Arriving at the fabulous roof top garden of Allen & Overy in Bishops Square at about 6pm last night, the weather was so hot, hot, hot that it looked like there might be a cloud burst. But we were lucky as the weather remained glorious.

Sipping on chilled sparkling rose wine it was nice to meet up with old and new friends. It was especially nice to chat to a couple of my former CIM students – Angela Rook (DMH Stallard) who I learned was an expert on international organised crime and fraud (a subject of great interest to a few of my litigation clients) and Mark Wileman of Sacker & Partners (pension law specialists).

I touched base with Gavin Ingham Brooke from Spada (one of the sponsors) to learn about some great new research they have done called “British Professions Today: The State of the Sector”. This 48 page report contains a veritable treasure chest of information about the history, regulation and contribution of the professions that should be read and absorbed by all those involved in the professions. Some bits that particularly caught my eye were:

• Professional services as represented in SIC category 74 account for the largest single share of UK output contributing 8% of the UK real GDP. It also accounts for £15,849m of British trade in services (over half the total).
• Professional services continue to expand and are forecast to grow 3.4% average annually from 2004 to 2014 (compared to 2.4% average for the whole economy in the same period).
• It is the largest single category of employment – 11.5% of the UK total

The report uses Langland’s 2005 definition of the professions “where a first degree followed by a period of further study or professional training is the normal entry route and where there is a professional body overseeing standards of entry to the profession”.

It was nice to make new friends at WSP Environmental and also with a former DTZ senior business developer. Surprise catch-up of the evening was with Nick Richards – who I worked with many, many years ago when he was in the property industry. He then moved across to the legal profession before landing a fantastic job in the Cayman Islands. Nick is now back and heading up marketing/BD at Vantis. And the haysmacintyre team were there – who I will be seeing again this evening as they are hosting my book launch (thanks guys!).

Thanks to the team at Practice Management International for organising the event and best wishes to Richard Chaplin who awaits the arrival of his second grandchild at any minute. And thanks for an inspired party bag from sponsors Hubbard One – a bottle of water and a battery operated fan. Perfect for the journey home in the sweltering heat.