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20-22 April 2018 | Heythrop Park – Oxford

The conference this year will be held at Heythrop Park, previously a stately home now converted into an elegant and spacious hotel and conference venue, set in 440 acres of beautiful parkland including an 18-hole golf course, health club and spa. The event is centrally located, being 1½ hours from Birmingham, some 2 hours from London and about 3 hours from Leeds, by car. Nearby attractions include historic Blenheim Palace (some 10 miles), Bicester Shopping Village (15 miles) and slightly further afield, the dreaming spires of Oxford, under 25 miles away. Good road links permit easy access and to explore the nearby Cotswold district.

All sole practitioner solicitors are invited to join us on this highly educational, enjoyable, and thought-provoking weekend. Many opportunities will be provided to learn about the profession and business practice, as well as gain insights and advice from the excellent panel of speakers we have lined up. We also invite members of small firms who will find our event extremely useful and an economical way to achieve training objectives. Of course, as with previous conferences, you are most welcome to bring family members to enjoy the hotel and the social side of the weekend.

The speakers will include:

Joe Egan – President of The Law Society

Jane Malcom – Executive Director of External Affairs at the SRA

The conference will start on Friday 20th April at lunchtime with a Golf Competition, followed by an opportunity to network with your fellow guests and the Committee members in the evening and enjoy the buffet dinner and disco.

On Saturday 21st April, there will be a full day of presentations by eminent guest speakers including Joe Egan and Jane Malcolm, on new flexibility in the profession and maintaining professional standards. This will be followed by a talk from our main sponsors, Miller, on protecting your practice from risk in a changing professional climate and the most economic and efficient way of dealing with run-off. Not to be missed is an essential talk by Richard Hodgson, barrister of Design Chambers, on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). He will provide detailed notes for you to take away and there will be a question and answer session on this topical issue.

Our AGM on Saturday will give members a chance to put their points of view to the committee, and perhaps consider volunteering to work with them.

That evening we will all enjoy a champagne reception, (kindly sponsored by the SRA), followed by our traditional black tie gala dinner, including a prize draw, entertainment and a disco.

The conference programme will include sessions on maximising the benefit from your software package from our sponsors Leap, and information on the new requirements for digitised accounting after 2019, when the new VAT regulations come into force for businesses with turnover of more than £85,000 per annum. Over the weekend we will also have sessions on improving our income and getting the best out of social media, especially Linked In.

We are looking forward to a new and challenging, competitive team building event – duck herding with sheepdogs! For anyone who is a fan of One Man and his Dog, this is a must do – the rest of us will no doubt watch in admiration and/or laughter. It is free to enter and prizes will be on offer, so do please join us.

And the best news is that the conference is very reasonably priced as set out below. We have secured special conference rates at the beautiful refurbished rooms in the main house which are in the wings either side of the original stately home.

The committee looks forward to seeing you at this annual event, learning from the professional, practice and business sessions while networking with your fellow sole practitioners, and enjoying the evening events and entertainment.

Delegate fee:

Sole Practitioner – £125 + VAT = £150

Non-Sole Practitioner Delegate – £150 + VAT = £ 180

Both of above include refreshments and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, but not Saturday gala dinner.


Golf (please bring your own clubs) £30 + VAT = £36, includes light lunch from 1pm

Friday welcome buffet – £20 + VAT = £24

Saturday Black tie gala dinner – £55 + VAT = £66


You can book via Eventbrite or if you would like to book, and avoid paying charges, then you can do so by emailing We will send you a booking form to complete which you can send back with a cheque or pay by BACS.


Accommodation is to be booked directly by the delegate with the hotel quoting code SPG. We have been given a conference rate of £110 bed and breakfast including VAT, single occupancy (Double/twin occupancy would incur a £15 including VAT supplement).

Please note that there are two types of room at Heythrop – the traditional rooms attached to the main house where we are having the event, and the Modern rooms in the Crowne Plaza wing next door (but attached) which may be cheaper online. We make this clear so that members have the best choice available .


Friday 20th April 2018

13:00: Golf Tournament
17:00 to 19:00: Conference Registration Open
19:00 to 23:30: Welcome Reception & Buffet

Saturday 21st April 2018

08:30 to 11:00: Conference Registration Open
10:00: Conference Start
13:00: Lunch
17:30: Conference Close
18:30: Drinks Reception
19:30: Gala Dinner

Sunday 22nd April 2018

09:30: Conference Start
13:30: Conference Close
13:30: Lunch

The Executive Committee of the Sole Practitioners Group would like to thank our Sponsors. All our sponsors will be present and available to advise our members on their services during the conference.