Annual Lecture and IFCLA

October 18, 2015

It’s still not too late to book for the SCL Annual Conference this coming Thursday (8th October). The programme covers a wide range of the current “hot topics” in Tech law. I’m looking forward to learning a lot. As well as the ideal way to catch up on Techlaw developments, the event is always a great way to meet colleagues and old friends and to make new acquaintances. Once again, the Annual Conference is at the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn so it’s very conveniently located in central London.

With the Annual Conference this week, it’s easy to forget the upcoming SCL Annual Lecture by Dame Wendy Hall which will take place later in the month on Monday 19 October. I am really excited about her lecture. Dame Wendy is a truly pivotal figure in the development of the Web. She is Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton and a Director of the Web Science Institute and she has played a leading role in many national and international organisations and initiatives.

When Wendy speaks, people listen. We were delighted when she agreed to give the Lecture. Her subject, ‘The Evolution of the Web: from the Wild West to a Brave New World?, is of relevance to almost every SCL member, even those who are allergic to the Wild West comparisons. The Lecture is free to SCL members and I hope that we can break our records for the number attending. I think that many non-members will find attendance worthwhile too.

I know that Dame Wendy has shattered many a glass ceiling. I was a little ashamed to discover that she has shattered another in that she is the first woman to give the SCL Lecture for many years. I would like to think that the SCL glass ceiling was an especially flimsy one but it does make one think about indirect or accidental discrimination when discovering that we have gone so long without a female SCL Annual Lecturer. More generally, it would be good to see SCL reflect the 21st century role of women in technology law more accurately. We can only do that if more women become actively involved. Please consider taking an active part so that we have more prominent role models for younger female technology lawyers.

Finally, I would like to draw the attention of SCL members to the fact that you can now register, at early-bird rates, for the IFCLA Conference in June 2016 which SCL is hosting and organising. That involves a 10% saving on the already very affordable rates, and that might just possibly enable your firm to send more junior technology lawyers to the event. You might also look at the sponsorship opportunities that are now available – you may well have clients that are interested in this connection with the opinion formers in international technology law and the sponsorship costs are well below some of the mind-numbing charges that I have seen offered for sponsorship of other events.