We are phenomenally proud of the Association ALEP has grown into; our organisation now has 235 member firms representing the whole spectrum of the sector – both freeholders and leaseholders. Our job, as a professional membership association, is to promote best practice, education, fairness and clarity to all members and the wider sector.
Although we are - resolutely - an independent, apolitical association, we are also proud to have many members who have been instrumental in their efforts to support the government and law commission in its quest for reform.
Our consultation engagement session with members, which was held on 9 November, was well-attended and a great deal of debate ensued. We discussed the Law Commission and MHCLG consultations in detail, with many strong views raised from the valuer and legal sides of the room. This productive session confirmed that, as an association, it is nigh on impossible to agree a consensus of opinion and present an overall ALEP viewpoint, however, at time of writing, we are preparing our submission to the Law Commission consultation, which is due on 7 January, and we will circulate this response in due course.
We are encouraged that many of our members continue to speak to the media and government independently, representing the interests of leaseholders and freeholders and we hope that all will continue and have their say in future consultations. In this way, and by delivering events and training of the highest quality, by continuing to uphold best practice and standards and by providing a badge of assurance to clients - whichever side they sit - we can all help to frame the future of leasehold enfranchisement.
Our events continued apace throughout 2018; we began the year with a very insightful lecture on commonhold and have ended the programme with our seasonal drinks, which is taking place tonight. Following feedback from members, we have moved to The Victory Services Club, a fabulous new venue and we are confident that this evening will be one of seasonal celebration and reflection.
Between these events, we have also held our ever-popular quiz, which was attended by 90 members, a golf day, enjoyed by 30 golfers and novices, and a regional training event in Manchester, hosted by Irwin Mitchell and attended by 60 regional practitioners. It is notable that we have already secured new membership from the exercise.
In October, we held the ALEP Conference at 30 Euston Square. This event sold out at 300 delegates, such was the appetite for the content and speakers. Thank you to all who worked with us to plan this content.
The event calendar for 2019 is well in hand and we are looking forward to going back on the road to Southampton and Bath, hosting another lecture on 5 March and reintroducing an old favourite, the ALEP Night at the Races. Our annual conference will take place on Tuesday 24 September. Please visit the website for updates and further dates.
Our relationships with organisations in the wider industry including the RICS, LEASE, NAEA, ARLA, IRPM, ARMA and the Law Society, as well as publications such as News on the Block and Flat Living have flourished in 2018. Our directors, committee and other members of the ALEP management team have also represented the Association at these – and other - organisations’ conferences and training events throughout the year. We look forward to maintaining these relationships in 2019.
Thank you to all who supported ALEP events in 2018. As always, we are grateful to our sponsor, Kerry London, which has supported us for a sixth consecutive year. The provision of moral support, as well as financial, is appreciated and we know that our members also appreciate the professional service – and favourable rates – Kerry London offers.
DRIVE Marketing, an agency led by Clare Grove and Anna Bailey, continues to run the management of the Association and I believe the members receive prompt and efficient service.
So, grateful thanks go to them, as well as those who play a crucial role: Liza Smith, finance manager and administrator, as well as the band of “ALEP ladies” who so ably help at ALEP events throughout the year.
I would also like to thank all the members of the advisory committee for their guidance and support, particularly that of Mark Chick and our Honorary President, Damian Greenish, whose unwavering support and wise counsel is highly valued.
I have no dobt that change and reform - and many discussions thereof - will continue to present us all with challenges in the year ahead. In the midst of this, you can be assured that ALEP will continue in its aim to be an influential organisation, with a membership base ensuring professionalism and quality to the clients it serves.
The successes and achievements of 2018 would not have been possible without the continued support and loyalty of our member firms and individual barristers. By attending our events, participating in consultations and supporting the Association in a myriad of ways, you continue to help us to take ALEP from strength to strength.