efficiency and a growing requirement to minimise<br />

carbon footprint.<br />

To ensure long-term survival and growth a firm must embrace<br />

transformation through technology; this enables them to spend<br />

less time on admin and more time serving and developing clients.<br />

One cost effective way to reduce administrative tasks and reduce<br />

a firm’s carbon footprint is to digitalise document creation.<br />

Digitisation has done wonders to help professionals do more<br />

with less. Advanced speech-to-text technology is one of<br />

the best examples of how innovation can meet the specific<br />

and unique needs of attorneys, as well as being good for<br />

the planet. In an industry that is by nature complex and<br />

detail-oriented, and that’s marked by intensive collaboration<br />

and documentation, it’s not hard to see how speech-to-text<br />

solutions can have significant positive impacts.<br />

For attorneys, voice technology enables collaboration with team<br />

members, efficient and uninterrupted workstreams, and easy<br />

reviews and approvals from leadership, etc. The next generation<br />

of legal leaders, who are digital natives, take advantage of<br />

working from their smartphones, using speech-to-text to send<br />

quick notes, or using voice applications as a backup to get work<br />

done outside the normal scope of support staff responsibilities<br />

or working hours (such as completing billing, communicating<br />

with clients, or recording reminders).<br />

For transcriptionists, legal assistants, documentation specialists,<br />

and other support staff, voice tech can accelerate timeconsuming<br />

tasks as well. For example, audio files routed<br />

through speech-to-text applications can generate draft<br />

documents, which can then be shared, reviewed, and edited<br />

as needed. Legal assistants can then cross-check and refine<br />

documentation, preparing it for sharing with clients.<br />

Additionally, with the advances in voice technology, professional<br />

speech recognition software is highly accurate, with up to 99%<br />

recognition rate, so there is hardly any need for document<br />

correction. While technology can’t add hours to the day, the<br />

right solution can help maximise those hours and reduce a<br />

firm’s carbon footprint in the process.<br />

Dave Seager,<br />

Consulting Adviser,<br />

Matrix Capital<br />

Is Your Supply Chain<br />

Ethically Compatible?<br />

‘A supply chain is a network of companies and people<br />

that are involved in the production and delivery of a<br />

product or service.’<br />

If you accept that the legal services and advice you offer a<br />

client, is frequently part of a wider sphere of professional<br />

advice required, then choosing who you work with is hugely<br />

significant. If you need to refer your client to a fellow<br />

professional for complementary needs, then that separate firm<br />

should be compatible with your own ethics and standards.<br />

When seeking to always ‘act in the client’s best interests,’ how<br />

can it be otherwise?<br />

The financial planning partners you select become part of your<br />

supply chain, and the advice they give your referred clients reflects<br />

on you. This is undoubtedly why solicitors have been cautious<br />

about making positive referrals, for fear of negative feedback, but<br />

choosing the right partner, having done rigorous due diligence will<br />

assuredly have the entirely opposite positive impact.<br />

One of the factors that put lawyers off making referrals for<br />

complementary financial advice in the past was of course,<br />

remuneration by commission. Whilst commission for retail<br />

investments was banned a decade ago, there may be a<br />

suspicion that an advice charge, whilst openly declared to a<br />

client but taken from the initial investment, is just commission<br />

in disguise.<br />

Certainly, there are still financial advisory firms who will set their<br />

advice charge as a percentage of the investment, which can<br />

lead to a far higher charge for larger amounts, when the time<br />

spent, and advice given is the same whether the investment<br />

is £100,000 or £1 million. Percentage or ad valorem fees also<br />

introduce unnecessary cross-subsidy and conflict of interest.<br />

However, there are a growing number of professional financial<br />

planning firms, Matrix Capital included, that only charge fixed<br />

or hourly rate fees for regulated advice that recognise the<br />

fiduciary relationship with their client.<br />

In the 2023 Legal Services Consumer Panel tracker survey,<br />

55% of the legal services customers surveyed had their final<br />

legal bill calculated on a fixed fee basis. With this, alongside<br />

the traditional hourly rate, becoming the norm, it would make<br />

perfect sense to seek financial planning partners who charge<br />

on a similar basis. The charge to your referred client should<br />

represent fair value for the experience, expertise, time, and<br />

complexity involved in the advice, and NOT by the amount of<br />

money to be invested.<br />

Therefore, when conducting due diligence on financial planning<br />

third parties, ensure that understanding their fee structure is a<br />

key criterion.<br />


Power of Together Survey<br />

New survey seeks to assess post COVID cultural and employee<br />

communication challenges in UK legal firms<br />

A new survey is launched this week by digital<br />

consultants Pancentric Digital and HUB, their<br />

leading intranet solution. It seeks to understand the<br />

cultural and employee communication challenges<br />

faced by UK <strong>Law</strong> Firms post COVID. The survey is<br />

supported by <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />

As the dust settles on hybrid working policies, global<br />

evidence is emerging of cultural and job motivation<br />

challenges across all types of businesses.<br />

According to research firm Qualtrics, job motivation<br />

jumped 10% during COVID but has since fallen to<br />

below pre-COVID levels.<br />

This new survey - called the Power of Together survey<br />

- seeks to understand the state of play in the UK legal<br />

sector specifically. It asks UK Legal Firms about their<br />

current policies on work from home, what impact post-<br />

COVID working policies are having on culture, team<br />

connection and individuals; and what impact is being<br />

felt on productivity and operations. Are their concerns?<br />

Are firms adopting new approaches to their internal<br />

comms? What are the priorities going forward?<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> encourages leaders and<br />

managers across the legal sector to participate in the<br />

survey. The widest possible set of views is welcomed.<br />

The survey can be completed online by following this link:<br />

www.pancentric.com/the-power-of-together-survey<br />

and only takes a few minutes. <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

will publish the results later this year. A free copy<br />

of the full findings is available to all those that<br />

participate<br />

Pancentric Digital is committed to climate action and<br />

sustainable workplaces, so has partnered with the<br />

reforestation charity One Tree Planted to plant a tree<br />

for every survey response received.<br />

Plus, one lucky recipient will receive a yearly Flourishy<br />

subscription worth £160, to help transform their<br />

garden into a diverse haven for bees and wildlife.<br />

For more information visit:<br />

The Power of Together Survey | Pancentric Digital<br />

Simon Fenn, Director, Pancentric Digital<br />

Businesses are facing increasing<br />

pressure to minimise their<br />

environmental impact, and the<br />

legal industry is no different.<br />

But navigating a path towards a<br />

reduced carbon footprint shouldn’t<br />

be a challenge.<br />

One part of the solution is going<br />

paperless. A concept that some firms<br />

have enthusiastically embraced, others<br />

have only dipped their toes in. The thing<br />

is, going paperless creates so many more<br />

advantages that go beyond reducing your<br />

carbon footprint. It improves accessibility<br />

and drives productivity for firms – a winner<br />

all round.<br />

<strong>Law</strong> firms have traditionally used a lot<br />

of paper. Files fill cabinets and in-trays,<br />

documents are posted, and even scanned<br />

copies are stored away. A digitised<br />

conveyancing process is helping firms to<br />

almost, if not completely, remove paper<br />

from the process.<br />


BOARD<br />

Digital Onboarding:<br />

Better For Productivity,<br />

Accessibility, And The Environment<br />

Let’s look at the benefits firms can access<br />

by taking their client onboarding process<br />

paperless.<br />

1. A reduced carbon footprint<br />

Client onboarding has been a typically<br />

paper-heavy process, with client care packs<br />

and forms being printed, posted, returned,<br />

and scanned in. It’s time consuming and<br />

uses a lot of resource, from reems of paper<br />

to the emissions created during the postal<br />

process. But firms using digital onboarding<br />

are ditching paper and drawn-out<br />

onboarding timeframes in favour of more<br />

environmentally friendly solutions.<br />

2. Improved accessibility<br />

Digital onboarding means clients can<br />

provide crucial information any time, from<br />

anywhere. Whether it’s in another county<br />

or another country, digital ID checks,<br />

source of funds checks, and electronic<br />

signatures are all more accessible and more<br />

secure online.<br />

3. Increased productivity<br />

Digital onboarding eliminates a lot of<br />

unnecessary admin. Printing, posting,<br />

scanning, and assigning those scanned<br />

files – it’s all time that could be better<br />

spent on more impactful tasks. Digitising<br />

the process lets technology take care of<br />

those bits so you have more time to focus<br />

on the things only experienced teams<br />

can do. Ultimately, you’ll see increased<br />

productivity among your teams by cutting<br />

out paper.<br />

Going paperless is not only going to<br />

improve the green credentials of your firm,<br />

but also have a lasting impact on your<br />

business and client relationships too.<br />

“One part of the solution<br />

is going paperless.”<br />

Bronwyn Townsend,<br />

Senior Marketing Manager, InfoTrack<br />

Debate and discuss the <strong>Law</strong><br />

Commission’s law of wills reform<br />

proposals in Manchester this month<br />

Later this month, Estate Research are<br />

delighted to be supporting an event<br />

debating the biggest reform proposals<br />

in the law of wills since 1837!<br />

On the afternoon of 23rd November,<br />

<strong>Law</strong> Commissioner Professor Nick<br />

Hopkins will be joined by a panel of<br />

Private Client experts, to discuss the <strong>Law</strong><br />

Commission’s wills project and its proposed<br />

supplementary consultation paper covering<br />

the topics of predatory marriage and<br />

digital wills.<br />

Will disputes and the increasing<br />

challenges of mental capacity issues are<br />

undoubtedly having a significant impact<br />

on the landscape of wills. This event<br />

will offer delegates the opportunity to<br />

debate whether it is time for the law to<br />

be modernised as the landscape shifts as<br />

well as influence the evolution of Wills &<br />

Probate legislation for future generations.<br />

Taking place in the heart of Manchester<br />

at John Rylands Rooftop terrace in<br />

Manchester Hall, the afternoon will offer<br />

real discussion and debate around these<br />

topics - with panel sessions and the<br />

inclusion of delegate questions throughout.<br />

Estate Research are honoured to be<br />

working alongside the <strong>Law</strong> Commission,<br />

STEP, Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors<br />

and Rothley <strong>Law</strong> in hosting this event. We<br />

look forward to welcoming 200 delegates<br />

to an event that has the rare yet real<br />

potential to shape fundamental wills<br />

legislation.<br />

Speakers include:<br />

• Professor Nicholas Hopkins, Commissioner<br />

for Property, Family and Trust <strong>Law</strong>, <strong>Law</strong><br />

Commission of England and Wales<br />

• Stephen <strong>Law</strong>son TEP, Head Of<br />

Contentious Probate at Nicholson<br />

Jones Sutton<br />

• Professor Robin Jacoby, Emeritus<br />

Professor-Old Age Psychiatry,<br />

University of Oxford<br />

• Helen Forster TEP, Director,<br />

HTF Legal Limited<br />

• Andrew Bishop, Partner, Rothley <strong>Law</strong><br />

• Julie Bell, Consultant, Read Roper and<br />

Read Solicitors<br />

• Dominic Hendry, Head of Private Client,<br />

Estate Research<br />

• Elis Gomer, Barrister, 5 Stone Buildings<br />

• Sarah Harrison, Barrister, Parklane<br />

Plowden Chambers<br />

This event is not to be missed and is<br />

completely free to attend! Places are<br />

limited and early registration via the STEP<br />

website is advised to avoid disappointment<br />

at: www.stepevents.org/event/cf388d71-<br />

ded9-4071-9a4a-c95cedb1e0ba/summary<br />

Dominic Hendry,<br />

Head of Private Client, Estate Research<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />

