AIJA News

Advertise in our 2018/19 yearbook

27 February 2019

4,000 yearbooks are sent to our members and supporters in more than 90 countries worldwide. Showcase the services of your law firm and profile yourself by publishing an ad in the AIJA 2018/19 yearbook.  

Check out the different options and choose your preferred level of visibility.

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The curious case of lawyers - by Xavier Costa, AIJA President

25 February 2019

Human beings have a natural tendency to resist change. Lawyers are no different. Probably because we are trained to be risk-averse and more conservative than any other profession. Our day-to-day work mostly involves finding our way around difficult situations and turning these to our favour or our client’s.

Today, technology is one of the main drivers of change in the world. And it seems to be shaking up the legal market, there’s no doubt. The good news: lawyers seem to be slowly developing a positive attitude towards technology.

The International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), with the help of the Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe (CCBE), recently conducted a survey among international lawyers between the ages of 25 and 45 years old. The findings reveal that compared to 2016, lawyers are less fearful of technology replacing them (decrease of 43%). They also show that almost half of all respondents (42%) are confident that their firms are taking the necessary measures to integrate tech such as artificial intelligence (AI) tools, automation or the cloud into their workflow.

So, we already know what to do. And we are most definitely willing to embrace technology. But we don’t know yet how to do it. There are so many technology providers on the market, so many different options that choosing between these can be quite daunting. This can rightfully bring some anxiety that may prevent technology adoption from happening faster. The implementation remains low still.

One way of boosting adoption can be for law firms to involve their lawyers in the digital transformation of their law firms. Sometimes this might be done through training or active participation in implementing these tech solutions, but also encouraging them to join professional networks. It is not uncommon for law firms and lawyer associations to set up think-tank groups or committees dedicated to monitoring of the so-called new law and of the legal tech solutions available. At AIJA, for instance, we seek to shape relations between our members from the legal world and tech industries. This is one of the many ways we try to contribute to a more active involvement of lawyers in the digital change. In this regard, our annual congress in Rome this year will also be open to legal tech industries willing to showcase their products and tools in front of a crowd of international lawyers from all over the globe. We invite the industry to join us there and encourage international lawyers from all around the world to come, test and bring the knowledge back to their respective firms.

Other legal service providers – a case for competition?

As the market for digital or digitally-enabled technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and blockchain – continues to grow, so does the market for non-traditional legal service providers (ALSD). 86% of lawyers see this as a threat to their profession and believe that firms are more likely to employ non-lawyers to service clients in the name of cost-efficiency and making use of new technologies, according to the same survey.

But we should remain positive. Perhaps the rise of ALSDs comes from certain unmet client demands for more efficient, cost-effective and interdisciplinary solutions. Their growth can be in this case an opportunity to expand the legal service markets of our law firms. The same for interdisciplinary partnerships. There is untapped potential there. Law firms should look more at the industries that are already leading the digital revolution.

So, there is no case for competition there or at least, it shouldn’t be. The increased availability of different services and experts should not lead to more competition in the legal marketplace but to more strategic collaborations to better serve our clients. This type of partnerships will allow lawyers to create more complete and compressive products for their clients and, without any doubt, this is good for their business.

Law firms may have to continue to move away from the traditional model focused on the firm’s capabilities and develop a more business-oriented model where attention to the client is at the absolute centre of every step in their practice. Clients are now looking for greater understanding of their business, efficiency, faster response time and best uses of technologies. Sometimes we give overall solutions to the client and often the legal part is a part of this while the rest does not even involve legal knowledge.

The business customer-centric approach, together with some solid digital proficiency, a proper international network, good management skills and openness towards innovation are essential skills for today’s and tomorrow’s lawyers. Lead to innovate or be left behind.

Article published originally at www.artificiallawyer.com

 


Become a specialist in International Family Law at University of Carlos III of Madrid

19 February 2019

AIJA is happy to support once again the Master in International Family Law, a programme by the University of Carlos III of Madrid (Spain). The course aims to provide expertise in all family law matters from an international perspective. 

The programme consists of nine modules: International marriage, International marriage crisis, Economic asset system, Sonship, International adoption, Child protection, International child abduction, Food, International sequence.

Classes are in Spanish and will begin on 22 February 2019. For more information, visit the dedicated website.

 


AIJA Insider: All about the real deal in M&A – Utrecht, 4-6 April

14 February 2019

From 4 to 6 April, Utrecht will host AIJA’s seminar on ‘The real deal in M&A: All about transactions involving real estate property’. To learn more, we asked our organising committee to share some highlights and tell us more about the topic of the seminar.

Q1: What should participants expect?

Sjoerd Mol (Partner, Benvalor): The seminar promises to offer a very interesting academic programme, with the latest on transaction structuring in M&A real estate deals, due diligence, tax in real estate deals and case studies from industries such as hospitality, retail and industrial. The sessions will be held in a historical place, an old cloister that dates to 1348 and now houses the five-star hotel Karel V.

The programme will kick off with a welcome reception on Thursday, 4 April in the St Michael’s chapel of the 112 meters high Dom Tower which used to be the private chapel of the bishop of Utrecht. Participants will be invited to climb all 464 stairs to the top!

Another highlight of the social programme will be the Friday night dinner and party afterwards. We are planning a four-course dinner including drinks, as well as a DJ and GT bar afterwards at The Court Hotel. Here we can party all night long, catch up with people we know and make new AIJA friends.

Saturday, 6 April (and the last day!) will offer participants a canal boat tour to enjoy Utrecht’s famous wharves and canal houses. The day will end with a dinner in an amazing restaurant located in an old water tower.

Q2: Real estate M&A will be the main topic of your discussions. In your view, what are the main challenges in this area?

Michaela Pelinka (Partner, bpv Huegel): By nature, M&A transactions bring some challenges. One is to formulate clauses on warranty and potential guarantees in a correct manner. Careful consideration should be given especially to the characteristics that the purchased object must or must not have. Court decisions in this area are made case by case and are difficult to predict. In this case, we should also be looking at the conflicting interests of buyers and sellers.

Another challenge would be to manage the increasing complexity of regulatory requirements across different areas of public law, such as construction law, preservation orders, land use plans or land transfer law. These must be carefully considered, particularly in cases where the buyer wants to make structural changes to the property as they may act as deal breakers. Sometimes, even expert attorneys on real estate law might have to consult with their colleagues from the public law department.

To overcome these challenges, we must consider some do’s and don’ts of an acquisition in real estate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q3: Real estate seems to be on of the hottest sectors for M&A in the coming years. What are the main trends to follow?

Michaela Pelinka (Partner, bpv Huegel): Investors, particularly European investors, are becoming more careful as a result of geopolitical tensions. They are seeking secure, long-term revenue. Brexit has left them quite insecure about the future.

At the same time, investments into areas which have previously been considered ‘alternative’ niches, such as co-living-Projects, student residences or data centres, have proven successful, whereas more ‘traditional’ segments such as offices are showing a certain decline.

Legal tech is already a reality, and it is disrupting the way real estate transactions are being processed. The potential applications are manifold and may greatly facilitate larger due diligences.

Register to find out more.

Early bird fees until 19 February. See you in Utrecht!

 


AIJA Insider: Berlin to host seminar on start-ups, smart cities, tech and work 4.0

25 January 2019

Smart mobility. IP issues for tech start-ups. Updates on the application of the GDPR. Data ownership and control. Workplace 4.0 and the future of work. Smart Up Berlin is shaping up to be a promising seminar, with a wide range of topics of interest to law practitioners as well as representatives from the start-up and smart city scene. One of Europe’s most vibrant cities, Berlin will be on this occasion the host of our discussions from 14-16 March.

Smart cities need smart laws

The academic programme will kick off on Friday, 15 March with some in-depth talks on smart mobility, particularly on the exchange and control of information and data between road users, vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure.

‘It is a very exciting time to be a lawyer working in this area. It really challenges us to think about the difference between what technology can enable and what, as a matter of privacy, it should permit’, says Sven Preiss, head of legal commercial, Scout24 Group.

‘Smart mobility changes the way that we, as lawyers, think about transportation in a number of ways. For instance, smart cars transform a product into a system that relies on the maintenance of software – and this requires a continued integration of software and hardware. In terms of public transportation, the use of smart cards and other techniques to gather data on the individual’s use of transport, as well as to aggregate data to use big data increases the importance of data and threatens to impinge on individuals’ privacy – forcing transportation and town planning to consider the GDPR and data ownership’, he adds.

These changes require lawyers to work collaboratively across different disciplines – transport, planning, technology, commercial, intellectual property (IP).

IP for start-ups

The second half of the day will be dedicated to IP and ‘Industry and Employment 4.0’.

One of the topics will address the most common IP issues for tech start-ups. Starting a business is a daunting task. Some grow and achieve great success, others fail. And sometimes failure comes right from the start, particularly when a business fails to protect one of their most valuable assets – their intellectual property.

‘There are some general rules to follow to avoid such failures. First, entering (mutual) NDAs before sharing the initial business idea and creating a paper trail of all presentations and meetings. Second, talking to the people in the company about who owns the IP and again, making sure to write this down. Thirdly, businesses should register their domain names and trademark early on’, says Sven Preiss.

Work 4.0. and Labour Law: new challenges and opportunities

Another highlight of the day will be the discussions on the future of the workplace.

Today, mobile labour has become the new normal. Home office models, co-working initiatives and mobile working technologies redefine the limits between work and personal life as the workplace becomes more and more digitalised. Thanks to modern technology employees can work anywhere and at any time. Co-working spaces are rising in popularity and often, individuals can carry most of their lives and work with them on their phones.

Opinions vary as to whether this is positive, especially in relation to the different employment and labour laws. ‘Employers and employees face huge challenges when it comes to compliance with mandatory labor law. They need to find the balance between compliance with maximum working hours, employees’ personal data protection as well as industrial and health safety provisions on the one hand and offering flexible and attractive working methods on the other hand’, says Sachka Stefanova-Behlert, attorney-at-law, KPMG Law.

‘Further to this, the new personnel structures raise questions regarding co-determination and the need to strengthen the role of the works councils. Mandatory laws have often come under serious attacks for not being timely’, she adds.

Finally, who owns the data?

On Saturday, 16 March, the day will move on to revealing the latest on the application of the GDPR and data ownership, access and control.

Compliance with the GDPR can still be challenging for some organisations. While small companies struggle with allocating the necessary resources, bigger companies have more resources and at the same time bigger amounts of data to process in a compliant manner. Consumers and employees are also becoming more aware of their rights and have started to regularly file access requests and complaints with the authorities.

‘Meanwhile, who owns the data remains a difficult legal concept in most countries. There is little law governing this. Data protection laws mainly serve to protect data subjects and not owners. Trade secret rules may provide some tools, but we should reflect on whether this is really enough’, concludes Silvia van Schaik, attorney at law, bureau Brandeis.

This is just a small sample of what participants can expect to learn during the seminar. Join us in Berlin to find out more! To register, click here.

Silvia, Sven and Sachka are part of the organising committee of the seminar and/or the Intellectual Property, Technology, Media and Telecommunications or Labour Law commission of AIJA. Meet them at the seminar from 14-16 March.

 


AIJA Insider: Third annual T.R.A.D.E. conference to focus on trade, distribution and e-commerce

24 January 2019

Set to take place from 11-13 April in Athens, the third annual T.R.A.D.E. conference will feature an extensive programme focused on the latest legal developments in trade, distribution and e-commerce. Sessions are expected to bring practical and diverse points of view, with key presentations and discussions by high-profile professionals from private practice and in-house.

The conference will kick off on Friday, 12 April with several sessions looking at the challenges and opportunities for brand owners, platforms and resellers in a digitalised world. The ruling in the Coty case and its impact on e-commerce and the future of selective distribution will be one of the highlights of the day. This is followed by discussions on dynamic and personalised pricing, geo-blocking and legal trade (EU Regulation 218/302). On Saturday, 13 April, sessions will focus on the impact of the GDPR on distribution and franchise networks, digital transformation leading to new forms of cooperation between brand owners and resellers, and finally, optimised general terms and conditions for cross-border e-commerce.

In addition to a rich academic programme, participants will be able to explore an ancient but vibrant metropolis, Athens. A city with many cultural and culinary highlights ready for discovery.

This is just a small sample of what participants can expect. We also asked the organising committee (OC) to share more about some of the topics covered by the conference in the context of international trade. Here are the top three insights from two members of the OC, Babak Tabeshian (partner, LFR Laukemann) and Brian van Egmond (attorney-at-law, Conway & Partners).

Q1: What are the main challenges and opportunities for brand owners, platforms and resellers in a digitalised world?

Babak Tabeshian: The growth of e-commerce in the last decade significantly increased price transparency and price competition. Alternative distribution models such as online marketplaces became very powerful and are considered as key players in the retail business. Under growing pressure of price transparency and price competition, brand owners are seeking to exert more control over their distribution networks and show more presence at the retail level.

These developments have a huge impact on the business of ‘traditional’ resellers. While selling online allows for easy, worldwide market access with low investment costs, the growing (intra-brand) competition with manufacturers at the retail level and the loss of market shares to marketplaces create new challenges.

Despite growing price competition, brand owners have a lot to gain from digital trade. E-commerce allows brand owners to reshape classical distribution networks, target consumers directly, collect data to offer best possible services to their consumers, and finally, use technologies to sell for best possible prices.

Navigating clients through these challenges requires high business and technological understanding as well as the adoption of legal strategies to adapt to a fast-changing legal environment.  

Q2: What are the potential impacts of dynamic pricing on distribution and franchise networks?

Brian van Egmond: With dynamic and personalised pricing being the latest pricing trends, we see that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more and more incorporated into trade processes. These pricing methods based on algorithms enable sellers to adjust prices automatically at any moment based on specific markers set by the retailer. Objectives for setting their markers vary from offering products at a lower price than the competition, to maintaining a certain minimum level of pricing for luxury products as well as influencing price perception. In cases of AI-based personalised pricing, a certain unit is sold to a consumer at another price than another consumer, depending on what the specific consumer is willing to pay. When used in the right manner, dynamic and personalised pricing may lead to increased revenues and growth for sellers.

These new pricing methods also bring us legal challenges as they impact distribution and franchise agreements. Especially when it comes to minimum prices and competition law. Besides this, contracts between franchisors and franchisees may need to be amended or re-drafted to incorporate a mechanism of dynamic pricing. In cases of personalised pricing, challenges regarding price discrimination can be expected. 

Q3: What does the new geo-blocking regulation mean for the future of e-commerce?

Brian van Egmond: The new geo-blocking regulation is a step in the right direction. It has the potential to open the e-commerce market even further by bringing down geographic barriers. Especially for services such as hotel accommodation, sports events, car rental, and entrance tickets for music festivals or leisure parks, the regulation provides more equality. Besides, there may be questions about the practical value of the regulation for these services. Buying tangible goods from other EU-countries may still be impractical in most common situations where a seller is not targeting markets of other EU-countries other than its own.  

For traders, this regulation will most likely result in challenges under franchise and distribution agreements, as the regulation directly impacts stipulations regarding territorial exclusivity. 

Legally, it would be interesting to look at consumer rights and see the developments there, e.g. the jurisdiction regarding consumer transactions under the Brussels I bis regulation. The future will also teach us a lot more about the enforcement of this regulation, particularly about what type of sanctions will be imposed on those violating this. Since the sanctions are left to the individual member states, a wide variety of sanctions may be the outcome of enforcement of this regulation. 

Join the conference to find out more! To register, click here.

 


AIJA appoints new Association Manager

23 January 2019

AIJA new Association Manager, Viktória Kéri, will officially start on 4 February, succeeding to Giuseppe Marletta, who moves into the role of Managing Director, Europe with ACC, Association of Corporate Counsel.

Viktória joined AIJA in October 2017 as Events Coordinator. Since then, she has been working with the different Commissions in the association to successfully organise more than 20 seminars.

‘I am thrilled to take on this new position and further support the growth of the association internationally. Together with the Bureau, Extended Bureau and the membership, we will ensure that AIJA remains a reputable network for knowledge sharing and professional networking for international lawyers aged 45 and under.’

Viktória brings an excellent track record of international event management, as well as significant external relations experience. She was previously Communication and Event Manager for seven years at GIRP, the European Healthcare Distribution Association. During this time, she has been leading on all their conferences, workshops, networking events and company visits. She also worked with the association and its members to implement a new corporate identity and communications strategy.

AIJA would like to thank Giuseppe for his dedication and efforts in the last six years. His professionalism and commitment have been a source of inspiration for the team and members. With this leadership change, the association hopes it gains a new partner in the future as Giuseppe will be leading the expansion of the ACC European presence across the continent. He can be contacted at this email.

To learn more about the AIJA team and membership, please go here.

 


It's the most wonderful time of the year

12 December 2018

It's that time of the year again! Yes, you've guessed it...it's time for another countdown to Christmas and the end of the year.  It's the best moment to spend some quality time with family, friends, colleagues and celebrate our successes and set new year goals for 2019. The AIJA team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. 

See you in 2019! Check out our next year's destinations to know where you can find us.

 


Lawyers positive towards the future, but are set to do more

06 December 2018

Lawyers seem to be positive towards the future, but cite resistance to innovation, rise of alternative providers of legal services and commoditisation as the biggest challenges to the future of their profession.

From September to October 2018, AIJA in collaboration with the Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe surveyed lawyers between 25 and 45 years old across 48 countries. The purpose of the survey was to measure the evolution of lawyers’ perceptions towards the challenges affecting the future of the profession since a similar survey was undertaken in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the top biggest threats to the future of the legal profession, as nominated by the respondents of the survey.

1. Resistance to innovation

Close to 47% of lawyers have rated resistance to innovation the first biggest threat to the profession. The outlook for the future is nevertheless positive, as this marks a decrease of nearly 24% from two years ago.

2. The rise of alternative providers of legal services

86% of lawyers believe that law firms are likely to employ non-lawyers (e.g. project managers, legal technicians) to provide services to their clients in the future. This marks an increase of 10% from 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressure to increase cost-effective competency and processes as well as leverage new technologies could be some of the drivers towards outsourcing many legal services to alternative providers. The complexity of services and tasks performed by lawyers will only continue to rise. Consequently, alternative providers of legal services will continue to rise as well, as more areas of specialisation may come forth.

3. Commoditisation of legal services

The commoditisation of legal services is rated the third biggest threat (30%). Not surprisingly, this is already challenging the law firms’ traditional business models. Law firms will need to keep on adapting their business to the commoditisation.

The latest survey findings also reveal that compared to 2016, lawyers seem to be doing more bespoke work (increase of 8%) and less routine tasks (decrease of 18.54%).

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

4. Privatisation of justice

The privatisation of justice is rated the fourth biggest challenge (23%). Lawyers foresee a growing trend on the “privatisation” of justice through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (“ADR”) like conciliation, mediation, and counselling. While ADR in some cases may help to provide a quicker access to justice to parties who otherwise may face overworked traditional courts, lawyers seem concerned about the guarantees, lack of transparency and overall quality provided by ADR.

5. Use of new technologies.

Compared to 2016 (28% vs 16% in 2018), lawyers seem to be less fearful of technology replacing them in the future (decrease of 43%). While this marks a more positive attitude towards technology, lawyers are yet lagging in the adoption of new technologies in their law firms.

Tech adoption in law firms (2018 results):

 

 

 

 

 

 

To overcome the challenges to the future of the legal profession, law firms are taking some measures. 42% of respondents are confident that their law firms are taking the necessary steps to introduce new tools or ways of working: from developing marketing or AI tools, using cloud and online databases, automatisation, to legal project management, developing internal knowledge and establishing multi-disciplinary partnerships.

 

 

 

 

Prepare for the future.

Business acumen (customer-centric approach), solid digital proficiency, good management skills and openness towards innovation are mentioned as essential skills for the legal profession. With the rise of new technologies, being simply a knowledgeable lawyer is no longer enough. However, only 3% agree that the training of lawyers is sufficiently adapting to the changing landscape of the legal market. More legal training seems required to adapt accordingly and ensure that lawyers remain indispensable in the era of AI technology.

 Skills for lawyers in the future (2018 results):

'Human beings have a natural tendency to resist change. Lawyers are no different. The decision to evolve and adapt to an increasingly changing legal landscape is simply good business and lawyers should seek to ensure a sustainable business model for their law firms in the long term', says Xavier Costa, AIJA President.

The rapid changes in technology represent an opportunity for lawyers and their business. We should embrace these advances and make good use of new technologies to provide better services to the society and our clients. Quicker, more transparent and efficient legal services will result in increased trust from clients and, thus, in more business for lawyers.

'Lawyers must work closely with the industries leading the digital revolution to ensure that the legal principles that had guaranteed decades of stability, peace and economic growth remain adequately implemented in a digital world’, he concludes.

The findings of the survey were presented by AIJA at the Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe (CCBE) conference ‘Artificial Intelligence and Human Justice’ held on 30 November, in Lille; as well as at the LEGAL ®EVOLUTION Expo & Congress held on 4 December in Frankfurt. 

To view the full results, please download this summary

 


Lawyers told to make cybersecurity a priority at board level

25 October 2018

With the European Cybersecurity Month running this October, there’s no better time to speak about cybersecurity and the challenges law firms face.

To find out more, we asked the President and Vice-President of the Intellectual Property, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Commission, Árpád Gered (Maybach Görg Lenneis Geréd Rechtsanwälte GmbH) and Silvia van Schaik (bureau Brandeis).

 

 

What are the challenges of cybersecurity for law firms?

Árpád: The biggest challenge is that law firms often don't consider themselves valid targets. In many cases, this leads to firms taking the minimal necessary technological precautions but forgetting about the appropriate organisational measures. This includes first and foremost educating all collaborators in a law firm on the importance of those precautions and that they can only be effective if they are upheld by all concerned.

After all, according to the ENISA Threat Landscape Report, the top five cyberthreats target the people having access to target systems rather than the systems themselves. Thus, with appropriate technological measures and the proper education of all collaborators, even law firms on a tight budget should be able to counter a significant number of threats.

What about the challenges for smaller law firms with smaller budgets?

Silvia: I believe that large firms and firms that are well known are more likely to become victim to a ransomware attack. Smaller firms may struggle more with finding affordable, practical and safe solutions, for instance for remote working. It’s not always easy to find a balance between safely storing and sharing documents and being able to work.              

How can law firms overcome these challenges?

Árpád: As with every potentially challenging situation, effectively facing cyberthreats starts with consultation by experts in that field. While the concrete measures to be taken may vary from firm to firm, in all cases they should cover the ‘CIA-Triangle’: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.

Confidentiality means measures to restrict access to the information to authorised persons, e.g. training of personnel, authentication of users, classification of data and users. Integrity refers to measures to ensure that the information can't be altered or deleted erroneously, be it unintentionally or on purpose, e.g. permissions, version control, redundancy plans. Finally, Availability relates to measures to ensure that the information is always available to the authorised persons, e.g. failover and redundancy measures, geographically separate backups, disaster recovery plans.

Silvia: Involving experts is indeed important. Those experts should also truly understand what the work of a lawyer entails. In my experience, it’s difficult to find such experts, especially at a reasonable price. Furthermore, lawyers should have proper tools and receive training about cyberthreats and what they can do about it. Enough time and budget should be allocated for doing that.  

We see that legal services are more and more embracing new technologies. But it’s time to also take a closer look at the skills available in the legal profession to ensure good cybersecurity practices are in place. In this regard, to what extent is the legal profession equipped with the necessary skills?

Árpád: In countering cyberthreats, the legal profession is not any worse equipped than other businesses that have traditionally worked with analogue media and now discover that the core of their business has been digitalised. The legal profession insofar has even an advantage over other lines of business, as secrecy obligations have always been among the core values. However - nowadays - the process is more complicated than locking up the files in the cabinet at night.

One major skill that is currently often lacking (but not only in the legal profession) is the understanding of what sharing of information over certain means might entail. While a firm might make available appropriate tools or services (e.g. secure online storage and file exchange services), it is nevertheless the people working with the information who need to understand why they shouldn't use any non-sanctioned tools or services. This is especially important in the legal profession, where confidential and sensitive data is regularly processed.

Silvia: I believe that most lawyers have the skillset but don’t always know what tools are available and how they can use them. However, I also believe that cybersecurity, or even IT in general, is still often seen as something secondary to our core business. What can be done more? Truly make cybersecurity a priority at the board level of all firms. Our clients trust us with their information, so we should do anything to make sure it is safe while also being able to do what our clients hire us for!    

To find out more about the European Cybersecurity Month, please visit the dedicated website: cybersecuritymonth.eu.

 


In search of leadership in Dubrovnik...

16 October 2018

by Darko Marković, executive coach and leadership development expert, Inn.Side – learning and development, Serbia

We all have experiences with leaders, either in politics, our community, business or sport. If you type ‘leadership’ in Google, you may get no less than 145,000,000 of hits about books written on this topic. Somehow, everybody knows what leadership is, but there is still a never-ending interest about it. Interesting, isn’t it?

Either in life or in the movies, we can easily recognise a great leader and get impressed with their skills: how they communicate, motivate people, manage conflicts or formulate compelling visions to follow. The good news is that these superhumans were not born with those skills, those were all developed! 

Looking at the topic of what makes a great leader great, contemporary leadership researchers and thinkers would agree that the expertise and how smart you are wouldn’t make you a leader; you need different ways of being smart. The outstanding leaders demonstrate several different intelligences, such as emotional, cultural, political and systemic.   

In my work as a leadership development coach, I have been working with executives from multinational corporations, leaders in international NGOs, owners of businesses or start-ups. What I have learnt from them is that it is never about the skills only. Skills are important, but also easiest to learn. Skills can be learnt and trained, but to produce results they need to land somewhere. There is a need for a fertile ground. This fertile ground in the context of leadership development is leadership mindset and leadership identity.

In other words, it is not so much about WHAT you do as a leader, but rather HOW you do it and WHO you are. You can imagine two leaders saying exactly the same things, but the way the things were said and who they were as persons could have created a completely different impact on people around them. Sounds familiar?

For effective leadership in the complex and fast-changing world that we are living in, more than ever, leaders need to reflect on their leadership. This reflection should include questions like ‘what are beliefs and convictions of mine that are blocking/supporting my leadership’, ‘am I ready to say YES to my leadership?’, ‘what is my leadership calling  and the source of my leadership’, ‘where do I lead from; from the past, present or the emerging future?’, ‘what does the world want from me?’, etc. Yes, you are right, this goes much deeper than ’10 steps to effective leadership’-approach, but that’s the way it is. Leadership development is much more about the inner work than public relations. In the forthcoming AIJA workshop in Dubrovnik, we will create a unique space to learn and grow as leaders and human beings. 

About the Half-Year Conference in Dubrovnik

From 22-24 November, we will host our Half-Year November Conference in Dubrovnik. This year's theme is 'Building Leadership Skills for Success'. 

On Friday, 23 November, participants will spend one day in an interactive workshop run by Darko Marković, executive coach and leadership development expert, Inn.Side – learning and development. The workshop 'How to become a better and more effective leader' promises to provide participants with hands-on advice and practical examples on how to become a better and more effective leader in their day to day work.

On Saturday, 24 November, participants are invited to attend one of the three parallel workshops held during the first half of the day. These will focus on how to develop leadership skills in an international association, such as AIJA, by taking on different roles within the association (e.g. commission officer, national representative, member of the organising committee for an event). Participants will learn how such roles can help them to strengthen their personal brand on social media and build a portfolio that they can showcase in their law firm or the wider legal community.

From 22-24 November, networking sessions will complement the leadership and skills development programme to allow for business contacts and meeting other international law practitioners.

Early-bird registrations end on 23 October. To register and view the full programme, visit the dedicated website.

About Darko Marković

Darko works as a leadership development trainer, executive coach and consultant. During 20 years of his consultancy work, he has been supporting leaders and organisations in their growth and transformation. He has been working with a large number of clients, including multinational companies, European institutions and international organisations in more than 30 countries. His main professional focuses are leadership development, team development solutions, cultural intelligence and systemic change. He has MA in psychology, background in psychotherapy (REBT, psychodrama) and certificates in The Art and Science of Coaching (Erickson College International), Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence (Weatherhead School of Management, USA) and Systems Dynamics in Organisations (Bert Hellinger Instituut, NL). He is the owner of Inn.Side – learning and development and he is  based in Belgrade, Serbia.

 


AIJA going global in attendance at its Annual Congress in Brussels

27 September 2018

This is not only because more than 700 delegates gathered in Brussels from all corners of the globe for five days of outstanding scientific sessions, professional growth and above it all, a very enthusiastic atmosphere that is unrivalled in our events. But also, because as an international association, we are more and more taking the lead in our digital transformation.

The recent introduction of the electronic voting is a positive way forward for the association which aims to increase accessibility to its internal democratic processes and facilitate new forms of direct participation for its members. Forging the path for electronic voting in AIJA has taken many months of hard work and the Brussels congress was the perfect occasion to put the e-voting into practice. On Saturday, 1 September, the association had its first General Assembly streamed online and attended by all members through their electronic devices.

How it all started and where we are today

In 2016, the General Assembly has decided to introduce electronic voting to allow direct participation of more members to the activities of our association, specifically in those core moments such as the General Assembly which is a critical process for moving the association forward and ensuring that AIJA remains a member-driven organisation.

Today, we have seen that although the total number of assigned proxies remains the same compared to previous elections, its marginal impact appears significantly different: although still a solid 45,5% of the votes are casted via proxy, the trend shows a decrease. We will further investigate together to see whether future elections will confirm or deny this trend.

This year’s electronic voting system has also shown several improvements in the election process. Almost 100 votes were casted by members who were not present at the congress and chose to vote remotely. More than one fourth of the votes casted were expressed by members that wanted to take an active part in the democratic internal dialogue of the association despite not being present in Brussels.

Commitment is vital for the good governance of an organisation and for the reaffirmation of its internal democratic processes; but this is particularly true for AIJA, an international association aiming to strengthen its global presence and reputation. “We can do this not only by investing into strategic expansion and geographic growth, but also by actively involving more and more young members from all over the world. Ultimately, our members and their active participation in the association are the key to our common success”, concluded Emiliano Ganzarolli, AIJA Secretary General, who has led the introduction of e-voting in AIJA.

 


Global Goals Week – Providing English classes to Syrian legal professionals

26 September 2018

With #GlobalGoalsWeek running this week (22 to 29 September 2018) around the world, there’s no better time to raise awareness for action to accelerate progress to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

The SDGs are 17 goals defined by the United Nations (UN) to tackle the world’s most pressing issues by 2030. From promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment (Goal #9) right through working together (Goal #17), ensuring equal access to justice for all (Goal #16) and quality education (Goal #4), there is so much we can do for just, peaceful and sustainable societies. These – and the full set of goals - are essential drivers for a long-term sustainable change of the world. Yet for too many people, these are out of reach.

