The countdown begins

With keynote speeches from the new Lord Chief Justice and from Lord Pannick QC, Saba Naqshbandi explains why you should attend this year’s Annual Bar Conference

Key Facts
Date: Saturday 2 November 2013
Venue: Westminster Park Plaza
CPD: 6 points
Cost: Prices start from £125

Sessions include:
The Criminal Bar Association
The Criminal Bar’s fight for survival: justice on the supermarket shelf
Moderator: Nigel Lithman QC

The Family Law Bar Association and Chancery Bar Association
Chancery fiction or family reality: Piercing the corporate veil after Prest v Prest
Moderator: Mr Justice Moylan

COMBAR & the International Committee
Looking to the future: the changing face of international dispute resolution
Moderator: Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC

The EU Law Committee, European Circuit and Bar European Group
The shift in the balance of powers between the UK and the EU
Moderator: Michael Bowsher QC

The Intellectual Property Bar Association
Registered trade mark infringement in the online marketplace
Moderator: Daniel Alexander QC and Henry Carr QC

The Access to the Bar Committee
One lawyer or two: to what extent will the future of the Bar work without solicitors?
Moderator: Robin Tolson QC

The Bar Standards Board
The new BSB Handbook and ‘risk assessed’ monitoring
Moderator: Vanessa Davies, Director, BSB

The Employed Barristers’ Committee
Dual practice: the ethics of dual practice
Moderator: Andrew Walker QC

The Young Barristers’ Committee
Is the future fused?
Moderator: Hannah Kinch

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Advanced mediation advocacy - managing relationships and expectations
Moderator: Michel Kallipetis QC

The Equality and Diversity and Social Mobility Committees
Diversity at the Bar: the curious question of quotas
Moderator: Courtenay Griffiths QC

The Bar Human Rights Committee
Law, war and human rights
Moderator: Kirsty Brimelow QC

In recognition of the rapidly changing legal landscape and the challenges it brings for all barristers, this year’s Conference is themed: Tomorrow’s Bar: Engaged in the Future. It promises to be a unique opportunity for self-employed and employed barristers from all disciplines to learn and debate the issues facing us; how to address these challenges successfully to ensure the continued sustainability of our profession, whilst championing all that is positive and relevant about the Bar of today and the future. In addition, this is a Conference which all those involved in the administration of justice and delivery of legal services should attend.

We’re delighted that both Lord Pannick QC and the newly appointed Lord Chief Justice, the Rt Hon Sir John Thomas, have kindly agreed to deliver the Opening and Closing Keynote speeches respectively. That in my view is reason enough to come along but if you need more persuasion, then please read on.

Join me and other early birds for a session moderated by Nick Lavender QC, Vice-Chairman of the Bar, to listen to the views and experiences of a senior judge, a senior clerk, and pro bono providers, amongst others, on the impact of legal aid cuts to access to justice. This early bird session will be followed by an address from Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar and the Keynote Opening Speech from Lord Pannick QC. Given his vast experience at all levels of practice I will be interested to hear Lord Pannick’s views on the issues facing our profession and how we should equip ourselves for the future.

Six breakout sessions in the morning and six sessions in the early afternoon will follow, providing a platform to learn and ask questions in relation to the areas that directly impact upon your practice, with a focus on the future.

Feeling spoilt for choice? I certainly am. Building on the success and positive response from the 2012 Conference, two one-hour long sessions will precede the Keynote Closing Speech. The first session, run by The Advocacy Training Council and moderated by Nicholas Green QC will focus on excellence in appellate advocacy, whilst the second session is designed to help barristers and chambers effectively promote themselves in increasingly challenging times, where we must continue to modernise. Moderated by Toby Craig, Head of Communications at the Bar Council and entitled: Building your Brand: How to Win Business at the Modern Bar, come along and pick up tricks of the trade from marketing, PR and business development specialists.

The working part of the day will be brought to a close by the Lord Chief Justice. I look forward to hearing his views on our Conference theme.

Throughout the Conference there will be time to visit the varied and many exhibitors and sponsors and view the latest products and services available which cater for your professional needs.

You won’t be rushed out the door after the last session; there will be a drinks reception with entertainment and networking opportunities to conclude the day.

I do hope you are now poised to book but please let me sum up why you should come. This Conference is the main event in the Bar’s calendar with the most significant opportunity to discuss and raise any questions and concerns with the Leaders of the Bar and Specialist Bar Associations, not to mention the country’s most senior Judge.

It provides an enticing array of speakers from the business world, the legal profession, politics and the judiciary and offers a full programme of engaging sessions with relevant specialist workshops, including a total of six CPD points to round off the year’s requirements.

To book your place and view the full programme please visit: www.barcouncil.org.uk.

I do hope I will see you there.

Saba Naqshbandi, Chairman, The Annual Bar Conference 2013