A Millennial’s Perspective Of The ‘Today’s Wills And Probate Seminar’

Earlier this month saw the start of an excellent day’s seminar in the wonderful Belfry Hotel followed by a celebratory evening of the British Wills and Probate awards. This is my reflection of the day.

I am a third year law student working hard towards my finals and eager to expose myself to the people and organisations that I will be working with in the future. And so, I felt privileged to be invited to attend the day. It surpassed my expectations as I found myself exposed to some of the cutting edge themes and perspectives. It was far from my usual seminars on topics such as; Donoghue v Stevenson or Hedley Byrne v Heller.

From the outset we launched into Colum Smith’s excellent keynote on the value of Will Banks. The ‘golden thread’ being (as you will see through this article) the value to your firm and how best to make use of existing data for success.

I must admit at this point my first prejudice to wills was that they appeared to me to be an unprofitable service. Colum’s perspective broadened my perspective from the restricted view I had of them. He put forward an interesting view and I learnt about the profitability of a well organised Will Bank and I.T. structure. And this was all before 11am!

Next, Simon McCrum chaired a panel discussion on “The Diamond Effect – how to make firms attractive to investors.” A great discussion all round and again it exemplified the value to your firm raising excellent perspectives in Leadership, Joined Clear Direction and People.

After a well needed croissant and coffee, Jennifer Williams, from Lawyer Checker, opened many people’s eyes with a very hands on practical presentation on safeguarding firms from cyberattack.

Some of the statistics that she presented were eye-opening. The fact that a firm is more likely to suffer a cyber-attack than not, was a real shocker. Jennifer then went on to demonstrate the ease of spoofing firm emails and how Lawyer Checker can best prevent these forms of cyber-attacks.

I’d never thought so much about changing my passwords after this presentation. And there I was thinking I was safe with 6 characters followed by a number!

Finally, in the last panel discussion Chris Harris chaired an informative discussion with some excellent stories and points on safeguarding your law firm.

It never occurred to me that firms should protect themselves with “penetration testing” or that there are real dangers in having an under resourced IT department. GDPR fills me with some trepidation and I am not needed to follow any guidelines as a student!

Conclusively, the panel convinced me that there is genuine value in a firm other than its clients or services offered, and that safeguarding firms needed a diffusion of the stigma that adopting new technology is hard.

Finally, Robert Sanderson summarised the day’s presentations. It left me feeling incredibly reflective about my original lack of awareness about firms and how much my understanding and knowledge had increased as a result of the well organised day.

My sense of commercial awareness improved as well as gaining a new insight into data and business accessibility. In addition, I now fully appreciate the importance of Cyber Security and the value of a Firm beyond its traditional sense. A truly valuable experience and something I would wholeheartedly recommend attending next year.

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