Since 2015, AIJA has been supporting International Legal Assistance Consortium’s (ILAC) “ILAC Syria Programme 2017-2020” to help build the capacity of the Syrian legal civil society for independence through English language classes. The classes, organised by ILAC in Turkey and sponsored by AIJA, aim to empower lawyers, judges and other legal professionals who had to flee from Syria because of the war.

The programme has found that one of the challenges most Syrian legal professionals face is communicating adequately in English. This often prevents them from taking active part in rule of law activities and partnerships with international organisations, as well as conducting effective and efficient advocacy to promote rule of law in Syria.

Through free weekly language classes, ILAC and AIJA help participants to rebuild their careers after the war by offering them the opportunity to learn how to communicate and access legal information in English and build an international professional network. As a result, many of them have gone from not communicating at all in English to doing so uninhibited. Now, some even have jobs where they use English as the working language. With the help of this programme, we hope that participants can continue their legal careers in Turkey and ultimately contribute to rebuilding the legal system in Syria.

AIJA appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the efforts of ILAC and its members to support Syrian legal professionals to perform basic legal services, uphold rule of law and prevent a complete collapse of the justice sector and institutions in Syria. Nonetheless, the complexities, contradictions and risks they face are numerous. There is a need for a continuous coordination and collaboration between lawyers and judges who are inside and outside Syria, so that they can become instrumental in restoring the justice system (should a transitional justice process ever materialise)..

For more information about the ILAC Syria Programme, please visit their website.

Testimonials from participants attending the English course in Gaziantep, Turkey

Ms. Weaam, law student, 25 years old.

“I was studying law in Syria and because of the ongoing war, I could not continue my studies. In Turkey, the situation is different. The English language course helps me a lot because it opens new horizons for me, so I can continue my studies by registering to a university here that teaches law in English. I can get my certificate in law by doing that. The course is very good and helps a lot.”

Mr. Abdu Almunaam Kashish, lawyer, 37 years old.

“The course gives me new information and helps me to review my knowledge in general. The best thing in the course is the concentration of information related to the field of law. For instance, we have learned a lot about the different types of courts and a lot of specialised vocabulary and idioms and so on.”

Mr. Al Hassan, judge, 44 years old.

“In Syria, I was a judge. In Turkey, I have become a legal consultant at a legal organisation thanks to this course. In Syria, we did not focus on the English language and here in Turkey I had to find a new job. The English language courses developed my English skills and gave me the chance to find a respectable and decent job.”

Ms. Rosy, lawyer, 39 years old.

“In Syria, I dreamed to continue my higher studies and finally obtain a PhD. This course really gives me the opportunity to register to any international university to get my PhD in international law. Having access to the English language can help me to achieve my dream. I cannot do my higher studies in Arabic because the English language is a must in my situation.”

Zachariah, lawyer, 27 years old.

“I am a lawyer and very interested in the legal field and my country needs a lot of reforms. In short, the course helps me to read in English about similar situations in other states, so reading in English gives me the experience of other states that had reformed their justice system. We need their experience, their reforms, and we have to read them in English.”

 


AIJA appoints new President and First Vice-President for 2018/19

24 September 2018

AIJA, the International Association of Young Lawyers, elected at its 2018 General Assembly its new President and First Vice-President for the 2018/2019 term of office. Xavier Costa (Roca Junyent) will take on his role as President of AIJA supported by Paola Fudakowska (Withers LLP) as First Vice President, Wiebe de Vries (BloomTax B.V.) as Immediate Past President, Emiliano Ganzarolli (Audisio e Associati) as Secretary General, Lara Vivas (Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira SLP) as Treasurer and Anna Wyrzykowska (WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr sp. k.) as Deputy Treasurer.

I would like to thank the AIJA General Assembly for the trust and confidence. I look forward to working with the Extended Bureau and AIJA staff through this new term of office, to ensure that our association remains the best platform for knowledge sharing and professional networking for international lawyers aged 45 and under.

To achieve this, we will further develop strategic partnerships inside and outside the legal community. We will also continue to hold more than 20 events around the world and will strengthen our growth in regions that we have identified as key markets. Particularly, the Americas will be highly placed on our agendas; however, without undermining our recurrent and growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The momentum is there: we are lucky to count on a highly-skilled and motivated team. We are certain we have the right people in the right positions: at the Bureau, Extended Bureau and in out Brussels secretariat. With their help, AIJA will continue to grow in a steady and sustainable way. Our association will keep on providing our international colleagues the connections, training and skills needed to better serve the interests of their clients in a globalised and digitalised world

- said Xavier Costa, President of AIJA.

Xavier Costa is Partner at Roca Junyent, Spain. He advises clients in Mergers & Acquisitions, focusing on cross-border transactions, foreign investments and corporate related matters.

In advance of her election at the General Assembly, Paola Fudakowska, First Vice-President of AIJA set out her vision for the association focused on Diversity, Development and Dialogue.

"The association’s cultural and gender diversity is going from strength to strength. I will harness this enthusiasm and success by continuing to offer local members the support to host events in their home country in line with the association's strategic growth in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

I will join 4 female presidents elected in the last decade to focus on gender diversity through our existing AIJA experience built on indiscriminate support and celebration of each other’s ambitions and successes.

In respect of development, the quality of our academic programmes is recognised both within and outside the association. I will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the IBA, ABA, UIA, IPBA, ELSA and other organisations to identify regular opportunities for collaboration. The success of forging links between our members is already evident in the numbers of former AIJA members who are active in these associations, not least the incoming president of the IBA. 

Dialogue is at the heart of the association's raison d’être to provide an international networking platform. Creating effective networks for young lawyers at the start of their careers is instrumental to their present and future success. By offering members the opportunity to get involved in the association from the outset as a speaker, to organise a seminar or to take on an official role is instrumental to our future growth and represents the heart of the AIJA spirit"

- said Paola Fudakowska, First Vice-President of AIJA.

Paola Fudakowska is currently a solicitor at Withers LLP and she is based in Geneva. Paola is a UK qualified litigator, specialising in all types of family wealth disputes involving trusts and inheritance, primarily with an international focus. She has recently completed an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights at the Geneva Academy.

AIJA would like to thank Wiebe de Vries of BloomTax B.V. for all his efforts and dedication in advancing the young legal profession as a President during 2017/18. He will continue his role as Immediate Past President to support the 2018/19 Extended Bureau.

The 2018 General Assembly took place on 1 September 2018 back-to-back with the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress. The Congress brought together around 700 law practitioners, law firms and companies from around the world in Brussels to discuss the impact of globalisation on the legal profession.

Overall results of the elections are available here. For further information, please address your questions to office@aija.org

 


2018 General Assembly: AIJA makes new appointments

20 September 2018

AIJA, the International Association of Young Lawyers is pleased to communicate the overall results of the elections held at its 2018 General Assembly. In addition to the newly appointed President and First Vice-President, AIJA has appointed new members in the Executive Committee, Forum of the Commissions, Membership Forum, Human Rights Committee, as well as new national representatives, contact persons and officers in its commissions.

For the first time, AIJA appointed a Latin America (LATAM) Coordinator. Pablo Vinageras, member of the Extended Bureau, will work closely with the Membership Forum to strengthen the growth of the Association in Latin America in 2018/2019. A coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region will also be appointed soon. 

Justus Jansen (former co-chair of the Membership Forum), David Frølich (Honorary President) and Wiebe de Vries (Immediate Past President) will now be responsible for engaging with the alumni of the Association.

An overview of the results of this year's elections is available below. 

The 2018 General Assembly took place on 1 September 2018 back-to-back with the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress. The Congress brought together around 700 law practitioners, law firms and companies from around the world in Brussels to discuss the impact of globalisation on the legal profession.

For further information, please address your questions to office@aija.org

Bureau

  • Xavier Costa Arnau, President
  • Paola Fudakowska, First Vice-President (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Wiebe de Vries, Immediate Past President
  • Emiliano Ganzarolli, Secretary General (re-elected by the General Assembly)
  • Lara Vivas, Treasurer
  • Anna Wyrzykowska, Deputy Treasurer (appointed by the Bureau)

Extended Bureau

Membership Forum

  • François BARRE, Co-Chair
  • Michaela PELINKA, Co-Chair (newly appointed)
  • Tomas RYBAR, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Forum of the Commissions

  • David DIRIS, Co-Chair
  • Rebecka THORN, Co-Chair (newly appointed)
  • Jean-Rodolphe FIECHTER, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Law Course Committee

  • Ned BEALE, Co-Chair
  • Cristina Hernandez-Marti PEREZ, Co-Chair
  • Kristine ZVEJNIECE, Co-Chair

Human Rights Committee

  • Christian PRESOLY, Co-Chair
  • Gülsüm ASLAN, Co-Chair
  • Ulku SOLAK, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Executive Committee

Newly elected Executive Committee Members (in alphabetical order)

  • Alejandra GARCIA
  • Almudena ALVAREZ OTERO
  • Beatrice STANGE
  • Christian LEUENBERGER
  • Christian SAUER
  • Dominik WAGNER
  • Fernanda MACHADO MOREIRA
  • Francesca SALERNO
  • Gianluca MASSIMEI
  • Guillermo BAYAS
  • Malin HOLM
  • Martijn VAN DAM
  • Pia PADFIELD
  • Romina BROGINI
  • Stefan MUELLER
  • Thomas WEHRLI

In addition, three members will take office and replace those who had to leave the Executive Committee due to other appointments in the Association or resignation.

  • Jérôme DEBRAS, with a mandate for two years, until the General Assembly taking place in 2020;
  • Diego CONTE, with a mandate for one year, until the General Assembly taking place in 2019;
  • Peter HOLTHUIS, with a mandate for one year, until the General Assembly taking place in 2019.

They will all join the other Executive Committee members elected in the past years who are still in office.

National Representatives/ Contact Persons

Newly appointed National Representatives and contact persons (for a complete list of National Representatives and local contacts, please click here)

Argentina: Tomas GARCIA
Austria: Clara GORDON
Belgium: Ferenc BALLEGEER
Finland: Emma NIEMISTO
Liechtenstein: Thomas NAGELE
Luxembourg: Audrey JARRETON
Mexico: Carlos Del RAZO
Panama: Carlos MOLINO
Slovak Republic: Marek LACA
Spain: Nils DOHLER
Turkey: Ulku SOLAK

Regional Representative, South-West Germany: Rebekka STUMPFROCK
Regional Representative, Rhein-Main: Felix DETTE
Regional Representative, Düsseldorf Rhein Ruhr: Beatrice STANGE
Regional Representative, Spain: Alvaro Fernandez Sanchez DEL CORRAL

Contact person, Hong Kong: Louise WONG
Contact person, Mauritius: Percy LOUIS
Contact person, Korea: Emiliano NASTI
Contact person, Romania: Ileana GLODEANU

Commission Officers

Newly appointed Commission Officers (for a complete list of commission officers, please click here)

Antitrust
President: Sophie GILLIAM
Vice-President: Isabel OEST

Banking, Finance and Capital Markets
Vice-President: Alex CARBONELL

Corporate and M&A
President: Moritz MAURER
Vice-President: Rainer KASPAR

Commercial Fraud
President: Thomas RICARD
Vice-President: James LE GALLAIS
Vice-President: Nicolas HERREN

International Business Law
Vice-President: Dominik WAGNER

International Business Law (Sports Law)
Vice-President: Thomas WHERLI

Insolvency Law
Vice-President: Marine SIMONNOT

Labour Law
Vice-President: Nicky DE GROOT
Vice-President (Immigration Law): Katie NEWBURY

International Private Clients and Family Law
President: Henrietta MASON
Vice-President: Veronica DINDO
Vice-President: Julien TRON

Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning
Vice-President: Esther GOLDSCHMIDT

Tax Law
President: Jessica KEMP
Vice-President: Guadalupe DIAZ-SUNICO

T.R.A.D.E.
Vice-President: Janine DERMONT

 


From zero to success! Entrepreneurship and innovation in San Diego, 8-10 November

18 September 2018

Over the last decades, San Diego has gained a reputation as a vibrant start-up and innovation hub where many cutting-edge sectors, such as telecommunications, cybersecurity, connected devices, health IT, gaming, data analytics, have come together to learn from – not compete between - each other. A big city that still feels like a small town, San Diego has a unique culture that is for many more supportive and cooperative compared to other markets. This has encouraged the rise of technology-based start-ups as well as incubators and accelerators. To support the growth, San Diego’s major research universities, such as the UC San Diego, are also developing innovative technologies and driving changes at a global level. 

The spirit of innovation, coupled with the bustling start-up environment, is what will bring international lawyers and entrepreneurs to AIJA’s seminar “Entrepreneurship and innovation: from early stages to the evolution” from 8-10 November, at Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. With early bird registration fees until 2 October, the seminar promises to uncover the “real stories” of successful entrepreneurs who have made an impact in their industry. 

The scientific programme will focus on key challenges in setting up new businesses, from strategies to implement and expand the business through different financing models, to protecting corporate and IP assets. The sessions will feature not only lawyers covering the legal aspects, but also entrepreneurs sharing their point of view on what makes a business successful. “We will analyse all steps related to how to finance a startup and discuss the obstacles during negotiations with investors. Participants will also get a view on the growth of university technology transfer from a representative of the University of California San Diego”, says Milena Prisco, senior associate at CBA Studio Legale Tributario.

Legal preparedness for building a successful business

Building a business from scratch can be a daunting process. Irrespective of the business model, there is a set of basic legal rules that should be implemented to ensure the success of your business. Milena believes that “any entrepreneur should tailor the best dress code for corporate governance and IP assets in view of growth and with the aim to scale up the business globally. I strongly believe that setting a solid legal basis is the first investment when setting up a new business”. She explains that the starting point is the protection of founders and key people in your business. It is also crucial to design strategies that can add value to the company in terms of funding and investors.

First, you need to arrange everything between the founders and agree on a well-balanced shareholder agreement. This may already take a while. Then, the first business angel steps in and you start negotiating again. You have to amend the corporate bylaws and deal with ‘liquidation preferences’, ‘tag and drag along’ and with each round of negotiations, the processes get more and more complicated”, says Chiharu SEKINO, associate attorney at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP.

"Even though many of the clauses in agreements and bylaws are standard, it is important to go thoroughly through them. You will end up with a real mix of legal and economical questions. So, you should really be prepared from the beginning. The setup of terms and conditions, registration of trademarks and the GDPR compliance (in the EU) are also challenges almost every start-up must deal with from the very beginning”, concludes Frederic DACHS, attorney at Kleiner Rechtsanwälte.

Adopting new technologies for innovation

Over the last decade, digital technologies have dramatically changed the global economy and have imposed new drivers for competing in a market. Caroline PLUTA, attorney at PLUTA Rechtsanwalts GmbH, believes that technological change is happening faster than ever. “This is a huge challenge for established companies, as they have to reorganise their processes. In my opinion, they also have to establish new ways of management and product development”.

For many entrepreneurs, advancements in technology have also become major contributing factors in the success of their business ventures locally and globally. Through extensive market research, “technology and digitalisation can provide huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop new business models which can be disruptive and thus really change the world”, adds Inese GRATE, senior case and business development manager at Law offices of Jacob Sapochnick. She explains that “the need to innovate has pushed for open innovation which has increased the interaction between start-ups and old or new economy industries and universities”.

These topics and much more will be discussed from 8-10 November at the seminar “Entrepreneurship and innovation: from early stages to the evolution”. To register, visit the dedicated webpage.

Organised by AIJA’s Organising Committee:

  • Frederic DACHS, Kleiner Rechtsanwälte (GERMANY)
  • Inese GRATE, Law offices of Jacob Sapochnick (UNITED STATES)
  • Caroline PLUTA, PLUTA RechtsanwaltsGmbH (GERMANY)
  • Milena PRISCO, CBA Studio Legale Tributario (ITALY)
  • Chiharu SEKINO, Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (UNITED STATES)

 


Pre-registrations are open for the 2019 Half Year May Conference

17 September 2018

Hong Kong, one of the leading financial centres worldwide, will host the AIJA Half Year Conference from 22-25 May 2019. The Conference is expected to attract over 200 international legal professionals and will feature three distinct seminars: “How to Raise Money from International Perspectives”, “Tax: A Dream, not a Nightmare” as well as a seminar organised by the International Private Clients and Family Law Commission. 

Pre-registrations are now open. By pre-registering, participants can benefit from the early bird fees with no deadline and enter a prize competition which will take place during the conference. Fill in the online pre-registration form and return it to office@aija.org.

 

To learn more about the Half Year Conference, we spoke with the co-chairs of the organising committee Jennifer Maxwell, Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, and Moritz Maurer, Senior Associate, Niederer Kraft Frey.

Q1: What are the main highlights of the Conference?

Jennifer Maxwell: A strong scientific programme is already in place that should appeal to anyone who is involved in international transactions (which should be everyone). High profile speakers from companies and law firms will update participants on the latest tax, capital markets, financing and corporate law developments.  On top of that, Hong Kong is an amazing location for an AIJA event, both from a business development and social perspective.  We promise great things.

Moritz Maurer: Sessions will include topics such as “Best practices in private equity financings”, “Fundraising in the M&A context”, “Cross-border listings”, “Recent APAC tax developments”, “Multinational compliance considerations”, “Tax and immigration planning and compliance for high net worth individuals” and many more. We look forward to this exceptional edition of the Half Year Conference in May 2019.

Q2: In your view, what are the main challenges and opportunities in maintaining a robust international tax structure for a business with global presence?

Jennifer Maxwell: We are seeing increasing public focus on the tax structuring of international business.  As a result, corporate structures will not last if they are only established for tax purposes, rather than on a sound economic basis.  Notwithstanding increased pressure and legal complexity, many opportunities still exist for companies to create an efficient and effective international tax structure.  Our seminar will explore the cutting-edge thinking on these matters and will be of interest to lawyers who act for companies (large or small) that have operations that transcend national borders.  

Q3: In your view, what are the main challenges and opportunities in raising money for corporate growth?

Moritz Maurer: Raising money for a company is now, more than ever, an international project.  In today’s current economic climate, money is extremely agile which is both a challenge (when local investors disappear) and an opportunity (when foreign investors are willing to invest abroad). Showing a client that you know how to access capital pools in other jurisdictions is a valuable legal and business skill for any lawyer. 

More to be discussed in May 2019. To pre-register, visit the dedicated webpage and fill in the online form. See you in Hong Kong!

Conference powered by AIJA’s Commissions on Banking, Finance and Capital Markets, International Business and Sports Law, International Private Clients and Family Law, Tax Law; and organised by the organising committee: 

  • Matthew CULLEN (SWITZERLAND)
  • Bruno GUARNIERI, Miguel Neto Advogados (BRAZIL)
  • Aliasghar KANANI, BONNARD LAWSON International Law Firm (SWITZERLAND)
  • Camille Ka-ying LEUNG, Cazimir BV/CVBA (BELGIUM)
  • Alan LO, Liberty Chambers (HONG KONG)
  • Moritz MAURER, Niederer Kraft Frey Ltd (SWITZERLAND)
  • Jennifer MAXWELL, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (CANADA)
  • Bethan WATERS, Farrer & Co (UNITED KINGDOM)
  • Louise Kam Faye WONG, The Law Society of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
  • Minglei WU, Mingleilegal LLC (CHINA)

 


Thanks to our sponsors | 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress

14 September 2018

We're happy to have had such amazing sponsors at the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress this year. Thanks to them, our association was able to provide a high-quality scientific and social programme for around 700 young legal professionals gathered from all around the world in Brussels, from 28 August to 1 September 2018. We would like to thank TransPerfect Legal, Van Olmen & Wynant, Legaroo, Van Bael & Bellis, Fragomen Worldwide, GSJ Advocaten, Astrea, SGG Group, Lydian, and BARBRI International

Thanks as well to our media partners: MLex and The Brussels Times.

Here's what some of our sponsors are saying about this year's Congress:

TransPerfect Legal

"TransPerfect Legal had an incredible time at the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress! We want to see you in Rome 2019, so if you need support on your projects, contact your favourite TransPerfect Legal representative or email AIJABrussels@transperfect.com. TransPerfect Legal Solutions (TLS) is the world’s largest provider of legal support services, include language solutions (translation, interpretation, and machine translation), legal technology (AI tools, document review platforms), temporary lawyers, and related services."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van Olmen & Wynant

"Van Olmen & Wynant was delighted to sponsor the 2018 AIJA Brussels congress. Van Olmen & Wynant is a boutique law firm specialised in employment law and corporate M&A. AIJA allows us to assist your clients in the best possible way when conducting business abroad by referring them to AIJA contacts. I have been a member of AIJA for ten years and I am proud to say that AIJA is not only about networking and referring work. It is foremost about friends who meet each other. As always, during AIJA's congress, I have reconnected with old friends and have also made new friends as result of AIJA’s motto: Learn, Network, Share." Jeroen Mues

 

 

 

 

Astrea

"With warm and good memories, we look back to a very successful edition of the AIJA International Young Lawyers’ Congress in Brussels, Belgium. As a sponsor as well as a Young Dynamic Law Firm with offices in Brussels and Antwerp, we also warmly supported THE HOME HOSPITALITY EVENING of AIJA with  seven lawyers of Astrea opening their homes to welcome a total of 30 AIJA members from around the world with delicious, often typical, food and drinks. This was a unique occasion for all participants to find out about the hospitality and way of life in Belgium as well as to meet Astrea."

 

 

 

 

 

SGG Group (Best International Future Lawyer Award)

"AIJA was this year a perfect time to spend with lawyers in Brussels, which SGG Group is in need today, but as well as in the future, worldwide. This is also one of the reasons why SGG was happy to contribute to the “Best International Future Lawyer Award”. The AIJA event is not only of great interest to have an update on legal matters, but as well a great occasion to see a legal conference with a very personal touch, which makes all participants smile. See you next year in Rome! SGG Group, as a worldwide corporate service provider, is in need of AIJA and its lawyers for close collaboration in many departments."

See you in Rome for the 57th International Young Lawyers' Congress!

 


AIJA scholars share their experience | 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress

13 September 2018

This year, the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress focused on the impact of globalisation on the legal profession, specifically "is the dream of globalisation over? Are we heading towards or away from international integration?".  The Congress gathered around 700 legal professionals from all around the world in Brussels. A selection of photos is available here.

We asked our AIJA scholars and the winner of this year's Best International Future Lawyer Award to share their experience of the Congress:

"To start with, the experience for me was incredible, one that will forever remain in my mind; it was my first time in Belgium. By attending any of their events, you get to network with young lawyers from all over the world. The scientific and social programmes are well designed to keep you engaged during the entire time. AIJA takes charge of every single detail, leaving nothing to chance. The AIJA staff are also very friendly and helpful.

The knowledge and the skills I was able to acquire will make me a better lawyer in my day to day practice.  I will share the information with my colleagues, friends and anyone who would be interested to hear whenever I have the opportunity.

The social events gave me an opportunity to interact with the young lawyers of diverse culture, legal practices from different countries of the world and made me learn the current trends in international law. In as much as every country has its unique legal practices, I was able learn that the challenges in the legal profession are almost the same and also shared with the different people I interacted with.

The events will not only go a long way in your personal development as a legal professional but also create great memories as you tour the host city. The choice of venue for the Brussels Congress was also very accessible and convenient.  I really enjoyed the visit to the Manneken Pis, The Atomium, The King of Belgium Palace, The Grand Place, European Parliament, Museums within Brussels and Matonge, which is highly populated by Africans, right  in the heart of the city.

Being the Managing Partner of Wangoko & Company Advocates, a small sized firm in Kenya, I appreciated the impact legal technology has on smaller firms in modern legal practice. Generally, the topics discussed during the working sessions were well thought out for any young lawyer intending to go international in their practice. Additionally, I also learnt enormous ideas on how to improve our firm to position ourselves for the benefit of having a competitive edge now and in future. The contacts I got in the AIJA Congress in Brussels, both personal and professional, will be of high importance to help our firm move to the next level in business. I was humbled to be part of the congress and remain grateful to AIJA for the opportunity.Wangoko Njoroge

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"The 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress was an intriguing event which helped me fathom the nuances of being a global lawyer. The working sessions at the Congress were indulging and provided me with a platform to share my thoughts with professionals from different countries. My interactions with people from different countries/domain expertise assisted me in developing perspectives about various legal systems.

The social events organised at the Congress were designed in a fashion that everyone could sense the spirit of AIJA. I would recommend AIJA for young lawyers as AIJA to me denotes a family. You have to be once at AIJA for you to never leave AIJA again. I would like to thank AIJA for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this global meet. If young lawyers have an urge to spread their wings - AIJA is certainly an organisation which can be trusted to provide you with a platform to fly." Saurabh Bindal

 

 

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“I think I underestimated what I would gain by attending this year’s annual Congress in Brussels, Belgium. The combination of scientific and social programmes was superb and in particular, I was most engaged with the sections on cross-border transactions and specialised international commercial litigation. I also found the working session on landing an international client, whether you’re in a small or large firm, very informative and hope to apply the things I’ve learned here soon in practice. These programmes have widened my view of practicing law, which I hope, will extend my practicing abilities.

However, my favourite part about Congress has been the connections I’ve made and the networking opportunities - I met so many like-minded people from different jurisdictions, who’ve become new colleagues and also new friends. I’ve already had the privilege of visiting some of my new colleagues in The Hague, in the week following Congress. It is for this exposure that I would, without a doubt, recommend participation in AIJA’s events to all young lawyers, studying or qualified. I am grateful for the opportunities  the Congress has afforded me and have left with unforgettable memories. I cannot wait to attend future events.” Christopher Sawyer, 2018 Best International Future Lawyer

 


2018 Best International Future Lawyer is...

04 September 2018

We are delighted to announce the winner of this year's Best International Future Lawyer Award - Christopher Sawyer.

The award ceremony took place on 1 September at the closing gala dinner of the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress in Brussels. The award was presented by the competition sponsor, SGG Group

 

 

 

 

 

About the winner

Christopher graduated from the University of South Africa (UNISA) in September 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in commerce (BCom), with double majors in law and tax. He then pursued a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) at the same university and graduated in September 2018. In his final year of LLB studies, Christopher took modules on International Law, World Trade Law and International Transport Law. With interests in aviation, science-fiction and law, Christopher hopes to move further into the expanding international, space and commercial legal fields, both academically and in practice.

About his essay

This year's essays were judged by the European Centre for Space Law. Christopher Sawyer’s essay received the highest score for his "very structured argumentation and approach, good grasp of relevant international law and his to-the-point philosophical approach underlying the legal reasoning".

His essay explores the existing, but perhaps inadequate, international legislation vis-à-vis humanity’s use of space and celestial bodies. He shows that although some legislation exists, there are simply not enough controls in place at present to properly govern a colony formed on the Moon.

The essay considers that if a colony was formed off-world, its inhabitants would be from different countries and therefore different legal systems. Without a written legal system, without certainty, legal nuances would be lost and chaos would ensue shortly after inhabitation. Christopher also explores the concepts of citizenship and what this would mean for people who emigrate to the colony and the generations of people born there, as well as different forms of government which could work in controlling the colony (or colonies, as it were).

You can read the winning essay on awards.aija.org or here

About the Best International Future Lawyer Award competition

Every year, AIJA awards essays submitted on a topic in the field of international law. This year, AIJA granted the Best International Future Lawyer Award for the best written essay submitted on the topic "The moon is now colonised, you are in charge of its legislation. How do you handle it?". 

The competition is open to any law student aged 45 and under, and enrolled at any university worldwide at the time of the submission. The winner is entitled to free AIJA membership for the next three years and free attendance to the International Young Lawyers' Congress.

For more information, please visit the dedicated website awards.aija.org. The 2019 Best International Future Lawyer Award competition will open early next year. 

 


Limassol to host a seminar on legal trends and challenges to real estate and the environment

22 August 2018

From 18-20 October, Limassol will host the AIJA seminar “Property developers, architects, civil engineers – contractual questions, environmental challenges and current trends” at the hotel Crowne Plaza.

Cyprus is fast becoming an emerging destination for business and professional services. The success of the island is due to the progressive legislation, regulatory environment and strong network of financial and professional services providers. Its strategic location at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - makes it a great investment hub. This makes Cyprus and the city of Limassol ideal business locations for professional services providers, real estate development and energy consultants and lawyers.

To find out more about the seminar, we asked Bernd Hauck, one of the Organising Committee Members at AIJA and Partner at Kellerhals Carrard.

Q1: What are the main highlights of the seminar?

The seminar is a great event not only for construction, real estate, and environmental and energy lawyers. The scientific programme covers questions of contract law (especially consultancy agreements), insurance contracts and environmental challenges. Furthermore, Building Information Modelling (BIM), THE hot topic in the construction industry will be discussed. The scientific part of the seminar will be closed by two panels on liability, respectively litigation and arbitration.

The social programme promises to be entertaining with a cruise on the Mediterranean coast, snorkelling and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. We will make sure to show the participants around the city and stop by a local “Taverna” where they can taste the delicious local food and enjoy the typical Cypriot hospitality.

Q2: What are the main obstacles in a construction project and will they be discussed at the seminar?

A construction manager once told me that the main issues when constructing a facility are quality, costs, deadlines and the interactions between them. Over the years, I understood that he was absolutely right. If a respective problem occurs, the building principal will try to hold as many involved parties accountable as possible. E.g. in case of a violation of deadlines by the contractor the principal might try to target the consultant as well. To explore this matter, our seminar will feature a panel on risks for consultants when contractors do not meet their deadlines.

Q3: In your view, what are the challenges and opportunities in adopting BIM? What are some recommendations that others can follow to overcome any legal issues that may arise in adopting BIM?

First and foremost, BIM is not a legal but a technical issue. BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. The construction sector considers BIM to be THE disruptive tool for the industry over the next years. We must follow our client and provide advice how to implement legal answers to their need to use BIM. Given the current lack of a broad legal standardisation, the answer can only be a proper contract addressing all the relevant questions arising in BIM projects. This especially includes the definition of each individuals’ “scope of supply” in a BIM project, the fixation of the agreed BIM structure, provisions on liability, data protection an data security issues, IP rights and the remuneration to be paid for the respective “BIM performance” (which might be in addition to the usual performance in a construction project).

To register, please visit the dedicated webpage. See you in Limassol!