A Spectacular Night<br />

At The Circus:<br />

The conveyancing community<br />

came alive under the enchanting<br />

spell of the circus as the LEAP<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards<br />

2023 unfolded with a theme<br />

inspired by the magical worlds of<br />

Cirque Du Soleil and The Greatest<br />

Showman. It was a night of<br />

celebrating the outstanding talent<br />

within the conveyancing sector, the<br />

achievements of individuals, firms,<br />

and businesses, and the progress<br />

made that makes conveyancing an<br />

exciting and successful sector.<br />

Attendees were treated to a night of wonder and<br />

awe at The Rum Warehouse in Liverpool, with an<br />

elephant, a charismatic ringmaster, and a troupe<br />

of circus performers creating an outstanding<br />

atmosphere that matched the outstanding talent<br />

and excellence in the room.<br />

The venue was transformed into a mesmerising circus<br />

extravaganza, complete with umbrellas hung from<br />

the ceiling, and twinkling lights. As guests entered<br />

the venue, they were greeted by the sight of a lifesized<br />

animatronic elephant, a nod to the grandeur<br />

and mystique of the circus.<br />

Our evening began with the champagne reception<br />

sponsored by the brilliant Natalie Moore. A bell<br />

hung from a garden wall that when rung a glass of<br />

champagne would appear through the leaves. A living<br />

statue resided in the centre of the room surprising<br />

passers by with a sudden jolt.<br />

As guests entered The Rum Warehouse, they<br />

were greeted by a charismatic ring master and<br />

his elephant dancing to the anthems from The<br />

Greatest Showman. Upon the tables were top<br />

hats, clown noses, masks, and ring master coats,<br />

and of course our fan favourite recovery kits<br />

sponsored by Search Acumen. Inside there was<br />

everything from a morning coffee to a rubber duck<br />

for your recovery bath.<br />

The heart of the event was the awards ceremony,<br />

where legal professionals from across the<br />

conveyancing industry gathered to celebrate<br />

outstanding achievements and innovation. The night<br />

unfolded with all the drama and flair one would<br />

expect from a circus-themed event. Our host, the<br />

wonderful Jen Brister, guided the audience through<br />

the evening, introducing each award category and<br />

winner. With every winner came a roar of celebration<br />

and excitement.<br />

Throughout the evening, circus performers dazzled<br />

the audience with breathtaking acts. Acrobats soared<br />

through the air, and jugglers skilfully tossed their<br />

props in the air. It was a visual feast that added a layer<br />

of entertainment to the awards ceremony, making it<br />

a night to remember.<br />

One of the highlights of the evening was the<br />

inclusion of tarot and crystal reading, adding an<br />

element of mystique to the festivities. Attendees<br />

had the opportunity to sit down with <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong>’s<br />

very own psychic, Tracie, offering a unique and<br />

interactive experience that added an extra layer of<br />

intrigue to the event.<br />

As the night unfolded, awards were presented to<br />

exceptional individuals and firms who demonstrated<br />

excellence and innovation in the conveyancing field.<br />

Congratulations are in order for the winners who not<br />

only excelled in their respective categories but also<br />

contributed to raising the standards of the industry.<br />

32<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023 LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023<br />

The Highly Commended recipients also deserve<br />

recognition for their outstanding achievements and<br />

dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is<br />

possible in conveyancing.<br />

To all the nominees, whether victorious or not,<br />

your presence alone signifies your commitment<br />

to excellence. The competition was undoubtedly<br />

fierce, and the fact that you were nominated speaks<br />

volumes about the quality and impact of your work.<br />

The LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards are a<br />

testament to the collective dedication of the entire<br />

conveyancing community, and each nominee played<br />

a vital role in making the event a true celebration of<br />

industry achievements.<br />

A heartfelt thank you is due to the distinguished panel<br />

of judges who devoted their time and expertise to<br />

carefully evaluate each submission. Their commitment<br />

to maintaining the integrity of the awards and ensuring<br />

that only the most deserving individuals and firms were<br />

recognised is commendable. A Special thanks to our chair<br />

judge, Jeremy Raj, for all his hard work, and his excellent<br />

presenting skills for the Life Time Achievement Award.<br />

The success of the LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing<br />

Awards would not have been possible without<br />

the generous support of the sponsors. These<br />

organisations, driven by a commitment to excellence<br />

and innovation, have played a crucial role in making<br />

the event a resounding success.<br />

Their contributions not only underscore their<br />

dedication to the conveyancing industry but also<br />

highlight the importance of collaboration in driving<br />

positive change. Another special thanks to our<br />

headline sponsors, LEAP. We absolutely love working<br />

with you and the continued support you show us.<br />

As the awards ceremony drew to a close, the<br />

atmosphere shifted from formal recognition to<br />

unbridled celebration at our after party sponsored<br />

by Dye and Durham. The dance floor became the<br />

epicentre of joy and camaraderie. Colleagues,<br />

competitors, and friends joined together, celebrating<br />

not only the night’s winners but also the collective<br />

achievements of the conveyancing community.<br />

The LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023<br />

was a spectacular blend of legal outstanding<br />

achievements and circus-inspired entertainment.<br />

Congratulations to the winners, those who received<br />

Highly Commended, and all the nominees who<br />

continue to shape the future of conveyancing. A<br />

sincere thank you to the judges and sponsors for<br />

their invaluable contributions, and here’s to another<br />

year of pushing boundaries and achieving new<br />

heights in the world of conveyancing.<br />

See you all next year!<br />

34<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023<br />

36<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />


Mike Leeman<br />

Managing Director,<br />

Bell Lamb & Joynson<br />

What does this win mean to you and<br />

your firm?<br />

“The accolades are a reflection of the team, and<br />

not me personally. I am really passionate about the<br />

team succeeding both collectively and individually.<br />

Everyone in the team each plays their part in our<br />

success as a firm, and I can’t do what I do without<br />

all the brilliant and talented individuals around me<br />

from the cleaner to the other managing partners.<br />

We are constantly striving to be better and winning<br />

Managing Partner of the Year shows me that<br />

everyone at Bell Lamb & Joynson, from the top down,<br />

are doing something right. This award is for all of us,<br />

it’s not about me.”<br />

What is your ethos as managing partner?<br />

“It’s all about the team. We don’t have a hierarchy<br />

as such, we believe we are all equally important, and<br />

no role is less valued than another. We support each<br />

other at all times. All I do is surround myself with<br />

people who are better than me. We work hard to<br />

create that culture so we can collaborate, have fun,<br />

and thrive. Ultimately, it’s about doing the right thing,<br />

whether that be for colleagues, clients, or suppliers,<br />

always treat people with respect and do what you<br />

can for them. So, that’s my ethos really. I’m a people<br />

person, I love supporting and helping people. At the<br />

very least, lead with empathy.”<br />

What advice would you give to other<br />

managing partners?<br />

“A general piece of advice would be to lead with<br />

compassion. Have a vision and get everyone to<br />

buy into it. Make sure it is crystal clear what your<br />

objectives are, what you are trying to achieve and<br />

how you are trying to achieve it. As a consequence,<br />

if you get everyone onboard with that transparency<br />

people will all pull in the same direction. It’s all about<br />

compassionate leadership and getting people to buy<br />

into what you are doing and why.”<br />

This award was sponsored by the<br />

wonderful Groundsure, what does their<br />

support, and other companies support,<br />

mean to the industry?<br />

“The industry is full of really good people. It is full<br />

of great suppliers, great firms, and great businesses<br />

all driving innovations and finding ways to support<br />

the industry. Groundsure are the epitome of that.<br />

We have a great relationship with Groundsure, they<br />

support us, and nothing is too much trouble for<br />

them. They go out of their way to help, and I feel they<br />

are in line with my ethos with their helping attitude<br />

and can-do attitude. Groundsure collaborate so well<br />

across the industry and are really great at building<br />

relationships in what is a competitive industry.”<br />

What was your favourite moment from<br />

the evening?<br />

“I wish I could remember it! There is not one bit I<br />

could pinpoint as my favourite. The moment you<br />

walk through the doors at the LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong><br />

