The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference

Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Conference.

Here are some photos from the 2018 event:

Photos from the 23 May event at Kings Place London

Posted by Legal Cheek on Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Legal Cheek Future of Legal Education and Training Conference took place on Wednesday 23 May 2018 at Kings Place, London, against the backdrop of the major changes set to be brought about by the new Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE).

Running from 8:30am until 5:30pm, the Conference featured a combination of TED-style talks, short interactive discussion points, and Question Time-style panel discussions. Among the headliners are big name legal academics from the Russell Group, magic circle law firm innovators and founders from the tech start-up world.

The day-long event was designed to prepare law firm graduate recruitment and learning & development teams for the SQE and other reforms — and to get them thinking creatively about what comes next. Bringing together leading individuals across the profession and other industries we hope to have generated new ideas that will help shape the future of legal education and training.

Over 200 delegates attended the sold-out event, including graduate recruitment and learning & development teams from the UK’s leading law firms & barristers and others involved in pupillage at many top UK chambers, and academics from university law schools across the UK, alongside in-house teams, regulators and legal tech companies.

The Conference is sponsored by BPP University Law School

Further supported by:


Standard entry ticket: £240 + VAT. Purchase your ticket here SOLD OUT

The Venue: Kings Place, London

Located in the heart of King’s Cross beside the Regent’s Canal, Kings Place is easily accessible from all over London and the UK.

The Speakers

Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training at the ‎Solicitors Regulation Authority

Lord Briggs, Supreme Court Justice with brief for innovation

Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham Law School, Durham University

Isabel Parker, Director of Legal Services Innovation at Freshfields

Professor Richard Moorhead, Chair of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL

Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy

Andrew Chadwick, Dean of BPP University Law School

Dr Vanessa Davies, Director General of the Bar Standards Board

Chris Howard, Director of Professional Legal Education at ‎King’s College London

Julia Salasky, CEO and Founder of CrowdJustice

Alex Smith, Innovation Manager at Reed Smith

Euan Blair, CEO and Founder of WhiteHat

Sam Harper, General Counsel of Deliveroo

PJ Kirby QC, Co-Head of Chambers, Hardwicke

Professor Andrew Francis, Leeds University

Linden Thomas, Birmingham University SQE Working Group Member

David Halliwell, Director of Knowledge and Innovation Delivery at Pinsent Masons

James Wakefield, Director of the Council of the Inns of Court

Crispin Rapinet, Training Principal at Hogan Lovells

Rick Seabrook, Managing Director Europe of Neota Logic

Helen Ford, Managing Director Europe of Bar Squared

Samuel Gordon, Research Analyst at the Institute of Student Employers

Keily Blair, Director of Regulatory and Commercial Disputes at ‎PwC

Iain Gallagher, Senior Manager of Emerging Talent at Santander UK

Mark Collins, Legal Project Management Lead EMEA at Herbert Smith Freehills



Conference introduction

Session 1: Innovation — what does the future hold?

Format: TED-style talks delivered by sector thought leaders.

Speakers: David Halliwell (Director of Knowledge and Innovation Delivery at Pinsent Masons), Isabel Parker (Director of Legal Services Innovation at Freshfields), Shruti Ajitsaria (Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy), Alex Smith (Innovation Manager at Reed Smith), Julia Salasky (CEO and Founder of CrowdJustice).

Topics: Technology, politics, policy and changes in the legal market.

Refreshments & networking

Session 2: The skills that the next generation of lawyers need

Format: Discussion about the skills of the future for entry-level into the legal sector.

Speakers: Interactive audience discussion, led by Alex Aldridge (Publisher of Legal Cheek), Mark Collins (Legal Project Management Lead EMEA at Herbert Smith Freehills) and Jo-Anne Pugh (Strategic Director of Programme Design and Development at BPP University).

Topics: Exploration of themes introduced in Session 1.


