Member Blog: January 2023 – Matthew Lagden

January 18, 2023

My inbox is always open

In the first of a new series of member blogs, CEO Matthew Lagden sets out the ILM’s priorities for 2023 and says communication is at the heart of the agenda.

As a membership organisation, knowing and responding to what our members think is always going to be key to our success, which is why I’m starting 2023 with a plea to keep telling us about the issues that matter to you. Whether it is through our regular surveys, by email or phone, or simply talking to us; we really value the feedback and ideas we receive. My (virtual) door is always open, so please feel free to contact either myself or our Head of Member Engagement, Esther Oddy, directly.

I like to think we’re good listeners too…and we’re not afraid to make changes. That’s why, when the joint topics of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) started appearing more regularly in our inboxes, we knew it was time for action. Thanks to membership feedback, we have redeveloped many of our systems and processes. We now have a designated board member responsible for EDI and have set up a working group to make sure we can deliver the changes our members want to see. I would like to say a big thank you to Esther, Becky, and the members of the working group for their hard work on this.

We want to encourage equality, diversity and greater inclusiveness; we want our membership to reflect a wider cross-section of our community; and we want to provide an environment where everyone can flourish. There will be more on this topic over the coming months but let me reassure you that the goal is to make sure our operating procedures around EDI become embedded as a beacon for best practice – so watch this space.


This leads me neatly onto training. As you know, providing training and guidance for our members is a key driving force behind what we do. We are currently working on our training programme for 2023 and I’m pleased to say we already have a host of online events lined-up. As always, Esther is working closely with our Corporate Partners to deliver webinars on a range of topics aimed at members of all levels of experience, and we be running more of our ever-popular Legacy Essentials and Introduction to Legacies courses. Of particular interest to many of you is our new course on Working with Lay Executors (16 March), developed in collaboration with Legacy Foresight and CRUK.

Check out our Training Calendar to keep on top of our latest training events and, if you have a topic you would like to see covered, then let us know.

Conference time

It might only be January, but the ILM Annual Conference is less than four months away, so please make sure you have 12 May 2023 in your diary. As always, it’s a fantastic networking opportunity and this year there will be a special breakout room for new members to get to know each other. We’re delighted that more than 100 new faces joined us in 2022 and, if you were one of them, we hope you will join us for your first conference.

In a change to the norm this year, we’ll then be handing over to our three session sponsors, to whom we are very grateful. Each sponsor – Bolt Burdon, Foot Anstey and Hugh James – will be running a dedicated 45-minute session for members. Bolt Burdon are looking at Post-Covid Capacity Issues; the Foot Anstey team focuses on Managing Teams and Workload in a Post-Pandemic World and Hugh James will cover Working with the Charity Commission.

This will be followed by a session from our friends at Legacy Foresight, before a panel discussion and closing remarks from James Stebbings. As ever, the end-of-day drinks reception provides a welcome opportunity to socialise with members and friends from around the country.

Hot topics

As I’ve already mentioned, we want to hear more about the hot topics that are coming across your desks – virtual or physical! We know there are several issues bubbling away, including the situation with the Scottish Probate Registry, look out for a full update on the work we have been doing about this shortly. Thanks to our excellent connections with experts and policy makers throughout the legacy and wider legal world, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to deliver answers to the questions that are troubling you.

Having added significant new members last year– our goal is to build on that momentum and welcome yet more new faces over the months ahead. If you know someone you believe would benefit from becoming an ILM member, then please don’t hesitate to put them in touch for an informal chat.

And finally, on behalf of everyone at the ILM, may I wish you a successful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to continuing to work alongside you throughout 2023 and to seeing you in person on 12 May.

Kind regards
Matthew Lagden


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