Conveyancing Awards it is just fun. From the first<br />

second right through to, normally for me, three,<br />

four, five o’clock in the morning. It’s a night full of<br />

fun, good people, good times, and good things. I<br />

would like to remember what it was like to win the<br />

Managing Partner of the Year award because I haven’t<br />

got a clue as I was in shock. It was nice to be told that<br />

there was lots of people in the room who had a nice<br />

reaction to the win. It was brilliant from the get-go.”<br />

“We have been involved with the MLCA<br />

for a number of years as the event is one<br />

of the highlights of the year. The Awards<br />

recognise the hard work and dedication of<br />

Conveyancers across the country. Sponsoring<br />

the outstanding commitment to training<br />

award is particularly important to us as<br />

it means we can support firms that align<br />

with our own company values of creating<br />

innovative training and development<br />

programmes, together with commitment to<br />

support and develop their departments and<br />

individuals within the firms.”<br />

“The awards this year were bigger and better<br />

than ever; specifically, they were very vibrant<br />

and entertaining. It was great to see so many<br />

industry colleagues together in one room and<br />

to have that opportunity to network with<br />

everyone; especially since the atmosphere was<br />

so jovial due to the theme of the evening.”<br />

Kelly McDonnell, National Sales Manager, CLS<br />

“We have worked with <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> for many<br />

years and see the MLCA event as one of the<br />

best in the conveyancing calendar, so we were<br />

thrilled to sponsor the Client Care category<br />

at this year's event because we recognise<br />

the pivotal role that exceptional customer<br />

service plays in the conveyancing industry. By<br />

supporting this category, we aim to celebrate<br />

and promote excellence in customer care and<br />

celebrate those who go above and beyond to<br />

ensure a positive and seamless experience for<br />

their clients during what can be a stressful<br />

time for some. Our commitment to this<br />

sponsorship reflects our dedication to fostering<br />

a culture of client-centricity and promoting<br />

best practices within the legal community.”<br />

“The event this year was the most<br />

extravagant we have seen yet. With full size<br />

animals and The Greatest Showman theme,<br />

it really was a spectacle to watch. Great<br />

night had by all!”<br />

Michael Connelly, Commercial Director, Legal Bricks<br />

(An Access Group Company)<br />

“The <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards is<br />

a great time for the industry to get together<br />

and celebrate the great achievements of<br />

companies and individuals alike. We at<br />

SearchFlow love being part of this night and<br />

sponsoring Rising Star of the Year, it’s really<br />

important for us to support and empower<br />

those in the conveyancing industry and this<br />

is a great event for us to be a part of.”<br />

“The theme of the evening was amazing, we<br />

were incredibly proud to have won search<br />

provider of the year, testament to the team’s<br />

hard work over the last year and we did love<br />

the live prosecco wall!”<br />

Sammi King, Senior Marketing Executive, Searchflow<br />

38<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards Results<br />

LEAP <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards Results<br />

Conveyancing Firm of the Year –<br />

North of England<br />

Sponsored by Perfect Portal<br />

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED - Farnworth Rose<br />

Solicitors AND Stephensons Solicitors LLP<br />

WINNER – Birchall Blackburn <strong>Law</strong><br />

Conveyancing Firm of the Year –<br />

Midlands<br />

Sponsored by Dev Assist Ltd<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Tinsdills Solicitors<br />

WINNER – Landsmiths Solicitors<br />

Conveyancing Firm of the Year –<br />

South of England<br />

Sponsored by DUAL Corporate Risks Ltd<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Thomas Legal<br />

WINNER – Stephen Rimmer LLP<br />

Conveyancing Firm of the Year – Wales<br />

Sponsored by InfoTrack<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - RJM Solicitors<br />

WINNER – Colin Jones Clarke & Hartland Solicitors<br />

National Conveyancing Firm of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Landmark Information Group Ltd<br />


WINNER – Stephensons Solicitors LLP<br />

Residential Property Team of the Year<br />

Sponsored by The Cashroom<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors<br />

WINNER – Dutton Gregory Solicitors<br />

Commercial Property Team of the Year<br />

Sponsored by TM Group (UK) Ltd<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Stephensons Solicitors LLP<br />

WINNER – Lightfoots Solicitors<br />

Search Provider of the Year<br />

Sponsored by LMS Ltd<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - InfoTrack<br />

WINNER – SearchFlow<br />

Innovation of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Redbrick Solutions<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - InfoTrack<br />

WINNER – Groundsure<br />

Rising Star of the Year<br />

Sponsored by SearchFlow<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Laura Holmes -<br />

Grindeys Conveyancing<br />

WINNER – Alicia Hunter - Landsmiths Solicitors<br />

Service Provider of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Thorneycroft Solicitors Limited<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - InfoTrack<br />

WINNER – ntitle LTD<br />

Client Care Award<br />

Sponsored by Access Legal Group<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Landsmiths Solicitors<br />

WINNER – GA Solicitors<br />

Best Use of Technology<br />

Sponsored by Armalytix<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - MJP Conveyancing<br />

WINNER – The Partnership<br />

Outstanding Commitment to Training<br />

Sponsored by CLS Property Insight Limited<br />


WINNER – Aconveyancing<br />

Mental Health & Wellbeing Award<br />

Sponsored by InCase<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Consortium More<br />

than Marketing<br />

WINNER – Aconveyancing<br />

Conveyancer of the Year<br />

Sponsored by PEXA<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Rachael McClean -<br />

Bell Lamb and Joynson Solicitors<br />

WINNER – Rebecca Fletcher - Stephensons Solicitors LLP<br />

Managing Partner of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Groundsure<br />

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED - Paul Dunlop - Blanchards<br />

Bailey LLP AND Stuart Forsdike - PCS Legal<br />

WINNER – Mike Leeman - Bell Lamb and Joynson Solicitors<br />

Business Development<br />

Professional of the Year<br />

Sponsored by TwentyCi Limited / TwentyConvey<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Lara Squires -<br />

Consortium More than Marketing<br />

WINNER – Rebecca Kelly - Taylor Rose MW<br />

Giving It Back Award<br />

Sponsored by Quill<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - MSB Solicitors<br />

WINNER – Birchall Blackburn <strong>Law</strong><br />

Best Workplace Award<br />

Sponsored by Ochresoft Technologies<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Bell Lamb &<br />

Joynson Solicitors<br />

WINNER – GA Solicitors<br />

Outstanding Employee of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Legal Eye Limited<br />

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Rebecca Fletcher -<br />

Stephensons Solicitors LLP<br />

WINNER – Kelly Barraclough - Symes Bains<br />

Broomer Solicitors<br />

Outstanding Achievement of the Year<br />

Sponsored by Dye & Durham<br />

WINNER – Amy Bell, Teal Compliance<br />

Lifetime Achievement Award<br />

Sponsored by LEAP<br />

WINNER – Kate Faulkner OBE<br />

Kindly sponsored by<br />

40<br />


AWARDS<br />

AWARDS<br />


Conveyancing made easy<br />

LEAP’s cloud-based practice management software simplifies the<br />

conveyancing process by providing everything you need to complete a<br />

transaction including:<br />

— Fully integrated searching<br />

— Sophisticated completion statements<br />

— A library of automated property forms<br />

Find out more at leap.co.uk/conveyancing<br />

Nicky Barker<br />

Marketing Manager,<br />

LEAP UK Group<br />

How has LEAP’s innovative approach<br />

to legal technology contributed to the<br />

evolution of conveyancing practices, and<br />

what specific features or solutions do<br />

you believe set LEAP apart in the legal<br />

software market?<br />

Producing highly innovative and powerful cloud<br />

software, LEAP supports conveyancing professionals<br />

by streamlining their day-to-day tasks. LEAP<br />

provides all the features, functionality and<br />

integrations required to complete a conveyancing<br />

transaction digitally and drives efficiency throughout<br />

the conveyancing process. It’s this continual<br />

development of our software over time, that sets<br />

LEAP apart in the legal software market.<br />

As the headline sponsor of the <strong>Modern</strong><br />

<strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2023, what<br />

role do you see LEAP playing in shaping<br />

the future of the conveyancing industry,<br />

and how does the company envision<br />

supporting and recognising excellence<br />

within the legal community?<br />

LEAP aims to be at the forefront of technology in<br />

the conveyancing industry through its continual<br />

innovation and ongoing enhancements.<br />

LEAP supports and recognises excellence in<br />

conveyancing through customer feedback,<br />

developing highly innovative solutions and new<br />

enhancements to help conveyancing professionals<br />

remain successful in what is a highly competitive<br />

market. Also, via the LEAP Best Practice Standard<br />

in conveyancing LEAP delivers a recognised<br />

accreditation to our customers promoting the use<br />

of technology to achieve conveyancing excellence.<br />

In an ever-changing legal landscape,<br />

how does LEAP stay ahead of emerging<br />

trends and technological advancements<br />

to ensure its software remains cuttingedge<br />

and continues to meet the evolving<br />

needs of legal professionals in the<br />

conveyancing sector?<br />

LEAP reinvests more than £13million a year in to<br />

research and development of the product to deliver<br />

the latest technology enhancements and provide the<br />

best practice management software in the world.<br />

LEAP is committed to the ongoing development of<br />

the solution so that it not only meets, but exceeds<br />

the ever evolving needs of legal professionals who<br />

work in conveyancing.<br />

The <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards<br />

celebrate achievements and innovation<br />

in the field. Can you share some success<br />

stories or notable examples where<br />

LEAP’s technology has made a significant<br />

impact on law firms’ efficiency, client<br />

service, or overall success in the realm of<br />

conveyancing?<br />

LEAP has revolutionised the way that Bell, Lamb<br />

and Joynson Solicitors manage their conveyancing<br />

matters. Since implementing LEAP they have seen a<br />

55% increase in turnover, increased numbers of staff,<br />

reduced postage costs by 53% and stationery by<br />

47%, and an overall reduction in costs on equipment<br />

and maintenance.<br />

LEAP are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring<br />

the <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> Conveyancing Awards 2024!<br />

42<br />


LEGAL<br />


Hi everyone and welcome to <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>’s 2nd<br />

LegalTechTalk section, with a special focus on ESG.<br />

I’d like to kick things off with a short explanation of what LegalTechTalk aims to provide<br />

the legal industry, as you see, the name can be a little deceiving…<br />

LegalTechTalk stands for transformation of the legal profession, and whilst tech will play a<br />

crucial role in transforming the industry, we will be exploring ALL areas of transformation<br />

and tech is just a small part of this. We will be covering all areas of transformation within this<br />

section of the magazine over time - including people, processes, culture, data & analytics,<br />

regulatory compliance, change management, access to justice and much much more…<br />

In this issue, I’m lucky enough to be joined by the leading ESG experts from Europe and<br />

USA. We talk about how the role of GCs have evolved, how they are uniquely positioned to<br />

drive transformation in this area and overcoming the challenges in-house counsel are facing.<br />