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The seminar is organised by AIJA's Environmental and Energy Law Commission and Real Estate Commission. The Organising Committee includes the following AIJA members:

  • Eoin CASSIDY, Mason Hayes+Curran (IRELAND)
  • Martin FOERSTER, Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH (AUSTRIA)
  • Bernd HAUCK, Kellerhals Carrard (SWITZERLAND)
  • Eleni POLYCARPOU, Withers LLP (UNITED KINGDOM)
  • Stavros STROUZAS, Stylianou and Strouzas LLC (CYPRUS)

 


INSOL EUROPE Annual Congress 2018, Athens, Greece – Registration now open!

27 July 2018

Registration is now open for the INSOL Europe Annual Congress in Athens (Greece) from 4-7 October 2018.  

Just by saying the word “Athens” one can’t help but think of the oldest and largest civilisation in Europe, stretching back more than 3,000 years. Imagine walking on the hill of Pnika or strolling the Ancient Market, places where people used to meet to discuss important public issues, places where democracy first appeared.

It is therefore a great venue for the 37th INSOL Europe Congress. “Breaking the Chains”, the theme of the Congress is truly fitting for Greece. The resilience, the calm and the strength of the Greek nation helped them overcome their economic crisis. After all these difficult years, Greece’s economy is growing again! This is just one example of what INSOL Europe's professionals aim for: help nations after an economical decline to break the chains and prosper again. 

This year, the Technical Programme will feature themes such as 'The Holy Grail of Greek Insolvency Law' and 'Brexit - Are we prepared?'. The Break-out Sessions will include topics such as 'E-mobility' and 'How to crack down on offshore companies'. These and other subjects will be sure to make for lively discussions that will endure beyond the Congress itself. 

Athens will be the perfect place for brainstorming, creating new connections, networking and meeting other like-minded professionals. After the Congress, what could be better than having a great conversation, in the Greek spirit, with a new friend, listening to some traditional Greek music, while enjoying a glass of wine and beautiful weather? 

 Further details can be found here

 


Learn what it takes to be (more) international at the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress

28 June 2018

On Tuesday, 28 August we will explore the abilities and know-how a lawyer should have to be a truly international professional during a pre-congress seminar titled “How to become an international lawyer?” at the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress in Brussels. This pre-congress seminar is open to legal professionals looking to pursue a career internationally or young lawyers aiming at becoming more international in their law firm. We spoke with two of the pre-congress seminar coordinators to find out more: Nicolas Thieltgen, Brucher Thieltgen & Partners and Jérôme Vermeylen, ALTIUS.

To register to the pre-congress seminar click here.

Q1: What should participants expect from the pre-congress seminar?

Nicolas Thieltgen: Supporting young lawyers in developing a global career is at the core of AIJA. As an international association for young lawyers, we strive to offer the right opportunities for them to learn, develop and expand their business worldwide.  But what is an international lawyer? What are the qualities of an international lawyer? How do you become one? These are some of the questions that will be discussed and hopefully answered during the pre-congress seminar. For this purpose, different panels of experienced international lawyers, consultants, but also managers of international associations will gather in Brussels to share their thoughts and experience.

Jérôme Vermeylen: Participants can expect top-notch speakers giving their views on what it takes to become and stay an international lawyer nowadays but also in the future. These speakers are high-level legal consultants, lawyers and in-house counsel in multinationals. If you are attending the pre-congress seminar, you should not miss the keynote speech given by Jaap Bosman, the author of the book “The Death of a law firm”.

Q2: In your view, what does one need to become an “international lawyer”?

Nicolas Thieltgen: Communication skills and empathy are some of the first qualities you need to gain to become a good “international lawyer”. An excellent technical knowledge of your legal system is also a must. To be able to easily explain your field to foreign clients, you need to fully understand your practice. Human and technical…you need to master both sides to be an international lawyer!

Jérôme Vermeylen: An international outlook, excellent communication skills in English (on top of other languages), an intellectual and cultural flexibility to adapt, interpersonal skills and the ability to deliver high quality services.

Q3: How does globalisation impact your day-to-day work?

Nicolas Thieltgen: Being based in Luxembourg, a tiny country in the middle of Western Europe, I experience globalisation and the international side of my activity as a lawyer every day. This is an important part of the attractiveness of my job!

Jérôme Vermeylen: Globalisation impacts my daily work in many different ways. Contract drafting is heavily influenced by foreign (UK/US) standards and it is important for me to have some basic knowledge of other legal systems in order to better explain Belgian law to foreign clients. Through the effects of globalisation, I experienced the value of building an international client base and having good contacts in foreign firms with a similar profile. Globalisation and networking through AIJA and other international associations enables me to easily access these resources and connect with people worldwide.

See you in Brussels!

To register and view the full programme, visit the website: brussels.aija.org.

 


How to get the most from your experience at the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress

28 June 2018

With the early bird registrations coming soon to an end, we spoke with the AIJA Organising Committee members Grégoire Ryelandt, Partner at deprevernet, and Marie Brasseur, Partner at ALTIUS in Brussels, to find out more about this year’s Congress and the host city, Brussels.

Q1: What should participants expect from this year’s Congress?

Grégoire Ryelandt: Participants should know that Brussels is a genuine mix of cultures and a diverse city: more than half of its residents were born outside of Belgium. The city is home to around 200 embassies – more than any other in the world. The presence of the European institutions also makes the capital one of the most important decision-making centres in the world. Brussels is an international business hub at the heart of Europe. NGOs, consultancies, international institutions, media and law firms, among others, have set up their offices in the Belgian capital. This makes it the perfect venue for young legal professionals to meet and discuss the impact of globalisation on the practice of law.

Marie Brasseur: This year, the Congress venue is Radisson Blu Royal, a hotel conveniently found at the heart of Brussels. The central location of the venue will allow participants to get a ‘real-time’ pulse of the city and its vibrant atmosphere. Once you are here, you will see that many great attractions are within a 10-minute walk from the hotel, so you get to experience the best of Brussels. The Organising Committee promises a fun social programme with indoor and outdoor activities for everyone. In addition to the social programme, this year’s scientific programme has been tailored to respond to a wide range of interests so regardless of your field of law, you can benefit from all working sessions and workshops. The full programme is available here.

Q2: What are the top 5 things to know about Brussels during the Congress?

Grégoire Ryelandt: Brussels is a very easy-going city. Walk out of the hotel. Go in one of the many small bars on one busy street corners in the city. Sit at the bar and start talking with your neighbour. You will learn a lot more about Brussels and our way of life than in any guide.

Comic strips are one of the treasures of the Belgian culture. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is just a few hundred meters away from the Congress hotel. You should take the comic strip tour. It will take you to very nice settings.

On Sunday, have breakfast at the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) or in Parc d’Egmont. Then go for a walk around the Sablon district to visit the Galleries and the many antique shops, which are real gold mines.

During the Summer, drinks are organised almost every evening in a pop-up location somewhere in the city. Ask a local when you arrive in Brussels and he/she will tell you where to go during the week.

As a lawyer, you can’t leave Brussels without having visited the Court of Justice. The building is poorly kept, but it is full of small stories that local lawyers will be happy to tell. Go to the Court of Justice between 9 and 10 am and follow the lawyers in courtrooms to feel the atmosphere of the building. Also, have a look around the 1st floor. Many doors are unexpectedly open. Don’t be shy, local lawyers will be happy to show you around!

Q3: What are the main highlights of the social programme?

Marie Brasseur: As always, there are plenty of opportunities to network and make friends during the Congress.

On Tuesday 28 August, we will host a Welcome Reception at the Saint-Hubert Royal Galleries, a stone’s throw from the Radisson Blu Royal and the Grand Place. Former President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy will open the Congress with a keynote on the benefits and drawbacks of globalisation. During the same evening, you should also join us for our inaugural speed dating session where all delegates get to meet each other. Our former AIJA President Dirk Nuyts will be for sure a great host.

On Friday 31 August, the Day Out will bring you to one of the most popular Summer spots in Brussels, Bois de la Cambre. Enjoy the afternoon with your Congress friends in the middle of the nature with a selection of typical Belgian indoor and outdoor activities. Teamwork and creativity will be key to bringing the (fun) challenge to a good end!

On Saturday 1 September, we will invite everyone to a Gala dinner at the Halles de Schaerbeek. Nestling in the heart of Brussels in a metal and glass structure dating back to 1901, this former covered market has been saved from destruction and wonderfully renovated. Its space is unrivalled and perfectly suited for celebrations. Les Halles de Schaerbeek will offer the ideal setting to this farewell festive evening of the Congress.

Among the various social events organised during the Congress, I think that the most special and anticipated evening of all is the «Home Hospitality Dinner», where local lawyers open their homes to welcome AIJA members from around the world with delicious, often typical, food and drinks. This is a unique occasion for participants to find out more about the hospitality and way of life of the city hosting the Congress in a friendly atmosphere. This Belgian edition is certainly not to be missed!

Q4: How would you describe this year’s Congress in three words?

We only need two: Feel welcome!

See you in Brussels!

The 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress will take place from 28 August to 1 September at the hotel Radisson Blu Royal in Brussels. Early bird fees are available until 5 July. To register, visit the event website: brussels.aija.org.

 

 


The Best International Future Lawyer Award 2018 competition announces its jury

26 June 2018

We are delighted to announce the jury who will have the task of examining and judging the essays for this third year of the Best International Future Lawyer Award competition.

The competition is organised with the support of the European Centre for Space Law. The winners will be announced on the competition website in July.

 

About the Jury

Emeritus Professor of Public Law in the French Universities, Professor Armel Kerrest taught International Public Law, especially Space Law and Law of the Sea at the Universities of Western Brittany and Paris XI. He taught in other French and foreign universities on many occasions, published books and articles on European and International Law especially Space Law and Law of the Sea.

He advises for Space Law International Organisations, Governments and Companies. He is the Vice chairman of the European Centre for Space Law of the European Space Agency (ECSL/ESA), the President of the Association for the Development of Space Law in France, the Chairman of the Institute of Law of International Spaces and Telecommunications (Brittany); a Member of the Space Law Committee of the International Law Association (ILA) and of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and a member of the Société francaise de droit aérien et spatial (SFDAS) a member of the board of the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL). He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a corresponding member of the Académie de l'Air et de l'Espace.

Professor Dr. Frans G. von der Dunk holds the Harvey and Susan Perlman Alumni / Othmer Chair of Space Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s LL.M. Programme on Space and Telecommunication Law (for more information on the programme: see http://law.unl.edu/spacecyberlaw/) since January 2008. He also is Director of Black Holes BV, Consultancy in space law and policy, based in Leiden (for more information: see http://www.black-holes.eu).

Von der Dunk was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in Vancouver, in October 2004, the Social Science Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in Valencia, in October 2006 and the Social Science Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in Jerusalem, in October 2015. He was a signatory, together with various Nobel Prize winners, dozens of astronauts and cosmonauts and other luminaries from the global science and entertainment community, of the ‘Asteroid 100x Declaration’, December 2014.

He defended his dissertation on “Private Enterprise and Public Interest in the European ‘Spacescape’” in 1998 and published the first comprehensive “Handbook on Space Law”, with a foreword by Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, in 2015. As of 2006, he is the Series Editor of ‘Studies in Space Law’, published by Brill.

Von der Dunk has written more than 180 articles and published papers, many of which can be accessed at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/spacelaw/, giving rise to hundreds of full-text downloads monthly. He has given more than 150 presentations at international meetings and was visiting professor at over 30 universities and other academic institutions across the world on subjects of international and national space law and policy, international air law and public international law. He has (co-)organised some 20 international symposia, workshops and other events, and has been (co-)editor of a number of publications and proceedings.

Von der Dunk has acted as legal advisor or legal task manager in more than 90 projects, advising various government agencies and international organizations as well as a number of non-governmental organizations and industrial stakeholders on matters of space law and policy, including major space applications such as satellite navigation, remote sensing and private commercial spaceflight.

About the European Centre for Space Law

The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) was established under the auspices of the European Space Agency in 1989, with a mandate to promote awareness, knowledge and development of the legal framework relevant for outer space activities. The ECSL seeks to fulfil its mandate by organising a range of conferences, courses and activities for students, academics and professionals throughout the year. Every year, the ECSL organises the European Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court, an Essay Competition and a two-week course on Space Law and Policy – free for selected students from or studying in an ESA-member states. Other activities are organised on an ad-hoc basis. For more information see the ECSL website or follow the European Centre for Space Law on Facebook or LinkedIn.

 


700+ young lawyers to discuss globalisation in Brussels this summer

25 June 2018

Brussels will be soon home to over 700 young lawyers during AIJA’s 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress. For one week, from 28 August-1 September, AIJA is welcoming law practitioners from across the world at the hotel Radisson Blu Royal to discuss the impact of globalisation on the legal profession.

We spoke with the AIJA work coordinators responsible for this year’s scientific programme to find out more: Jean-Rodolphe Fiechter, Kellerhals Carrard; Karen Ruback, Grinberg Cordovil Advogados; Andreas White, Kingsley Napley LLP.

Q1: What are the main highlights of this year’s scientific programme?

Jean-Rodolphe Fiechter: For this year, we chose the theme of globalisation. We will explore where we are today and the direction we are headed: towards greater integration, international co-operation and cross-border trade; or in the opposite direction? M&A, Antitrust and Banking/Finance lawyers, for instance, will discuss how new regulation and policies create additional challenges for completing cross-border transactions. You shouldn’t miss out on the other sessions on information technology and fake news; or on free trade through the lens of recent developments regarding NAFTA, TPP, and steel and aluminium tariffs imposed on China and Europe. Speaking of the latter, I would encourage everyone to attend the workshop organised by our AIJA Real Estate, T.R.A.D.E., and Transport Law Commissions on the New Silk Road Initiative from a transport, distribution and lease law perspective.

Andreas White: Alongside numerous speakers from AIJA, some of whom will be sitting on a panel at an international legal conference for the first time in their professional career, we are absolutely delighted that we have some outstanding external speakers on the programme. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from Fabienne Schaller, a judge from the new international commercial court in Paris. She will be giving us a keynote speech at the first seminar, on dispute resolution in an ever more globalised world.  The Friday morning SCILL session will also be a particular highlight, with its focus on legal-tech and pricing legal services. The final session’s keynote speaker is promising to teach us about “techniques for greater profitability and happier clients”: not to be missed!    

Karen Ruback: It is also worth mentioning the discussion on a very relevant topic in the context of globalisation, which is the creation of specialised chambers within state courts that deal with international commercial cases, that will be led by our AIJA Litigation, International Arbitration, Commercial Fraud and Insolvency Commissions.

Q2: In your view, is the dream of globalisation over? Are we heading towards or away from international integration?

Jean-Rodolphe Fiechter: In my opinion, globalisation is not over at all. But it’s true that we are somehow emerging from a dream, where a globalised, unified world seemed to be a goal of its own, and within close reach. At least that is how I felt when I studied for my LL.M. in “Law and the Global Economy” in Singapore, back in 2009. The West appeared united and was eagerly looking towards Asia. The many challenges we are currently facing should not tire us out, but on the contrary, encourage us to continue to strive for international integration. And in this respect, AIJA is a great forum, bringing together talented young lawyers from across the globe who, together, will shape the future of our nations.

Andreas White: As AIJA members we are by nature outward and forward looking, and internationally minded, so I don’t think many of us really believe that it’s possible or desirable to roll back progress towards international integration. International political, legal and commercial co-operation is always a challenge, but AIJA and its members are committed to these goals. 

Karen Ruback: From my point of view, it depends on the perspective. In certain aspects, with regard to international trade, we may find certain countries more willing to engage in closer co-operation, while others seem to be heading towards a strong protectionism policy. Considering the legal practice, we may find some signs of stronger local, national policies possibly influencing certain decisions (for instance, in the antitrust area). However, there are also movements towards a more globalised legal system where the creation of international chambers (leading to accepting the use of the English language as an official one) or the establishment of jurisdictions rules aimed at attracting international cases to a certain country may indicate a path toward a more globalised (legal) world – at least for certain areas of law. I am eager to learn more about this topic from the perspective of colleagues practicing in other areas of law and in different jurisdictions during the Brussels Congress.

Q3: How would you describe this year’s Congress in three words?

Global – Diverse – Thrilling.

To register to the 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress and to check the full programme, visit brussels.aija.org.

 


Herman van Rompuy to open the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress in Brussels

20 June 2018

This year's 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress will be opened by the former President of the European Council and Prime Minister of Belgium Herman van Rompuy. Our distinguished guest will give a keynote speech on globalisation in today's world during the Opening Ceremony of the Congress, on Wednesday, 29 August at the Egg Brussels.

Globalisation is about much more than trade as it was in the beginning. Ten years ago, the world was close to a financial meltdown. It was a global crisis. Globalisation created huge migration flows, felt by many in Europe as threatening their identity. Terrorism became a global phenomenon. Free trade is often not considered any more as fair trade. The word ‘trade war’ is now very common. The cyberspace is part of war strategies and affecting privacy worldwide. Climate change is the biggest challenge for the human race and our planet. All this fuelled fear. Globalisation of the markets needs global governance. In times of rising nationalism, how can we build a safer world?

To register, visit brussels.aija.org.

About Herman van Rompuy

Elected as the first full-time President of the European Council in November 2009, Herman Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second (and last) term starting on 1 June 2012 and running until 30 November 2014.

At the time of his first election, Herman Van Rompuy was Prime Minister of Belgium. Prior to that he had served in Belgium as Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008) and in several government positions, including as Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999). His was Minister of State (2004) and Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988).

A former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party’s youth movement. He was president of the Flemish Christian Democrats (1988-1993). He served in the Belgian Parliament, in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of Parliament (1995-2009).

He is now professor at the universities of Leuven and Louvain, the College of Europe in Brussels and Sciences Po in Paris and he is the President of the European Policy Centre.

 


Globalisation and the legal profession today: An interview with the President of AIJA

18 June 2018

Globalisation will be at the heart of the debates during AIJA’s 56th International Young Lawyers’ Congress, from 28 August to 1 September 2018 in Brussels. 700+ young legal professionals will gather from all around the world in Brussels to discuss the impact of globalisation on the legal profession. We asked the President of AIJA Wiebe de Vries, to share his thoughts on the theme of globalisation.

Q1: Why globalisation during this year’s International Young Lawyers’ Congress?

The increased economic integration in the past decades has caused a backlash against openness in many developed countries around the world. Today, we witness a growing wave of populism and Euroscepticism that seem to encourage a return to closed borders and national control over flows of goods, capital and people. The economic crisis, Brexit vote, and the nationalism trend e.g. in the US have only further illustrated the movement against globalisation. So, this year, we will ask our delegates: is the dream of globalisation over? Are we heading towards or away from international integration?

As an international association, we want to offer the space for professionals to meet and exchange views on a topic that matters to them in their day-to-day work in their law firms and with their clients. Before determining the direction of the trend with regard to globalisation, I personally believe we will need to better explain its benefits and see how we can overcome current and future challenges. Apart from this, we can raise the question whether the current level of international integration is actually reversible. An answer could therefore be that we need to find new ways to engage towards a better international integration. This and more will be discussed during the Brussels Congress.

Q2: In your view, what is the impact of globalisation on the legal profession?

Globalisation has led to a growing need for lawyers with international expertise, specifically lawyers that can work with different business cultures and in more than one jurisdiction. This has also brought an increase in the mobility of lawyers having the right skills and expertise. Domestic lawyers can now easily move from their local practice to one in another country, or simply continue their domestic practice from a different location - we could call them legal nomads. We can also find many more opportunities abroad than some years ago. We can connect with our peers, regardless of where they are, to stay up to date and make sure we know who to turn to if, for instance, a case needs to be referred.

Above all, I think that in today’s globalised world, we - as young lawyers, need to be able to constantly re-evaluate our role in the profession and more broadly in the larger community to find a balance between the traditional features of the practice of law and the modern business practices. We need to be able to open ourselves to change and be willing to embrace the challenges and opportunities brought by new technologies and ways of working. Then we can say that, indeed, we are embracing some of the many benefits of globalisation.

Q3: What is the benefit of being part of an international association such as AIJA in today’s globalised world?

What AIJA has to offer is a great example of how professionals from all corners of the globe can benefit from knowledge sharing and business opportunities, regardless of where they are. At AIJA, we seek to support our members by creating communities, sharing knowledge and developing skills. Both professionally and personally, our members keep close ties with each other and help one another to advance their professional careers. Friendship is at the heart of our membership. Another benefit of being part of an international association like AIJA is that you can easily get access to local knowledge abroad; and that might be the most luxurious service you can bring to your clients in today’s globalised world.

To register and to check the full programme, visit brussels.aija.org.

 


AIJA supports human rights

15 June 2018

At AIJA, we are passionate about supporting human rights. In today's turbulent times, human rights are more important than ever. Given the increased number of crises and threats worldwide, there is a need to improve funding in this area.

Through AIJA's fund SOS Avocats - we are involved on an ongoing basis in a number of international projects. This includes Lawyers without Borders and supporting the organisation of English classes for refugee judges from Syria.

We also organise our traditional run for human rights three times a year during our Half-Year Conferences and the International Young Lawyers' Congress where we raise money to fund the work on human rights work within SOS Avocats.

Last May, AIJA members successfully raised €2,500 EURO in support of SOS Avocats in a Human Rights Raffle at the AIJA Half-Year Conference in Warsaw. Thank you to our sponsors: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, ECCO, LXA The Law Firm, MaraNaturals, Mogens Daarbak, North TQ Distribution, Simonsen Vogt Wiig, TCC Global; and the members who made this possible.

Find out more about SOS Avocats and our work on human rights here.

 

 


AIJA Double Seminar in Frankfurt to focus on innovation and Internet of Things

05 June 2018

Frankfurt is not only the banking capital of Germany, but is also home to many other industries, including life sciences, biotechnology, logistics or IT and telecommunications. This has brought a strong local concentration of R&D and innovation activity across high-tech industries as well as traditional enterprises looking to revolutionise their business practices.

AIJA will host its 7th Annual Competition Conference from 21-23 June in Frankfurt to discuss the impact of innovation on competition law and share an outlook into the future. Alongside the Competition Conference, the AIJA IP TMT and TRADE commissions have organised a Conference covering emerging legal issues related to Internet of Things (IoT), including Standard Essential Patents and FRAND. 

We look forward to welcoming legal practitioners interested in Antitrust and IT law to Frankfurt. The Double Seminar will be a great mixture of red-hot topics, such as the development of IoT applications - the main topic of the IPTMT seminar, and IoT in relation to research and development – the main topic of the Antitrust Seminar”, said Stephan Dittl, Organising Committee member at AIJA and Partner, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner.

The rise of new technologies and various market mechanisms give rise to new issues in the field of competition law. For instance, an institute wanting to enjoy a stronghold in an ever-changing market landscape may need to assess whether the “old rules” apply to the new environment, how the new environment impacts the market structure, whether they must rethink or reinvent the law in the new environment. These are some of the issues that we’ll try to address in Frankfurt”, he adds.

Stephan also reminds us of the joint session on Saturday 23 June, when delegates are invited to explore the latest on FRAND wars, specifically in the IoT world. Another topic for discussion will be FinTech – which is a must in Frankfurt, the financial centre of German and home of the European Central Bank.

To register, please visit the dedicated event web page. See you in Frankfurt!

 


AIJA scholars share their experience | AIJA Half-Year Conference 2018, Warsaw

05 June 2018

The AIJA Half-Year Conference in May tied together the latest updates related to corporate governance and how to develop successful relationships between clients and attorneys. A selection of photos is available here.

We asked our group of AIJA scholars to share their experience of the Conference:

"Participating in the AIJA Half-Year Conference provided me with an extensive knowledge in relation to current and future trends in corporate governance, as well as tailor-made insights on how to promote my legal services on the market. Besides a valuable scientific programme, I enjoyed a lot the social activities that took place in the most emblematic sites of the Polish capital, such as the Royal castle or the National Opera. What's curious is that I have visited those places before, but adding the 'AIJA touch' to it made the whole stay in Warsaw unforgettable. 

If you plan on attending any future AIJA events, you should prepare yourself for a big dose of fun and knowledge "sur place", as well as great memories and valuable professional and personal contacts "à emporter". Thank you AIJA!" Iga KUROWSKA

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"I am thankful that I have had the chance to attend the AIJA Half-Year Conference in Warsaw. I got the opportunity to meet many inspiring young legal professionals coming from different corners of the world. Quite challenging to take part at a "Client Pitch Simulation" (my first by the way)! As a young lawyer, I find it extremely fascinating how a career-enhancing conversation has the power to transform a situation or (a client, a partner, an associate) relationship for the better.

What I like most about AIJA is the ability to bring young lawyers together to discuss their careers, hopes, and expectations for the profession. Although every country has its own unique attributes, we share many similarities in our professional lives. I had the chance to meet people that experience similar day-to-day challenges, i.e, the changing nature of our legal profession, the challenges that we, as young lawyers, face in managing our work and private lives, and in keeping our productivity at high enough levels to satisfy partners. I would definitely recommend the AIJA events to all lawyers! Why? It's simple! You will get the chance to learn, to enrich your legal education, and acquire skills that make us better lawyers. Furthermore, it is the perfect venue to explore and build networking relationships."  Sara DE CARVALHO

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"One word to describe the conference - outstanding. The topics covered are key to every legal practitioner, particularly the session on developing the client-attorney relationship. The social events were great. To paraphrase one of the participants - once you attend an AIJA event and the ‘AIJA bug’ bites you, you will hardly miss the AIJA events. The participant was right; I have already been co-opted to assist in organising next year’s Half-Year conference in Hong Kong (22-25 May 2019)." Wilson MBUGUA

 

 

To apply for scholarships to participate in one of our events, please have a look at our upcoming events and then submit your application here.

 


AIJA partners with LAWASIA to host Young Lawyers' Forum at their 31st Annual Conference

04 June 2018

AIJA and LAWASIA are co-hosting the Young Lawyers' Forum session taking place during the 31st LAWASIA Annual Conference "New Era for South East Asia" from 2-5 November 2018, in Siem Reap. To see the programme and register, visit the dedicated website.

The 31st LAWASIA Annual Conference is a platform for bar leaders, jurists, professional organisations and individual lawyers from across the Asia Pacific to discuss regional developments in law, including such issues as judicial practice, legal education, cross border business and investment law and cross-border dispute resolution.

The Young Lawyers' Forum session will be held on Saturday, 3 November. The session will focus on the interests of young lawyers from any part of the world, and will provide them with an opportunity to raise issues of particular concern to the next generation of practitioners. Experienced practitioners are welcome to participate. If you are a member of AIJA and wish to contribute to the session as a speaker, please contact us by email: office@aija.org. This will be a great opportunity to grow your business and expand your network across the Asian market.

 


AIJA Q&A: How to effectively manage a legal business (of tomorrow)

24 May 2018

US lawyers work on average 2,3 hours each day on billable work according to the 2017 Legal Trends Report by Clio. This leaves them with around six hours each day of non-billable work. According to the report, half of this time focused on non-billable work is spent on administration and a third on new business generation. This is what law firms struggle with the most.

But with the latest technology tools and improved project management capabilities, legal practitioners can easily overcome these challenges. Today, Legal project management (LPM) is firmly established in the legal market and continues to grow as law firms and in-house counsel see its value in helping them to solve their constant “more for less” dilemma: providing more services and better tailored legal advice for less costs.

The AIJA Seminar “How to effectively manage a legal business (of tomorrow)?” will seek to offer further insights into legal project management and the necessary tools to effectively manage a business from 28-30 June in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ahead of the Seminar, we asked the Chair of the AIJA Organising Committee - Dr. Orsolya GÖRGÉNYI, Partner at Szecskay Attorneys at Law, and the Seminar trainer – Marion Ehmann, ICF-cert. coach (PCC), IILPM-cert. Legal Project Practitioner, about the importance of legal project management tools in a legal business.

Q1: What are the challenges of the legal profession? How can LPM tools help?

Orsolya GÖRGÉNYI: We often tend to focus on LegalTech, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI), and lose sight of the bigger picture. Law firms face more basic challenges than that as we all can imagine. As lawyers, we seem to believe that we are special, and the rules of business, marketing, or the rules of gravity for that matter do not apply to us. Ethical standards differentiate lawyers from other businesses, and lawyers have a duty to the overall society and the administration of justice, but after all, law is a business -...and should be run as a business!

In any business, project management is key. Clients want Quick Solutions (possibly upon pushing a button on their smartphones!) - at Predictable Prices, Communicated in a Client-Centred way!  They will drive law firms to achieve this. This can be done by adopting new technologies or simply by adopting new processes and skills, becoming better at managing legal projects. Project management and the use of efficiency tools that focus on billing, time management and customer relations have been a reasonable business practice in other industries for decades. However - while we are busy discussing about the potential use of AI in legal services, most law firms have not even solved their most basic software needs.

Q2: What are the main challenges in adopting LPM tools?

Marion EHMANN: Getting lawyers to change the way they work. Way too many lawyers cling to “the way we have always done things”, even the younger ones. But the old ways are no longer working under changed market conditions – what got you here will not get you there. The antidote to this problem is to start with a few small changes that create early wins in efficiency or profitability. Those early wins will make you curious and hungry to add some more tools. 

Q3: How can LPM be an effective tool for legal businesses?

Marion EHMANN: LPM helps lawyers to increase client value and establish close client relationships and thereby achieve their business goals. LPM provides a toolbox to successfully scope projects, engage stakeholders, lead successful teams, plan tasks, draft budgets or fixed fee proposals and manage the work within such budget, track progress and manage risks.

If the atmosphere at a firm is change-averse, it is in my experience a good idea to start training some ambassadors or a pilot group and let them then showcase their results to their colleagues. Soon ears will perk up. I remember for example a series of trainings I did at a law firm where the CFO casually remarked “I know which projects are staffed by people who did the LPM training, because there the write-offs are lower”. That certainly got people´s attention.

Orsolya GÖRGÉNYI: Soft skills, "the Human Factor" is essential now, when smart and intelligent software can perform the "commodity work" of - not only junior – but all lawyers. In the future, lexical knowledge will no longer be important, and soft skills will gain importance. Clients will always value a "trusted board room advisor". Therefore, it is very important to develop soft skills for lawyers. The AIJA SCILL (Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership &Learning) Commission is organising its next law practice management seminar in Sofia at the end of June entirely dedicated to Legal Project Management. It is a toolbox of practical and soft skills for managing legal matters, which helps lawyers to increase client value (“more for less”) and establish close client relationships.

Q4: What does an effective legal business look like in the future?