Session 3a: The SQE

Format: Discussion points by Russell Group and other leading university deans, law firm heads of graduate recruitment and other senior industry figures.

Speakers: Julie Brannan (Director of Education and Training at the ‎Solicitors Regulation Authority), Professor Thom Brooks (Dean of Durham Law School, Durham University), Professor Richard Moorhead (Chair of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL), Chris Howard (Director of Professional Legal Education at ‎King’s College London), Professor Andrew Francis (Leeds University), Linden Thomas (Birmingham University SQE Working Group Member), Crispin Rapinet (Training Principal at Hogan Lovells).

Topics: Implementation of the SQE, maintaining training standards, using the changes to help bring about greater diversity in the profession.

Session 3b: Training and education at the Bar

Supported by Hardwicke and Bar Squared

Format: TED-style talks followed by Q&A.

Speakers: Lord Briggs (UK Supreme Court Justice with brief for IT and innovation), Dr Vanessa Davies (Director General of the Bar Standards Board), PJ Kirby QC (Co-Head of Hardwicke), James Wakefield (Director of the Council of the Inns of Court), Helen Ford (Managing Director of Bar Squared).

Topics: How barrister training needs to evolve to accommodate developments in technology; a related consideration of proposals to reform the Bar Professional Training Course.

Conference attendees will be able to request a video of the session that they chose not to attend in person.

Find out more about the Bar session.

Refreshments & networking

Session 4: Education and training in other professions

Format: Fireside chat with representatives from different professions.

Speakers: Keily Blair (Director of Regulatory and Commercial Disputes at ‎PwC), Euan Blair (CEO and Founder of WhiteHat), Sam Harper (former General Counsel of Deliveroo), Samuel Gordon (Research Analyst at the Institute of Student Employers), Iain Gallagher (Senior Manager of Emerging Talent at Santander UK).

Topics: Earn-while-you-learn degrees, apprenticeships, new graduate pathways.

Closing summary



Standard entry ticket: £240 + VAT. Purchase your ticket here

About the sponsors

BPP University Law School

With over 20 years’ experience in delivering professional legal qualifications, BPP University Law School has proudly earned its place as one of the largest law schools in the UK. It offers highly flexible programmes which give students more ways to study than any other leading provider. With seven centres based across the UK, students can be sure to find a programme and study option that suits them.

Neota Logic

Neota Logic is a leading artificial intelligence (AI) platform for the automation of expert reasoning, documents, and business processes in professional services. In addition to serving law firm and corporate legal clients, Neota Logic offers its low code development platform to law schools and pro bono organisations to further the development of digital access to justice solutions in the world.

STEM Future Lawyers

STEM Future Lawyers is the UK’s first network for science, technology, engineering & maths students and graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the law. We help connect the best STEM students and graduates with the UK offices of the world’s leading law firms through our panel discussions, Q&As and networking sessions. Drawing upon relationships with nearly 50 elite firms and chambers, our objective is to facilitate the recruitment of students with the skills to bridge the gap between high-level legal practice and cutting-edge technological innovation.


Hardwicke is a modern, forward-thinking set of chambers. The set’s barristers are well known in their fields and are ranked in the latest issues of the leading independent legal directories Chambers UK and The Legal 500. Hardwicke members work across the range of civil and commercial law, from administrative law to trade disputes, and can handle everything from informal advice over the telephone to representation in the most complex international disputes. Hardwicke is at the forefront of alternative dispute resolution and has a panel of qualified arbitrators and mediators.

Bar Squared

Bar Squared creates innovative and intuitive .NET web solutions. Its team writes clear, easy-to-use business software applications and custom database software using ASP.NET, VB.NET, C#, SQLServer and Exchange Server. Bar Squared’s close-knit studio and support team pool resources to solve a diverse range of real world business challenges. Combining use of cutting edge .NET development tools and its own core tools and libraries with proven methods, the company provides the very best in bespoke and tailored applications, quickly.