Key takeaways for General Counsel leaders:<br />

• In-house lawyers are uniquely positioned to drive ESG initiatives within corporate<br />

organizations due to their strategic role in senior leadership, their ability to bridge silos,<br />

and their capacity to turn intentions into actions.<br />

• To implement ESG changes effectively, lawyers should address<br />

challenges related to time and capabilities. They can allocate time<br />

for ESG, build their ESG expertise, and start with achievable,<br />

specific actions.<br />

• General Counsels play a crucial role in ESG initiatives,<br />

from ensuring compliance with regulations to managing<br />

supply chain contracts and avoiding “greenwashing.”<br />

Please read ahead to receive key insights<br />

from Jane Pittaway and Christine Uri on the<br />

same topic of General Counsel<br />

ESG transformation<br />

Bradley Collins<br />


LEGAL<br />


Interview with Jane Pittaway<br />

Executive Chair - General Counsel Sustainability Leaders<br />

LEGAL<br />


Interview with Christine Uri<br />

ESG for In-house Counsel<br />

Bradley: Hi Jane, how has the legal<br />

role evolved when it comes to ESG?<br />

Jane Pittaway: C-suites are<br />

increasingly deciding that their<br />

legal departments are either<br />

partially or fully responsible for ESG<br />

(Environmental Social & Governance)<br />

compliance and governance. This<br />

has led to law firms setting up service<br />

lines and groups to support their<br />

clients.<br />

Governments worldwide are also<br />

issuing more and more regulation<br />

in response to increasingly complex<br />

global issues such as the climate and<br />

ecological emergency.<br />

Just as ESG itself has evolved over<br />

the years, so the role of lawyers<br />

has evolved and developed both<br />

generally and specifically in relation<br />

to ESG. It wasn’t so long ago that<br />

lawyers were “just lawyers” but over<br />

time they have evolved into trusted<br />

business advisors and strategic<br />

leaders working within multinational<br />

corporates and law firms in an<br />

increasingly global and complex<br />

landscape.<br />

The <strong>Law</strong> Society has recognised<br />

this by issuing its excellent climate<br />

guidance for solicitors which has<br />

clearly signposted the direction of<br />

travel for how the role of lawyers<br />

will continue to evolve in this area,<br />

particularly around climate.<br />

“You are all climate lawyers now,<br />

whether you want to be or not” was<br />

the powerful message from John<br />

Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy<br />

for Climate in his speech to the annual<br />

conference of the US equivalent of<br />

the <strong>Law</strong> Society, the ABA.<br />

Bradley: It’s interesting to see<br />

how lawyers’ roles have evolved<br />

when it comes to ESG. Given this<br />

transformation, can you elaborate<br />

on why in-house lawyers are<br />

particularly crucial in driving<br />

ESG initiatives within corporate<br />

organisations<br />

Jane: GCs and their teams operate<br />

at the intersection of business and<br />

law. General Counsel and Chief Legal<br />

Officers are more than lawyers – they<br />

are key strategic members of the<br />

senior leadership team. They have<br />

a helicopter view of their business.<br />

They are great at working across silos<br />

and horizon scanning. GCs and CLOs<br />

are perfectly placed to take ESG<br />

leadership by using their role and<br />

their obligation to be professionally<br />

curious. To ask the “what if”<br />

questions and go from there.<br />

In short, they are uniquely placed<br />

to ensure that the good intentions<br />

and word of their organisations are<br />

turned into action.<br />

Even when considering risk,<br />

it is not all about zooming in<br />

and implementing detailed risk<br />

management procedures. It is<br />

equally important to zoom out and<br />

look at the overall enterprise risk –<br />

joining the dots and bridging silos.<br />

It is important to remember it is not<br />

all about managing risk – for any<br />

company it Is also a risk to not spot<br />

rising opportunities and getting left<br />

behind. Identifying vulnerabilities<br />

needs a focus on reward as well as<br />

risk. Just think Blockbuster vs Netflix.<br />

Inhouse teams, led by their GCs, are<br />

crucial to the processes of managing<br />

risks, identifying vulnerabilities,<br />

bridging silos and joining dots.<br />

Bradey: Thanks for the eye-opening<br />

insights Jane. Given the unique<br />

position of General Counsel, what<br />

do you see as the most significant<br />

challenge they face when trying to<br />

implement these changes, and do<br />

you have any suggestions on how<br />

they can effectively overcome these<br />

challenges?<br />

Jane: We have seen many lawyers<br />

gain considerable value from leaning<br />

into ESG issues, and they do this by<br />

dealing with the two big challenges:<br />

time and capabilities.<br />

All lawyers feel lack of time is one<br />

of the biggest challenges. There<br />

are various different ways to<br />

address that issue from building<br />

time into your diary weekly to<br />

focus on ESG, to outsourcing<br />

other work to focus on this area, to<br />

putting together a business case<br />

for more ESG-focused resource.<br />

<strong>Law</strong>yers also need to build their<br />

capabilities and they need to do<br />

so quickly. Possibly the biggest<br />

challenge is simply taking that<br />

first step.<br />

If any lawyer wanted to start this<br />

week, I’d say don’t do everything at<br />

once – pick say a couple of actions<br />

to start with and focus on them. The<br />

key thing is to choose something<br />

which is additional to what you<br />

already doing and ambitious for you<br />

but not a massive leap (or you might<br />

find it too overwhelming).<br />

It should be specific, and you should<br />

give yourself a deadline for achieving<br />

it. Also ensure you’ve worked the<br />

intermediate steps in furtherance of<br />

your goal to help create and build<br />

momentum.<br />

Many lawyers in private practice and<br />

inhouse are building value via ESG:<br />

you can join them.<br />

Start from where you are today and<br />

build from there.<br />

Bradley: Hi Christine, how has<br />

the legal role evolved with respect<br />

to ESG?<br />

Christine: It is an area that is rapidly<br />

changing. Traditionally, in-house<br />

counsel has not been heavily involved<br />

in the environmental aspects of an<br />

organisation. These matters were<br />

typically handled by sustainability<br />

experts, facilities personnel, or other<br />

individuals within the organisation.<br />

However, there is a growing body<br />

of regulations coming into effect,<br />

such as the Corporate Sustainability<br />

Reporting Directive (CSRD) in<br />

Europe. Additionally, there is an<br />

increase in ESG-related litigation,<br />

particularly greenwashing litigation.<br />

The UK is a hotbed for such litigation,<br />

as evidenced by the recent cases<br />

against Shell Oil. As ESG becomes a<br />

more prominent legal topic, general<br />

counsel are being forced to get<br />

involved, whether they want to or not.<br />

In short, the legal role in ESG has<br />

evolved from a back-office support<br />

function to a front-line advisory<br />

role. General counsels are now<br />

responsible for ensuring that their<br />

organisations are compliant with<br />

ESG regulations and that they<br />

are not exposed to ESG-related<br />

litigation. This requires a deep<br />

understanding of ESG issues, as well<br />

as the ability to advise on how to<br />

mitigate ESG risks.<br />

Bradley: Could you elaborate<br />

on the key role general counsel<br />

play in driving ESG initiatives for<br />

corporates, and what specific<br />

responsibilities they should<br />

undertake in this area.<br />

Christine: Absolutely, the role<br />

of in-house lawyers and general<br />

counsel in ESG initiatives is pretty<br />

significant. It can vary depending on<br />

their leadership style. Some general<br />

counsel, either because they’re really<br />

into ESG or due to their organization’s<br />

structure, take ESG and sustainability<br />

under their wing. Around 15% of<br />

general counsel do this, according<br />

to a study by Corporate Council<br />

and Morrison Forster. For example,<br />

when I was the Chief Legal and<br />

Sustainability Officer, I did both legal<br />

and sustainability work.<br />

In this setup, general counsel<br />

needs to have a strong team of<br />

sustainability experts to make<br />

it work. But the more common<br />

approach is to collaborate with<br />

departments leading sustainability<br />

and ESG efforts, which could be<br />

in finance, strategy, or elsewhere.<br />

Regardless of where it falls, general<br />

counsel makes sure legal aspects<br />

align with ESG goals.<br />

They deal with various legal aspects<br />

of ESG, like keeping an eye on new<br />

regulations and getting the company<br />

ready to comply. Supplier contracts<br />

are a big deal because many<br />

sustainability rules require data from<br />

suppliers. Legal teams need to update<br />

contracts for this and ensure suppliers<br />

follow ethical practices, like labour<br />

and human rights policies. In Europe,<br />

they’re pretty strict about this.<br />

Managing the supply chain is a big<br />

task, especially with lots of contracts<br />

to handle. And there’s also the issue<br />

of “greenwashing” – making sure<br />

a company’s sustainability claims<br />

are legit. I’d suggest reviewing the<br />

company website and press releases<br />

carefully if a General Counsel asked<br />

me about this. Sometimes, statements<br />

get made without full consideration,<br />

which can lead to legal troubles.<br />

Nowadays, activists are keeping<br />

a close eye on companies’<br />

sustainability claims, and it’s<br />

important to review all statements<br />

for accuracy and to avoid legal risks.<br />

Even true bold claims can bring their<br />

own risks, so you’ve got to think<br />

them through.<br />

Bradley: Thanks for shedding a light<br />

on this Christine. Can you delve<br />

deeper into the key challenges<br />

faced by General Counsels when<br />

implementing these changes within<br />

their organisations?<br />

Christine: Sure, Bradley. The<br />

paramount challenge for General<br />

Counsels in this context is the<br />

deeply cross-functional nature<br />

of ESG and sustainability<br />

initiatives. While General Counsels<br />

can lead and offer guidance<br />

on these initiatives, bringing<br />

them to fruition demands<br />

collaboration and commitment<br />

from various departments across<br />

the organisation. This requires<br />

engagement from operations,<br />

finance, marketing, sales, product<br />

development, and, of course, the<br />

sustainability team if one exists. In<br />

essence, it’s a large-scale crossfunctional<br />

project that necessitates<br />

bringing together stakeholders<br />

who may not directly report to the<br />

General Counsel but are integral to<br />

the implementation process.<br />

Another significant hurdle is the<br />

matter of budgeting. Implementing<br />

ESG and sustainability initiatives<br />

typically requires financial resources.<br />

Thus, General Counsels must<br />

navigate the process of presenting<br />

budget proposals to the executive<br />

team and securing the necessary<br />

financial support for these<br />

endeavours. Finding ways to allocate<br />

the appropriate budget becomes an<br />

essential part of the challenge.<br />

So, in summary, the most formidable<br />

obstacles lie in garnering crossfunctional<br />

support and obtaining the<br />

required budgetary approvals.<br />

46 47



A Night of Hollywood Glamour:<br />

The Frenkel Topping Ball for Charity<br />

”On the 5th of October, the Frenkel Topping Charitable Foundation hosted a<br />

spectacular event that will be etched in the memories of all who attended. The<br />

