Our speakers

Since our formation we have focused on providing our members with the opportunity to hear from fantastic speakers covering a diverse range of topics from the personal to the professional.   Many of our speakers are drawn from our own membership so if you are interested in speaking at a WIRP event or know someone who you think would be a great speaker, please get in touch.

Alison Stone, Managing Director, Alison Stone Surveyors

Alison will be a guest speaker at our Leasehold Reform webinar on 25th May at 12pm.

Alison runs her own specialist leasehold valuation company, dealing with valuations and negotiations for lease extensions and freehold enfranchisement.

She has been acting for lessees and freeholders for over 16 years and has represented both at the Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

Alison is a Chartered Surveyor with a Bachelor’s in Real Estate Management from Anglia Ruskin. Last year she was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage awards.

Hannah Howard Jones, Head of Property, Gresham House

Hannah will be a guest speaker at our Leasehold Reform webinar on 25th May at 12pm.

Hannah is Head of Property for Gresham House, a specialist alternative asset manager, where she is responsible for the overall management and performance of the portfolio comprising shared ownership, retirement rental and BtR assets.

Hannah has over 10 years’ experience in residential property, having worked in both private practice before moving client side. Before joining Gresham House, Hannah headed up the property team for a local authority owned developer where she oversaw acquisitions, sales and the management of the completed developments. Prior to that, Hannah was Head of Residential Strategy for a FTS250 listed business which specialised in residential freehold, long leasehold and BTR/ PRS assets.

Hannah is a Chartered Surveyor and holds a Bachelor’s in building surveying from London South Bank University.

Leigh Shapiro, Head of Residential Property & Leasehold Enfranchisement, London, Irwin Mitchell LLP

Leigh will be a guest speaker at our Leasehold Reform webinar on 25th May at 12pm.

Leigh heads up the London Residential Property team and the Leasehold Enfranchisement team. She specialises in dealing with issues relating to residential leasehold law in particular focussing on lease extensions and enfranchisement work.

She acts for a whole range of people who own an interest in a flat (or a leasehold house), whether they be leaseholders, landlords, developers, institutional investors, lenders or those involved in managing residential property.

Leigh has acted on deals ranging broadly both in monetary value and in size and type of property. This includes advising on matters involving a single lease extension to detailed advice on the effect leaseholder rights can have on the development of new neighbourhoods.

Julie Griffin, Managing Director City Housing, Birmingham City Council

Julie will be our guest speaker at our Birmingham Leadership Lunch on 23rd June 2022.

Julie is a strategic, proactive and highly influential Senior housing specialist with over 29 years’ experience working in the public sector most recently to deliver whole system transformation around housing the future of Birmingham.  A highly skilled housing professional with experience in housing including front line delivery, redesign and remodelling assets, developing new schemes, whole place regeneration, transformation of front-line services to provide a significantly improved experience to customers and tenants. Proven expertise in leading substantial, cutting edge, transformational change programmes that received national recognition by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and an award of a £5million grant.

Julie took the reins as Managing Director of Housing in May 2021 with a vision to transform the City Housing directorate to become the best in class.

Liana Loporto-Browne MNAEA, Director, Liana Loporto Property, President NAEA Propertymark

Liana will be our guest speaker at our London Leadership Lunch on 15th September 2022.

With over 25 years’ experience in the property industry, Liana has worked in both corporate and boutique agencies. She recently lunched her own business Liana Loporto Property powered by eXp and is the current President of Propertymark NAEA. Liana is a huge believer in RoPA and obsessed with changing the face of the industry to allow great agents to shine.

She started her career at the largest real estate company in her native Malta and then relocated to England to learn the unique London market with one of the leading corporate agencies. What was intended to be a sabbatical turned into a permanent stay, with over a decade working as Sales and Operational Director at an independent agency in North West London.

As President with Propertymark NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents), she is at the forefront of what goes on in the property landscape, nationwide.

Melanie Leech CBE, Chief Executive, British Property Federation

Melanie will be our guest speaker at our Birmingham Leadership Lunch on 20th October 2022.

Melanie has been the Chief Executive of the British Property Federation since 2015. Her role is to champion a diverse, successful and sustainable UK real estate sector recognised for the positive benefits it delivers to communities across the country. Melanie began her working life as a Police Constable in the Metropolitan Police Service and held a number of senior roles in the civil service before spending 10 years as Director General of the Food and Drink Federation.

Melanie is also a Trustee of the property industry charity LandAid and a member of the Council of the University of Essex. She was awarded a CBE in 2015 for services to the food and drink industry.

Just a few of our past speakers….

Dr Evelyn Ong

Consultant Paediatric Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgeon, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Tracey Hartley

Head of Residential, The Crown Estate

Katrine Sporle

The Property Ombudsman

Kate Faulkner

Chair, The Home Buyers and Sellers Group

Dana Denis Smith

CEO, Obelisk Support and Founder of First Hundred Years

Nicola Green

Workplace menopause consultant, The Nicola Green Consultancy

Victoria Hills MRTPI FICE

Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute