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Back on the road at transport conference

Sponsored feature | Road transport team, Woodfines Solicitors

Woodfines Solicitors hosted its 16th Transport Conference in November 2021 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford (53627454)
Woodfines Solicitors hosted its 16th Transport Conference in November 2021 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford (53627454)

The Woodfines Solicitors road transport team were delighted to host their 16th Transport Conference at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

With it being two years since the last face-to-face conference, the team were thrilled to be ‘talking transport’ in person and celebrating the industry that has ‘kept the show on the road’ during the pandemic.

The conference on November 25 was opened and hosted by Mike Hayward, partner and head of the transport and regulatory team, who gave a legal round-up and update of what has happened since everyone last met, as well as recognising the logistics industry as the lifeblood of everything we do.

Mike handed over to Damian and Justyna Sodel, owners and founders of NN1 Personnel, who spoke of their experiences with driver recruitment and also the fact that a HGV driver is not listed as an eligible occupation to apply for a skilled worker visa. Keeping to the theme of drivers, Ruth Edwards, operations director at Talent in Logistics/RTITB and ambassador for the logistics industry, looked further into the issue, and specifically at the importance of driver engagement and retention.

Woodfines’ Nathan Taylor-Allkins then delivered an interactive session which involved delegates voting in live polls, adding some fun, while still being informative. Do you know your Belgian roundabout from a Dutch one?

The delegation enjoyed a presentation from Mark Cartwright, head of commercial vehicle incident prevention at National Highways, who spoke on the importance of load security and post-crash support, as well as sharing some shocking stories of what they have seen on the roads.

Maria Gallucci, Woodfines’ head of corporate and commercial, then took the wheel to discuss employee status and the importance of getting this right.

Barrister Kim Preston of 4 Kings Bench Walk, with whom Woodfines have a strong and longstanding relationship, took to the lectern to deliver an informative presentation with added humour about health and safety in the logistics workplace, and what happens when the wheels (quite literally in some cases) fall off.

After a jam-packed morning, everyone had worked up an appetite, and after lunch were able to pop outside to have a chat with traffic officers from Leicestershire police who, together with one of their undercover HGVs, were there for the day to discuss first-hand experiences and concerns from out on the road. The lorry was a big hit with delegates and some of the Woodfines team who were lucky enough to get in and take a closer look!

After that excitement, it was back to business with Phil Breen, head of earned recognition at the DVSA and a regular speaker at Woodfines conferences. He shared some case studies from operators and members of the scheme to demonstrate the positive impact it has had on their business.

Last but by no means least, Woodfines solicitor Jane Anderson gave a very topical update on the tightening of rules around the use of mobile phones while driving, an important issue discussed at previous conferences and one which officers reported seeing all too often.

The transport team ended the day by taking questions from the delegates before closing in the usual Woodfines way of a Champagne business card draw.

Mike Hayward said: “With it being such a long time since we last met, it was fantastic to bring everybody together and celebrate the logistics industry who have worked so hard during the pandemic to keep things moving. Thank you to all of my team, the guest speakers and everyone who took the time out to join us during this difficult and busy time and make the day such a success.”

The team would also like to thank all of their transport contacts who were unable to make it on the day for their continued support.

Woodfines offer full legal services with teams who are here for all of your personal and business legal needs. The next conference will be in May 2022. To be added to the mailing list for more information in due course, contact Kerry Ransby at kransby@woodfines.co.uk.

See more at woodfines.co.uk.

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