• International Workplace
  • 10 February 2009

Hardy FMs overcome snow to attend anniversary legal conference

More than 120 guests braved the recent bad weather to attend Workplace Law’s FM Legal Update Conference and Dinner in Stansted, marking the 10th anniversary of the event.  

And despite the heavy blizzards, hardy facilities managers made the most of the packed conference programme, rating the event the best ever! 

Highlight of the two-day event was the black tie anniversary dinner, accompanied by the mellow tones of the Fitz Swing Band. BIFM Chief Executive Ian Fielder, guest speaker at the dinner, congratulated Workplace Law on its achievement and praised the firm for its dedication to keeping facilities managers updated on the law and practice of managing the workplace during the last decade.  

Delegates enjoyed seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions on a wide range of topics, including:  

  • health and safety law and personal responsibility;
  • evacuation in the event of fire;
  • parking management;
  • revised water regulations;
  • changes in asbestos surveying;
  • cost-effective waste management;
  • TUPE;
  • equality and human rights; and
  • environmental law and practice.

Workplace Law Group’s Managing Director David Sharp was delighted at the event’s success:  

“In the middle of a recession, and with bad weather looming, we thought there perhaps couldn’t have been a worse time to be celebrating our tenth anniversary conference – especially as this was the first time we made our dinner a black tie occasion. But how wrong could we have been?  

“This year’s event brought a real spirit of togetherness, and I think that with all the gloom around at the moment, people enjoyed the chance to dress up, have a good time, and catch up with friends in the industry. An amazing 93% of people said they would recommend this event to their colleagues. 

“We updated the conference programme to include specific information to help FMs combat the recession, with good advice on the pitfalls of property leases and a rousing keynote from industry stalwart Oliver Jones who emphasised the opportunities that can arise during turbulent times.” 

As is customary, Workplace Law will be following up its flagship event with a spring conference, dubbed the ‘highlights package’, which includes all the best bits of the February conference distilled into one day. Taking place on 19 May in central London, the one-day FM Legal Update Conference provides an excellent opportunity for busy facilities managers to catch up on changes in law and practice; the programme is being finalised in the next few weeks. 

Despite the success of this year’s conference and dinner, the organisers are promising some changes for next year.  

“The world has changed a great deal since our first annual conference in April 2000, and we feel that we need to reflect this in 2010”, says Sharp. “We want to come back with something bigger, and more innovative, which really helps facilities managers get to grips with changes in the law – and have a good time doing it.” 

The 10th Anniversary Facilities Management Legal Update Conference and Dinner was sponsored by Breathe Group and GDF Suez Energy Services, and took place at the Radisson SAS hotel in Stansted from 3-4 February 2009. For more information about the one-day FM Legal Update Conference or next year’s annual flagship event , please contact Workplace Law on 0871 777 8881 or visit