Marion EHMANN: Legal businesses that want to survive and thrive under today´s and tomorrow`s market conditions need to become more client-centred. We have been operating as experts in an ivory tower for far too long, when in fact being a lawyer means working in a service profession. Our clients come to us with a certain need and they want us to take care of it. The need usually boils down to ‘peace of mind’, whether it is a business transaction, family law issues, tax disputes or a social insurance case or what have you. Giving clients that peace of mind requires certain professional skills on top of legal skills – skills that we sometimes call “soft”, which is a misnomer since they can be hard to muster. Besides, the legal businesses of tomorrow will have to adjust to the fact that AI-based tools will take over part of our work (e.g. research, review of documents), so lawyers need to focus on the client-serving aspects of our profession to stay in business. Tools sets such as Legal Project Management and Legal Design Thinking can help us with that.

To register, please visit the dedicated event web page. See you in Sofia!

 


International Bar Association (IBA) awards scholarships for their Annual Conference, 7-12 October 2018, Rome

03 May 2018

IBA European Regional Forum is once again awarding scholarships to European young lawyers (under 35 years) for attending the IBA annual conference from 7-12 October 2018, in Rome. 

The scholarship covers the attendance to the annual conference and all costs for travel and accommodation. This year's conference will focus on the current critical challenges facing the EU and will discuss different views on how to best meet these challenges. For more information, visit the dedicated website

 

 


AIJA Half-Year Conference Interview: Corporate governance today and tomorrow

26 April 2018

A conversation with José Costa Pinto, Founding Partner at Costa Pinto & Associados - Sociedade de Advogados, President of the National Association of Portuguese Young Lawyers (ANJAP) and member of AIJA.

José will be speaking at the session “Corporate governance today and tomorrow” during the AIJA Half-Year Conference taking place from 23-26 May, in Warsaw. 

Q1: What can participants expect from the session “Corporate governance today and tomorrow”?

Participants can expect a multi-jurisdiction view on the most relevant corporate governance issues today, such as board composition and structure, remuneration and compensation, shareholder activism, gender gap and culture and behaviour matters.  I believe that, further to the speakers’ interventions, we can also expect an interesting debate and exchange of ideas with the audience.

Q2: What are the main challenges and opportunities for effective corporate governance?

The main challenge is to be perceived as an asset by companies, shareholders and stakeholders rather than a cost and a burden they have to overcome. I believe, however, that the latest financial and corporate scandals have contributed to a significant increase of social and academic awareness regarding the value of “good governance” over the last decade. This can be decisive for the dawn of effective corporate governance. 

Q3: What are the current developments in corporate governance? And how have these impacted the business?

From a Portuguese perspective, I have to highlight the new “Corporate Governance Code” which was enacted by a civil association – the Portuguese Institute of Corporate Governance – and replaces as from January 2018 the former “Corporate Governance Code” issued by the Stock Market Commission. Portuguese companies will now have to adapt their own structures and practices to the new rules, which will be evaluated for the first time in 2019.   

Q4: Shareholder activism and their ability to influence corporate management have steadily increased over the last year. What are best practices in effectively engaging with shareholders and addressing their concerns?

It is indeed correct to state that the pressure on the boards of companies has significantly increased over the last years, due to the implementation of several mechanisms that have improved shareholders’ activism. In several jurisdictions there were significant changes in law and corporate governance codes aimed at increasing shareholders’ powers and enhancing their ability to control the board of directors and the management. It is crucial to minimise the information gap between shareholders and the board, to boost the former’s ability to participate – on a standalone basis or together with other shareholders – in the shareholders’ meeting, as well as to submit a wider range of matters to their prior approval.      

Q5: What is the role of the lawyer in establishing effective corporate governance practices?

Lawyers must be side-by-side with the boards and the management, developing a permanent and vigilant work on the development of the companies’ activities and their capacity to maintain their governance models working properly.

Q6: In your view, what are the skills a good corporate governance lawyer should have to be successful in his/her career?

Since corporate governance is a multidisciplinary field of practice, it is crucial for corporate governance lawyers to be constantly up-to-date, not only on legal matters related to corporate governance, but also on management and economic matters. This entails a permanent study and constant legal practice, but also a capacity to follow the news on the most relevant companies and economies to understand the full framework of the corporate governance and, thus, be able to properly advise clients.

The Half-Year Conference will be divided into two seminars. The first one will focus on current trends and developments in corporate governance, while the second one will focus on the relationship between in-house and outside counsel and their clients. Other exciting news will be announced soon, so stay tuned on our social media channels and website to get the latest updates.

See you in Warsaw!

 


AIJA Half-Year Conference Interview: Upholding judicial independence

26 April 2018

The independence of the judiciary will be one of the topics discussed at the Human Rights Session hosted during the AIJA Half-Year Conference on 24 May, in Warsaw.

To find out more, we continue our series of interviews with Przemysław Tacik, Assistant Professor at the Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and strong promoter of Human Rights in various dedicated projects.

To see the full programme and register, visit the dedicated event web page.

Q1: What are the challenges to the independence of the judiciary in today’s world? And why is judicial independence important?

Judicial independence remains a keystone of liberal democracy. The existence of objective and impartial courts guarantees civil rights and liberties which otherwise may be easily infringed by the executive or the legislative. Moreover, the public recognition and authority of independent courts promote equality, the Rule of Law and legal certainty. Without the independence of the judiciary, (1) rulings in criminal cases turn into a public vendetta, often of a political character; (2) rulings in civil cases will not be respected by the losing party and will be treated with suspicion of corruption or extra-judicial motives; (3) rulings in administrative matters will not be based on equality of arms between the administration and the citizen.

The independence of the judiciary is enshrined in most national constitutions and in human rights protection acts of international law: Art. 10 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 14 (1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Art. 6 (1) European Convention on Human Rights. It is also well-embedded in the EU law and explicitly guaranteed by Art. 47 (2) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

In the transforming public sphere of the early 21st century, independent courts remain one of the few stable points of reference. To quote Ronald Dworkin, they are assigned the task of “the public use of reason”. In times when authorities collapse, and the public discourse is getting dominated by persuasive, but shallow arguments, the courts may have the chance to defend the culture of the argument and reasoning. Independence of the judiciary involves a selection of candidates for judges who are highly qualified and able to conduct in-depth analyses of the case. The stability of their positions guarantees broad perspective and “long breath” of arguments. Without proper independence of the judiciary, the system of law is more prone to incoherence, narrow positivism and abstraction from democratic values.

It is, however, one of the reasons for which the judiciary often comes under attack from anti-liberal or, to use a vague, but perhaps indispensable term, “populist” movements. As recently reminded by Jan-Werner Müller in his study What Is Populism?, these movements draw their political force from a sharp distinction between “the elites” and “the people”. Much as this distinction is fuelled by economic discrepancies, it is also projected onto state apparatuses. In this perspective, the independent judiciary is by definition a seat of “elites”. Preservation of independence against populist (un)reason and adequate response to justified criticism are two main challenges that the contemporary judiciary must face.

Q2: In your view, how can countries increase or preserve the true independence of the judiciary?

Firstly, the independence of the judiciary depends on institutional guarantees that have become a democratic standard, well-embedded in human rights protection acts of international law. In this regard, their maintenance is a necessary condition of independent judiciary.

Nevertheless, apart from these institutional guarantees the true independence of the judiciary requires an appropriate legal culture, which cannot be safeguarded by purely formal means. This culture includes authority of courts and their rulings, as well as perception of the judiciary as vital part of the democratic society. Naturally, a major part of responsibility for developing such a culture lies with courts themselves. Only through issuing well-justified and impartial rulings can they inculcate respect for the independence of the judiciary.

The independence of the judiciary is not autotelic. It is a means for safeguarding civil rights and liberties, as well as administering justice. Judges need to bear in mind that the independence of the judiciary may be effectively defended and developed only if it has observable effects for the society. Therefore, it might be argued that especially in the times when the independence is challenged, courts must be vigilant to consider the social impact of their rulings.

Q3: What are the main trends in the judiciary across Europe vs. globally?

Naturally, given the current complexity of the globalised world and diversity of legal systems it is hard to outline general trends in this area. There are countries with authoritarian regimes, where the judiciary faces completely different challenges from the one in developed democracies. Nevertheless, it could be surmised, although with great circumspection, that the judiciary in all parts of the world face two fundamental problems. The first is the increase in the complexity of legal systems. Modern law is characterised not only by a fast growth of the number of norms that are in force, but also by a growth of the number of sources they flow from. In the globalised world the myth of a positivist system of law which would be coherent, reasonably extensive and could assure decidability of each case, has been superseded by the postmodern and pluralist vision of an excessive, overdetermined and unkempt field of competing norms. Courts can no longer be just “mouth of a law”, as in Montesquieu’s vision. They need to plough through massive normative material, consider various sources of norms and elaborate interpretations that will establish relations between them. Consequently, the workload of courts seems to increase.

Secondly, we can refer to the defence of the independence of the judiciary against attempts of the executive to control it. Naturally, concrete realisations of this trend differ in various countries. It seems, however, that throughout the world liberal democracies are on the wane, whereas authoritarian trends gain ground.

The situation in Europe does not differ substantially from these trends. The complexity of legal systems is even greater in Europe due to advanced integration. European courts tackle legal pluralism on a daily basis, because they have to combine norms of national origin, the EU law, general international law and regional instruments of international law, such as the European Convention on Human Rights. As to the defence of the independence of the judiciary, the problem is particularly acute in the Eastern part of Europe, especially Poland and Hungary. Nevertheless, Western Europe is not free from it: the anti-systemic culture which arose in the UK in the wake of the Brexit is responsible for a widely popular contest of the judiciary.

Q4: What is the situation in Poland and how can the country overcome the current assault on the judiciary?

The general prospects for the independence of the judiciary in Poland are currently dim. Since 2015, Polish judiciary is under constant pressure from the executive, which undermines its independence, effectiveness and authority.

In the years 2015-2016, the current ruling majority undertook some unconstitutional reforms whose clear aim was to introduce its nominees to the Constitutional Court and gain control over it. Three of the new nominees were unconstitutionally elected for the places which had been already occupied by judges to whom the president of Poland refused swearing-in ceremony and thus precluded them from taking office, even though they had been elected lawfully by the lower chamber of Polish Parliament. Moreover, the current president of the Constitutional Court was elected in a procedure which was questionable from a legal point of view. The current vice-president of the Court was revealed to be a former member of secret services, which he concealed during hearings before the Parliament commission. The law on the Constitutional Court was amended a few times within this short period to facilitate the process of gaining control over it. As a result, the Court was dominated by judges who expressed explicit support for the ruling majority. Before that happened, the executive had usurped a de facto power to assess validity of the Constitutional Court rulings, because it refused to publish in the official journal those rulings which found reforms of the Constitutional Court Law unconstitutional. These rulings remained unpublished and the Constitutional Court sits currently in unconstitutional formations.

In 2017, the ruling majority undertook far-ranging attempts to gain control over the general judiciary. After massive social protests in July 2017 and the subsequent veto of the president of the Republic, a few major reforms were finally adopted in December 2017.

In 2018, the ruling majority pursues with the work on amendments of the Supreme Court Law, with an explicit view to have sway over the Supreme Court after some of its current judges, including the First President, will reach the mandatory retirement age. The new project of the Law envisages that after the seat of the First President is vacant, the President of the Republic will be entitled to nominate an acting First President who is not stipulated by the Constitution. It will allow the ruling majority to directly influence the person in charge of the Supreme Court.

As a result, a part of the Polish legal system functions currently in the state of exception. Clearly, unconstitutional laws are still in force because either the Constitutional Court’s rulings which declared them unconstitutional were not published, or because the new Constitutional Court – sitting in unconstitutional formations – does not declare them unconstitutional. Moreover, the Constitutional Court in its new composition ignores the unconstitutionality of the laws which led to its formation. In this respect, Poland significantly differs from Hungary, where the undermining of the position of the judiciary was generally carried out with the use of constitutional amendments. In Poland, the Constitution was not amended, but effectively rendered inoperative. The current assault on the judiciary can hardly be overcome, because in most respects it has either already happened or will happen within a few months. The whole process of overtaking the Supreme Court will have been probably finished by July, when new judges will be appointed and the new chambers will become operative. It cannot be stopped by the Constitutional Court, because it is clearly dependent on the ruling majority. Most of the amendments that will undermine the independence of the judiciary are already in force; it is only a matter of time before the process of appointing new judges is complete. It remains an open question whether and how this process could be reversed in the future. Given the entanglement of legal matters concerning the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, it will probably not be enough to simply apply the Constitution to declare some laws unconstitutional and return to the status quo ante. The continuing functioning of unconstitutional formations of the Constitutional Court has created a legal chaos, in which separating valid from invalid acts will be extremely difficult. Moreover, unconstitutional acts will have their consequences which may be irreversible. What might be needed is adopting a new constitution which will re-establish the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the process of subjugating general courts to the executive will be hardly reversible – not only because new political nominees will be already appointed as judges, but because the chilling effect on the independence of judges will have long-lasting effects on the legal culture of the Polish judiciary.

 


AIJA members can attend the ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference at a discounted rate

23 April 2018

The American Bar Association is hosting their Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference from 10 to 12 May in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky, US. The Conference will take place at the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville.

The conference will offer a large variety of continuing legal education programming on topics that include but are not limited to intellectual property, intimate partner violence and the law, gender equity in the legal profession, family law, and ethics training. Additionally,  all conference registrants can benefit for one-on-one Executive Coaching Sessions with Debra Forman, a highly coveted professional life coach, at no extra cost. The programme will also include numerous social networking opportunities, including an International Oratory Competition on Friday afternoon, a Friday evening Gala, and an International Attendee Reception on Saturday afternoon.

ABA waives the $95 registration fee for the conference if you are a member of AIJA. For more information and to register, visit the dedicated webpage.

 


AIJA Half-Year Conference Interview: Reflections on judicial independence

20 April 2018

The independence of the judiciary will be one of the topics discussed at the Human Rights Session hosted during the AIJA Half-Year Conference on 24 May, in Warsaw.

To find out more, we interviewed Mikołaj Pietrzak, Advocate, Dean of the District Bar Council in Warsaw, permanent representative of the Polish Bar at the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) in the Human Rights Commission and Partner at the law firm Pietrzak Sidor & Partners

To see the full programme of the Half-Year Conference and register, visit the dedicated event web page

Q1: What are the challenges to the independence of the judiciary in today’s world? And why is judicial independence important?

A strong constitutionally enshrined tri-division of powers and system of safeguards, checks and balances system should work effectively to protect judicial independence, and as a result, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Where systemic safeguards allow, politicians throughout the world will attempt to apply political pressure on court decisions using different methods. This may sometimes be merely public criticism by a cabinet minister of a specific judgment or may go so far as passing a law dismissing an entire group of judges and replacing them with political appointees. 

This process of undermining the tri-division of powers, the system of checks and balances, and as a result the independence of the judiciary, is occurring to various degrees in many Central and Eastern European states, like Poland, Hungary, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey.

This process constitutes a direct threat to domestic systems of protection of human rights. Human rights violations committed by public authorities cannot be effectively questioned or remedied without independent courts and independent judges. Violation of the guarantee of the independence of the courts and judges makes human rights but a meaningless declaration.

Q2: In your view, how can countries increase or preserve the true independence of the judiciary?

This is a serious and broad question and we certainly cannot exhaust the problem in our short conversation. But I think it’s important to draw attention to two issues.

First, we need to concentrate on civic education, in particular on the subject of human rights and law, shaping awareness, understanding and respect for democratic institutions, for the system of checks and balances. Looking back, this is an area in which much more could have been done both in Poland and Hungary.

Secondly, we need to change the language and fashion in which lawyers, especially judges, communicate with citizens. Much can be done to move this language away from a hermetic and technical language to one that is more comprehensible to members of our society. The legal community is naturally insular and closed to communication with the society. In Poland, it took the assassination of the independence of the courts for associations of judges and the judges themselves to open up and become active in the public space. Until now, they maintained a far-reaching restraint, were closed and therefore viewed as being removed from society and aloof. Democracy paid a great price for this closed-mindedness.

Q3: What are the main trends in the judiciary across Europe vs. globally?

As I mentioned, in Europe, which is not at all a uniform judicial organism, there are visible backlashes and questioning of core values, like democracy, rule of law, human rights. We are witnessing an emergence and strengthening of populism, and willingness to consolidate the judicial, legislative, executive power within the hands of the ruling political formations, and especially their leaders. I don’t see that tendency globally among other countries which – like European states - have a tradition of constitutional liberal democracy.

Q4: What is the situation in Poland and how can the country overcome the current assault on the judiciary?

Since 2015, Poland has been going through a constitutional crisis impacting firstly the Constitutional Tribunal. This Constitutional Court, responsible for the constitutional review of laws, no longer functions properly. The ruling party paralysed it first by electing new judges to the Constitutional Court, to fill three seats in the Tribunal which were not vacant (they were occupied by judges elected by the previous Parliament). The Constitutional Court itself ruled that these three new judges were in fact not judges. Ultimately however, the faux judges were allowed to act as judges by the politically appointed new president of the Constitutional Tribunal. The three real judges have not been admitted to the Constitutional Tribunal because the President refused to accept their oath, in violation of his constitutional duty. Since November 2015, parliament adopted many legal acts amending the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal, which were aimed at further paralysing and controlling the Tribunal’s work. At present, most of the judges (including the remaining faux judge, who has been appointed the vice president of the Tribunal) of the Constitutional Tribunal are connected to the ruling party and the tribunal has ceased to fulfil its role of critical constitutional review. On the rare occasions that it does actually proceed a case regarding the constitutionality of a given law, the Court has demonstrated a lack of willingness to provide any judgment in opposition to government opinions regarding controversial laws.

 As concerns the common courts, changes in the law on the organisation of courts in Poland were made in July 2017. The Minister of Justice received the power to revoke at any time any president of any court in Poland and appoint a new one without the obligation of consulting the representatives of the judges working in that court. Using this instrument, by February 2018 the Minister of Justice dismissed 130 presidents and vice presidents of the courts and replaced them with handpicked nominees. Needless to say, this created a chilling effect among judges and is a significant limitation of their independence.

In 2017 and 2018, the parliament hastily reformed the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary (a constitutional body which selects and appoints Judges and is intended to safeguard the independence of the judiciary). One of the most of controversial changes in these laws was the immediate termination of the terms of office for Supreme Court judges. All amendments related to the National Council of the Judiciary were aimed to ensure political control when appointing judges.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can read a statement in English from Iustitia, the largest association of Polish judges, which includes a detailed analysis of the situation in Poland regarding the judiciary. This is a reply to a misleading "white book" issued by the Polish government regarding problems with the judiciary and how the new laws are allegedly intended to solve these problems.

 


Using the law to shape effective corporate governance practices

17 April 2018

The legal landscape for corporate governance is constantly changing under the spotlight of evolving compliance, operational and market requirements. Effective corporate governance practices are essential to a good functioning of a company, including to its relationships with shareholders, suppliers or customers. In-house and outside counsel can be instrumental in improving the corporate governance practices of a company and managing risks that could affect the value of the business or shareholders. This will be a topic for further discussion at the AIJA Half-Year Conference from 23-26 May, in Warsaw.

AIJA invites all in-house and outside counsel and other legal professionals interested in the latest trends and developments in corporate governance to attend the Conference seminar titled “Corporate governance – current trends and development”. The Seminar is organised by the Corporate and M&A Commission of AIJA.

In the run-up to the Conference, Anne Toupenay-Schueller, Partner at JEANTET AARPI, member of AIJA and speaker at the Half-Year Conference, shares more details about the session and gives her view on the challenges and opportunities in corporate governance.

Anne says that during the Seminar, participants will have the opportunity to “exchange views on the latest developments, specifically regarding compliance. Related challenges and opportunities in various jurisdictions across the world will be also addressed”.

Challenges and opportunities for effective corporate governance

Corporate governance has evolved over the past years. We witnessed changes particularly with regards to compliance. For instance, Anne says, “in France, new legal requirements have been put in place for companies above certain thresholds to comply with compliance measures (the so-called “Sapin 2” law (No. 2016-1691 dated 9 December 2016), specifically on anti-corruption, trading in influence, but also the law No. 2017-399 dated 27 March 2017 on the corporate duty of vigilance for parent and instructing companies, to identify the risks and prevent damages to human rights and other fundamental freedoms). Certain companies are accordingly required to put in place measures and procedures (e.g.  cartography of risks, assessment procedures, alert procedures, etc.) and ensure an ongoing follow-up”.

Speaking about the opportunities in corporate governance, she adds that “an efficient corporate governance system can enable investors to have confidence in the business and the economy. You can then use the system in place to assess the performance of the company”. With respect to compliance, companies are invited to promote effective and strict practices, including a strong undertaking from the managers in the organisation and compliance processes. Good communications within the company on such practices are as well of great importance.

Over the past years, we have also witnessed the rise of shareholder activism and their ability to influence corporate management. More than ever, it is important to put in place processes that allow effective engagement. Anne refers to the principles of corporate governance from the OECD. She explains that these recommend providing sufficient information to shareholders on all decisions having a material impact/giving rise to fundamental changes on the company and the right to approve or to participate to them. For instance, “under French law, shareholders of limited liability company have access to information during shareholders meetings; they are entitled to raise questions in relation to the agenda. They also benefit from specific rights; certain decisions can only be taken in the shareholders meeting (e.g. modification of the By-laws). This can also raise the question of protection of minority shareholders and investors”.

The role of in-house and outside counsel

Anne believes that in-house and outside counsel can play a fundamental role in establishing effective corporate governance practices on various matters, such as “determining the most adapted governance structure for the company, assisting companies on compliance issues or advising them in case of a control from regulatory authorities”.

We also see that the ongoing advances in communications are changing the role of internal and external lawyers. Emails, mobile devices ease our communications but also increase the expectations of clients. Clients now expect lawyers to be accessible at all times and to respond even faster than in the past. Consequently, successful lawyers must be able to adapt and provide effective advice to clients in a timely manner. But success goes beyond this. A corporate governance lawyer should also be able to define business-oriented strategies and solutions for clients and understand their objectives. It is important to proactively anticipate issues and risks that clients may have to face.

Finally, there is a distinction to be made between in-house and outside counsel. The in-house counsel is generally involved in the process earlier, usually at the planning stages. So, compared to the outside lawyers - in-house counsel have the opportunity to shape decisions early and help the business minimise legal risks while achieving its objectives.

The Half-Year Conference will be divided into two seminars. The first one will focus on current trends and developments in corporate governance, while the second one will focus on the relationship between in-house and outside counsel and their clients. Other exciting news will be announced soon, so stay tuned on our social media channels and website to get the latest updates.

See you in Warsaw!

 


A guide for in-house and outside counsel on how to develop a successful relationship with clients

10 April 2018

How to speak to sell better to in-house counsel. Strategies on how to develop a successful in-house counsel – outside attorney relationship. Negotiating fees for legal services to meet clients’ expectations. Personal branding for legal professionals. These are some of the themes that will be discussed from 23 to 26 May at the AIJA Half-Year Conference in Warsaw.

AIJA invites all in-house and outside counsel and other legal professionals interested in improving their communications and negotiation skills to attend the Conference seminar titled “Happily ever after! Perspective from in-house counsel and law firms on how to develop a successful client-attorney relationship”. The Seminar is organised by the Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning (SCILL) Commission of AIJA.

In the run-up to the Conference, we asked Štěpán Holub, SCILL President and Organising Committee Member at AIJA, about the main highlights of the seminar. “This will be the best place to understand what in-house counsel expect from outside lawyers and the other way around. The seminar will combine theory with practice and will seek to share examples from real-life situations”, Štěpán said.

For in-house counsel, it is important to assess whether a legal issue can be solved in-house, or if there is a need for outside expertise or additional resources. That is when usually a company decides to outsource and reach out to law firms, for instance. He says that “you have to act quickly on it, so you don’t lose a good business opportunity. As legal professionals, we need to be able to see our limits and handle legal cases and our clients both from a legal and commercial perspective”.

The seminar will also address best practices on how to best serve clients as an in-house or outside counsel. Developing a successful relationship with clients can be challenging, but there are ways to improve the likelihood of building a successful and lasting partnership. Štěpán believes that “in order to be successful, we need to see the issue through the eyes of the client and understand what is needed. Knowing the law is not enough, we need to know the industry and business we work for. It is easy to say but difficult to do. This is why AIJA will host a seminar dedicated to this subject at the Half-Year Conference in Warsaw".

To conclude, Štěpán says that the key to success is listening. “Listen first. We have two ears and only one mouth to listen twice as much as we talk. Sometimes it may seem difficult to do something as basic as listen. This goes beyond just noting down the basic facts related to the legal issues of the client. You need to listen to understand essential things, such as your client’s goals, needs and expectations”.

The Half-Year Conference will be divided into two seminars. The first one will focus on current trends and developments in corporate governance, while the second one will focus on the relationship between in-house and outside counsel and their clients. Other exciting news will be announced soon, so stay tuned on our social media channels and website to get the latest updates.

See you in Warsaw!

 


Highlights from the AIJA Seminar "The Challenges of Compliance and Anti-corruption"

09 April 2018

The AIJA Seminar "The Challenges of Compliance and Anti-corruption" took place from 23-24 March in Recife, Brazil. Mariëlle Boezelman, AIJA member and one of the moderators, speaks about the main highlights of the Seminar. 

The seminar presented a general overview on current topics related to the anti-corruption legislation and compliance programmes in various jurisdictions worldwide. Brazil was the perfect place to host this seminar, as Brazil has one of the largest ongoing anti-corruption investigations - also known as Operation Carwash. 

'Operation Car Wash' - in Portugese 'Operação Lava Jato', is an ongoing criminal investigation carried out by the Federal Police of Brazil and judicially commanded by Judge Sérgio Moro starting 17 March 2014. It is a cross-border investigation with more than one thousand warrants for search and seizure, temporary and preventive detention and coercive measures. In 2016, a breakthrough happened in the case. Odebrecht and Braskem - two Brazil based companies - pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Brooklyn to conspiring to violate a U.S. foreign bribery law after an investigation involving political kickbacks at Brazil’s Petrobras unearthed the bribery scheme.

Odebrecht SA and affiliated petrochemical company Braskem SA agreed on a penalty of $3.5 billion, the largest penalty ever in a foreign bribery case. This penalty resolved international charges involving payoffs to Brazil’s state oil company and others. The huge penalty was negotiated as part of a broad settlement with U.S., Brazilian and Swiss authorities. During the Seminar, we even learned that the Brazilian, Swiss and US public prosecutors have an Whatsapp group to keep in close contact to exchange information. As you can imagine, this raised questions about international judicial assistance and whether the legal requirements are met.

The Carwash investigation thus formed an important bases to discuss several topics during the AIJA seminar. We came across interesting differences between jurisdictions and problems. For instance, how is the principle of 'ne bis in idem' safeguarded in such cross-border investigations and how can two Brazilian companies plead guilty in a U.S. Court while a company in Brazil cannot be held criminally liable? These questions show that close contact between lawyers in such cross-border investigations is of vital importance.

Differences between jurisdictions worldwide

We discussed extensively some interesting differences between jurisdictions, specifically about the role of legal entities in different jurisdictions. In the Netherlands, it has been possible for a legal entity to be prosecuted since 1951 for specified economic crimes. And since 1976 it has been possible to prosecute legal entities for any crime according to article 51 of the Dutch Procedural code.

The question is how can a legal entity be held criminal liable? A legal entity does not have any hands or feet nor can it act by itself. It always has to be represented by a natural person. But how can acts (or omissions) of individuals (directors, managers, employees) be allocated to a company? Whether the criminal actions of a natural person can be attributed to a legal person depends on whether the company had control over the criminal activity and accepted it.

This means that if the criminal activity of a natural person is part of the normal business of the company, or is part of the company’s official or unofficial policy, or is more or less accepted by the company, the criminal offence can be attributed to the company. The Dutch Supreme Court summed up four situations in which conduct, in principle, may be said to be carried out ‘within the scope of a corporation’:

  • the act or omission has been carried out by someone who works for the company;
  • the conduct fits the everyday ‘normal business’ of the corporation;
  • the corporation gained profit from the conduct concerned;
  • the course of action was at the ‘disposal’ of the corporation, and the corporation has ‘accepted’ the conduct – acceptance including the failure to take reasonable care to prevent the conduct from being performed.

In our daily practice, we see that the public prosecution office tends to hold legal entities responsible for actions of an employee without assessing whether the acts of the employee can be attributed to the company. Moreover, considering the jurisprudence of the Dutch Supreme Court the legal entity has to act intentionally to commit a crime. All the relevant circumstances have to be taken into account for this. For instance, if an employee committed wrongful acts it has to be taken into account whether the company has given clear instructions to the employee to do its work right. Furthermore there should be a reason for the legal entity to doubt the satisfactory services of the employee. If not a crime of an employee cannot merely be attributed to the legal entity.

This jurisprudence thus shows that internal regulations and compliance procedures are of vital importance to discuss issues about (criminal) liability.

This AIJA seminar showed that cross-border investigations are growing and lawyers have to take into account all the differences between jurisdictions and work closely together to ensure that clients will receive a tailor made solution for every jurisdiction.

This article has been originally published by Mariëlle Boezelman on www.lawlunch.com. Note that it has been slightly adapted.

 


3 Reasons to enter the Best International Future Lawyer Award competition

06 April 2018

With entries now open, we invite law students worldwide to submit a written essay on the following subject: “The moon is now colonised, and you are in charge of its legislation. How do you handle it?”

Any object launched from the Earth is registered by a state, and through this registration it becomes subject to that state's national jurisdiction and control. Thus, a space colony would operate in accordance with the laws of the state that registered the base or shuttle they arrive with. However, we see there is a chance that a future colony might seek independence. 

So, we are challenging law students with this notion that humans may one day build societies beyond Earth and demand their independence. 

Why you should enter the competition
Here are, in no specific order, 3 reasons why you want to enter the Best International Future Lawyer Award competition:

Credibility
Soon you will be searching for your first job or maybe you are already on the lookout for a traineeship. An international award will make you stand out from other candidates.

Recognition
The Best International Future Lawyer Award will be handed out in front of over 800 international legal professionals at the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress in Brussels, so you can get the recognition your work deserves. Building a professional network is one of the fundamentals of success at the start of your career. Winning is a great way to start building your professional network as you will get access to free AIJA membership until 2021.

Confidence
Participating in the competition is a statement. It shows that you are confident in your knowledge of law and that you take pride in your work. Such demonstration of confidence is a good way to impress your future colleagues and potential employers.