Frenkel Topping Ball, an annual fundraiser, brought together the glitterati of<br />

Manchester and beyond, all donned in their best Hollywood Glamour attire. This<br />

grand evening was filled with entertainment, games, and celebrities dressed as iconic<br />

film characters, creating an enchanting atmosphere that left everyone in awe.”<br />

The theme for the Frenkel<br />

Topping Ball this year was<br />

“Hollywood Glamour,” and<br />

attendees truly embraced the<br />

spirit of classic Tinseltown. As<br />

guests arrived at the Midlands Hotel in<br />

Manchester, they were greeted by a red<br />

carpet, paparazzi, and the unmistakable<br />

allure of Hollywood.<br />

The dress code was black tie and elegant<br />

Hollywood attire, and attendees took this<br />

to heart, adorning themselves in glamorous<br />

gowns, tuxedos, and classic Hollywood<br />

accessories. The Frenkel Topping Ball was<br />

not just an event; it was a journey back in<br />

time to the golden era of cinema.<br />

To keep the evening engaging and<br />

entertaining, the Frenkel Topping Ball<br />

featured a variety of games. One of<br />

the highlights was the popular game of<br />

“Heads and Tails.” This game created a<br />

buzz as guests gathered in anticipation<br />

of winning exciting prizes.<br />

Scratch cards were another thrilling<br />

game offered at the event. Attendees<br />

could purchase these cards and scratch<br />

away to reveal their prizes. These cards<br />

were a delightful way for guests to<br />

contribute to the charitable cause while<br />

also having the opportunity to win<br />

fantastic rewards.<br />

“Beyond the glitz and glamour, the Frenkel Topping<br />

Ball was a celebration of compassion and giving.”<br />

One of the most extraordinary aspects<br />

of the Frenkel Topping Ball was the<br />

presence of iconic film characters<br />

brought to life. Guests were treated to<br />

the sight of Deadpool, Marilyn Monroe,<br />

the Hulk, and Austin Powers among<br />

others, roaming the venue and adding to<br />

the magical atmosphere of the evening.<br />

These character actors went above and<br />

beyond, staying in character throughout<br />

the event and posing for photographs<br />

with star-struck attendees.<br />

While the Frenkel Topping Ball was an<br />

evening filled with glitz and glamour,<br />

it was also an event with a profound<br />

purpose – to raise funds for the Frenkel<br />

Topping Charitable Foundation. The<br />

foundation’s mission is to support those<br />

who have suffered life-changing injuries<br />

and provide them with the necessary<br />

financial support for their future.<br />

The evening’s success was measured not<br />

just by the stunning attire and celebrity<br />

appearances but by the generous<br />

contributions from attendees and the<br />

funds raised for this noble cause. Every<br />

game, raffle ticket, and donation made<br />

a difference in the lives of those who<br />

needed it most.<br />

As the night unfolded, it became<br />

clear that the Frenkel Topping Ball<br />

had achieved its goal. It was a night<br />

filled with entertainment, elegance,<br />

and the magic of Hollywood’s<br />

golden age. Guests revelled in the<br />

enchanting atmosphere and cherished<br />

the opportunity to dress up as their<br />

favourite film characters.<br />

“Congratulation to Frenkel Topping for putting on such a wonderful evening<br />

and raising a staggering £28,000.”<br />

More importantly, the event was a resounding success in terms<br />

of fundraising for the Frenkel Topping Charitable Foundation.<br />

The contributions made that evening would go a long way in<br />

assisting those in need, providing them with financial support,<br />

and ultimately improving their quality of life.<br />

The Frenkel Topping Ball on the 5th of October was a night that<br />

perfectly captured the essence of Hollywood glamour. It was an<br />

evening of elegance, entertainment, and charity, all combined<br />

into one unforgettable event. The iconic film characters<br />

that graced the occasion, the games that added a touch of<br />

excitement, the splendid prizes, the delightful food and drink,<br />

and the lively dance floor all came together to create a night to<br />

remember.<br />

But beyond the glitz and glamour, the Frenkel Topping Ball was<br />

a celebration of compassion and giving. It exemplified the power<br />

of coming together to make a difference in the lives of those who<br />

have faced adversity. In the end, this was the true Hollywood<br />

magic of the night, leaving everyone with a sense of fulfilment<br />

and a reminder that, in the spirit of Hollywood’s best, we can all<br />

be heroes in our own way.<br />

Congratulation to Frenkel Topping for putting on such a<br />

wonderful evening and raising a staggering £28,000 for their<br />

charitable foundation. A standing ovation is deserved!<br />

Emily Wade,<br />

Editor, <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

48 49

WILLS<br />

& PROBATE<br />

WILLS<br />

& PROBATE<br />

A Wills & Probate Interview:<br />

Ochresoft and<br />

the Environment<br />

<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong> sat down with Ochresoft’s Marie Harrison-Stradling for<br />

a chat about how the wills and probate sector tackle climate change<br />

and make positive steps to impove the environment.<br />

How can the wills and probate industry contribute to<br />

environmentally responsible practices and raise awareness<br />

about ethical considerations within estate planning?<br />

With the United Kingdom’s recent introduction of water cremation (known as<br />

Resomation) as a third choice after end of life, joining the more traditional burial<br />

and cremation approaches established by the Cremation Act 1902, the theme of<br />

this month’s roundtable questions is most topical and pertinent.<br />

The resulting media coverage has prompted the public to consider at<br />

greater depth, the quite surprising sustainability and ecological impact of<br />

the traditional methods of dealing with their remains after death. With the<br />

public also now more aware of climate change generally, people are actively<br />

engaging in the environmental and ethical impact of their day-to-day<br />

consumer choices and spending. This gives the wills and probate industry a<br />

real opportunity to mitigate climate change in some small way. By working<br />

together and sharing knowledge and information across the sector, we<br />

can appropriately advise individuals as they explore their plans to<br />

deal with their estate after death.<br />

Whether or not clients choose a more eco-friendly or ethical<br />

method of dealing with their estate posthumously, as wills and<br />

probate professionals, we can raise awareness and make a positive<br />

contribution to their decision making.<br />

“As an industry, we are able to advise and<br />

draw awareness to how climate change and<br />

global warming could affect our clients.”<br />

“Climate change and global<br />

warming will impact thewills<br />

and probate sector as much as it<br />

will across all areas of business<br />

and commerce.”<br />

What potential issues might arise in<br />

the wills and probate sector due to the<br />

impact of global warming.<br />

Climate change and global warming will impact the<br />

wills and probate sector as much as it will across<br />

all areas of business and commerce – and societies<br />

globally. Climate change knowledge and awareness<br />

will need to be a primary consideration for all<br />

parties in estate planning and distribution, from the<br />

general consumer to the legal practitioner to the<br />

personal representative and/or trustees involved in<br />

an estate.<br />

As an industry, we are able to advise and draw<br />

awareness to how climate change and global<br />

warming could affect our clients in their planning.<br />

• Certain client asset types might face increased<br />

risk and be more vulnerable to environmental<br />

change, due to their nature and/or location.<br />

• Other asset types at greater risk of natural<br />

disasters and environmental occurrences may<br />

now need increased protective measures and<br />

suitable insurances<br />

• Climate change events and environmental<br />

opinions can swiftly and significantly affect<br />

the value of assets and investments. Legal<br />

professionals may need to review and refresh<br />

more frequently the planning advice for estates<br />

comprising agricultural and/or commercial assets.<br />

“As wills and probate<br />

professionals, we can raise<br />

awareness and make a<br />

positive contribution.”<br />

How can wills and probate practitioners<br />

promote sustainable practices in the<br />

administration of estates, including<br />

the management of real estate and<br />

investments?<br />

To successfully promote sustainable and<br />

environmentally favourable practices with our<br />

clients and the public more widely, it is in our<br />

industry’s interest to communicate clear and<br />

transparent information between organisations.<br />

Helping clients to equip themselves with and<br />

understand information about their posthumous<br />

estate options and the ethical and environmental<br />

impact of each will enable them to make<br />

informed choices.<br />

During the early stages of estate administration<br />

– as part of the initial client information discovery<br />

– practitioners should take the opportunity to<br />

prompt their new or existing clients and connected<br />

third parties to explore the sustainable and ethical<br />

practices available to them. This gives clients and<br />

connected third parties the opportunity to discuss<br />

their interest and ideas with a knowledgeable<br />

professional. At this point, and using information<br />

sheets and openly available resources,<br />

practitioners can remove myths, clarify confusions<br />

and help their clients make estate choices they are<br />

comfortable with.<br />

Unsurprisingly, immediate and future costs<br />

are usually clients’ and third parties’ primary<br />

consideration when they explore their posthumous<br />

options. That is, however, not necessarily the case;<br />

favouring sustainable practices does not cost<br />

the estate or individual as much as the public<br />

commonly expects.<br />

Whether or not clients and connected third parties<br />

select sustainable or ethical practices during<br />

the administration of an estate, by promoting<br />

the existence and accessibility of alternative<br />

options that are better for society and our planet,<br />

practitioners contribute to a brighter future.<br />

Marie Harrison-Stradling<br />

50 51

FORUM<br />

Conveyancing in 2023<br />

Empowering legal<br />

experts to navigate<br />

climate change<br />

challenges.<br />

Landmark Information not only offer<br />

climate change reports but also<br />

sustainability consultancy.<br />

A Forum Discussion<br />

Welcome to <strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Law</strong>’s Special Conveyancing Panel!<br />

This section of the magazine is dedicated to delving deep into the conveyancing profession<br />

with the help of industry-leading experts. In this particular edition, we discuss: the<br />

environmental challenges conveyancers face, encouraging clients to think green, accessing<br />

the information needed to create a more sustainable business and much more.<br />

