Shepherd and Wedderburn has unveiled a prestigious line-up of industry speakers for Property 2019, Scotland’s premiere property conference. 

The conference, now in its 19th year, will bring together leading industry experts to share their unique perspectives and stimulate discussion and debate around this year’s theme: Real Estate: Resilience or Revolution?

The free, half-day event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 11 June will explore property trends, the future direction of the commercial property market and investment opportunities.

The panel of expert speakers and the topics for discussion will include:

  • Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation, who will provide a general overview of the UK property sector and the key emerging trends. 
  • Darren Richards, Head of Real Estate, British Land, who will outline specific areas of focus for British Land, including retail, city developments, the private rented sector and serviced offices.
  • James Rankin, Head of Research and Insights, The Instant Group (Instant Offices), who will discuss flexible working/workplace trends, what occupiers are looking for and understanding new structures for investment.
  • Rick De Blaby, Executive Vice Chairman, Get Living, who will outline the challenges and opportunities for private rented sector development in Scotland.
  • Will Rowson, Partner, Hodes Weill & Associates, who will provide an investor’s perspective on real estate, including challenges and opportunities. 
  • Ewan Macleod, Partner, Planning Team, Shepherd and Wedderburn, who will present on the proposed Scottish planning law reforms. 

Colin Innes, Head of Planning and Environment at Shepherd and Wedderburn and conference chair, said: “This conference has become a highlight of the property calendar, attracting senior industry figures from across the UK and beyond. This is reflected in the calibre of expert speakers at Property 2019, who will share their expertise with delegates, address sectoral trends and help the industry chart a course for the future.

“This year’s conference, Real Estate: Resilience or Revolution?, will explore the hottest topics in the real estate sector, ranging from the challenges and opportunities in high street retail and the Scottish Government’s proposed reforms to planning law, to the potential for private rented sector development and the wider real estate investment trends evolving around how we live, work and socialise.”

Property 2019 will be hosted in association with Scottish Property Federation and Property Week, the event’s media partner. To book your place, visit the website  

Property 2019 expert panel:

Darren Richards, Head of Real Estate, British Land

Darren is responsible for asset management and leasing across British Land’s portfolio. He joined the business in 2005 and has held a range of leadership roles, including Head of Investment and Deputy Head of Retail. He joined the Executive Committee in 2014.

Rick De Blaby, Executive Vice Chairman, Get Living

Rick joined Get Living in February 2017 from United House Group, where he had been Chief Executive and was responsible for its restructure. He was previously Chief Executive at Hermes-backed MEPC for nine years.

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation 

Melanie joined the British Property Federation in 2015, following nine years as Director General of the Food and Drink Federation. Her role is to champion UK real estate and to promote a sustainable partnership between governments and the sector to deliver a high-quality built environment.

James Rankin, Head of Research & Insight, The Instant Group

James is a research and insight expert specialising in turning industry data into industry-leading analysis and insight. Over the past year, he has presented at a number of flexible workspace conferences, providing insights into the major trends driving this industry’s growth.

Will Rowson, Partner, Hodes Weill & Associates

Will is responsible for the origination of new business, project management of client mandates and coverage of real estate investors within the EMEA region. He has 32 years’ experience in the real estate industry and is a frequent contributor to the real estate press in Europe.