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Big names, big issues for annual conference

17 September 07

Preview of this year's In-house Lawyers Group Annual General Meeting and Symposium

The legal issues surrounding Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games bid, and reform of the planning system are just two of the issues to be discussed at the forthcoming In-house Lawyers Group AGM and symposium on 2 November at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh.

John McKinlay, from DLA Piper, will give a presentation on “The Race for the 2014 Commonwealth Games – the Legal Issues in Scotland’s Bid”. He will cover a range of issues that face in-house lawyers, as well as other practitioners, as Glasgow seeks to win the right to host the games in seven years’ time.

The winning bid will be announced in Sri Lanka on 9 November, a week after the ILG conference, revealing whether the games will go to Glasgow or Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

After outlining the background to the bid, which saw Glasgow designated as Scotland’s candidate city in 2005, McKinlay will explain the significant work that goes into the preparation of the bid. Lawyers have been involved in much of the work, for instance putting sponsorship deals in place to support the bid – large companies such as First Group, Clydesdale Bank, Highland Spring and O2 are major supporters – protecting intellectual property rights, considering broadcasting issues and helping to ensure that suitable venues are secured.

Commenting on his theme McKinlay said: “People will see 2014 as a long way away, but the requirements of the bid are complex and many legal issues had to addressed now to enable the bid to be submitted in the best possible shape.

“Our team has worked very closely with Glasgow City Council’s team of in-house lawyers, dealing in turn with many in-house lawyers from the sponsors, venue owners and other commercial interests.”

Neil Collar, who is head of planning at Brodies and also sits on the Society’s planning law subcommittee, will give a presentation on “Planning Issues: Legislative Changes”.

Explaining his topic he commented: “After much talk of reform of the planning system, the 2006 Act is going to be brought into force over the next couple of years. Is this a root and branch reform? What are the implications for lawyers?”

Collar will assess the practical significance of the main changes.

The conference will open with an address from this year’s keynote speaker, the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini QC. Other speakers include: Graeme Fyfe, from Pinsent Masons (The Companies Act 2006); Sheila Gunn, of Shepherd and Wedderburn (Discrimination Issues and the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights); and Paul Gilbert, LBCWise Counsel (Surviving Change). Other issues, such as the fact that in-house lawyers are the only example of alternative business structures in operation in Scotland, will also be discussed.

Richard Henderson, President of the Society, will give an address following the formal AGM. In the evening members can enjoy a dinner from 7.30pm, with Austin Lafferty as the after dinner speaker.

The main aims of the ILG conference are to celebrate the work and status of in-house lawyers; to educate them by inviting speakers who are experts in their field, from both the legal world and business and finance; and to provide an excellent networking opportunity. It also gives the ILG committee the opportunity to meet directly with members and hear their views and needs.

All sectors of in-house lawyers are represented at the event – delegates from local authorities, fiscal service, finance, business and other major institutions. It is hoped that a global network of in-house lawyers’ groups can be created to allow the exchange of ideas and learning/networking opportunities.

For more information about the AGM and symposium visit www.lawscot.org.uk/members_information/inhouse/event.aspx?e=76