Deadline for submissions is 15 May 2018. For more information about the competition and to submit: awards.aija.org

 


Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: no better time to stand up for human rights

22 March 2018

Paola Fudakowska, President of AIJA’s Private Clients Commission and Candidate for the role of AIJA’s First Vice-President shares some reflections from the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council taking place from 26 February to 23 March 2018 in Geneva.

70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This year, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) celebrates its 70th anniversary.  So not much older than our association which celebrated its 55th anniversary last summer.

The UDHR is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the UDHR was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948. For the first time, it sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. 

The text of the UDHR is timeless and continues to be relevant at global, national and regional level. It recognises that all human beings are free and equal and entitled to the rights and freedoms identified in its thirty Articles.  These include the right to life, right to justice, right to freedom of movement and culminate in the right to a social and international order in which the rights and freedom set forth in the UDHR can be fully realised.

The 70th anniversary at the heart of the UN Human Rights Council debate

This significant milestone is the common thread running through the discussions of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), the main UN body responsible for global promotion and protection of human rights.  The HRC meets three times a year in Geneva, over a period of four weeks.  Emergency meetings may be convened at short notice to respond to human crises. 

The last emergency session of the HRC took place on 5 December 2017 to address the human rights violations in Myanmar, which have caused over half of the Rohingya population to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. In his address to the HRC, the High Commissioner for Human Rights raised the controversial question whether, based on the evidence, elements of genocide could be present.  He also acknowledged that this is ultimately a question for a competent court.

Now during its 37th session, the attention of the HRC is being diverted in a number of directions: from addressing the ongoing conflict in Syria to protecting the rights of the child in humanitarian situations; from exploring the rights of persons with disabilities (specifically access to justice) to concrete action to eliminate racial discrimination; from the abolition of the death penalty on the African continent to freedom of religion.

The 37th session of the HRC also allowed some time for reflection upon various human rights achievements over the past 70 years and challenges to come. 

The President of the HRC chaired a high-level panel discussion to mark the 70th anniversary. The members of the panel recognised that one of the greatest achievements of the UDHR is that it emerged following a dark period of history during the Second World War, when seemingly impossible consensus by all states was achieved to recognise universal values. The UDHR sowed the seeds of identifying the human rights which required protection. There are now nine human rights treaties, with the corresponding monitoring bodies, giving legal and enforceable rights to groups including children, women and persons with disabilities.  In return, this has given visibility and recognition to these groups in society.

The panel identified challenges for the future to include:

  1. Recognition and strengthening of regional systems such as the African and Inter-American systems to enhance global engagement with human rights issues.
  2. Engagement of the next generation with human rights norms, while recognising that innovations such as artificial intelligence and bioscience will impact on the ability to engage.
  3. Implementation of human rights policies which may require a change of perception to widen their impact. Narrowing the gap between certain groups in society may be achieved by recognising that, for example, housing is more than a commodity; it is a human right which is necessary to give dignity and equality to the homeless and those in sub-standard housing. 

The role of the individual in the UDHR

And what about the role of the individual in upholding the UDHR?

Aung San Suu Kyi once asserted that, "I do protect human rights, and I hope I shall always be looked up as a champion of human rights." On her doorstep sit the Rohingya people in desperate need of a champion to promote and protect their human rights. 

70 years young, the UDHR invites every individual to promote respect for the rights and freedoms that it enshrines.  As young lawyers in all corners of the globe, whatever our area of specialism, we can be its champions.

 


AIJA partners with the European Centre for Space Law

21 March 2018

AIJA is pleased to partner with the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) for our third edition of the Best International Future Lawyer Award competition. The competition invites law students with an interest in international law to submit an essay responding to the following question: “The moon is colonised and you are in charge of its legislation. How do you handle it?”. The deadline to enter the competition is 15 May 2018.

The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) was established under the auspices of the European Space Agency in 1989, with a mandate to promote awareness, knowledge and development of the legal framework relevant for outer space activities. The ECSL seeks to fulfil its mandate by organising a range of conferences, courses and activities for students, academics and professionals throughout the year. Every year, the ECSL organises the European Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court, an Essay Competition and a two-week course on Space Law and Policy – free for selected students from or studying in an ESA-member states. Other activities are organised on an ad-hoc basis. For more information see the ECSL website or follow the European Centre for Space Law on Facebook or LinkedIn.

On 23 and 24 March, the ECSL will organise a Practitioners’ Forum and a Young Lawyer Symposium at ESA Hq in Paris. The Practitioners Forum aims to gather experts from all over the space sector to address an emerging issue in space, this year focusing on cyber issues and legal tools to address and mitigate threats. The aim of the Young Lawyer Symposium is to allow for early career scholars and professionals to present on a space law related topic in an international forum, exchange ideas and network amongst themselves. This year’s Young Lawyers’ Symposium will consider legal aspects in relation to space debris, renewable launchers, space vehicles and future exploration.

AIJA will be present at the Young Lawyers’ Symposium on 24 March 2018. We look forward to being there and discussing with participants about how they can apply to become the next Best International Future Lawyer. See you there!

 


The second annual T.R.A.D.E conference to take place in amazing Amsterdam

20 March 2018

It is not just because of its beautiful historic canals, bikes, architecture or world-class museums! Amsterdam is also home to many international law firms and global businesses. This makes it an attractive and vibrant city for international lawyers to experience the value of the commercial law practice during AIJA’s second annual T.R.A.D.E conference, from 12 to 14 April 2018.

This year’s conference will cover a broad range of practical topics related to the preparation, negotiation, drafting and termination of international commercial contracts. Attendants will have the opportunity to access first-hand knowledge from highly qualified speakers from international law firms and in-house legal departments. This second edition of the conference hopes to provide international commercial lawyers with an ideal forum to exchange their views on the topic and enrich their network. On top of that, AIJA’s unique spirit of friendship will make everyone feel welcome!

Babak Tabeshian, Organising Committee Member, explains that while all the sessions are timely and highly relevant, “for those who do a lot of business with Asia, the panel on intercultural negotiations will be particularly interesting” on Friday, 13 April. He adds that “the in-house counsel panel discussions on contract management and termination will also be of particular interest” on Saturday, 14 April. On the same day, hot topics such as the effects of Brexit on cross-border contracts will add even more flavour to the scientific programme.

The social programme will start on Thursday, 12 April, with a welcome reception at the Eye, an architectural pearl standing on the banks of the River IJ. This will be followed by a canal cruise and an exquisite dinner at an Indonesian restaurant on Friday, 13 April. And if this isn’t enough, we hope that you will stay in town after the conference to enjoy the many splendid sights Amsterdam has to offer.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit the dedicated webpage.  

 


Meet the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) head on

19 March 2018

Coming into effect on 25 May 2018, GDPR will introduce new data protection obligations for companies and new rights for individuals. The forthcoming regulation will have a heavy impact not only on the EU-based companies, but those based outside of the EU will also have to apply the same rules while offering services in the region. One of the most significant aspects of the GDPR is that it expands the territorial scope of the EU data protection law. Regardless of the company’s location, data processing with reference to the EU will lead to the applicability of the GDPR.

With the new regulation looming on the horizon, we will organise a GDPR seminar for AIJA members on the side-line of the 2018 Annual Conference “At the Crossroads: The Fusion of Private and Public International Law” of the American Bar Association. The AIJA seminar will be held on Friday, 20 April at the Grand Hyatt, in New York.

During the seminar, attendants will find out to what extent the GDPR applies to companies outside the EU/EEA and how the GDPR requirements for non-EU companies can be efficiently implemented in current processes in data-driven business models. Mastering the appropriate tools and knowledge of an adaptable roadmap towards an efficient implementation of the GDPR will provide companies with a clear competitive advantage.

According to Johannes Struck, Organising Committee Member of AIJA, the main challenge of the GDPR will be “to adapt the data transfer strategies of companies with transatlantic business operations to the new requirements of legal compliance and data protection management. This will be vital for companies that wish to continue to present themselves as reliable partners, particularly for non-EU/EEA companies”.

Speaking about the impact of the regulation on international law firms, David Areias, Organising Committee Member of AIJA, adds that “they [international law firms] are very likely to have the activity of their international clients impacted or influenced by the GDPR. Therefore, they must be prepared to recognise the need of compliance with the GDPR by developing internal skills and knowledge, and various forms of cooperation with their EU offices or with other EU law firms.”

Registration is now open. See you soon!

 


AIJA supports ELSA Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP)

07 March 2018

This year, AIJA is happy to support again ELSA, the European Law Students' Association, in their efforts to identify law firms that may be interested to hire new trainees and be part of STEP.

STEP is a trainee exchange programme that enables law students and young lawyers to gain first hand experience of the substantive and procedural law as well as the culture of another country. The Student Trainee Exchange Programme of ELSA offers AIJA members the opportunity to have highly qualified law students from all over Europe as trainees. The traineeship can vary from 2 weeks to 24 months and can take place in any law related area.

For more information about the traineeship programme, visit the dedicated website.

Read testimonials of AIJA members that benefited from the STEP programme:

Our office has a specialized, niche field of expertise: assisting German-speaking clients in Belgium. ELSA STEP is therefore an excellent partner for us, as it brings us in contact with many native German speaking students from abroad. On the other hand, the students find an interesting opportunity abroad where there is no language handicap. On the contrary, they can immediately ‘STEP’ in. The selection process goes very smooth and fast, and is almost completely arranged by ELSA itself. We just fill in the forms concerning the requirements and after some time we receive detailed CVs of the candidates, leaving us only the (difficult) task to select. No hassle with separate traineeship agreements etc… everything is standard form,so we can concentrate on working together with the
students.” - David Diris, Kocks & Partners (Belgium)


We are very pleased and satisfied in participating in ELSA Traineeship Programme and we will do it again. It was an interesting experience for the trainee who had the opportunity to work with us for a period of time and leave the life of a law firm, but also for the people of our firm who benefited from networking with an international student.” - Manuela Cavallo, Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale (Italy)

 


Florence Promises to be Taxing

13 February 2018

The city of Florence could stake a claim to having invented modern taxation: commercial credit, government borrowing and merchant banking all flourished in Renaissance Florence, under the House of Medici. It’s a pretty fitting city, then, for this year’s AIJA tax law seminar which takes place from 1 to 3 March. But despite the obvious historical context, the theme of the seminar is exceedingly modern: "The concept of fairness in national and international taxation".

Pietro Mastellone, Organising Committee Member, explains, in some detail: “This is a pivotal concept for the development of tax law. If the tax is fair, both in its substantive perspective (i.e. how much you should pay to the state) and in its procedural one (i.e. how is the tax effectively collected?) then the tax systems are able to pursue their institutional role to finance the public expenses through a wide contribution from honest taxpayers.” The presentations will therefore, “treat the impact of procedures that allow tax authorities to obtain information useful to carry out control activities on taxpayers producing income abroad, which may be considered, somehow, the ‘thermometer’ of the evolution of international tax law.”

Pietro continues, enthusiastically: “The transition from a total absence of assistance between states, essentially justified by the fact that taxing powers are an expression of a state’s sovereignty, to a stage – following the G20 of London 2009 – in which forms of cooperation exponentially expand. This has led to a scenario where taxpayers’ fundamental rights are not adequately protected in cross-border situations”. Counterweights in international public law such as bilateral treaties, or the EU Charter of Nice, are therefore increasingly coming to the fore.

The social schedule includes a welcome cocktail reception on the rooftop bar (weather-permitting) of the Grand Hotel Baglioni, walking tours of the historical centre of Florence, wine and cheese tasting, Florentine cuisine at “Buca Mario”, cocktails at the “Colle Bereto Café” and even late-night dancing at the “YAB” nightclub.

Pietro’s commitment in setting up the 11th AIJA Annual Tax Seminar reveals a ‘family tradition’ in hosting high-quality legal conferences in Florence, since his father Carlo – actually Honorary Vice-President of AIJA – organised there a memorable AIJA Annual Congress on “The financing of start-up companies” in September 1997.

For more information and to register, visit the dedicated web page

 


Are You the Best International Future Lawyer in the Galaxy?

13 February 2018

It’s the ‘Best International Future Lawyer Award time of year again (let’s call it BIFLA for short). And the topic this year is out of this world. Literally. Membership Forum co-chair François Barre explains: “The topic chosen this year is: The moon is now colonised, you are in charge of its legislation. How do you handle it? In this context, would civil and common law systems be merged? If not, which one would prevail?”

How on Earth did they come up with that topic? “The theme for the Brussel’s yearly conference is related to the possible end of the globalisation dream”, says François. “Which is, all in all, an earth related question… yet space programmes are expecting to colonise other planets by the end of 2025. Our question thus is: how can we deal with our dreams of expansions outside of earth if we are not able to think globally on our own planet?”

Ok, sounds like fun. So how can young lawyers enter BIFLA, and what do they win? Any law students aged 45 and under who are still enrolled at any university, can apply. They don’t even have to be a current AIJA member – they just need to send an essay on the set topic by 15 May (for full T&Cs, see the dedicated website). The winner gets free AIJA Membership until 2021, their name and winning essay publicised across the galaxy – i.e. AIJA’s website, social media and various communication channels – plus free travel and accommodation to the 2018 International Young Lawyers’ Congress in Brussels, Belgium.

“Once in Brussels, the winner will meet future colleagues, potential employers, and new friends”, enthuses Membership Forum co-chair Anita Gerdin. “The winner will arrive with an established reputation before he or she starts the first roundtable of speed dating, basically the best way to start at AIJA!”

“Young future lawyers have to embrace their youth and knowledge to challenge us and make us rethink constantly our profession and the issues at stake”, says another Membership Forum co-chair Justus Jansen, adding: “Contestants should know that a similar project had been implemented in the 1970’s… This could be a good starting point for them to understand the issues raised at the time and see how to learn from past experience. They have to be thorough and realistic – with great powers come great responsibilities.”

For more information about the International Future Lawyer Award, click here.

 


Let’s Raise a Glass to 2018!

12 February 2018

With 2018 already well underway, let’s reflect on the previous year just gone. As we awoke to the new year, we asked AIJA President, Wiebe de Vries – how was it for you? “We had unique events to close the year”, said Wiebe, nostalgically. “A very successful Half-Year Conference in Girona, surely with the best food we ever served to our members in my AIJA history.” It was also, he said, “great to see so many members also showing up for our Christmas Cocktail in Brussels”.

But partying aside, what were his conference highlights of the year? “Several: we had an impressive seminar with over 600 lawyers and law students in Tehran. It was a very special occasion where it became clear that local lawyers are very eager in meeting with people from outside Iran. Another not to miss event was of course the Tokyo Congress where around 500 members from all around the world joined there. A strong reinforcement of our presence in Asia and we are going to build further on that!”

So how is he going to build on it for this year? “AIJA must always have the goal to grow, not only because we lose members every year who turn 45, but also because I believe as many members as possible should enjoy the AIJA experience”, says Wiebe, assertively. “We saw some 10% growth over the past year, I would be extremely grateful if we manage to grow with 10% again over the coming year. More than that, geographical spread should balance more this year, with two seminars in Asia (in Hong Kong and Singapore), as well as a seminar in Recife (Brazil), and activities in the US. I believe we are on a good track to really make AIJA Global.”

What does Wiebe have in store for us for 2018? What exciting venues and food sensations await the AIJA membership this year? “No doubt the Brussels Congress will be fantastic! As a tax lawyer, I am also sure the Firenze annual tax seminar will be a very special event. And, I also look very much forward to the Warsaw Half-Year Conference. I have never been to Poland and I am very eager to experience Poland in proper AIJA style!” Wiebe also teasingly says that he had five proposals for the Half-Year Conference to choose from, so we are expecting big things from Warsaw – let’s raise a glass of piwo to the (half) year to come!

 


Best International Future Lawyer Award 2018 open for submissions

10 February 2018

AIJA is calling on all future lawyers with an interest in international law to compete for the Best International Future Lawyer Award 2018. The competition aims to celebrate the brightest and the best young minds preparing for a career in the legal industry. 

All law students aged 45 and under who are still enrolled at any university worldwide at the time their paper is submitted, are eligible to enter the competition.

Interested participants can submit a written essay on the topic "The moon is now colonised, you are in charge of its legislation. How do you handle it? In this context, would civil and common law systems be merged, if not, which one would prevail?".
Essays should be submitted by 15 May 2018 (in English).

Awards

The winner will be awarded during the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress taking place from 28 August to 1 September 2018, in Brussels, Belgium.

He/she will benefit from the following:

  • Free attendance to the 56th International Young Lawyers' Congress from 28 August to 1 September 2018, in Brussels, Belgium. Travel and accommodation will be covered.
  • Free AIJA membership until 2021 and access to useful industry resources and a network of 4,000 lawyers across the world
  • Publication of the winning essay to the AIJA website and social media channels

To enter the competition, please visit the dedicated website: http://awards.aija.org.

 


Half-Year Conference in Warsaw Features Corporate Law

10 February 2018

The AIJA Half-Year Conference in Warsaw held on 23rd to 26th May coincides with the Warsaw Arbitration and Mediation Days organised by ICC Poland and arbitration institutions including the Arbitration Court at the Polish Chamber of Commerce. So never ones to miss out on a good networking opportunity, AIJA has decided to invite them for a joint welcome reception where members can get the chance to mingle alongside influential members of the arbitration and mediation community.

Then there’s the scientific seminar. Anna Wyrzykowska, from the organising committee, fills us in: “The theme ‘Corporate governance – current trends and developments’ – was selected by the M&A Corporate Commission because for a long time we have not had an event focusing particularly on corporate law.” This will be of particular interest to lawyers who work for large international firms, and anyone interested in hearing from external speakers from large corporations. “Therefore we will have an occasion not only to discuss the topic among AIJA members but also share views and opinions with general counsels and in-house lawyers”, says Anna.

There will also be a seminar from the Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning (SCILL) Commission on how to successfully develop client-attorney relationships, as well as sessions devoted to the lawyers’ marketing skills (so called ‘beauty contests’). The scientific part is not only limited to the seminars. During the Conference the meeting of all 18 AIJA commissions will take place, including the Human Rights Commission meeting with keynote speakers including the Dean of Warsaw Advocate’s Bar.

So that’s the serious bit done. What about the fun? “The social program will allow the participants to experience Warsaw’s highlights but also to continue to network in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere for which AIJA is known for.

Thursday’s Opening Dinner will take place at the National Opera Theatre on 24th May and the Gala Dinner on Saturday 26th May will be held at the beautiful Warsaw Royal Castle. On Friday evening the guests of the Congress will be invited in small groups to the local lawyers’ homes for AIJA’s increasingly popular ‘Home Hospitality’ evenings.

“I cannot tell which part excites me most”, says Anna, evasively. “All Polish members of the Organising Committee of this event are excited that our colleagues from AIJA will visit our hometown which is why we will try to make sure that this event will be a very memorable one!”

Join us in Warsaw from 23 to 26 May for an exceptional conference with two parallel seminars to choose from. For more information and to register: https://www.aija.org/en/event-detail/378

 


Become a specialist in International Family Law at University of Carlos III of Madrid

22 January 2018

AIJA is happy to support the Master's in International Family Law, a new programme launched by the University of Carlos III of Madrid (Spain). The course aims to provide expertise in all family law matters from an international perspective. 

The programme consists of nine modules: International marriage, International marriage crisis, Economic asset system, Sonship, International adoption, Child protection, International child abduction, Food, International sequence.

Classes are in Spanish and will begin on 23 February 2018. For more information, visit the dedicated website (in Spanish).

Contact:

Carlos III University of Madrid

Postgraduate Studies Centre

Specialist in International Family Law

Laura García Albendea Albendea

Phone number: 91 624 5805

Dpcho: 18.1. C03

Getafe Campus

Calle Madrid, 135

28903-Getafe

derechofamiliainternacional@postgrado.uc3m.es 

 


And The AIJA 2018 Annual Congress Host City Is…?

30 November 2017

With memories of the Tokyo Annual Congress still as fresh as sushi, our thoughts now turn to the host city for the 2018 Congress. And here’s a culinary clue: this time it has more of a ‘Moules et Frites’ flavour. That’s right, it’s Brussels, in Belgium.

Given its central location at the heart of both Europe and the EU seats of power, Brussels is also where AIJA is headquartered.

“The International Young Lawyers’ Congress will reflect the spirit of Brussels”, explains Marie Brasseur, Vice President AIJA Corporate and M&A Commission. “Brussels inhabitants are easy-going people who like to meet with friends and enjoy a good meal. Without changing the fundamentals of an AIJA Congress, our goal is to render the scientific program more attractive for all participants during the whole Congress and to have as much time as possible for participants to interact during the social events.”

Attendees will experience life in the very centre of Brussels with plenty of time to interact with peers in a whole series of settings, including working sessions, the café culture, in the Grand-Place, or one of the city’s many famous public parks.

While the 2018 Congress sees AIJA coming home, the focus of the programme will remain very global in outlook. In fact, the topic of ‘globalisation’ will run throughout the seminar programme.

Given the recent rise of populist, anti-establishment politics in various countries, the entire structure of free trade, free movement and globalisation is being called into question. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law appear to be under threat in many places around the world.

With all these topics in mind, the AIJA Annual Congress 2018 will seek to develop a scientific programme that examines these emerging trends and discusses where we are heading: is it towards greater integration, international co-operation and cross border trade, or in the opposite direction?

“These topics are of crucial importance to young, career building lawyers from around the world”, says Brasseur. “We think that Brussels, as the de facto capital of the EU and a truly international city, is the perfect place to address them.”

The attendees of the Brussels Congress will therefore “have a great opportunity to learn and discuss the challenges we may face in our professional lives in the coming years”, says Grégoire Ryelandt, member of the AIJA Antitrust Commission. “The focus will be on cutting edge international legal developments, with great networking opportunities.”

Keep up to date at http://brussels.aija.org.

 


Career Barriers for Women Highlighted in Tokyo

27 October 2017

 For many who attended the Tokyo conference, the prestigious Voice of the Profession session on Women in Law & Innovation was a stand-out event.

The impact of innovation on the future of the legal profession and gender equality in leadership positions is a topic of crucial importance to young lawyers who are building careers and families simultaneously. With many firms experiencing intake rates of 50% women or more, limiting their career advancement would cause a distinct competitive disadvantage.

The keynote speaker Tsukiko Tsukahara, vice-president of Catalyst Japan, a leading global non-profit organisation accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion, covered everything from how the gender landscape differs in the US versus Japanese Law firms to how inclusion predicts rates of innovation (clue: there is a strong link). She also provided her top takeaways for audience members to advance their career, including “be an inclusive leader, challenge stereotypes in yourself and others”, and “make this everyone’s problem to solve.” Additionally, Tsukiko pointed out that “gender diversity is not only women’s issue but an issue for creating innovation.” Regarding how inclusive leadership behaviours could result in innovation, she believes “inclusive leadership behaviours realize psychological safety in people’s minds that enable people, team, citizenship and individual innovation. Everyone, not only the people at the very top of the organisation, can role model as an inclusive leader, yet you can start with EACH behavior to influence people and create an inclusive workplace.”

In the following interactive debate that was moderated by Orsolya Görgényi, Immediate Past President of AIJA, Partner at Szecskay in Budapest, some strong views exchanged regarding gender inequality. Sara Sandford, Immediate Past Chair of International Law and Owner Garvey Schubert Barer, US, commented on her previous experiences of working in Japan: “When I first worked in Japan, I definitely experienced different treatment than men. In fact, I was told they wanted to hire me but needed to get permission from others to hire a woman, because they had recently hired two other women and maybe the partners didn’t want so many women.”

While being clear that women are no more or less innovative than men, “I absolutely believe that adding diversity increases the quality of what we do because more people with varied perspectives bring varied ideas”, said Sara. “Also, diversity of our firm’s lawyers and staff allows our firm to relate to different clients, bringing greater understanding of a clients’ goals and objectives.” During the debate Hilarie Bass, President of the American Bar Association, Partner of Greenberg Traurig in Miami spoke on the unconscious bias and the ABA's initiatives in gender issues.

The second keynote speaker of the night, Dana Denis-Smith, added: "in the US and the UK, countries with a longer history of women being allowed to practise law, the challenge is one of leadership... Leading by example and getting women involved with the regulators, in the international debate and generally with policy making is important in order to shape the future landscape of the profession.”

Taking inspiration from the surroundings, Dana believed that maintaining equality and diversity is akin to tending a formal Japanese garden: “equality can easily fall out of shape at the drop of a stone. So we must continue to pursue equality but recognising its fragility."

 


AIJA Supports Syrian Lawyers with English Courses

27 October 2017

For the past two years, AIJA has proudly sponsored English classes for Syrian refugees from the legal profession. The classes in Turkey are organised by ILAC, an association co-founded also by AIJA, aiming to empower lawyers, judges other legal professionals who had to flee their country because of the war.

“After the circumstances that took place in Syria, many lawyers and judges left Syria because of many tough reasons”, explains Mazin Al-Balkhi, ILAC Syria Team Leader. “The idea was to start an English language course that to help many Syrian lawyers and judges to cope with the difficult circumstances, find new jobs in their fields, and ultimately contribute to rebuilding the legal system in Syria.”

The location of the school - Gaziantep in Turkey – was chosen because of its high concentration of lawyers and judges. The participants were nominated by ILAC according to their legal qualifications in the field and a recruitment process for teaching which saw Ammar Abu Hemeda successfully apply.

“The results are good and we have achieved positive progress”, informs Abu Hemeda.“The number of students is increasing and we have had strong numbers until now. The goal is to reach an intermediate level by September 2017 so that we can begin with a new more advanced level providing advanced grammar and texts to achieve the mission of the program successfully.”

The participants, aged between 20 and 49, and a mix of both men and women, are all lawyers, judges and legal activists. The course is divided into two main parts: general and academic English, and legal texts.

“The course helps the participants in improving their jobs and communicating and reading legal texts in English as much as they can”, says Abu Hemeda.“The course also helps them in keeping them up to date with the latest news in English language. The participants are keen to learn English in order to read more about European law hoping that they can participate in hammering out new laws in the future.”

Amongst the many inspirational stories, the most remarkable one is Mr. Al Hassan’s story, says Al-Balkhi. “Mr. Nasser Al Hassan is a judge from Homs, Syria, and he is 49 years old. He attended the classes regularly and showed great commitment to learn the language, although he has not dealt with it for 25 years! Amazingly he coped with the difficulties and achieved great success. He got a new and appropriate job in the legal field”. He made it, he says, thanks to AIJA.

 


Girona is open for registrations

19 September 2017

Have you heard that the Girona November Conference is now open for registrations? Make sure you register soon to take advantage of early rates! 

It promises to be another AIJA great event.

 


New Appointments 2017/18

18 September 2017

Dear AIJA Members, Dear Friends,

thrilling days of our Annual Congress are now over and a new AIJA year has just begun.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I officially communicate the results of the recent elections held during the General Assembly, which took place in Tokyo last September 1st, together with the new appointments in the different bodies of our Association approved by the Executive Committee during the meeting on the same day.

Let’s welcome together the outstanding commitment and essential contribution of these newly elected Officers!

Bureau

  • Wiebe de Vries, President
  • David Frølich, Immediate Past President
  • Xavier Costa Arnau, First Vice President (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Lara Vivas, Treasurer (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Emiliano Ganzarolli, Secretary General.

Extended Bureau

Membership Forum

  • Anita Gerdin, Co-Chair
  • Justus Jansen, Co-Chair (newly appointed)
  • François Barré, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Law Course Committee

  • Ned Beale, Co-Chair
  • Cristina Hernandez-Marti Perez, Co-Chair
  • Kristine Zvejniece, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Forum of the Commissions

  • David Diris, Co-Chair
  • Pablo Vinageras, Co-Chair (newly appointed)
  • Ulku Solak, Co-Chair (newly appointed)

Human Rights Committee

  • David Frølich,, Chair Coordinator
  • Christian Presoly, Co-Chair
  • Gülsüm Aslan, Co-Chair
  • Nicolas ThieltgenCo-Chair

Newly elected Executive Committee Members (in alphabetical order)

  • Mariella Bade-Landell
  • Ricardo Gama
  • Catrice Gayer
  • Nicolas Herren
  • Moritz Maurer
  • Giovanni Patti
  • Julia Pekkala
  • Clara Poglia
  • Ioan Radu
  • Pierre-Yves Samson
  • Johannes Struck
  • Pieter Van Den Broeck
  • Jorge Vigil
  • Donata Von Enzberg
  • Gustavo Yanes

They will join the other Executive Committee members elected in the past years who are still in office.

Newly appointed National Representatives and contact persons (for a complete list of National Representatives and local contacts, please click here)

-       Belgium

Stefanie Tack

-       Brazil

Arthur Stussi Neves

-       Chile

Juan Ignacio San Martín

-       Croatia

Luka Colic

-       Czech Republic

Eva Ropkova

-       Denmark

Mette Lykke

-       Estonia

Ave Piik

-       France

Joelle Muchada

-       Germany

Caroline Pluta

-       Greece

Marcel Cremer

-       Hungary

Miklos Klenanc

-       Israel

Benjamin Leventhal

-       Italy

Chiara Caliandro

-       Latvia

Anda Mize

-       Lithuania

Ernesta Ziogiene

-       Mexico

Samuel Chacon

-       Peru

Tabata Arteta

-       Poland

Jerzy Sawicki

-       Portugal

Hugo Teixeira

-       Slovak Republic

Tomas Rybar 

-       Sweden

Emelie Svensater Jentorpa

-       Switzerland

Thilo Pachmann

-       Switzerland (Regional)

Aurelie Conrad Hari

-       United Kingdom

Alex Watt

-       United Arab Emirates

Omar Al Heloo

-       Uruguay

Jose Miguel Algorta

-       Paraguay

Antonio Villa (as contact person)

 

Newly appointed Commission Officers (for a complete list of commission officers, please click here)

  • Antitrust

Eva Bonacker, President

Sophie Gilliam, Vice-president

Pauline Le More, Vice-president

 

  • Banking Finance & Capital Markets Law

Jennifer Maxwell, President

Natalia Danilova, Vice-president

 

  • Corporate and M&A

Moritz Maurer, Vice-president

Marie Brasseur, Vice-president

 

  • Corporate Counsel

Elina Girne, President

Maks Prokop, Vice-president

 

  • Environment and energy law

Daria Capotorto, Vice-president

Jeroen De Coninck, Vice-president

 

  • Insolvency Law

Sophia Rolle-Kapousouzoglou, Vice-president

 

  • IPTMT

Arpad Gered, President

Silvia Van Schaik, Vice-president

Pascal Boehner, Vice-president

 

  • International arbitration

Eduardo De La Peña Bernal, Vice-president

 

  • International Business Law

Milena Prisco, President

Bruno Guarnieri, Vice-president

  

  • Labour and Employment Law

Jan-Ove BeckerPresident

Caroline BarbeVice-president

 

  • Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning (SCILL)

Orsolya Görgény, Vice-president

 

  • Tax Law

Johan Myren, President

Aliasghar Kanani, Vice-president

 

  • T.R.A.D.E. - Trade, Retail, Agency, Distribution, E-commerce

Benedikt Rohrßen, Vice-president

 

  • Transport Law

Javier Zabala, President

Lucas Marques, Vice-president

Jeremy Herschaft, Vice-president

Cherry Almeida, Vice-president

 

Please join me congratulating them for their appointment and with a warm welcome to their new AIJA positions!