This issue’s opinions are from:<br />

David Kempster<br />

Marketing Director,<br />

Groundsure<br />

Mike Leeman<br />

Managing Partner,<br />

Bell Lamb & Joynson<br />

Chris Loaring<br />

Managing Director,<br />

Landmark Search<br />

Paul Saunders<br />

Director Lender<br />

Services, Smoove<br />

Thomas Maerz<br />

CEO,<br />

TMGroup<br />

Our CPD-accredited sustainability training workshops cover a range of<br />

essential topics, catering to professionals at different stages of their<br />

sustainability journey:<br />

1. Climate Change Courses: These sessions provide a<br />

solid foundation in understanding climate change, its legal<br />

framework, and its implications across industries. By the<br />

end of the course, you’ll be well-prepared to advise your<br />

clients confidently.<br />

2. Net Zero Workshops: Designed for those embarking on<br />

their net-zero journey, these workshops guide you through<br />

the intricacies of recording, compliance, and setting<br />

science-based targets.<br />

3. TCFD Workshops: For firms looking to disclose<br />

climate-related risks and opportunities, our TCFD workshops<br />

offer the knowledge to understand financial exposure and build<br />

resilience for the future.<br />

4. ESG Workshop: If you’re involved in ESG due-diligence for<br />

corporate transactions or advise on mergers and acquisitions,<br />

these workshops are tailored to meet your needs, including<br />

those with private equity and investment clients.<br />

For more information visit<br />

landmark.co.uk/sustainability-training-services<br />


FORUM<br />

FORUM<br />

What challenges do Conveyancers encounter when trying to assess and<br />

convey information about a property’s environmental impact?<br />

Mike: Conveyancers can often struggle to communicate the<br />

environmental factors of a property to Buyers as they are<br />

reliant on limited data regarding energy efficiency, flooding<br />

risks, contamination, and other sustainability metrics. Terms like<br />

“eco-friendly” are subjective, making a property’s true impact<br />

difficult to quantify and Conveyancers must also contend with<br />

frequently changing regulations. Researching and documenting<br />

environmental features requires substantial extra time and effort<br />

compared to a standard transaction. Many Conveyancers are<br />

unwilling or unable to conduct this due diligence as they are not<br />

qualified to do so. While consumer demand is growing for more<br />

transparency around homes sustainability, Conveyancers continue<br />

to face obstacles in providing accurate assessments and clear<br />

reporting on properties’ environmental footprints. Overcoming<br />

these challenges will require better data sources and standardised<br />

methodologies which will assist Conveyancers when reporting<br />

complex environmental information to Buyers.<br />

Thomas: Buyers are often in a hurry to move in, and as a result,<br />

there is a risk they may gloss over the details highlighted in searches<br />

and reports on Title, making themselves vulnerable to risk. While<br />

conveyancers aren’t expected to be specialist environmental<br />

consultants, they should still be aware of their obligations to<br />

facilitate relevant information to the client, explain the due<br />

diligence process, advise and draw their client’s attention to risks, in<br />

a meaningful way, so that the client can make an informed decision<br />

whether or not to proceed with their property purchase.<br />

Until recently, conveyancers’ focus would have been centred<br />

around contaminated land, mining risks and flooding. However,<br />

there are many more environmental factors that clients should<br />

be made aware of, such as all types of ground hazards, local and<br />

national energy and infrastructure projects that could negatively<br />

affect the site, as well as Government-imposed regulations<br />

related to adverse impacts of climate change, which could cause<br />

a transactional risk to clients in the future. Taking into account<br />

the scope of the retainer as well as the latest guidance from the<br />

regulators and PI insurers law firms should be in a position to<br />

strike a good balance between alerting clients to the existence of<br />

an environmental risk and limiting any unintended risk exposure<br />

for the law firm itself.<br />

David: The market for environmental data is very mature, easily<br />

accessible and delivers answers quicker than many other parts of<br />

the property search due diligence process. So, speed and access<br />

via search resellers, for example, isn’t the issue. The key point for<br />

conveyancers is ensuring that reports are fully comprehensive, cover<br />

all of the guidance and practice notes to meet compliance and are<br />

available in single reports so that the process is simple, there is<br />

demonstrable value and all the answers are in one place - whether<br />

contaminated land, flooding, subsidence, forward climate impacts -<br />

both physical and transitional. This protects the client and the firm.<br />

Chris: Traditionally, the industry has built risk management<br />

processes around how the environment – such as a flood zone –<br />

might impact a property. Now, a more holistic view has evolved<br />

where it’s also considered how a property might impact its own<br />

environment. This shift has been driven by both legislation<br />

and emerging guidance from the regulators. A key feature<br />

of this holistic approach is projecting and charting risk in the<br />

future. Until recently, environmental risk management has been<br />

predicated on what is happening today, i.e. on the date of the<br />

transaction completion. Increasingly, we are now aware of how<br />

those risks change into the future (for example, over the term of<br />

a mortgage deal) and these insights are powering consideration<br />

of a new time horizon in conveyancing. The concept of charting<br />

risk into the future is an ever-growing transition and a relatively<br />

new space for conveyancers – which makes it particularly<br />

challenging. Guidance published by the <strong>Law</strong> Society earlier this<br />

year marked the first-time conveyancers had received any official<br />

steer on this topic. Therefore, the sector now needs to understand<br />

where a conveyancer’s work starts and stops. For example, with<br />

most transactions major lending decisions based on climate<br />

change considerations have been made before the conveyancer<br />

is involved. Part A of The <strong>Law</strong> Society’s guidance deals with<br />

Net Zero and embedding broader sustainability considerations<br />

within the law firm. Now, the sector is facing an implementation<br />

challenge, and we need to support and help upskill the law firms<br />

on this new area of environmental risk management, so that they<br />

can make best use of the data insights and guidance. The next<br />

wave of environmental guidance from the <strong>Law</strong> Society could go<br />

one step further and answer the main question on everyone’s<br />

minds: what specific actions will conveyancers need to take and<br />

what new liabilities are emerging?<br />

Paul: One of the biggest challenges in relation to the<br />

environmental impact of information is the level of the client’s<br />

awareness. Each client will have a varying level of awareness and<br />

expectation regarding the impact of the environmental issues<br />

around a property, particularly where there is a complex land use<br />

history. Some properties may have a complex history of land use,<br />

including industrial or agricultural activities that could have left<br />

behind environmental contamination. It can be challenging to<br />

trace and document this history accurately.<br />

This is a particularly fast-moving area of law and the nature of the<br />

law and regulation is relatively early in its development therefore<br />

staying up to date in this area is particularly challenging to ensure<br />

that the client and lender are protected, much of the time it is<br />

knowing where to go to get the advice or information rather than<br />

knowing all of the answers.<br />

What measures can Conveyancers take to raise awareness among<br />

Clients and colleagues about the importance of environmental<br />

sustainability in real estate transactions?<br />

Thomas: Buyers are often more concerned about whether any<br />

environmental issues raised will have an immediate bearing on<br />

the value of their investment in terms of both property insurance<br />

and its resale value or whether it may have an impact on their<br />

enjoyment of the property, for instance in the event of flooding.<br />

However, environmental sustainability is crucial in real estate<br />

transactions for a number of reasons and the benefits should be<br />

openly promoted to clients and internal teams.<br />

A good starting point is the long-term value and increasing<br />

market demand. Sustainable properties are often far more resilient<br />

and can increase in value over time. Eco-conscious buyers and<br />

investors are also increasingly looking for properties that have<br />

lower operating costs due to energy efficiency and a reduced<br />

environmental footprint.<br />

From the law firms’ perspective embracing sustainability practices<br />

also demonstrates a commitment to reducing their own impact<br />

and contributing to a more sustainable future. This could be<br />

positively leveraged as a unique differentiating factor in a<br />

competitive market.<br />

To help raise awareness, law firms could explore facilitating internal<br />

and external workshop sessions as well as provide a library of easily<br />

accessible resources that can be shared with clients and other<br />

external audiences. Thought leadership in this area will not only<br />

help raise awareness of this important subject but can be equally<br />

beneficial to help raise the external profile of the law firm itself.<br />

“To help raise awareness, law firms<br />

could explore facilitating internal and<br />

external workshop sessions as well<br />

as provide a library of easily<br />

accessible resources.”<br />

“There is a clear duty of care for<br />

conveyancers to advise clients on<br />

matters that could affect the transaction<br />

and the impact on the asset, value or<br />

the client’s peace of mind. ”<br />

David: There is a clear duty of care for conveyancers to advise<br />

clients on matters that could affect the transaction and the<br />

impact on the asset, value or the client’s peace of mind.<br />

Increasingly important are environmental and social governance<br />

(ESG) factors that could affect a firm’s operation, which are<br />

getting the attention of the SRA, COLPs and form part of the <strong>Law</strong><br />

