The Founder of innocent, a Circuit Judge, an FT Journalist and even a runner completing a marathon-were just few of the experiences in this year’s ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION!

Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent, was the Keynote Speaker at the ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION 

2012 at the Grand Brighton on 29 May (attendance was by invitation only).

Innocent Drinks is the best-selling brand of smoothies and vegetable pots in the UK and as co-founder Richard has grown the company’s turnover from £400,000 to £165m in 12 years. Richard recognised his own entrepreneurial spirit at the tender age of 16 when he gave up his job as a ‘human broom’ in a dog biscuit factory to start his own lawn-mowing business employing several friends in his local town. In 1998 he and two friends famously gave up their jobs in advertising to start innocent after the overwhelmingly positive results of a smoothie taste trial at a music festival.

Izabella Kaminska, from the Financial Times’ award winning Alphaville blog, provided delegates with a challenging prediction on the future of banking and emerging sources of business funding, and was followed by Roger Harrop, the CEO Expert, who took the audience back to the basics of business with his 

signature talk on ‘staying in the helicopter’ which was very well received by all present.

Delegates then participated in a series of five legal workshops each run by the relevant specialists of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, the innovative and award winning business law firm based in Brighton. The interactive sessions covered different aspects of business law including employment, media & intellectual property, commercial disputes, corporate restructuring and commercial property.

This is the third year that ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW has run this increasingly successful event and as in previous years, tickets sold out in record time. The event is recognised by the local business community as the most prestigious and professional business convention in the area, providing access to high profile speakers, specialist business law knowledge and valuable networking opportunities.

The dishonourable Sir Melvin Winterbottom, QC
Recognised for their innovative ways of standing out from the crowd, ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW had secured the services of actor David Mounfield in the guise of a traditional and somewhat a comically pretentious disreputable circuit judge, Sir Melvin Winterbottom, that stands for everything Acumen doesn’t! He carried out the duties of event compere in matchless and hilarious style. Each of the speakers commented on their unique introductions and Sir Melvin is sure to remain in everyone’s memories for quite some time.

The ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTIONS always used to supports local charities. This year representatives from two worthy causes attended the Convention; Ria Wilson and Analiese Doctrove from the Rockinghorse Charity which supports sick children in Sussex, and Kevin Betts who undertakes marathon physical challenges to raise money for Rethink, a charity which supports those affected by the suicide of a family member or close friend. Embracing the ACUMEN spirit of being truly remarkable, Kevin ran a marathon on a treadmill (kindly donated by Nick Feeny and Rebecca Fuller from Grosvenor Park Intelligent Investments Ltd) in under four hours, whilst the Convention was taking place.


A blog posted by a delegate the next morning said “We can sometimes get lost in reading about all the great success stories that have taken years to achieve and yet seeing something first hand can really show what leadership and team working can achieve. Well done to all the team at ACUMEN Business Law for modelling the benefits of team working and leadership.” (Duncan Brodie)

Or as one of the delegates summed it up: “Yet another truly first class event from the ACUMEN Team!”

Penina Shepherd, Founder & MD of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW said:

“The purpose of the ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION is to give another platform to our clients and contacts to share business acumen, inspire, harmonise their understanding of business and law, network and be entertained. This was our third annual convention and we had a full house with over 150 business executives. I am absolutely delighted to see the event going from strength to strength each year. Special thanks this year must go to our sponsors and Watsons Associates, as well as to the events team at the Grand who helped everything to run so smoothly.”

The convention concluded with live music, canapés and drinks.



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