 

Yours faithfully,

Emiliano Ganzarolli

AIJA Secretary General

 


A big party for AIJA!

26 July 2017

AIJA is still recovering from its 55th birthday party in Amsterdam! The sold-out event saw attendees enjoy insightful presentations, meet up with old friends, and enjoy a gala dinner and a cocktail party (with an unexpected musical finale). An alumni event was also launched for members to maintain their network after turning 45.

“The combination of old friends and new faces is so typical for AIJA events”, explains Martine Hoogendoorn, member of the party organising committee. “It was the perfect occasion to launch the alumni programme”.

The presentations to kick off the event focussed on digital transformation in the profession. “The main takeaway was that intelligent software might be an infant industry but it is growing at a fast pace and can also conquer the legal market”, informs Hoogendoorn. “This forces us to rethink tasks we can and must do as lawyers. Legal tech companies are reshaping the market, whether this is by simplifying contract drafting, submitting a claim, predicting the possible outcome of a matter with an algorithm or providing clients with an overview of the lawyer’s fee.”

“The main question on everyone’s mind was: what is the risk of being replaced by intelligent software or a machine?”, adds Rachid Aoladsi, also of the organising committee. “The best answer - in my opinion - was given by one of our speakers, Sonia Gumpert Melgosa, AIJA Alumni and current Dean of the Bar of Madrid, who quoted one of the founders of a large Spanish law firm: while we are discussing the ethics of cloning, they are cloning as we speak… we should try to keep up by constantly re-evaluating our profession.”

The interactive sessions received glowing feedback from the attendees, with speakers able to provide up-to-date insights around the impact of digital transformation on law firms, including the opportunities as well as the risks.

But this was, after all, a birthday party - and AIJA only celebrates this every five years. So the cocktail party and gala dinner proved memorable for all those there. “The atmosphere started out bubbly, the sun came out and spending time and chatting on the terrace at the Vondelpark was already pretty special”, says Hoogendoorn. “A surprise brass band really added both the element of fun and it became apparent that all were in a festive mood.” The dinner even culminated in a Village People tribute act, performed by long-standing members of AIJA. It was one of the highlights of the celebrations which ran well into the early hours.

 


Letter to the Polish President

20 July 2017

On behalf of AIJA – International Young Lawyers Association – I would like to express our great concern with recent legislative changes of the judicial system in Poland, passed by the Polish Parliament on July 12, 2017, i.e. the act on the National Council of the Judiciary and the act on Organization of Common Courts. This concern also extends to the legislative plans concerning composition of the Polish Supreme Court.

Independent judicial system is a foundation of rule of law. Only independent courts may provide effective protection to basic human
rights, including right to fair trial. The system, which apparently has been created by recent legislative changes, and those only contemplated, in which the legislative (parliament) and executive power (Ministry of Justice) shall have direct influence over appointment of judges, is a denial of independence. In fact, the system so created will be entirely depended from the executive power. If these laws enter into force, it means that individuals in Poland will no longer have access to independent courts within the meaning of Article 6.1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which reads:

In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public
hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

AIJA, as a global organization gathering young lowers from all over the world, is committed to defend and take active part in promoting core legal principles, such as the rule of law and human rights. In this capacity, we urge the President of Republic of Poland, to use all powers vested to you by Polish Constitution, including the veto right, to provide effective protection of basic human rights in Poland and prevent entry into force of the legislative changes which will deny the protection of human rights.

David Frølich, President of AIJA

 


AIJA and e-voting

20 June 2017

AIJA is a living association, where the commitment of each member is crucial to the success of the whole organisation. And nowhere is this more evident than during our elections.

Once a year at the Annual Congress, the General Assembly of Members is called to elect two very important bodies for the management of AIJA: the Executive Committee and the Bureau. In previous years this had to be done on paper, in person. But early in 2016, when AIJA launched an extensive online survey, members called for a stronger and more effective participation in the life of the association and in particular an e-voting system.

“After a long reflection last year we have changed our statutes to allow remote voting to the General Assembly”, explains Emiliano Ganzarolli, AIJA Secretary General. The full e-voting will be in place by next year (2018) but this year already the proxy allocation will be done electronically.

“This change will allow all our members to actively participate in the most important meeting of the year: the meeting where the Officers of the Bureau and the Executive Committee are elected, the meeting where all the bodies of AIJA report to the members on the activities carried on in the past year and where the plans and projects for the development and expansion of our association are launched. I am confident that many members will take the opportunity of being personally involved and express their opinion, thanks to the new system.”

Before the Annual Congress in Tokyo all members will be allowed to assign a proxy electronically: this is a very first step towards the complete electronic casting of votes.

After the Congress in Tokyo, AIJA will start testing the software with its technology partners, for fully electronic voting to be in place for the 2018 Congress.

However, the reasons for attending the Annual Congress in person are only enhanced, not reduced. “Young lawyers from all over the world gather during the Annual Congress for the experience of sharing knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, ideas, for meeting old friends and making new ones”, says Ganzarolli. “Our members will never stop to take a plane to enjoy the full experience of an Annual Congress”.

Make sure your vote counts this year. Any member with voting rights is eligible to become a Member of the Bureau or of the Executive Committee, and all members are entitled to vote, either directly or by proxy.

 


AIJA Human Rights Committee Update

20 June 2017

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) – the AIJA body committed to supporting human rights and advocating the independence of lawyers and the rule of law – has been very busy of late.

Already in the past year, the Voice of the Profession at AIJA’s 2016 Annual Congress in Munich – organised in cooperation with the Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV) and Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) – talked about the role of lawyers in relation to refugees in Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

The HRC continued its efforts to raise awareness about the situation of refugees in Europe by organising a session titled “The Mediterranean Sea: a big refugee graveyard – is Italy the only one trying to stop this?” for AIJA’s 2016 November Half Year Conference in Verona. “Thanks to the valuable insights provided by Italian human rights experts”, explains Gülsüm Aslan, Co-chair Human Rights Committee, “the session highlighted the perspective of Italy as one of the immediate destinations of most Mediterranean refugees, the rights of refugees at sea and their rights once they set foot in Europe.”

The latest session organised by the HRC for this year’s May Half Year Conference held in Riga was titled “Fake news: an insidious threat to human rights?” to discuss the problem of fake news in connection with the right to information and the freedom of speech.

In addition to awareness-raising, the HRC also puts its money where its mouth is. Thanks to donations made to AIJA´s ‘SOS Avocats’ fund, AIJA donated EUR 10,000 to ASF in February of this year in support of ASF’s work to defend endangered lawyers and human rights.

“The right of every individual to a fair trial and effective access to legal representation is central to the HRC programme”, explains Aslan. “For this purpose, the HRC cooperates with both AIJA members and other organisations in supporting initiatives and activities related to these topics with funds that are made available through AIJA’s ‘SOS Avocats’ programme.”

One of these organisations, of which AIJA is a proud member, is the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) that plays an important role in supporting post-conflict countries. Since 2015, AIJA has collaborated with ILAC in providing targeted English courses to Syrian lawyers and judges who were forced to flee to Turkey due to the conflict. The English courses are supported by AIJA’s ‘SOS Avocats’ fund.

In March 2017, the HRC had the honour of being able to participate in the “ILAC Syria Program Meeting” in Istanbul to discuss the development of a road map and strategy for the implementation of ILAC’s Syria program for the 2017-2020 period.

Currently, the HRC is preparing for the Annual Congress in Tokyo, which will include a session on human rights in the automation age. There will be plenty of fun events too, says Aslan: “the HRC will organise the traditional Human Rights Run through Tokyo and is working on realising a flashmob – also a tradition - in Tokyo!”

 


Winner of the Best International Future Lawyer Award announced

19 June 2017

It was difficult for the Jury this year to decide on the winner of the second edition of the Best International Future Lawyer Award. 

A number of good essays on "The impact of technology on the law and/or on the legal profession" were received.

The essay "Will the increasing use of technology in law invigorate or diminish legal professionalism as the nature of information in the Digital Society changes?" by British citizen Ms Lorraine Chimbga has been chosen  by the Judging Panel 2017 as the best essay of this edition. 

Lorraine Chimbga's essay explores the often-overlooked historical development and relationship between technology and the legal profession, rather than the various technologies themselves that have been earmarked as causing disruption to the legal sector. 

She focuses on the nature of information and how as we move from a world where value is held in the physical (atoms) to living in a 'digital world' where value is held in bits, it calls for a re-thinking of the grand bargain that society has struck with the profession as the 'gatekeepers' of legal expertise. She demonstrates that in the same way that the printing press revolutionized legal practice, the increasing use of technology does not diminish the legal profession where it actively develops, adapts and harnesses technology in order to once again define and set the parameters of what legal professionalism as a public good entails in the Digital Age. 

Lorraine graduated in July 2016 from University College London (UCL) Laws with an LLB. She also attended the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she took a module in Information Technology Law and developed her interest in technology and what it means for the legal profession.  

Lorraine also sits on the advisory board for the Society of Computers and Law, the leading UK organisation focusing on the development of IT-related law, helping to raise awareness and fostering the understanding of Information Technology law as a subject and giving the next generation of lawyers an awareness of Information Technology law as a legal specialty."

According to the terms of the award, Lorraine will be awarded with:

  • Free AIJA membership until 31 December 2017
  • Publication of her essay through AIJA website and social media
  • An invitation to attend free of charge, travel and accommodation included, the International Young Lawyers' Congress taking place in Tokyo in August 2017

At AIJA we are all very excited to offer these great benefits to Lorraine, and about the overall increasing attention over the Best International Future Lawyer Award.  

READ HERE THE ESSAY

 


Call notice for new Commissions Presidents and Vice-Presidents

16 June 2017

We hereby inform and remind you that as from the Tokyo Congress (August-September 2017) a number of presidents and vice-presidents of Commissions will be stepping down, be it because of the end of their three-year term, be it for other reasons.
Any active member of AIJA is eligible to present his/her candidature for the Commission he/she is interested in. It is of course advisable to have already been active in that Commission and it is preferable to discuss in advance a candidature with the relevant Commission’s president.

We will pay a lot of attention to the quality of the action plans that are to be filed with any application and we will consider the opportunity to interview the candidates.

The presidency as well as a vice-presidency of a Commission is a position that gives a lot of visibility within AIJA and to the outside, and we encourage you to take the challenge and assume the responsibility. It is a serious undertaking and includes presence requirements for the Annual Congress, the half-year Conferences and seminars initiated or co-organized by the Commission for three years.

Please send your application with your action plan (focusing on the scientific projects, promotional activities and dynamic actions you envisage for the Commission for the three years to come) by 4 July 2017 to the attention of:

with a copy to the Commission President.

The positions open as of the Annual Congress 2017 are available HERE.

 


AIJA’s 55th Birthday Celebration and Launch of the Alumni Club

11 May 2017

AIJA is about to turn 55, and that will be celebrated in style in Amsterdam! Kicking off on Friday 23 June with cocktails and "Bitterballen" (traditional Dutch snacks), the Saturday program will include a seminar and an AIJA-style Gala Dinner. Together with the Bureau, a small team of active members of the OC Amsterdam 2017 has set up a nice program.

To mark this historic event, AIJA will also be launching its Alumni Club – a platform for all former AIJA members to stay in touch and up to date even after moving on in their careers. For that purpose, everyone who has ever been a member is invited to sign up for the Alumni Club by clicking HERE.

“AIJA will always remain an association for young lawyers but we recognise the potential of keeping older members informed and part of the network”, explains the new AIJA Alumni Coordinator, Michiel Groenland. “The Alumni Club gives AIJA an elegant possibility to keep connected with its alumni, whilst securing the age limit. Our Alumni are AIJA's best ambassadors and supporters to bring in young colleagues to AIJA. It is also a good way to value the great contributions the AIJA members have given over the years, building the AIJA spirit to what it has become today… This birthday party is the first step in reaching out to this large alumni group.”

Celebrating AIJA's birthday every fifth year has become something of a tradition, and indeed will happen again in 2022 for the 60th anniversary celebrations. Each party therefore aims to be one to live long in the memory. As well as the cocktails and dinners, the Amsterdam event will include, “a scientific program, organised by a great team of working coordinators, about the strategic key issues on digital transformation and law firm management”, explains Groenland. “This topic will be of great interest for both AIJA’s alumni and members, and there is plenty of time to meet old friends within the program, in an inspiring environment – the museum district is in walking distance.”

But the overall aim of the event – and for the newly launched AIJA Alumni Club – is a celebration of the AIJA family and its ability to build long-lasting, global friendships, even as the years go by. AIJA values all its members, including its alumni, who together have helped build up the association to what it is now.

“I am sure that this Network will generate a lot of energy from the participants and that in itself will make Amsterdam a must-attend”, says Groenland. “It brings back and facilitates the old friendships as experienced during their time of active membership. Of course there is a flavour of nostalgia too, which may certainly renew old connections”. And there is a big benefit for the existing ‘class of 2017’ too – the chance to strengthen connections with senior lawyers, who truly share and understand the value of the AIJA experience. 

Join us in Amsterdam on 23-24 June to celebrate AIJA’s 55th Birthday and the launch of the AIJA Alumni Club. Please share with alumni colleagues.

For more information and to register, click HERE

 


Scholar’s Takeaways from AIJA’s Double Seminar in Lausanne

11 May 2017

The newly established Public Law Commission recently held its very first AIJA seminar together with the Sports Law Commission, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Covering governance of world sports, including world championships and Olympic Games, and the elections held within sports federations, sports lawyers have an increasingly complex task to offer legal protection for all stakeholders involved.

Attending the recent seminar in Lausanne was Sabina Markič, Associate at Lidija Kobe law office and PhD student at University of Ljubljana, who won an AIJA scholarship covering all her registration, travel and accommodation expenses.

The AIJA Scholarship Programme, “enables young lawyers to attend AIJA’s events or events co-organized by AIJA”, explains Markič. “I applied for the AIJA Double Seminar titled Olympic Games, Corruption and Sport Arbitration & Government contracts - Public Procurement Law and Contract Law. My scholarship included free participation at the seminar, free accommodation and all travel costs.”

She found it to be, “a really fantastic and unforgettable opportunity to learn from experienced experts in this particular area. The lectures, which were at a very high level, were extremely instructive and interesting and have contributed a lot to my doctoral research.”

As a domicile of the IOC and CAS, Lausanne is the heart of sports law, and was a fitting place for the seminar to be held. Aside from the formal programme, Markič also enjoyed the peer-to-peer networking. “I was surrounded by very friendly people who were happy to share their knowledge and experiences with colleagues”, she said. “I met colleagues from different countries engaged with sports law. This is the field of law that I am extremely interested in. To a doctoral student and young lawyer at the beginning of a career, such as myself, having the opportunity to exchange views on certain issues with colleagues from other countries means a lot”.

Following her experiences on the scholarship, she now recommends AIJA to all her peers: “From my point of view it is very important for young lawyers to get acquainted with colleagues experiences not only in the domestic environment but also internationally - this is a great organisation, which really opens up opportunities to young lawyers and students for networking and gaining additional knowledge at the international level.”

Markič found out about the scholarship via the AIJA website, and chose to apply. She encourages others to do the same. “If you have a desire for international networking and participation in very interesting seminars, do not hesitate and apply”, she says.

If you are interested in finding out more about AIJA Scholarships, click HERE

 


Turo Sumu wins a free registration to an AIJA seminar

12 April 2017

Turo Sumu, a Finnish member of AIJA since 2014, is the lucky winner of a free registration to an AIJA event.

Turo is one the many AIJA members who dedicated some time in March 2017 to take a membership survey, used to kick off a new marketing strategic plan in 2017. He won the raffle and will attend an AIJA event in 2017 free of charge.

Well done Turo!

 


AIJA, Shortlisted for the Best Association Award at the Association Excellence Awards 2017

04 April 2017

AIJA was shortlisted for the Best Association Award at the Association Excellence Awards 2017

Unfortunately the Award went to another association, but it is certainly a privilege for us to be admitted to the “Olympus of International Associations”.

AIJA received gratifying comments from the judges, including:

“This is an exciting organisation which has great prospects for growth and influence. Is clearly making an impact”

“Good support for members. Imaginative meetings and events”

“A global membership organisation with a reach of approximately 450,000 young lawyers around the world. Excellent twitter campaign on matters of global importance such as human rights. Key achievement this year is a Brussels head office.”

 


AIJA Meets Bar Leaders as Part of Its Strategic Expansion in Asia

21 March 2017

AIJA Meets Bar Leaders as Part of Its Strategic Expansion in Asia

The AIJA network is rapidly reaching out into Asian markets, and AIJA President David Frølich recently accepted an invitation to Hong Kong to mark the start of the Legal Year. Whilst there, he ensured that he made the most of his time to actively promote the benefits of AIJA in the region. The opening of the Legal Year is the biggest ceremony in the legal calendar in Hong Kong and “it was an honour to attend and represent AIJA there,” said Frølich. The visit included the opportunity to meet with the Association of Law Firms in Guangzhou – China’s third largest city – and their boards of directors.

And even more recently, AIJA visited also several Bar associations in Japan (JFBA, Tokyo Bar Association, Dai Chi, Dai Ni) and in Korea (Korean Bar Association).

“By making such visits, we intend to strengthen our connections and hopefully attract more Asian lawyers to AIJA,” said Frølich. “In due course, we hope to hold more seminars and other relevant activities in Asia. Several Asian countries fully recognise that they need European lawyers as much as Europeans need Asian lawyers. And the best way to meet young lawyers is of course through AIJA. I have personally experienced the genuine interest in working together, creating opportunities for the young Asian lawyers.”

The Annual Congress in Tokyo in August is a great example to continue this work, and extend AIJA’s networking opportunities in Asia. “Japan has more than 10,000 new lawyers joining the profession every year, almost all of whom are under 30 years of age,” said Frølich. “A lot of them will need to have an international focus, and the earlier they start to gain knowledge and network on an international scale, the quicker they will gain unique opportunities. That is, of course, what AIJA offers. Not only that, but you also get inspiration, make personal friendships, and create the networks that will form the core basis for your future career.”

By making sure that Japan, China, Korea and Asia at large, is well represented at AIJA events, broadens the networking possibilities and contacts for European members too.

“That is the beauty of networking and having a network,” said Frølich. “The goal is always, as our mission statement says, ‘to create unique opportunities for young international lawyers’ and that’s what we do through our events, through our publishing, and all our initiatives. And as we do that, we engage our members, we engage our staff, and we engage a community of young lawyers in a global scene.”

 


Young Lawyers Prepare for the 55th International Young Lawyer’s Congress 2017

21 March 2017

Young Lawyers Prepare for the 55th International Young Lawyer’s Congress 2017

Places for this year’s AIJA Annual Congress, held for the very first time in Tokyo, are booking up fast. And with good reason. The 55th Annual Congress, held from 28 August to 1 September, promises to be the best one yet.

The scientific programme spans all legal areas from human rights to banking law. But this year will include a major focus on Artificial Intelligence. Technology and AI are no longer simply science fiction, but are increasingly entering the world of law firms and their clients. The current and future delivery of legal advice is rapidly changing, as shown by digital attorneys, capable of mining facts and drawing conclusions from over a billion legal text documents in a second. AIJA Tokyo 2017 will enhance your understanding of how these shifting external environments impact on your own practice areas. The focus will be on how you, as lawyers, might lead your firms and clients through these rapid changes.

Where better to understand and embrace the emergence of AI and the rapidly changing technology market, than Tokyo: arguably the world’s most dynamic technology centre? At the 2017 Congress, you will meet many Japanese attorneys, in-house counsels and business leaders and have the opportunity to learn directly about the challenges and opportunities of doing business and law in Japan and across Asia.

Aside from the scientific programme, “attendees should not miss the Voice of the Profession Session,” advises Christine Masure, the Congress Events Manager. “This year it will focus on ‘The impact of innovation on the future of the legal profession and gender equality in leadership positions’. In terms of social programmes, the Tokyo Congress will feature a mixture of high tech and traditional events with the Opening Ceremony showing the technology aspects of Tokyo, while the Gala Dinner will highlight the more traditional aspects of the Japanese culture. The Day Out on Thursday afternoon will allow participants to visit in a fun and interactive way key areas of Tokyo and discover remarkable sites of the city.”

“We have so far a very good rate of 200 pre-registered participants. We are expecting 450 to 500 delegates from all over the world. Special rates will be offered for lawyers under 35, in-house counsellors, speakers, local Asian lawyers,” said Masure.

For first time visitors and returning travellers alike, Tokyo offers an amazing cultural experience. Home to the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world and birthplace of popular culture sensations such as Anime and Manga, with ancient traditions such as kimonos and Shinto temples never too far away – this would truly be an experience you would never forget.  Explore the full agenda and event schedule of the 55th International Young Lawyer’s Congress 2017 in Tokyo. Register now to take advantage of the special registration rates! Visit http://tokyo.aija.org/.

 


Artificial Intelligence: One Overarching Theme for AIJA’s Tokyo Congress 2017

21 March 2017

Artificial Intelligence: One Overarching Theme for AIJA’s Tokyo Congress 2017

Artificial intelligenceSo, how will the single theme format for this year’s annual Congress work exactly? How will the programme differ from previous years? Work Coordinators responsible for arranging the Tokyo Congress, Alex Fox, Stefanie Tack, and Takahiko Itoh, are happy to bring us up to speed: “Day 1 will be focused very much on creating the foundations of knowledge with regard to AI, including top industry speakers and interactive sessions.  Day 2 will focus more on commercial/M&A issues and Day 3 on contentious matters.  Throughout Days 2 and 3, there will also be specialised sessions on your dedicated legal disciplines and how AI can best interact.  Therefore, if you want to understand how e-money works, why robots are environmentally well disposed off or how technology is going to impact at the point of death, etc., there will be something for all of you.”

As this is the first AIJA Congress that will have an over-arching theme running through out all the sessions, incorporating AI into the overall program has been a challenge for the conference organisers, but one that has been embraced by all. “As with all changes, it has taken sometime to communicate the changes and implement them in a structured manner,” said Stefanie Tack of the organising committee. “It is very interesting that some representatives have been demanding ‘where are the rules?’ While others have come up with more elaborate ideas to present as the August Congress approaches. All these ideas have been incorporated as far as is practicable.”

The single theme format is not the only change to the Congress this year. The keynote external industry speakers will also be much more involved and the workshop formula is set to establish an interactive “community” to this Congress from the start.

“As we come towards Tokyo, prepare for the unexpected,” advises Alex Fox. “We are here to learn techniques and concepts that will be unfamiliar to you, but ones on which you will be able to apply both within your law firm, but also with your clients as their business grows alongside and with the benefit of AI. Tokyo is the place for technology and AIJA is the place to find out more with regard to working with AI.”

If you are not already part of the Tokyo Congress Whatsapp Group (mobile number +447779232234), please ask and you will be put on to the community which is already discussing AI developments and how this may be articulated at the Congress and beyond.  Interesting articles are periodically posted, as are discussions and questions. Get involved, and get prepared for the most technological advanced Congress to date! Visit http://tokyo.aija.org/.

 


Surveying the Impact of AI on Today’s Young Lawyers

21 March 2017

Surveying the Impact of AI on Today’s Young Lawyers

Are you afraid of robots taking your job? With the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI) providing the central theme for this year’s Annual Congress in Tokyo, AIJA thought it would conduct a survey to ask what the main AI concerns – and perceived opportunities – are amongst members.

Aurélie Conrad Hari, President of the AIJA Litigation Commission and Partner at Bär & Karrer Ltd, who led the survey together with Eleni Polycarpou, Special Counsel and Co-Head of Arbitration at Withers LLP, explained: “When AI was given as the topic for the Tokyo congress, all the commissions were very enthusiastic because AI is such a hot topic at the moment across the board in various industries. And yet, whilst being aware of the existence of AI, most lawyers probably still think they will not be so easily replaceable by robots. But the world is changing and lawyers, like everyone else, are surrounded by expanding volumes of data.”

Having a single theme running through all subject areas and commissions at the AIJA Congress has never been done before. However, when the scientific programme for Tokyo was being put together, it quickly became clear that a common theme was emerging, said Hari, including: “The liability for the robots or self-driven cars, e-disclosure, AI assistance in sorting out documents or information.” So we wanted to start to raise awareness of AI among the legal community and find out what was happening on the ground, and what members wanted to know more about. This was the purpose of the survey.”

In-keeping with the interactive approach taken by the Congress organisers, the AIJA survey reached out to members and find out more about AI in their various jurisdictions and practice specialisms. The answers will then be used to feed into each of the practice areas at the Congress. The initial findings, informed Eleni Polycarpou, who will present the results of the survey at the Congress, show that, “some firms are much more advanced in their use of AI than anticipated, and have formed special groups which are currently piloting fascinating AI technologies such as ROSS and other AI machine learning technologies such as Neota Logic and RAVN. We look forward to hearing from the lawyers at those firms at the Tokyo Congress about the practical experience in this new world.”

Be part of AIJA’s upcoming Tokyo Congress 2017 and learn more about how AI is impacting the legal environment. Visit http://tokyo.aija.org/.

 


AIJA shortlisted for the "Overall Best Association" Award

19 January 2017

Team (3)

2017 certainly starts well for AIJA, the International Association of Young Lawyers. After being shortlisted at the European Association Awards for the Best Association Conference (final results on February 24), AIJA is now shortlisted for a prestigious award organised by another international institution.

On March 31 the International Jury of the Association Excellence Awards 2017 will decide whether AIJA is the “Overall Best Association” and deserves to receive this great honour.

Giuseppe Marletta, AIJA Association Manager, comments that “We are all very excited about the interest around AIJA. All of us, a motivated Board, very committed members all around the world and a strong team in Brussels, work with a lot of passion and dedication to make AIJA a successful organisation. I think AIJA is special because it creates connections: we all join forces every day to create bridges, to bring people together, to create opportunities for talking, sharing and learning”.

David Frølich, AIJA President and Associate Partner at Lund Elmer Sandager, says that 'The nomination is a great stamp of approval that what AIJA is doing is the right thing – for our members and our legal community. With this we add credibility far beyond just our own circle of young lawyers –but to the entire legal profession. Once again the unique combination of dedicated members and a hard working team of support staff proves to be the right mix".

AIJA-Munich-400With increased efficiency and an improved reputation, AIJA has changed a lot in the last few years. Good finances allowing for the creation of new projects and the purchase of new premises; a new set-up where event management is no longer outsourced; an increased marketing budget and visibility among new future members, thanks also to the brand new “Best International Future Lawyer Award”; an impressive calendar of events where any young lawyer can easily find their place; a complex structure where members are not only customers receiving services, but active players within the association; a rebranded Annual Congress that shows dynamism and innovation.

All these are elements which show AIJA’s willingness to be a modern, credible and effective association.

Giuseppe concludes that "AIJA has a unique mix: it is a professional platform where members do business BUT the very unique AIJA spirit always makes it enjoyable and fun!"

 


AIJA House, your office in Brussels

16 December 2016

The AIJA House is the global headquarters of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), located on the prestigious Avenue de Tervueren in Brussels and strategically positioned close to the European quarters and international embassies. This is also AIJA members’ house, offering them a home for work and networking.

As an AIJA member, you can take advantage of AIJA House’s state-of-the-art office space with premium technology equipment and member-only facilities. Whether you require an occasional base in the capital for your business trip, or you need a convenient space for client meetings, AIJA House welcomes you to work, network and/or relax with other members or clients.

FIND OUT HERE HOW TO BOOK YOUR SPACE

 


AIJA keep ties with other lawyers’ associations

13 December 2016

Foto: SEES media, Ulrik M. Eriksen

You might not know this, but your AIJA membership also brings you benefits from other global lawyers’ associations too. AIJA is recognised as the organisation for young international lawyers, and therefore keeps close ties with the American Bar Association (ABA), IBA, UIA, IPBA, CCBE and many more. Often ratified by official memorandums of understanding, each organisation mutually benefits from enhanced reputation, visibility, but also making sure their members have access to as wide a network as possible.

“AIJA’s clear goal is to provide a better service to our members when they are acting outside of the AIJA world and to have a chance to meet other organisations’ members when they attend AIJA events,” informs David Frølich, AIJA President. “It also provides a platform for AIJA members once they move on from AIJA after the age of 45.”

The purpose of the official MoUs, explains Frølich, is to ensure “mutual recognition of the organisations. It is very important that we see eye to eye and acknowledge each other in the global legal community. We must work together despite competing for the same member pool to a certain extent. However, we are not exclusive so we are in reality more complimentary than competitive. The MoUs contain a number of possible practical platforms and ways to work together, including co-events, co-marketing and work on publications. Leadership from the various organisations are also invited to attend respective programs at mutual congresses, and to develop seminars together and joint panel discussions.”

Ultimately, it means that AIJA can offer even more to its members: “The more people our members can network with, the more possibilities they have to create a foothold in other organisations, and the more visibility our members gain, the better,” says Frølich. “It is always easier to move into and get a foothold in an organisation if you find familiar faces in the beginning.”

By working together, legal associations have a stronger voice. AIJA has issued a number of statements with other legal associations worldwide. One example is the recent statement on the possible reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey, signed by AIJA alongside the UIA, CCBE and FBE. This statement detailed: “The right to life is guaranteed by all major international and regional human rights treaties… The undersigned organisations believe that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the fostering and protection of human dignity and the gradual development of a global culture of human rights.” Issues such as this, which are important to members, are heard more clearly when lawyers stand united.



 


Upcoming Best International Future Lawyer Award 2017

13 December 2016

maxi-dauroThe AIJA Best International Future Lawyer of the year is changing for 2017, with some new rules and a specific theme. Unlike last year when young lawyers could submit any essay on any subject, this time the essay must be written specifically to a standardised format, and on the topic: “The impact of technology on the law and/or on the legal profession”.