Society Guidance on Climate Risks.<br />

By ensuring a consistent approach to advising clients on the<br />

climate risks that could impact on the transaction through<br />

commissioning environmental searches that include climate risk<br />

- including physical risks like flooding and transitional risks like<br />

energy ratings, improvement costs and resilience measures - this<br />

can reinforce the firm’s ESG approach and cement really good<br />

client care on making sustainable property decisions.<br />

Paul: Conveyancers can help support clients by raising awareness<br />

of environmental issues in property transactions by the general<br />

promotion of environmental due diligence. This can be supported<br />

by encouraging clients to invest in environmental assessments<br />

and inspections to identify potential issues before making<br />

informed decisions.<br />

One of the ways that this should be done is to incorporate the<br />

processes into standard conveyancing processes. This is an area<br />

that conveyancers cannot be expected to be experts in, but they<br />

need to be aware and knowledgeable enough to point the client<br />

in the right direction to ensure they are possessed with the best<br />

possible position knowledge.<br />

Conveyancers should build relationships with experts, specialists,<br />

and sustainability professionals in the same way as surveyors to<br />

ensure that they can give a comprehensive assessment to clients.<br />

54 55

FORUM<br />

FORUM<br />

How can Conveyancers stay updated on local and national<br />

environmental regulations and compliance requirements that may<br />

affect property transactions?<br />

Mike: Conveyancers can stay updated on local and national<br />

environmental regulations and compliance requirements that may<br />

impact property transactions through various methods. Firstly,<br />

they can maintain close contact with environmental agencies and<br />

regulatory bodies to receive direct updates on any changes in laws<br />

or regulations. Additionally, they should review official government<br />

websites, where these regulations are often published and updated.<br />

Attending industry conferences can be beneficial as environmental<br />

issues are currently a hot topic. Subscribing to relevant newsletters<br />

and online forums can help Conveyancers stay informed about<br />

the latest developments in environmental regulations. Combining<br />

these strategies, Conveyancers can ensure they remain up to date<br />

on the ever-evolving environmental compliance, thereby providing<br />

guidance to clients in property transactions.<br />

Thomas: Conveyancers should always follow the latest directions<br />

from their specific Regulator. It is also recommended that<br />

lawyers become familiar with the guidance and environmental<br />

policy updates published by other professional bodies, such as<br />

the Practice Notes on Contaminated Land, Flood Risk, Climate<br />

Change or Green Leases issued by the <strong>Law</strong> Society.<br />

Attending professional seminars, workshops, and conferences<br />

related to property law and environmental regulations is also<br />

a great way for practitioners to stay informed about practice<br />

changes and legal updates. Unfortunately, due to the time,<br />

travel and financial commitment often associated with these<br />

events, this avenue may not be open to all individuals.<br />

Therefore, another opportunity worth exploring is reaching out<br />

to your search provider.<br />

Many suppliers supporting the legal profession, such as tmgroup,<br />

frequently offer free opportunities for continuing professional<br />

development through regular bite-size webinars and publications<br />

on pertinent matters and newly emerging risks. These resources<br />

can be easily accessed on demand and are an invaluable tool in<br />

staying up-to-date with the latest industry developments.<br />

“Attending professional seminars, workshops,<br />

and conferences related to property law and<br />

environmental regulations is also a great<br />

way for practitioners to stay informed about<br />

practice changes and legal updates.”<br />

“The drive towards greener thinking is<br />

naturally more focused on those right<br />

at the beginning of the process.”<br />

David: We undertake hundreds of webinars, face to face events<br />

and in-house training for firms across the country every year.<br />

We also work with online training providers, such as the Legal<br />

Eye Academy, to deliver on-line e-certification for conveyancing<br />

teams. This can demonstrate to COLPs and risk managers in the<br />

firm that the team has undergone a consistent, accredited and<br />

independent training with external experts to stay up to speed on<br />

the Guidance, prevailing regulations and best practice.<br />

Chris: The drive towards greener thinking is naturally more<br />

focused on those right at the beginning of the process – such<br />

as developers and architects, or even lenders. Of course,<br />

conveyancers are critical stakeholders, but their focus and<br />

unique value lies in shaping and advising on issues within the<br />

context of the relevant legal or regulatory framework. As the<br />

primary role of a lawyer is to be definitive on risk compliance<br />

and legislative adherence, green issues are challenging as<br />

they tend to be more nebulous or are not yet in a sufficiently<br />

advanced legislative state. Specific to conveyancing for<br />

example, practitioners need to know the exact nature of any<br />

industry documentation produced, for example, whether it’s a<br />

requirement, advisory note or instruction. They would be able<br />

to advise more clearly when the legislative framework is also<br />

clear. Furthermore, we must not forget that the consumer is an<br />

important facilitator of change. Buyers and sellers are calling<br />

for progress around green issues, and in some areas – such<br />

as residential energy performance – the sector is becoming<br />

clearer with its thinking as a result. We shouldn’t forget that<br />

collaboration is underpinned by communication, so we should<br />

focus on ways to bring all of these stakeholders (including<br />

consumers) together in an efficient way to improve the current<br />

conveyancing process, and power collective progress and<br />

iterative improvements.<br />

What are the potential cost<br />

implications of adopting<br />

environmentally conscious<br />

practices in conveyancing, and<br />

how can these be managed?<br />

Mike: Adopting environmentally conscious practices in<br />

conveyancing can carry potential cost implications, but they<br />

can be managed effectively. Initially, the costs associated with<br />

conducting thorough environmental due diligence, such as<br />

environmental searches and surveys, may increase expenses<br />

in the short term. However, these costs are often outweighed<br />

by the long-term benefits, as they can help identify and<br />

mitigate potential environmental risks that may arise in the<br />

future, saving clients from unexpected expenditures. Investing<br />

in energy-efficient or green property improvements can raise<br />

the upfront costs of a transaction but can lead to reduced<br />

operating expenses over time, benefiting both the environment<br />

and the property owner. Conveyancers can help manage these<br />

costs by reporting to clients about the financial advantages of<br />

environmentally sustainable choices, including potential tax<br />

incentives or energy savings that may be revealed in search<br />

results. By raising the long-term economic benefits of ecofriendly<br />

practices and advising of cost-effective approaches,<br />

Conveyancers can make environmentally conscious transactions<br />

more appealing to their clients.<br />

David: Clearly, there are a number of office, administrative and<br />

facilities management strategies that can drive down a firm’s<br />

operational carbon footprint. Many conveyancing practices and<br />

workflow systems are fully cloud based and there has been a dramatic<br />

reduction in physical paper use. Long gone are the days when the<br />

quality of the conveyance was down to the thickness of the file.<br />

IT managers in firms will understand all of this already and there<br />

are well proven efficiencies that have been delivered. However,<br />

being environmentally conscious as a law firm requires a culture<br />

and mindset that starts at the top and works through the<br />

business consistently.<br />

We have recently become a Certified B Corporation - an 18 month<br />

journey but a really valuable process that shone a light on much<br />

of the work that we had been doing already. While it takes time<br />

and effort to seek certification, it validates all that your firm does<br />

with regard to its impact on the environment, the well-being of<br />

your teams and your contribution to society. A number of law<br />

firms, of varying sizes, are part of the B Corp Community and it<br />

provides a really strong differentiation in the market. This would be<br />

especially the case if your firm has a strong environmental practice<br />

or is making ESG commitments. Becoming B Corp means you are<br />

walking the walk and can avoid any accusations of “greenwashing”.<br />

How can conveyancers collaborate<br />

with other stakeholders, such as<br />

real estate agents and developers,<br />

to promote sustainable development<br />

and green building practices?<br />

Mike: Conveyancers can play a role in promoting sustainable<br />

development and green building practices by collaborating<br />

with other stakeholders in the real estate industry, such as real<br />

estate agents and developers. They can start by participating<br />

in meetings and conferences, where they can exchange ideas,<br />

insights, and expertise with these partners. Conveyancers can<br />

also facilitate open lines of communication to share information<br />

about eco-friendly property listings, green certifications, and the<br />

benefits of sustainable building practices. By working together,<br />

conveyancers, real estate agents, and developers can collectively<br />

drive awareness of sustainable development and environmentally<br />

responsible real estate choices, helping to meet the growing<br />

demand for greener, more sustainable properties in the market.<br />

This collaborative approach ultimately benefits the environment,<br />

property owners, and the whole industry.<br />

David: It is highly likely that conveyancers will have little<br />

direct engagement with developers on sustainable building<br />

materials and construction as this would have been determined<br />

under standard building regs and any additional design/<br />

spec requirements committed by the developer as planning<br />

conditions. However, ahead of that commercial real estate lawyers<br />

will want to advise developer clients on the land quality, site<br />

conditions including disposition to flooding from its topography,<br />

groundwater and drainage. In part, this may determine where<br />

they place sustainable drainage versus development plots.<br />

Energy performance is an increasingly key part of property<br />

attraction now and the role of the EPC and related retrofit costs<br />

on existing older property will be a key discussion between client,<br />

estate agent and the conveyancer in the negotiation. This is<br />

one of the reasons why we include not only the EPC and related<br />

estimated energy improvement costs, but also a comparison to<br />

others in the area to see how it meets up to the local competition<br />

and what it would need to be in order to be attractive for re-sale.<br />

“Being environmentally conscious as a<br />

law firm requires a culture and mindset<br />

that starts at the top.”<br />

56 57

FORUM<br />

What role can technology, such as blockchain or smart contracts, play<br />

in making conveyancing processes more environmentally friendly, and<br />

what challenges might arise in their implementation?<br />

When it’s all work, why not hit play!<br />

Improve client experience<br />

Support employee wellbeing, productivity & engagement<br />

Reduce workplace stress & anxiety<br />

Stay legally compliant<br />

Be an employer of choice<br />

Mike: Technology, including blockchain and smart contracts, can<br />

significantly contribute to making conveyancing processes more<br />

environmentally friendly. Blockchain, with its decentralised and<br />

tamper-resistant ledger, can enhance transparency and security in<br />

property transactions, reducing the need for physical paperwork<br />

and minimising the environmental impact of paper production.<br />

Smart contracts, powered by blockchain, can automate<br />

and streamline various stages of the conveyancing process,<br />

eliminating the need for excessive paperwork and reducing the<br />

carbon footprint associated with document transportation and<br />

storage. However, challenges in implementing these technologies<br />

may arise. First, there’s the issue of widespread adoption and<br />

standardisation, as all stakeholders in the real estate industry<br />

need to embrace these technologies for maximum efficiency.<br />

Additionally, ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive<br />

property data within blockchain systems is crucial. There may also<br />

be technical hurdles in transitioning from traditional conveyancing<br />

methods to a more technologically driven approach. Nevertheless,<br />

as these challenges are addressed, the integration of blockchain<br />

and smart contracts into conveyancing can play a substantial role<br />

in achieving a more environmentally friendly and efficient real<br />

estate transaction process.<br />

“Adopting environmentally<br />

conscious practices in<br />

conveyancing can carry potential<br />

cost implications, but they can<br />

be managed effectively.”<br />

David: Clearly the more tech is deployed in the conveyancing<br />

transaction, the less the physical carbon footprint of the<br />

operation. Digital documentation, data transfer, docusign and<br />

electronic communications including status updates are all<br />

supporting the acceleration to paperless process. There is a<br />

