Richard Mathias interview – the LFS conveyancing awards
Richard Mathias of Law Firm Services is as well known in the conveyancing market for holding strong opinions as he is for his annual conveyancing conference. This September, Richard is not only holding a conveyancing conference but also an award ceremony. As we are only a couple of weeks away from the closing deadline for entrants to his awards, we thought our readers might be interested to learn more about his plans.
CH: I’ve been to one of your conferences in the past and found it very interesting, how many years has the Law Firm Services conference now been going?
RM: This is the 4th LFS Conference and we already have more bookings than any other year. With more speakers and sponsors than ever before it promises to be our best yet.
CH: What are the key themes that you want to cover this year and what do you consider to be the main issues for conveyancers at the moment?
RM: The theme is “Lenders and Lawyers working together” — Whilst there is much comment and debate about the HSBC most lenders aren’t thinking like them. Lenders do however, need to reduce their exposure to fraud and lawyers need to understand this. By bringing the two groups together in this way we hope for more understanding on both sides.
CH: So who do you have speaking from the lenders and other parts of the market?
RM: Who is speaking? Paul Collins (Lloyds Banking Group) Tracey Carr (Santander) Paul Broadhead (Building Societies Association) make up our lender representatives and a whole host of others including lawyers and PI insurers. The main attraction will be Justin Urquhart Stewart the Radio 4 Economist who gave such a fantastic speech 2 years ago.
CH: How many people have booked and what types of conveyancers are already attending?
RM: To date over 125 people have booked mainly representing the top 100 law firms by size
CH: That’s interesting. What’s new this year?
RM: Whilst conferences tend to follow the same theme we have really changed the after event dinner. We have introduced the inaugural Conveyancer of the Year Awards and these have been sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group. This will be a full black tie dinner with loads of entertainment including Live Band. There will still be charity fund raising and we hope to smash our total of £3300 from last year. In fact we have only agreed today to split the charity monies to help McMillan Cancer Research as well as the Alzheimers Society. Russell Manning of Manning Stainton Estate Agents has committed to raise £50K for McMillan this year and we aim to help him put a big hole in that target.
CH: So what are the award categories?
RM: Regional Conveyancing Firm of the year, Direct Conveyancing Firm of the year, Young Conveyancer of the year, Best use of Social Media and Best Website / marketing campaign. We already have over 40 entries to date but think we could get as many as 100 .
CH When is the final deadline for entries?
RM: April 30th so only 2 weeks to go. Finally Chris I would like to mention that we have an award for an outstanding contribution to the industry and welcome nominations from any of your readers — you never know they might even vote for you
CH: Richard thanks for the chance to talk with you and learn more about the awards. I`m not sure that I contribute anything to the market whilst others do, but I am looking forward to the event and do hope that it goes well for you. I’ll be sending you my nomination for who I think has made the most outstanding contribution to the market later.
Once again many thanks.
For more information about the LFS conference and the awards, click here.