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9. The Perfect Practice Tool Kit: Soft Skills Half Day Conference
Tuesday 15 October 2019
09:00am - 01:00pm
Stephen Vallance, Amy Walsh, Dr Yvonne Davies, Douglas Mill, Brian O’Neill
Seminar Details:

The topics covered in this conference include:

  • Practice Management and Profitability: This session will look at ratios, management materials and the lessons learned for several of the profession’s recent spectacular failures (Douglas Mill).

  • The business case for health and wellbeing: In this session Amy will look at the benefits of investing in health and wellbeing in your workplace and how this can contribute positively to your firm's success (Amy Walsh and Dr Yvonne Davies).

  • Client Care: Clients are the lifeblood of your firm. They pay the fees from which you generate wealth. You must look after them and therein lies the challenge (Brian O'Neill).

  • Culture and Leadership: This session will look at what makes a great 'leader' in a legal business and how important 'culture is to the creation and success of lasting legal brands (Stephen Vallance).



Stephen Vallance

Stephen works within the HM Connect team and in particular is responsible for the operation in the West of Scotland. He is actively involved in developing existing relationship with member firms and fostering new connections with firms interested in learning more about the benefits that HM Connect can offer them.HM Connect (formerly Connect2Law) is a referral and support network for high street and rural law firms which operates via Harper Macleod offering its full complement of legal services and expertise to such law firms on a fee-sharing, non-client poaching basis. HM Connect has over 275 member firms throughout Scotland.Stephen has over 25 years experience in legal practice. A partner previously in several law firms, he successfully sold his own practice in 2008. Since then Stephen has taught on the Diploma in Legal Practice at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities as well as having been a producer and presenter of PEAT 2 seminars. He is the author of several Journal articles, as well as a convener and speaker at Law Society seminars.He has also been involved in several other projects including on line automation of legal processes, internet and social media marketing and a new business startup.

Amy Walsh

Amy assists with the management and co-ordination of HM Connect network and, in particular, is responsible for the operation and development of the network in the East of Scotland.
HM Connect is a referral and support network for high street and rural law firms which operates via Harper Macleod offering its full complement of legal services and expertise to such law firms on a fee-sharing, non-client poaching basis. HM Connect has over 275 member firms located throughout Scotland.
Amy also coordinates the Denmark country desk, part of Harper Macleod's international offering.
Amy is part of the team that was a finalist for "Best Business Development Team" at The Lawyer Management Awards 2013. She is the Legal Director for Netball Scotland as well as sitting on the Law Society of Scotland’s Sub-Committees for both Complaints and Practicing Certificates.

Dr Yvonne Davies

Yvonne has spent the last 15 years working in Lifesciences where she has held Board Level positions including CEO. She has built and lead start-up companies in the area of chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. Yvonne is also a senior Yoga Teacher and an expert in workplace health solutions. She advises companies on best practices for wellbeing investment and her company, Yoga Warrior Ltd, recently won the ASB Most Innovative Start-up 2019 sponsored by Vodafone UK. Yvonne is also a contributing author for BUPA.

Douglas Mill (DM Consulting)

Douglas spent 18 years in private practice. He was CEO of the Law Society of Scotland for 12 years and has been consulting now for 12 years - acting for c130 firms of solicitors.
He is also the Former President of the International Institute of Law Association CEO's and Director of Professional Legal Practice at Glasgow Law School and has co-authored 3 management texts.

Brian O’Neill

Brian O’Neill practiced as a solicitor in private practice in Glasgow for more than 20 years. He was also one of the founding Directors of Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC). Brian then moved into IT and worked with a legal IT Company, becoming its Chief Executive (and picking up an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Graduate School of Business along the way). Since 2005, Brian has been providing a wide range of consultancy services to law firms and is the founding director of Client Communications.
Brian is acutely aware that law firms have never been very good at promoting their services to their existing clients far less trying to promote them to prospective clients. Many small and medium sized law firms find themselves in precisely this position!
His company, Client Communications, aims to help law firms develop their marketing strategy and secure their relationship with clients, new and old and to do this through the mediums of eMail Newsletters, eMail Marketing, Website News, e- Promotions, and Direct Mail.


Booking fee: members £100; non-members £160; trainee/paralegal from member firm £30; trainee/paralegal from non-member firm £60

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