natural human resistance to change, and the notepad isn’t leaving<br />

the conveyancer’s desk any time soon, but for a firm that has just<br />

started the tech adoption journey and is staring at a cabinet full<br />

of paper files, reducing the firm’s footprint requires a significant<br />

culture change - and not before time!<br />

Chris: Digitisation is an environmentally friendly initiative<br />

compared to more traditional conveyancing methods. Every<br />

stakeholder will likely agree that the emergence of further<br />

digital services – such as smart contracting or the AI analysis of<br />

leasehold contracts – are also all positive initiatives. However,<br />

we are venturing into a new world. How do we robustly regulate<br />

emerging technology? The sector needs new standards, processes<br />

and governance; and the only way to scale technology quickly is if<br />

the sector delivers the solutions. For example, The Conveyancing<br />

Information Executive, which Landmark helped to establish, has<br />

developed as the standards body that determines the information<br />

that should go into property reports. Our core decision-making<br />

model is changing, and it needs support to fulfil its potential. Put<br />

simply, if we follow the digitisation journey to an end point, then<br />

a transaction will happen off the back of visual representation<br />

of information alone. For example, users will be supplied with a<br />

RAG or smart workflow as a summary statement. However, the<br />

information that underpins this output is hidden or inaccessible<br />

because of the requirement for speed. All this means that the<br />

digitisation process will require evidence and audit as well as a<br />

high degree of trust from the conveyancer where the validation of<br />

the decisions made isn’t always visible yet must still be recorded.<br />

Conveyancers make big decisions based on risk. The challenge<br />

now is ensuring that lawyers (and wider market stakeholders)<br />

understand how technology and data interact and are managed in<br />

order to be clear on risk and the controls in a digital first world.<br />

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FORUM<br />

What are some ways conveyancers<br />

can encourage clients to opt for<br />

digital documentation and signatures<br />

to minimise printing and mailing?<br />

Mike: Conveyancers can encourage clients to opt for digital<br />

documentation and signatures to minimise printing and mailing in<br />

several ways. Firstly, they can emphasise the convenience and timesaving<br />

benefits of digital transactions, highlighting how it expedites<br />

the process and reduces paperwork. Secondly, they can assure clients<br />

of the security and legality of digital signatures, explaining the robust<br />

encryption and authentication measures in place. Offering step-bystep<br />

guidance on how to electronically sign documents can streamline<br />

the process for clients who may be unfamiliar with it. Furthermore,<br />

Conveyancers can discuss the environmental impact and cost savings<br />

associated with reduced paper usage and postage. By educating<br />

clients about the practical advantages and environmental benefits<br />

of being digital, Conveyancers can encourage Client to adopt these<br />

efficient, eco-friendly practices as a way of life.<br />

David: I mentioned Docusign and similar digital agreement<br />

formats already, but ensuring that all searches, maps and<br />

supporting documentation is collated, inputted and stored and<br />

then subsequently signed by all relevant parties electronically saves<br />

on paper, postage, time - and it enables all stakeholders to receive<br />

the same information and status updates at the same time.<br />

Some clients may be reluctant initially to use these new formats,<br />

but there is a new generation of homebuyers and business owners<br />

who are digital natives and the shift to full digitisation is only a<br />

matter of time. Those firms that adapt now can manage costs, be<br />

more efficient, reducing the time for unnecessary manual tasks<br />

and free up the opportunity to focus on the client.<br />

Paul: Digital signatures and documentation can save a lot of time<br />

and cost as well as protecting both the conveyancer and the clients<br />

which supports the environmental and sustainable policies of the<br />

business. In general, the adoption of such processes is positively<br />

received however wider adoption is needed and requires education<br />

and understanding to be widely adopted. The use of user-friendly<br />

tools will considerably improve the uptake from clients whilst<br />

emphasising the security and protection that the systems afford<br />

to clients. Clients can be concerned as to the legal validity of<br />

electronic signatures so therefore it is helpful to be able to point to<br />

evidence of acceptance by authorities and regulated entities.<br />

One of the most important factors to any client in a transaction<br />

is cost therefore the security and cost savings go hand in hand as<br />

an encouragement to clients to adopt the processes. It may also<br />

be possible to offer incentives to clients who utilise the digital<br />

opportunities that you are able to offer them.<br />

What challenges do conveyancers<br />

face in transitioning to digital<br />

platforms for document<br />

management and communication?<br />

Mike: Conveyancers encounter several challenges in<br />

transitioning to digital platforms for document management<br />

and communication. First and foremost, there is a learning curve<br />

associated with adopting new technologies, which may require<br />

training for both staff and clients. Ensuring that all parties<br />

involved in a transaction are willing and able to adapt to digital<br />

processes can be a challenge. Integrating digital solutions into<br />

existing workflows and systems can also be complex and timeconsuming.<br />

The cost of implementing and maintaining digital<br />

platforms can be a significant hurdle for smaller conveyancing<br />

firms. Technical issues, such as software glitches or network<br />

failures, may disrupt operations and potentially lead to delays in<br />

property transactions. Despite these obstacles, the benefits of<br />

transitioning to digital platforms, including increased efficiency,<br />

reduced environmental impact, and improved client service, make<br />

it a worthwhile venture for Conveyancers.<br />

Thomas: To understand the challenges Conveyancers, face here,<br />

perhaps it’s prudent to first consider the key driver for considering<br />

a transition to digital platforms for document management and<br />

communication.<br />

Digital platforms remove historic accessibility and communication<br />

barriers. Documents can be stored in the cloud, making it possible<br />

to collaborate on them in real time with colleagues, clients and<br />

other third parties, virtually from any place with internet access.<br />

Digital solutions also facilitate ease of sharing and transparent<br />

communication exchange. This promotes effective stakeholder<br />

engagement and significantly reduces transaction times.<br />

However, this ease of access brings in a number of risks associated<br />

with data security. Conveyancers are commonly targeted by cyber<br />

criminals, and it has never been more challenging for law firms<br />

to ensure their systems and cybersecurity measures are robust<br />

enough to sustain a sophisticated attack that may compromise<br />

their clients’ data.<br />

At tmgroup, we strive to make it easier for conveyancers to use<br />

our digital platforms by securely integrating our services with other<br />

existing systems law firms use. Our latest integration with iManage<br />

Work 10, one of the leading secure document management<br />

systems, as well as our ISO27001 accreditation, are a testament<br />

to our unconditional commitment for ensuring security of our<br />

customers’ data.<br />

Requesting feedback can be a useful way of providing reassurance<br />

to clients that not only do the systems work but they are also<br />

popular and effective.<br />


10 MINS WITH<br />

Heather<br />

Gaffney<br />

Q<br />

What<br />

Minutes With...<br />

is your most memorable achievement<br />

whilst working in your current role?<br />

My current role, as Head of Private Wealth, has already brought a<br />

few achievements. When the department evolved from Residential<br />

Property to Private Wealth it incorporated Private Client, and I had<br />

to explore an area of law that I wasn’t fully familiar with. This meant<br />

re-training, educating myself and learning. I’m proud that I’ve done<br />

this alongside my day-to-day job and feel that I have improved and<br />

expanded my knowledge and management skill set. The private<br />

client department itself has grown hugely over the past 6 months in<br />

terms of both clients and the type of work we are seeing within the<br />

department, and it’s been really rewarding to see.<br />

QWWhat has been the most valuable piece of<br />

advice you’ve ever been given?<br />

Never stop learning. Nobody knows everything. I think it’s<br />

dangerous when people believe they are an expert in something –<br />

whether you’ve been learning about it for one year or 25 years, things<br />

are always changing and there are always new things to learn and<br />

grasp an understanding of. The reason I chose a career in law is that I<br />

wanted to be constantly learning and to always be pushing myself. I<br />

feel that I do this in both my role as a lawyer and as a director/head<br />

of department.<br />

QWhat has been the key positive or negative<br />

impact of change in your area of the market?<br />

I have found residential property to be a particularly challenging<br />

area of the market to work within since the pandemic. There have<br />

been changes to legislation or new pieces of legislation coming into<br />

force that change things overnight (such as changes to Stamp Duty<br />

rates) or that we aren’t given the support or time to learn about as<br />

quickly as we need to (such as the introduction of the Building Safety<br />

Act 2022). Recent economical changes have put more pressure on<br />

conveyancers to complete matters within timeframes that mean<br />

clients aren’t going to be exposed to higher rates of interest on their<br />

mortgages. On the flip side of this, I do think huge improvements<br />

have been made to technology during the last few years – the Land<br />

Registry have made it simpler to submit an application through<br />

an online application process, client ID can now be uploaded and<br />

verified via an app, and property search results appear to be coming<br />

back more speedily. As a firm, we have made huge improvements<br />

and changes to our case management system. Overall, these<br />

benefits create a more streamlined process.<br />

“Never stop learning.<br />

Nobody knows everything.”<br />

Q<br />

If<br />

you were not in your current position, what<br />

would you like to be doing?<br />

If I wasn’t a lawyer, I think I would have gone into something<br />

completely different and much more creative, such as floristry.<br />

QWhat three items would you put on display in<br />

a museum of your life and why?<br />

Models of the people most important to me – who have supported<br />

me, made me believe I can do anything or for who I constantly strive<br />

to do better for – my son, my husband and my parents.<br />

QWhat three guests would you invite to a<br />

dinner party?<br />

I am extremely proud of being a woman in business, so I think I<br />

would invite strong and influential woman to tell me their stories.<br />

The three guests I would invite to a dinner party would be Emmeline<br />

Pankhurst, Jane Austin and Michelle Obama.<br />

Heather Gaffney,<br />

Head of Private Wealth,<br />

Lewis Denley<br />






At tmgroup, we take pride in our client relationships.<br />

We listen. We understand. We support.<br />

We work with you to deliver the most effective<br />

property transaction solutions, to make your<br />

business processes convenient and efficient.<br />


Our whole market view provides much more than just<br />

Local Authority and Environmental Reports.<br />


Accurate, branded quotes, ready to email in less than 30<br />

seconds - with simple conversion processes.<br />


Complete management of a new build property<br />

transaction. We locate the plot, place the order and<br />

handle queries.<br />


Our comprehensive service with enhanced search tools<br />

give you immediate access to important information.<br />


Smart SDLT & AP1 submission forms save you time by<br />

reducing double entry and requisitions.<br />

“How friendly, professional and prompt the staff are -<br />

tmgroup’s customer service is truly amazing! There has<br />

never been an issue which the team have not been able<br />

to resolve for me. Thanks for being so amazing.”<br />

Rhianna Melvin, Freeths LLP<br />


Delivering pre transaction due diligence tools to help you<br />

strengthen and support your relationship with clients.<br />


Stay protected with our range of risk management<br />

solutions from AML, KYC, Insurance and Source of Funds.<br />


A range Integration solutions to allow you to access<br />

conveyancing solutions straight from your case.<br />


Team of search professionals work with your business to<br />

simplify and speed up your search ordering process.<br />


We can manage your portfolios and give you a real time<br />

view of progress with our portfolio manager dashboard.<br />

62<br />

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: 0800 840 5571 | tmgroup.co.uk

Changing the<br />

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Conveyancers with 5 years PQE<br />

Book in a chat today!<br />

t. 07471 017044<br />

e. angela@amitylaw.co.uk<br />

To download our FAQ fact base, visit<br />

amitylaw.co.uk/lifestyle<br />

Amity <strong>Law</strong> is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smoove plc<br />

Amity <strong>Law</strong> Limited is regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (No 11110) for the provision of<br />

conveyancing services and is registered in England and Wales under company number 5490029

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