Maximiliano D’Auro, Co-Chair of AIJA’s Membership Forum, explains: “The main change is that this year we expect law students to produce papers that are tailor-made for this award’s theme. Last year was the first edition of the award, so we wanted to facilitate the submissions of essays by giving a lot of flexibility to choose the topic and the length of the essays. We received more essays than expected, but with a great disparity of subject matters and length. This year, we want to encourage law students to write essays specifically for this purpose, so we have given more time for preparation, shorten the essays and chosen a unique (albeit broad) theme.”

The theme itself was chosen for being, “one of the hottest topics in the legal world today,” said D’Auro. “Technology and artificial intelligence have a huge impact on both the underlying legal matters (such as contract law, data protection law, e-commerce, conflict of laws, etc.) and also in the legal profession. The way we practice law nowadays might be on the verge of a revolution. Even though there is a lot of discussion going on, we lawyers are far from having analysed all the ramifications of this phenomenon. That is why technology and AI will be the general theme governing the entire scientific programme of our next Congress in Tokyo.”

The winner of the Best International Future Lawyer Award will be invited to attend, free of charge, the 2017 International Young Lawyers’ Congress taking in Tokyo, on 28th August – 1st September, where they will be asked to present a summary of their paper.

Last year’s winner, Kuwait’s Sharefah A. Almuhana, commented that holding the AIJA lawyer of the year award “means a lot for me: it means that my research is recognized internationally.”

All law students aged 45 and under who are still enrolled at any university worldwide at the time their paper is submitted, are eligible to enter. The application period starts on 1st February 2017 and the deadline is 1st May. Essays will also be anonymised before sending to the judges, to avoid any potential bias.

For further details on the essay format and how to enter, go to awards.aija.org.



 


AIJA attracts new in-house counsel members

13 December 2016

 

girneAIJA members are lawyers who work for law firms, right? Not necessarily. In fact, we have plenty of members who work as in-house counsels too. And rubbing shoulders together under one membership association brings great benefits to both parties.

The Corporate Counsel Commission of AIJA was specifically created as the place for in-house counsels to meet. Vice-President at AIJA Corporate Counsel Commission, Atty. Elina Girne, explains “Our commission is a safe passage for in-house counsels to get to know AIJA, to understand it and get involved. Their input in AIJA supports diversity of opinions and approaches in interpreting the legal world.”

AIJA are keen to attract more in-house counsels to the Association. External lawyers who choose to go in-house may not realise that AIJA remains highly relevant to their career path, and all Corporate Counsel Commission officers are keen to change those perceptions.

“At the moment, Corporate Counsel Commission is collecting information from AIJA members on those people who used to be members of the association but have decreased their involvement or ceased it completely when they went in-house. Investigation on their motives to leave AIJA and likewise potentially triggering aspects for them to re-join is our most important task now,” says Girne.

“We plan to work on potential motivators for in-house lawyers to find scientifically interesting and also practically applicable knowledge from AIJA events. In-house counsels have admitted that networking may be not the most important reason why they would choose to come to an AIJA event. The stress is more on scientific topics and skills development. In-house counsels seek tips and tricks on how to run management of a legal team, coordinate work, and assess risks. These aspects would be definitely also useful for external lawyers, and joint trainings of in-house and external lawyers therefore could be a win/win approach.”

The Corporate Counsel Commission is “investing all our energy” in creating platforms that offer the best of both worlds.

To become an individual member of AIJA, a lawyer must be under the age of 45 and enrolled on the official register of fully qualified lawyers (or to belong to a similar official institution in countries where there is no official lawyers’ register) or to hold the university diploma in law required for accession to a bar and act as a corporate counsel. Member benefits of interest to in-house counsels include access to the member directory of AIJA, a useful tool to find legal assistance all over the world; access to 20 AIJA commissions, where initiatives and projects can include writing national reports and being a speaker/panellist on scientific sessions; access to scientific content available on AIJA website; and use of its business referral dashboard.

AIJA’s Corporate Counsel Commission is confident that the more in-house counsels there are, the better they can provide even more diverse platforms for legal discussion and development.



 


AIJA Multi-track Seminar in Lille

13 December 2016

barbeThe first ever triple seminar organised by AIJA was held in Lille in October, offering three high quality scientific programs.

Three separate legal programs covered the seminar on Flex Work, International Litigation and Assets Transactions. The Employment Commission seminar covered global variations on traditional employment relationship models, including the Uber shared economy and flexible work in the gig economy. The Litigation and Commercial Fraud seminar focussed on the key issues that international litigators face today such as cross-border disputes, including key note speakers from the English Commercial Court, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, 3 Verulam Buildings and Grant Thornton. And the third seminar, run by The M&A Academy, explored the complex issue of Asset Sale Transactions, not only on corporate-legal aspects, but also related aspects such as employment, real estate, IP and tax.

Only 80 minutes from London, 1 hour from Paris and 35 minutes from Brussels, Lille proved the perfect setting to host such a mixed program with broad appeal. As well as tackling the complex legal issues thrown up by the program, the event included practical tips from seasoned litigators and a forum for everyone attending to hold lively and interactive discussions.

According to Caroline Barbe, of the AIJA Event Organising Committee, the innovative three-pronged format went down well with delegates: “We received excellent feedback on the topics and the format itself, which allows for more networking and creates opportunities to see old friends and make new friends from the other commissions.”

Each seminar had around 50 participants, which allowed nearly 150 people to connect and network during the breaks and social program.

“The most appreciated part of the seminars were the moments of experience-sharing and debates among members,” said Caroline Barbe. “The size of the groups, the very good attendance (even on Saturday morning!) as well as the topics themselves, allowed people to discuss and exchange views on the best practices and innovation.”

The social side was well organised too. Participants were welcomed in the Courthouse on Thursday night with a cocktail reception. Friday night saw a dinner in a unique restaurant located in one of the castellated turrets of the city wall, followed by drinks and dancing. And after the final seminars had finished at noon on Saturday, the afternoon involved a scavenger hunt with beer tasting in the city. “The weather was absolutely great and we learned a lot about brewery and the history of the city of Lille,” enthused Mrs Barbe. “We had excellent feedback – even from people who did not drink beer!”



 


International Young Lawyers’ Congress shortlisted at the European Association Awards 2017 for the Best Association Conference

09 December 2016

A prestigious panel of judges, experts of community and association aija-munich-341management, have included the highlight of the AIJA year, the annual International Young Lawyers’ Congress, among the top events in the association world.

aija_giuseppe16-10Giuseppe Marletta, AIJA Association Manager, says that “The International Young Lawyers’ Congress is not just another annual event of one of the many associations out there. It is an innovative concept that changes every year and adapts to the needs of the membership base”. An elaborated puzzle of informative sessions, together with an outstanding social programme, make this event a must-attend for the international young lawyers’ community. Giuseppe adds that “all those extras, like home hospitality at locals’ houses, flashmob and sports activities, a top-notch mobile application, coaching sessions…are all direct benefits to attendees who find the best networking opportunities all under one roof”.

The award ceremony will take place on 24 February 2017 in Brussels at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.

fullscreen-capture-09-dec-16-24101-pm



 


AIJA goes to Tokyo for the 55th International Young Lawyer’s Congress 2017

24 October 2016

kenjiThe host city for the 2017 International Young Lawyers’ Congress could hardly be more exciting: Tokyo. It is arguably the most advanced and enticing city in the world, with an effortless blend of ancient culture and high modernity.

Kenji Hirooka, Chair of the Organising Committee, can barely wait for August 28th, when the 55th International Congress opens. “We are sure that the International Young Lawyers’ Congress in Tokyo, the first AIJA Congress in Eastern Asia region in its 55 years’ history, will be an unforgettable experience for lawyers to get new insights, new connections and wonderful memories of Japan’s vibrant culture, impeccable hospitality, and traditions,” he says. “At the Congress, delegates will meet many Japanese attorneys and attorneys from Asian countries, in-house counsels and business leaders, and have the opportunity to learn directly about the challenges and opportunities of doing business and law in Japan and across Asia, which is the engine room of global growth.”

Given that Tokyo is one of the world’s most dynamic technological centres, theCongress will also have a special focus on AI (Artificial Intelligence), a technology which is “rapidly changing the business and legal landscape in which young lawyers work, impacting legal professions whatever practice areas they are in,” explains Hirooka.

AI is no longer simply science fiction. It is increasingly entering the universe of clients and their law firms of choice. AIJA Tokyo 2017 will, over five days of entertaining and engaging seminars and networking opportunities, enhance your understanding of this shifting environment - how you, as lawyers, can understand and embrace the emergence of AI, and the rapidly changing technology market.

The Congress venue - Hilton Tokyo - is located in Shinjuku, the heart of Tokyo’s business, shopping and entertainment district, and is an ideal place to experience modern Japan, and has a good connection to major parts of the city of Tokyo. A complimentary shuttle also operates between the hotel and Shinjuku station and the Tokyo Metro subway is connected to the hotel. The Congress promises to be one of the most exciting – and adventurous – to date. Delegates will also have the chance to attend optional programs to learn Japanese cultures outside the Congress.

“Please let our AIJA Japanese members be your guide to Japan.” - Kenji Hirooka

For more information and to pre-register, visit www.aija.org/tokyo



 


Another AIJA story, François Barre - the new National Representative of France for AIJA

24 October 2016

barreHis compatriot Edith Piaf may have famously sang “Je ne regrette rien”, but François Barre, the new AIJA National Representative of France, does have one regret, he says: “It’s not joining AIJA earlier in my career.”

“AIJA is a long-term gold mine,” he enthuses. “When I attended my first conference in Barcelona, it was very impressive. Everybody seemed to know everyone, talking on a first name basis, laughing and hugging. When I asked some of them ‘how long have you been here’ and they answered ‘I started a couple of years ago’, it blew me away! I couldn’t believe you could connect so quickly and easily with other lawyers. AIJA makes it easy.”

Barre was appointed along with other incoming National Representatives at this year’s AIJA General Assembly (all the national appointments can be found here. Having previously worked in the UK for several years, Barre has long known the value of international connections. “An international network is mandatory if you want to help a client throughout his business,” he says. “Whilst checking out the international associations available in France, AIJA was always my preference as it was focused on ‘young’ lawyers.” Now an Attorney at Azamdarley Associes in Paris, he is a regular face at AIJA events. “Behind every drink, every social event, every glittery gala, hides an inexhaustible source of knowledge, held by smart, brilliant, proactive lawyers from around the world,” he says. “AIJA makes you smarter. You start thinking globally, you exchange on various topics and realise how little you know regarding your fields of intervention, you draft a map of international issues in your core specialty – whilst having fun and developing a precious international network of top quality professionals.”

However, he also believes that “you can’t limit AIJA to just a networking organisation. It goes much deeper. This experience is always hard to describe to newcomers, family, or even to your firm! People welcome you with open arms. You travel the world to meet young friends, sharing privileged moments.”

As France’s National Representative, François’ role is to recruit new members, be the liaison with local and national Bars, and be an ambassador of AIJA. All of which clearly comes naturally to him. His message to potential new members is simple: “Join us. NOW! You’ll travel, you’ll learn, you’ll have fun, you’ll meet tons of interesting people, discuss mind-blowing topics, establish durable contacts and start doing serious business.” And you’ll regret it if you don’t.



 


A success story: AIJA in Oslo

24 October 2016

anita_gerdinOslo’s prestigious City Hall is reserved for high profile occasions such as the Nobel Prize ceremony. So it was therefore a fitting venue for AIJA this past September. A special two-day seminar ‘Into the Bright Blue Yonder – Current Challenges in Ship and Aviation Financing’ covered a variety of maritime topics including registration, restructuring, arrests and forced sales, alternative financing structures, insolvencies, and work outs.

“Asset financing has seen resurgence in recent months and years so this seminar was very timely, exploring current issues and challenges facing those involved in ship and aviation financing all over the world,” said Atty. Anita Gerdin, Senior Lawyer at Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, and Organising Committee Member at the Oslo Seminar.

Other members of the Organising Committee were Niels Jørn Friborg, Hafnia Law Firm, Sarah Wolf, Dabelstein & Passehl, Bethan Waters, Farrer & Co, Marisa Hernandez, Isolas, F. Javier Zabala, Meana Green Maura & Co., Irena Gogl-Hassanin, Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner, and Niels Schindler, DGE Avocats. The team put together an attractive and highly scientific program led by skilled and experienced speakers. Highlights included an overview and comparison of shipping and aviation financing, and a particularly lively panel discussion on the current challenges in shipping and aviation and how to be creative when things go wrong (including tactics for debtors and creditors facing difficult times), which featured amongst others Yiannis G. Timagenis of Timagenis Law Firm, Piraeus, Greece, and Dennis Højslet, a lawyer from LETT law firm, Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We had more than 80 delegates attending from Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and USA, who all had a lot of questions after the presentations and contributed to the very active panel discussion. I think the delegates found the sharing of ideas and creative solutions in a challenging time for the business especially useful, giving them clear and practical takeaways to bring back to their firms at home,” said Gerdin. Fringed with an outstanding natural canvas of forest, hills and lakes, Oslo was also the perfect host city. “The Town Hall provided us with a thoroughly elegant and intoxicating welcome reception in which to embrace the AIJA spirit and digest the scientific programme. The seminar was opened by the Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen, who acknowledged the work AIJA does for human rights during her speech, and took the time to talk to the guests afterwards. A trip to the Norwegian Maritime Museum was also particularly pertinent, as delegates got to try out the new interactive simulators. The thriving café and bar culture, top-notch restaurants and a vibrant nightlife was also a good way to keep the networking going through the night! I have received a lot of e-mails from delegates with great feedback, and there has been lots of interest in AIJA from the Norwegian lawyers following the seminar too,” Gerdin detailed.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the latest seminars and conferences at AIJA, visit www.aija.org.



 


Need a Highly Qualified Trainee?

24 October 2016

Step_2015Is your firm considering hiring a new trainee, or are you interested in an overseas placement? If so, then AIJA, in partnership with the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA), has the perfect solution. But be quick – the application deadline is 3rd November.

The Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP) enables law students and young lawyers to gain first-hand experience of the procedural law and culture of another country. It also gives your office the opportunity to have highly qualified law students from all over Europe as trainees. The traineeship can vary from 2 weeks to 24 months and can take place in any law related field.

The application process and subsequent participation is free of charge. The trainee will be paid a basic salary while on the exchange and the traineeship specifications (such as education level, language and specific legal skills needed) are set by the traineeship provider. All the practical details around the traineeship, e.g. accommodation, are handled by the Local ELSA Group (given that there is a Local Group in that city, otherwise, the National Group handles the contact).

Alyona Litvinova, Vice President for Student Trainee Exchange Programme of ELSA International explains: “When specifying the requirements for the trainee, our traineeship providers set those that are relevant for their office. Through our own pre-selection process, we ensure that only high qualified applicants who match the set requirements are forwarded to our traineeship providers. This way we can make sure that they receive the applicants that are needed in their office.”

Feedback from previous STEP traineeship providers has been very positive, says Litvinova, “both in terms of being satisfied with the trainee received in the office and with ELSA. Our traineeship providers are also fond of the internationality that is brought into their office by the international students.”

Manuela Cavallo, of the Italian law firm Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale, took part in STEP and described it as “an interesting experience for the trainee who had the opportunity to work with us for a period of time and live the life of a law firm, but also for the people of our firm who benefited from networking with an international student”. David Diris of Kocks & Partners (Belgium) also had a great experience, and explained: “the selection process was very smooth and fast, and is almost completely arranged by ELSA itself. We just fill in the forms concerning the requirements and after some time we receive detailed CVs, so we can concentrate on working together with the students.”

To apply before the deadline of 3 November or to find out more, just send an e-mail to step@elsa.org and you will be provided with further details.



 


AIJA Elects New President

30 September 2016

Danish Corporate Lawyer David Frølich was elected President of The International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) in August, at the Annual Congress in Munich.

After a long career within AIJA, which has included being the National Representative for Denmark, Member of the Executive Committee and Co-chair of the Membership Forum, David will now lead AIJA for the coming year.

David is a partner at Lund Elmer Sandager LLP, an independent Danish law firm located in Copenhagen. He advises both Danish and multinational clients in connection with M&A deals and the legal aspects of doing business in Denmark.

Upon being elected AIJA President, David outlined his vision and priorities for the year: “AIJA is a unique organisation for young lawyers. Its core DNA, networking and providing the highest levels of scientific content for young lawyers in early stages of their career, is unmatched and not found anywhere else. This is what I want to develop further in the association, to not only reach more young lawyers on the global legal scene but also provide even more opportunities for young lawyers.”

In particular, this will include “More take-aways, more seminars and even more attractive content: These are essential for promoting legal cultures and for enhancing cooperation and friendship among lawyers from all over the world and this is needed not only for the benefit of each lawyer but also for the benefit of legal systems and justices all over the world. Bringing more and more members together is key to the success of not only AIJA but for the members themselves. It is all about the members.”

AIJA is currently a global community of 4,000 young career building legal professionals aged 45 and under. At the 54th International Young Lawyers’ Congress held in Munich this August, more than 650 young lawyers attended from 55 different countries. “The success of this meeting confirms the willingness of the young international legal community to have their event, where they can meet, create connections, build their careers and find new business opportunities,” said the new President. “When embracing the world and stretching out the AIJA spirit, taking AIJA to Tokyo next year for the 55th annual congress is a natural step.”

Attending the Munich congress offered delegates more than 50 hours of legal education and workshops as well as special social events held over 5 days at the most prestigious locations. The bar has been set high, but next year in Tokyo promises to be even better.



 


Mediation Wins Best Programme Session at the International Young Lawyers Congress

30 September 2016


Every year, the people in charge of the scientific programme of the AIJA Congress give an award to the best session. At this year’s 54th Congress in Munich, the judges voted for the Working Session on Mediation, presented by Eleni Polycarpou, Michael Pauli and Rim Ben Ammar, for their engaging and challenging  presentation on  litigation and international arbitration mock case.

Delegates were presented with a complicated mediation scenario: a wealthy Indian art collector buys a painting through an art dealer in Geneva for $30m. After owning it for a number of years, the painting is put up for auction, now expecting to attract up to $150m. However, an English aristocrat recognises the painting as one stolen from their family home in the 1960s, and demands its return. So begins a three-way mediation between the two parties claiming ownership, and the art dealer who was supposed to assure its provenance.

 “I deal a lot with art law related disputes in England,” explains Eleni Polycarpou, Special Counsel, Head of International Arbitration, at Withers LLP, and one of the moderators of the winning session. “I have had two cases recently where stolen artworks went up for auction and were identified by the original owners in the auction house catalogue. The mock case scenario was based largely on one of my cases, although I changed it sufficiently for it to not be recognisable.”

Delegates received useful and surprising tips regarding cultural differences: “some were obvious, such as don't be late for your mediation if it is against a northern European or US opponent,” says Polycarpou. “And some were less obvious, for example don't try small talk about the weather if your opponent is Japanese – in fact you must go directly to the point and the heart of your arguments immediately.”

However, the application of mediation goes far wider than simply smoothing over cultural misunderstandings. Mediation is an increasingly popular method of resolving disputes in the US and in the UK, and is growing in other countries too. “It is important for young lawyers to understand that some disputes are more suited to this method and to be able to offer it to their clients as an alternative to going to court or to arbitration,” argues Polycarpou.

The session, which used lawyer members of AIJA from different countries as the actors to enact the mock mediation, proved popular amongst delegates believes Polycarpou because, “All lawyers have to enter into negotiation in their day to day lives. Also, the best way to become an expert on negotiation is to take part in one or to see one take place. It was a successful way to demonstrate what mediation is, and what to do and not to do in a negotiation.”



 


Opportunities on Being an AIJA Scholar

30 September 2016

[caption id="attachment_7658" align="alignleft" width="165"]tatiana Tatiana Abarca[/caption]

Did you know that AIJA sponsors international scholarships? The AIJA scholarship programme allows young lawyers with limited financial resources to attend the annual congress and other events free of charge. In order to be considered for the AIJA scholarship, applicants need to submit an application which demonstrates how attending the AIJA events will benefit them, the absence of alternative financial means, and how their participation would serve the overall objectives and goals of AIJA.

In 2016, scholarships were awarded to Tatiana Abarca of Costa Rica, and Brenda Mwango Kemunto from Kenya.

Tatiana Abarca worked in corporate and labour law in Costa Rica before retraining in environmental law, completing a two-year Masters degree at the Australian National University (ANU) on an Australian Awards scholarship. Currently undertaking a legal internship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, she describes her experience as an AIJA scholar as “an enormous privilege”. “Upon arriving to the Annual Congress in Munich, I felt immensely grateful – the opportunity to network with over 500 lawyers was invaluable not only from a career perspective, but to also understand some of the latest initiatives and advancements that are being made in my field,”

Brenda Mwango, a State Counsel at the Kenyan Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice attached to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, is currently undertaking a Master of Laws in International Trade and Investment Law at The University of Nairobi, Kenya. “Being a scholar was a rewarding experience,” she said. “I met inspirational people, people of different cultures and traditions from all over the world, I was offered great hospitality, and had stimulating discussions on European Law.”

For both young lawyers, the scholarship offered invaluable international experience. Brenda described it as an “educational adventure”: “AIJA gave me the opportunity to visit Switzerland and Germany for the first time – it has given me a perspective on the advanced infrastructure especially in the transport sector (road, air and rail), compared to what is available in Kenya.”

[caption id="attachment_7657" align="alignright" width="235"]brenda Brenda Mwango Kemunto[/caption]

Tatiana believes that, “as globalisation intensifies, the reliance on expertise from different jurisdictions is becoming a fundamental component of work in the legal space, especially in environmental and maritime law. I have maintained contact with many of those I was lucky enough to meet and hope to collaborate further in the future.”

“For me, President Gorgenyi's opening speech was the highlight of the event. Her words about the work AIJA is doing to help young professionals in more disadvantaged societies were incredibly uplifting and reinforced the power the legal community has through associations like AIJA,” she said.

For more information on the scholarship programme and how to apply, please visit: /scholarships



 


AIJA goes to Verona, Italy

30 September 2016

veronaFor this year’s 2016 Half Year Conference, AIJA is exploring its romantic side. Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, is playing host. And it promises to be a truly spectacular location.

A Roman colony in the first century BC., it remains a well preserved Roman town - including the Arena, one of the most famous Roman amphitheatres that is still in use today. Visitors can also take a walk through the Medieval city, with the beautiful Basilica of San Zeno (one of the masterpieces of Romanesque architecture in Italy) and Piazza dei Signori, leading to the elegant Venetian-era palaces Palazzo Canossa and Palazzo Maffei.

Awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO, Verona was an easy choice of venue, explains Atty. Roberto Luzi Crivellini, Partner at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi, and Chair of the Organising Committee at the Conference: “following the success of the AIJA Half Year Conference in Parma in 2010, we wanted our AIJA friends to have a chance to discover another little Italian jewel,” he says. “We could not find a better candidate, as Verona is located in a strategic position, its airport is well connected with the main European hubs. It is also close to Milano and Venice, which can be reached with a 1-hour fast train ride.”

Participants will be immersed in a truly Italian experience. The conference venue - Hotel Due Torri at Piazza Sant’anastasia – is in the heart of the old city, surrounded by masterpieces of Roman, medieval and Venetian heritage, all within walking distance. AIJA dinners will be hosted in some of the most prestigious 17th century buildings, including one with a special theme. “The theme for the gala dinner on Saturday is ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ”explains Atty. Giuseppe Cristiano, also a member to the OC, partner at De Berti Jacchia . ”Verona is the city of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, and this is a fun opportunity to meet other lawyers and experience the best traditions of AIJA.”

For those more interested in Italian fashion, there are also seminars on the industry during the conference. “Italy is worldwide known for its fashion industry, but must compete in times of globalisation,” explains Manuela Cavallo, Partner at Portolano, Cavallo. “This seminar programme focuses on the different aspects and trends in the sector, with some important in-house counsels who shall share their insights”. Legal issues range from protecting IP in fashion contracts, to arbitration clauses and awards.

The second seminar running during the conference will be on enabling and securing international business: “we will offer a complete overview on the topic of secured transactions in the international commercial arena. In house counsels and international attorneys will discuss about the different types of securities, liens and priorities rights in a cross border context”, says Giuseppe Scotti, counsel at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi.

So whether you’re into Roman architecture, Venetian palaces, Shakespearean romance, stiletto heels – or simply want an ‘Overview on conflict of laws regarding international securities’ (Thursday, 11.30am) – then the AIJA 2016 Half Year Conference in Verona is the perfect place for you.

For more information and a full conference programme, please download the conference programme HERE



 


New appointments 2016-2017

27 September 2016

Please find here the list of new appointments, following the last AIJA General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting of last month.

Bureau

  • David Frølich, President (new position)
  • Orsolya Görgényi, Immediate Past President (new position)
  • Wiebe de Vries, First Vice-President (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Emiliano Ganzarolli, Secretary General (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Justyna Szpara, Treasurer
  • Lara Vivas, Deputy Treasurer (appointed by the Bureau)

Extended Bureau

Membership Forum

  • Maximiliano D’Auro, Co-Chair
  • Anita Gerdin, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Giuseppe Cristiano, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)

 Law Course Committee

  • Justus Jansen, Co-Chair
  • Ned Beale, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Cristina Hernandez-Marti Perez, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)

Forum of the Commissions

  • Martine Hoogendoorn, Co-Chair
  • Xavier Costa Arnau, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • David Diris, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)

Human Rights Committee

  • Orsolya Görgényi, Chair Coordinator
  • Anna Birtwistle, Co-Chair
  • Christian Presoly, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Gülsüm Aslan, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Nicolas Thieltgen, Co-Chair (newly appointed by the Bureau)

 

Newly elected Executive Committee Members (in alphabetical order)

  • Sophie Arnold
  • Martijn Burgers
  • Alex Carbonell
  • Stéphane De Navacelle
  • Benjamin Dürig
  • Arne Friese
  • Kenji Hirooka
  • Eva Indruchova
  • Alexander Leuftink
  • Mette Lykke
  • Sabine Nyvlt
  • Kasper Ripken
  • Rebekka Stumpfrock
  • Antonio Varas
  • Dieter Veestraeten
  • Minglei Wu

In addition, three members will take the office of those of had to leave the Executive Committee due to other appointments in the Association or resignation.

  • Chiara Caliandro, will take the mandate for two years, until the General Assembly taking place in 2018;
  • Catrice Gayer, will take the mandate for one year, until the General Assembly taking place in 2017;
  • Tom Swinnen, will take the mandate for one year, until the General Assembly taking place in 2017;

They will join the other Executive Committee members elected in the past years who are still in office: Pieter Van Den Broeck, Benjamin Leventhal, Thilo Pachmann, Ferenc Ballegeer, Tomas Rybar, Birgit Wöhren, Marco Ferreira Orlandi, Pablo Vinageras, Cristian Elbert, Babak Tabeshian, Tom Claeys, Agnese Hartpenga, Henrietta Mason, Ayse Ulku Solak, Jan-Ove Becker, Bruno Guarnieri, Jean-Philippe Arroyo, Laura Koponen, Tiziana Di Ciommo, Stefan Bais, Simone Hofbauer, Joost Willem Achterberg, Benedikt Rohrssen, Christian Leuenberger, Stefanie Tack, Lennart Ostenfeld, Tabata Arteta, Jérôme Debras, Jérôme Nicolas.

 

Newly appointed National Representatives (for a complete list of National Representatives and local contacts, please click here)

-       AUSTRIA Michaela Pelinka
-       CANADA Caroline Abela
-       CHINA Cheng Chen
-       FRANCE François Barré
-       ITALY Giuseppe Scotti
-       JAPAN Kazuma Higuchi
-       NETHERLANDS Marnix Van den Bergh
-       SWEDEN Per – Ola Bergqvist
-       USA Arnoldo Lacayo

 

Newly appointed Commission Officers (for a complete list of commission officers, please click here)

 

  • Banking Finance & Capital Markets Law

Jennifer Maxwell, Vice-president

  • Corporate Counsel

David Diris, Vice-president

Elina Girne, Vice-president

  • Environment and energy law

Eoin Cassidy, President

Jan Rolinski, Vice-president

  • Insolvency Law

Hector Sbert, President

Anouk Rosielle, Vice-President

  • Intellectual Property, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications

Alex Watt, Vice-President (Media)

  • International arbitration

Tero Kovanen, President

Benjamin Leventhal, Vice-president

  • International Business Law

Pablo Font, Vice-president

  • Litigation

Aurélie Conrad, President

Damien Devot, Vice-president

Arnoldo Lacayo, Vice-president

  • Private Clients

Paola Fudakowska, President

Henrietta Mason, Vice-president

  • Real Estate Law

Martin Fӧrster, President

Bernd Hauck, Vice-President

  • Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning (SCILL)

Stepan Holub, President

Jean – Rodolphe Fiechter, Vice-President

Marisa Buetzberger, Vice-President

  • T.R.A.D.E. - Trade, Retail, Agency, Distribution, E-commerce (former Distribution Law Commission)

Babak Tabeshian, President Christine Borfiga, Vice-president   SEE HERE THE OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL

 


Lawyering for change, 30.11 - 01.12.2016

08 September 2016

asf-logoAccording to a United Nations estimate, four billion people do not have access to justice. In both the northern and southern hemispheres, legal assistance and representation of people with social or economic problems in accessing courts and tribunals play a key role in having their rights respected. As well as defending individual interests, the collective action of lawyers and other key players in the access to justice, such as social workers, legal experts working in the voluntary sector or community stakeholders, can also foster sustainable change within societies. Indeed, stakeholders in the access to justice are crucial in strengthening the rule of law and developing the power to act of people seeking justice. This is a key issue at a time when questions are being asked of sustainable development and the future of legal aid for vulnerable people. ASF is working in around ten fragile countries, where justice and the effectiveness of the rule of law have proved to be key elements in the social and economic development of populations, as well as crucial in preventing conflicts. Founded by ASF, the "Lawyering for Change" conference offers people the opportunity to discuss and focus on practices which foster sustainable change. Lawyers, legal experts and social stakeholders from Central Africa, South East Asia, North Africa, America and Europe will share their experiences of the work carried out in their respective countries. This experience will then be placed in the context of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which advocate the promotion of the rule of law and the guarantee of access to justice for all. Although the "Lawyering for Change" conference is being held to discuss the projects and studies which ASF has been carrying out for a number of years on the link between the access to justice and sustainable development, the event aims above all to tackle the realities of the situations on the ground. DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAMME  

 


What Does the Future Hold for Today’s Young Lawyers?

19 August 2016

BLINDAsk anyone these days, they will commonly say the same thing: the pace of change now is greater than ever before. But what does that mean for the legal profession? What are the changes coming around the corner that young lawyers need to understand and prepare for? This will be the main focus for the 54th International Young Lawyer’s Congress in Munich on 23-27 August 2016.  Dr. Julia Blind, Attorney at KLEINER Rechtsanwälte and Co-Chair of the Congress Organising Committee, shares her insights on the current trends young lawyers need to know about. First, there’s the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), says Dr. Blind: “Besides the intended increase of trade between the European member states and the USA, it will bring new challenges for consumer protection. If TTIP implements an investment arbitration, which is currently a controversial discussion, big law firms will very likely re-emphasis their expertise in the field of international arbitration or even built up new practice groups.” Don’t expect the ongoing refugee crisis to die down any time soon, either. Even if migration flows were to slow down or even stop, the issues surrounding settlement of existing refugees will keep lawyers busy for some time to come. “The refugees who arrived in Europe have very much changed the tasks of lawyers, especially in Germany,” says Dr. Blind. “Lawyers assist them regarding their asylum procedures, while support measures like housing, supplies and services are a challenge for the public authorities regarding the compliance with national and EU law on procuring services.” The technology revolution and the coming of automation – known as Industry 4.0, or ‘robots taking our jobs!’ – will bring “challenges in data protection and data security, liability in the connected supply chain, IP issues, and employment law requirements,” she advises. And, although most of us may want to, we can’t forget Brexit. “Besides the economic impact for the United Kingdom and the EU member states,” says Dr. Blind, “there are many legal hot topics linked with the Brexit, including tax issues, work permits and immigration issues, the implementation of the Unitary Patent, and consequences for the European Community trademark or European Community design when the UK leaves the EU.” All this comes with an ever-increasing requirement for lawyers to have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge not only in their main field of business, but also a basic knowledge of associated legal areas and economics. The 54th International Young Lawyer’s Congress (Munich, 23-27 August 2016) will be an invaluable way to keep abreast of the issues, with working sessions, workshops, interactive sessions and high-profile speakers. Plus, on the Friday evening, the famous Hofbräuhaus offers a taste of the Munich Oktoberfest – the perfect place to socialise, make contacts, and enjoy the local traditions!



 


AIJA Opens Its New Head Office

19 August 2016

Facade (2)AIJA has finally moved into its long-awaited new HQ: AIJA House. Located in the prestigious Avenue de Tervueren in Brussels, the 300 m² office opened in June, strategically positioned close to the European quarters and international embassies, with desk space and meeting rooms available for all AIJA members. “The AIJA House is a dream which is finally a reality,” announced Giuseppe Marletta, Association Manager of AIJA. “With this new head office, we added an extra layer of prestige to the association.” Following the success of AIJA in recent years including a growing membership and events programme, an investment in property in Brussels was deemed a cost-effective choice for members. “An important decision like the acquisition of a property is of course subject to a thorough process where all governing bodies of the association have been consulted and involved,” said Marletta. Located with easy access to the Metro and airport, any AIJA members who may find themselves in Brussels for their business trips or client meetings can access the following:

  • Two meeting rooms of respectively 30 m² and 15m² that can accommodate conference calls and meetings up to 20 people
  • Two office stations with computers, printers, phones, internet connection available for members who wish to pass by and spend some hours working there
  • Parking passes to make life easier to members who come by car, with plenty of parking spaces in front of AIJA House

“The AIJA House features state-of- the-art office space which includes premium technology equipment,” said Marletta. “Of course it’s not the HQ of an organisation that decides its credibility or reputation, but this can also be an important element.” “We have had a positive trend regarding our finances since 2013. With the savings coming from wise financial management, growing membership and healthy events, we have decided for a sound and sustainable allocation of the savings. The real estate market in Brussels is very competitive: it’s the European capital, but compared to other European capitals, prices remain reasonable. What better than acquiring a property with these available funds?” He added: “This project is not just an allocation of funds but it gives back to members real value, a beautiful office space which is the face of the association: this is the AIJA House!” Visit AIJA House at Avenue de Tervueren 231, BE-1150 Brussels. For booking enquiries, contact office@aija.org or call on Tel: + 32 2 347 33 34.



 


AIJA to Elect New Vice President

19 August 2016

THIELTGENIt’s election time again, with members due to elect their next First Vice-President during the upcoming International Young Lawyers’ Congress held in Munich on 23-27 August 2016. The First Vice-President is a member of the Bureau, the management body of AIJA, and automatically becomes President after one year. The two candidates vying for the position – Wiebe de Vries, the national representative for The Netherlands and Giuseppe Cristiano, the national representative for Italy – have been described as “two strong candidates with a clear view on AIJA’s future,” by Me Nicolas Thieltgen, Secretary General of AIJA. Members are urged to attend the elections at the Hilton Munich Park Hotel on Saturday 27 August, to cast their vote. “AIJA is an association of volunteers,” said Thieltgen. “It is therefore important that everyone feels involved if we want the Association to be successful. These elections are a great way to involve our members in the management of our Association. Everyone has a word to say in the AIJA democracy.” At the same time as the First Vice -President election, members will also be able to vote on new executive committee members, as well as on amendments to the organisational statutes, including making possible e-voting during future general assemblies. General assemblies are conducted in accordance with a comprehensive set of rules governing the way it organises elections, which set high standards in terms of democracy, transparency and corporate governance. The Secretary General, together with the Elections Committee (President: Leo van den Hole; Vice-President: Ferenc Ballegeer) monitor the elections process and make sure that these rules are applied. “Organizing elections generally requires the adoption and application of a lot of complex rules, an activity at which lawyers are quite good at,” joked Thieltgen. “But equally we do so in a strict but friendly manner, to preserve the AIJA spirit.” AIJA members are invited to participate in the Vice-Presidential Debate on 25 August, at 2pm at Ballsaal to learn more about the candidates’ visions and projects for the Association. If you have any questions that you would like the moderators to ask the candidates, please send them to nicolas.thieltgen@brucherlaw.lu before Wednesday 24 August, noon. Help build on AIJA’s values and don’t miss this chance to make a sound judgement before you cast your vote for your next First Vice-President!



 


Kuwaiti Legal Intern Wins 2016 Best International Future Lawyer Award

19 August 2016

sHAREFAHKuwait’s Sharefah A. Almuhana has won the prestigious AIJA Best International Future Lawyer Award 2016. A former Legal Researcher at the Ministry of Public Works of Kuwait, Almuhana holds LLB and LLM from Kuwait University School of Law. Having graduated with a Doctoral Degree in Law from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, USA, in May this year, she is currently a Legal Intern at US Immigration Law firm in Laramie, Wyoming, covering humanitarian cases including refugees and asylum. Her winning essay “Governing Shared Natural Resources of the International Seabed Area” was adapted from her doctoral thesis on the subject. A Jury of three AIJA Executive Committee Members assessed entries based on the quality of research and analysis, novelty, profundity and overall contribution to legal knowledge. They were unanimous in choosing Almuhana’s paper for this year’s award. Her research examines the legal framework and strategy for distributing the potential outcomes from exploiting the natural resources in the common International Seabed Area (the Area). Located beyond the limits of national jurisdictions and rich in valuable mineral deposits such as nickel, copper, cobalt, iron, and manganese, the deposits are estimated to satisfy global demand for centuries. “I noticed that the legal regime of the Area needs some improvements,” she explained, when asked why she chose the topic. “However, I was not sure where the defects were in the system. I decided to uncover the weakness of the Area system not only as a legal system but also as a system that involves many social and economic issues.” “Through my research, I wanted the legal community and policy makers to be aware that even institutions with sound legal frameworks are vulnerable to failure when these legal frameworks are structured in a way that undermines the economic or the social interests of some members of a community,” informed Almuhana. “The Law of the Sea introduces many unanswered questions, providing new prospects for research into these areas of the oceans that cover most of our planet.” The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently announced its intention to extend ‘World Heritage’ recognition and protection to areas of the sea. “Winning the AIJA competition means a lot for me,” said Almuhana. “It means that my research is recognized internationally. It is also a reminder for me to keep writing and researching. Furthermore, it is a message to the youth and women from the developing countries to keep doing what they think they can do regardless of the barriers they might face.” Her prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the AIJA International Young Lawyers Congress, a temporary waiver of the AIJA membership fee, and publication and distribution of her paper. In-keeping with the “AIJA spirit”, the award is intended to help young lawyers build confidence in their academic skills and produce scientific work on international legal issues.



 


Sharefah Almuhana is the Best International Future Lawyer 2016

05 August 2016

sHAREFAHWith her essay on "Governing Shared Natural Resources of the International Seabed Area", Sharefah Almuhana won the Best International Future Lawyer Award 2016.

The Jury, composed of three AIJA Executive Committee Members, considered unanimously this paper the best one for this year's award.

Sharefah's research attempts to establish a strategy to distribute the potential outcomes from exploiting the natural resources existing in common and global property areas, namely, the International Seabed Area (the Area), which is located beyond the limits of national jurisdictions and is rich in valuable mineral deposits such as nickel, copper, cobalt, iron, and manganese. The huge deposits found beneath the oceans are commercially sound and estimated to satisfy the energy needs of the world for centuries.

Sharefah Almuhana graduated in May 2016 from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, OH, U.S.A, with S.J.D – Doctoral Degree in Law. Sharefah also holds LLB and LLM both are from Kuwait University School of Law. Before going to the U.S. Sharefah served in the Kuwaiti Government as a “Legal Researcher” at the Ministry of Public Works of Kuwait. She is currently “Legal Intern” in a U.S. Immigration Law firm in Laramie, WY, U.S.A where she is learning about the U.S. Immigration Law and exposing to humanitarian cases regarding refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking. Sharefah scholarly and researching interests include all aspects of the public and international law.

The Award consists of:

  • Free AIJA membership until December 2019
  • Publication of the Essay on AIJA’s various communication channels.
  • Complimentary invitation to attend the full 54th International Young Lawyers' Congress.

Read here the essay  

 


Egypt: Freedom of the Legal Profession in Danger

10 June 2016

Malek Adly, a prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer and keynote speaker at AIJA’s 2015 annual conference in London, has been arrested, beaten by security forces and detained for 30 days pending investigation. One of over 90 arrests following the April 25 planned “Egypt is not for sale” day of demonstrations, Mr. Adly’s detention is seen as symptomatic of the human rights abuses and repression of free speech under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.

MalekAn arrest warrant was issued against Mr. Adly on April 23, 2016 in connection with a call to protest against President el-Sisi’s decision to hand over two Red Sea islands administered by Egypt to Saudi Arabia and for the regime’s ongoing human rights abuses. The allegations against Mr. Adly include attempting to overthrow the ruling regime, affiliation to a banned organisation and broadcasting false news, all of which he denied during questioning.

“There can be no question that freedom of the legal profession is under threat in Egypt,” commented Ms. Anna Birtwistle, Partner of CM MURRAY LLP, and co-chair of the AIJA Human Rights Committee. “We are extremely concerned that Mr. Adly is reported to have suffered physical harm, torture and solitary treatment whilst in custody and was prohibited from being visited by his wife, family and lawyers for the first 11 days of his detention.”

An open letter signed by 16 Egyptian civil rights groups has described how security forces have been given free rein to use excessive force, including live ammunition, against demonstrators. Both the Public Prosecution and judges use prolonged pre-trial detention as a punitive measure and turn a blind eye to torture and killings by security forces, according to the signatories, while the prisons are filled with dissidents, journalists and human rights defenders, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

AIJA and Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) have called upon the Egyptian authorities to unconditionally respect the Egyptian Constitution and its international obligations – including fundamental rights like freedom of expression and the right to freely exercise the legal profession.

“When a country who is party to the UN International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, like Egypt, does not uphold the right to freedom of expression and a young lawyer is affected in practicing his profession, AIJA is duty bound to speak out,” said Ms Birtwistle. “In the case of Malek Adly, that imperative is only strengthened by the personal connection AIJA members were lucky enough to establish through Mr. Adly’s contribution to our Annual Congress last year.”

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Adly was due to write an article updating AIJA members on the situation regarding freedom of expression in Egypt.

As an association, AIJA is committed to promoting and upholding the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers which enshrines the principle that lawyers should be free to practice without intimidation or harassment and like all citizens, should enjoy the right to freedom of expression.



 


Best International Future Lawyer Award - Apply by 1 July!

10 June 2016

Applications are open for the very first ‘Best International Future Lawyer’ award. Entrants must submit a written essay on any topic of their choosing, as long as it’s related to international law. The winner will receive free AIJA membership for three years, a free all-expenses paid trip to the AIJA Annual Congress in Munich this August, and the chance to present their paper at the Congress itself.

BYFLAYou don’t even need to be an AIJA member – all young law students who are still enrolled at a university, and aged under 45, can apply – but be quick, the deadline day is 1st of July.

This is a prestigious opportunity to show off your potential to future colleagues and employers. Maximilano D’Auro, a member of AIJA’s Membership Forum, which is the body responsible for organizing the award, explains that the award specifically targets current law students because “although many of them may not have had the chance to practice yet, we have no doubt that they are in a good position to produce high-quality work – they are still immersed in the unique academic environment provided by law schools and very close to the systemic study of the legal subjects, something you very often miss when you start practising.”

In-keeping with the “AIJA spirit”, the award is one of many ways that we help young lawyers build confidence in their discursive and academic skills. “Unlike other organizations, AIJA makes it very easy for newcomers to become quickly involved in the work of our scientific commissions, to present national reports on their fields of interest and to be speakers in our working sessions in seminars, conferences or congresses we organize,” says D’Auro. “This award is a further step in the same direction.”

Essays will be judged on the quality of research and analysis, novelty, profundity and overall contribution to legal knowledge. You can even use a revised version of a previous essay or graduate thesis you’ve written while at University.

Eligible candidates can only submit one individual or joint essay. For more information on how to apply, check out the awards page on the website: http://awards.aija.org/. So get writing and editing to submit the perfect paper! The winner will get a unique opportunity to present their work on an international stage – it’s the ideal way to start an influential legal career.

 

 


Letter from AIJA President, 25 March 2016

25 March 2016

To the attention of all AIJA members:

Dear Friends,

In and out of Europe, we are all shocked about what happened in Brussels on Tuesday morning, the brutal and barbaric terror attacks against civilians.

Sadly, this week was not the first time during my term as AIJA president that I have had to write email messages expressing our deepest sympathy to our members in a country directly affected by pointless terror against civilians and sending our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives or were wounded.

After the October Ankara explosions AIJA decided to move forward with the Istanbul Half Year Conference, which proved to be the right decision and our conference was a great success. None of us who were in the room will ever forget the touching first-hand testimonials that the Syrian judges from the Free Independent Judicial Council shared with us.

The Paris attacks, just a few days before our Istanbul conference, unfortunately and very sadly proved what some of us were afraid of: these brutal terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the world. At the November executive committee meeting I shared with you my fear that these attacks would be remembered as the beginning of a sad new era: a time when we cannot take it for granted anymore that we will be safe in the heart of Europe. Unfortunately, in addition to Paris, this fear was reinforced by the attacks in Istanbul and now in Brussels.

As humans, we can relate more easily to places and people that we know personally. The majority of our members are still from Europe. Lots of our members and our staff live in Brussels or close to Brussels. We have all been to Brussels in the past. We are planning to go back to Brussels for AIJA’s 2018 Annual Congress. Consequently, it is no wonder that we feel particularly touched and we would like to thank you all for the kind messages you sent to our Brussels staff and members.

In the face of this fear we can have two reactions:

Either we change our lives and life-styles, not leave our homes and families if possible, work online or at a distance, stop going to cultural and sports events, give up travelling internationally, focus more on ourselves as individuals, and stop attending (or in AIJA's case organizing) international gatherings as a reaction to the fear.

Or we can continue to move and act freely, live meaningful and rich lives, interact with and help others, and continue with international networking like we do at AIJA events.

The terrorists clearly want us to react in the first way.

Personally, I don't want to give in to the fear and would prefer to react in the second way. I encourage you all to do the same.

Having said that, we must also keep in mind that in the past six months there have been lots of other terrorist attacks in other parts of Europe and the world — many that have gone unnoticed or have barely been reported on - and that there are also countries where anti-terror legislation is misused to curtail human rights and democratic principles. We have to stand together, condemn all forms of violence and fight against poverty, inequality and ignorance all around the globe to ensure that all people can live in safe and healthy conditions, regardless of geography or religion.

I read a post on Facebook the other day: "The best education you will ever get is travelling. Nothing teaches you more than exploring the world and accumulating experiences."  I would also add to 'travelling' "meeting and talking to people from other cultures". The current instability of the global climate makes it our duty to maintain and foster international avenues of communication and facilitate person-to-person diplomacy, a concept I truly believe in. Building communities and friendships across the globe does matter. AIJA matters and we can make a difference.  "If only people will get together, then so eventually will nations." (D. Eisenhower)

If we stand together, and if we continue our mission of bringing young lawyers together from all around the world, the terrorists' attacks and campaign of hate and fear, with which they attempt to undermine democratic values and the rule of law, will not succeed.

I look forward to seeing you at our future events.

 

Budapest, March 24, 2016

 

Orsolya Görgényi, President of AIJA



 


AIJA partners again with ELSA. Find here your next trainee!

02 March 2016

7f566952-fd5d-4613-8971-a313415b46ddSTEP is a trainee exchange programme that enables law students and young lawyers to gain first hand experience of the substantive and procedural law as well as the culture of another country. The Student Trainee Exchange Programme of ELSA offers your office the opportunity to have highly qualified law students from all over Europe as trainees. The traineeship can vary from 2 weeks to 24 months and can take place in any law related area. Conditions

  • Participation: free of charge (no application or participation fee)
  • Duration of traineeship: from 2 weeks until 2 years
  • Compensation: obligation to provide a remuneration for the trainee (amount sufficient to cover basic living costs in the respective country)
  • Traineeship specifications: set by the employer (education level, language and specific legal skills knowledge of the trainee)
  • Application administration: conducted by ELSA in cooperation with AIJA
  • Deadline for applying: 30 March
If you are interested, send us an email and we'll get this started. It's freeeasy andeffective! Read the testimonials of some AIJA members here. In case you would like to participate as a trainee, then see full information on the STEP website.



 


AIJA calls for action

27 January 2016

shokunin-world-map-more-detailThe global migration is in place. Lots of people migrating to Europe are facing hard conditions on their way there but also after they manage to arrive on European territory. Basic human rights, such as equal access to justice of migrants are often not respected even in developed democratic countries nowadays.

Without any ambition to address the issue from the political point of view, AIJA notices with unease the signs of possible erosion of basic democratic principles and rule of law. At the same time, it is up to the lawyers to be the guardians of rule of law and equal access to justice. If we lawyers give up on this role or if we do not act now, the role of law and access to justice will be seriously endangered for everyone.

As stressed already by Declaration on Migration of CCBE[1] from 26 June 2015, regardless of the present difficulties undoubtedly faced by many states, it is important to reiterate certain fundamental principles, such as defence of the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms including the right of access to justice and protection of the client and the protection of the democratic values inextricably associated with such rights. These fundamental principles of the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights must always prevail over any political, economic or security consideration.

AIJA identifies fully with the CCBE declaration and feels a duty to support this initiative, especially in the light of the recently adopted resolution of the United Nations on Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[2], setting 17 goals to fulfil. AIJA would like to specifically stress sub-goal 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

Therefore, in order to prevent erosion of the above mentioned fundamental principles, AIJA would like to invite each lawyer, and especially young ones, to make personal efforts to start fulfilling goal 16.3 already today. Specifically, AIJA would like to encourage lawyers to:

  1. read the mentioned CCBE declaration and UN resolution;
  2. accept pro bono cases of refugees who may be in need of legal aid, especially those in detention or other hard conditions;
  3. offer services to local or international NGO´s dealing with pro bono legal aid or with defence of rule of law or equal access to justice;
  4. spread the information on the above-mentioned CCBE declaration and UN resolution among all lawyers.
  5. contact the local bar associations to spread a similar call to this one.

Brussels, 27 January 2016   [1]    Conseil des barreaux européens / Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, published, The second declaration on migration, 26/06/2015 [2]    United Nations Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015  

 


Human rights DO count for Young Lawyers

08 December 2015

Human rights DO count for Young Lawyers

[caption id="attachment_6901" align="alignright" width="300"]AIJA-ILAC-Syrianjudges-Istanbul-19Nov2015 AIJA Human Rights Committee Co-Chairs with ILAC and Syrian judges[/caption]

From November 18 until 21, a hundred international lawyers visited the beautiful city of Istanbul and participated in the AIJA Half Year Conference 2015.  The Human Rights Committee of AIJA organised two sessions to discuss how to preserve the rule of law during a conflict and the refugees’ rights and the current situation in Europe.

The first session was jointly organised with the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC). We had the honour to have with us Mr. Mikael Ekman, Legal Adviser and Programme Manager at ILAC in Stockholm and three distinguished Syrian judges from the Free Independent Judicial Council (FIJC).  AIJA is contributing to the ILAC Syria program by providing targeted English courses to defected judges from the FIJC to help building the capacity and independence of Syrian legal civil society in Turkey. AIJA has developed the curricula and, provides funds out of SOS Avocats to pay for teacher and learning materials.

The panel discussion was focused on the current situation of Syria and the access to justice and basic state functions in areas outside regime control.  Mr. Ekman presented ILAC Syria program and its work together with the FIJC to re-establish civil documentation services wherever these have collapsed, mainly to document birth and death and support on other basic needs.  The discussion then moved on to the situation for legal professionals and human rights activists in Syria at large. The judges shared with the participants of the conference their first-hand experience of being ordered by the executive to apply terrorism legislation and death penalty to ordinary protesters at the start of the demonstrations in Syria and how their refusal to do so forced them and many of their colleagues to leave the country into exile. A presentation on the legislative framework for the anti-terror laws in Syria and their consequences for human rights was made by one of the distinguished guest judges.

The second session focussed on the protection of the human rights of refugees and the current situation in Europe. We had the honour to have on stage a number of highly respected NGO’s: Refugee Rights Turkey, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, The Human Resource Development Foundation, The Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, The Small Projects İstanbul and the Durde Platform.  Representatives of these NGOs elaborated on their initiatives to protect the human rights of refugees.

These initiatives covered a broad range of activities:  (i) to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, (ii) to provide legal information and assistance services to seek asylum; (iii) to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country; (iv) to develop solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and to support them in meeting their basic and social needs.

The Refugee Rights Turkey also organises trainings and reference materials for lawyers to strengthen the availability and quality of legal information and representation for persons in need of international protection and works to nurture public ownership and positive attitudes towards asylum seekers.

In the end, both sessions resulted in an extraordinary examination of the current situation in Syria through the eyes of defected Syrian judges and their first-hand testimonials as well as the great work done by the not-for profit organisations to protect the human rights of Syrian refugees.


Sources:

  More information: Rosa Isabel Peña Sastre, Co-chair AIJA Human Rights Committee, r.pena@rocajunyent.com

 


What's new Mrs President?

27 October 2015

Dear Friends,Orsolya 2015

It was only a month ago that I took over the presidency of AIJA in London, at the very successful annual congress where more than 700 delegates from over 60 countries participated, and this month has already been packed with internal work and outside representation.

I had the honor and pleasure to be in Dresden, Germany at the 20th anniversary of the DAV Junge Anwaltschaft (Young section of the German Lawyers' Association), as well as at the very prestigious Opening of the Legal Year in London, where I was among high profile bar association leaders with whom I participated at a round table discussion about the independence of the legal profession. I was very excited and delighted to open the very successful AIJA double seminars in Frankfurt, which took place exactly during the 25th anniversary celebrations of the reunification of Germany, and to be in Vienna representing AIJA at the annual congress of IBA. Not to mention the recent M&A Academy Seminar held in Madrid with the precious support of the Madrid Bar Association. While I was at the Opening of the Legal Year in London, Past President Alessandra Tarissi and Italian National Representative Giuseppe Cristiano represented AIJA in Milano at the conference which the Milan Bar organized around the topic of "Food Security under siege? Feeding a planet hungry for food and energy" and they also signed the Manifesto of the Legal Profession relating thereto.

While attending these "external" events, I noticed that the voice of the 'young ones' is taken seriously and that AIJA is well respected in the international legal scene, and I was also very satisfied to see that we can indeed contribute with very valid points from a fresh perspective to the discussions of the leaders of our profession. I would like to encourage you all, if you are interested in professional advocacy and in issues related to the independent exercise of the legal profession, to please contact me or the Human Rights Committee. We can have a great impact on shaping our future if we speak up!

I also encourage you to join our events, which will benefit you in many ways. It is challenging for the young generation after the economic crisis, and it is essential to obtain new skills and adapt ourselves to an ever changing legal and business environment. Clients search for the best lawyers, who are also business-minded, speak foreign languages and who are well-connected to foreign lawyers too. AIJA's social and scientific programs provide a unique platform for networking, learning and sharing and obtaining the requisite skills. We just need to spread the word, so that more young lawyers can get involved.

With specialized AIJA events coming up on 4 continents (and just to name the destinations furthest from Brussels: the Half Year Conference in Istanbul, Cape Town in February, Lima in March, Hong Kong in April and the Chicago Half Year Conference in May) we are facing an exciting period and AIJA is truly going global!

I wish you all a beautiful autumn and look forward to seeing you in Istanbul at the November Conference and other AIJA seminars!

Budapest, 2015 October

Orsolya Görgényi

President of AIJA


Incoming President's Address 

at AIJA 53rd General Assembly 2015 September 5, London

Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends!

This is a great honor for me to address you as the incoming president of AIJA.

To represent our association is a great challenge and responsibility (especially after having experienced 14 excellent presidents since I joined AIJA) but it is truly an honor, a pleasure and a unique opportunity as well for which I am very grateful.

Let me tell you one little story that show 3 aspects of my approach towards the upcoming year.

Last year Dirk mentioned a "brick" with the words: "Be Brief, Be Bright, Be Gone" written on it. Dirk kept referring to the "brick" during our meetings, and I asked him what this was all about and what the other "bricks" were. He sent me a photo:

The bricks turned out to be gigantic lego pieces in four colors: yellow, green, red and - what I thought at that time was - black, with different words on them.

 The other 3 bricks said:

Bricks-Orsolya"Involve me."

"Show me you care."

"Give me details."

But why am I telling this story? I have 3 reasons.

 

  1. The first reason is that I would like to use "Involve Me" as a slogan for the upcoming year. I would like to use it both Internally, within the Association, involving anyone who would like to contribute, as well as Externally: which means increasing AIJA's visibility and encouraging everyone to spread the word about AIJA and to involve as many young lawyers as possible.
  2. The second reason for telling you this is that I realized that the fourth color is not black, but blue, so these are the four colors of the so-called D.I.S.C. model. The letters stand for the universal behavioral types which describe our behavior towards each other and the way we do things.

Red and D stands for Dominance, Yellow and I stand for Influence, Green and S stand for Steadiness/ Support  and finally Blue and C stand for Compliance/Conscientiousness DISC_Orsolya

Good teams need all four types, all the diversity, and team-members need to follow the messages of all four Bricks when communicating and working on projects.

AIJA is all about teamwork. Only if you, our enthusiastic members, our excellent and dedicated staff in Brussels, and the dream-team of the Extended Bureau, continue to be actively involved in the work of AIJA, can we have a successful next AIJA year.

  1. The third reason for telling the story about the bricks is that in line with the messages of “Show me You Care” and “Give me Details”, I would like to spend more time on brainstorming and talking about things that matter.

The Mediterranean migration situation is something that really matters and we need to talk about this. I recall how proudly I talked to you 6 years ago at the Opening Ceremony in the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building about the opening of the electric fence between Hungary and Austria.  It is really sad that 26 years after demolishing the Wall, we are now the ones building another fence on the other side of our country.

AIJA and the Human Rights Committee may not involve itself in issues of a political nature, but we will continue to intervene on behalf of young lawyers if their own rights to a fair trial or to carry out their profession are in jeopardy.

AIJA is going to Istanbul in November for the Half Year Conference. Turkey is the country with the biggest number of refugees in the world. 1.8 million! By going to Istanbul, we can "show that we care".

AIJA is an incredible organization. I truly believe that we contribute to making the world a better place through the friendships and connections built here among different cultures and nations.

The current instability of the global climate makes it our duty to maintain international avenues of communication. Today's young lawyers are part of tomorrow's leaders, and they also play a vital role in spreading the ethical legal and business culture.

Which leads me back to our duty, as human beings, and even more so as lawyers, to talk about things that matter and to speak up if we see something which is not in compliance with the basic principles of human rights.

After having shared the main aspects of my approach let me briefly follow up on my work plan:

In line with the goals of the new Strategic Plan and AIJA's missions, my work plan will focus on (one) enhancing AIJA's global visibility and impact and (two) organizing high quality events around the globe.

With seminars coming up on 4 continents (and just to name the destinations furthest from Brussels: We are talking about the Istanbul Half Year Conference, Cape Town in February, Lima in March, Hong Kong in April and the Chicago Half Year Conference in May) you can see that AIJA truly goes global this year, and the year will end in München at our next annual congress.

Finally, I would like to thank my immediate predecessor Dirk, for his excellent leadership and for his very helpful advice. I am also thankful to Anita for her invaluable friendship and support.

I would also like to thank all the other members of the Bureau and Extended Bureau and the Brussels staff that helps to keep AIJA running behind the scenes, and to thank you, active AIJA members, for your enthusiasm and hard work.

While saying goodbye to Philippe and Anita, I would also like to warmly welcome David and Emiliano on to the Bureau, as well as the new members of the Extended Bureau.

As you can see, the coming year will be busy, and we have tremendous opportunities and challenges in front of us, but with team work, and keeping in mind the messages of the bricks, I am confident that we will continue to grow and have success. I look forward to working with you all!

Thank you for your attention.

 Orsolya Görgényi



 


AIJA Members: Do you need a Trainee?

20 October 2015

After a couple years of fruitful cooperation, AIJA is partnering again with ELSA (European Law Students Association) to cooperate on the STEP Programme.

STEP is a trainee exchange programme that enables law students and young lawyers to gain first hand experience of the substantive and procedural law as well as the culture of another country. The Student Trainee Exchange Programme of ELSA offers your office the opportunity to have highly qualified law students from all over Europe as trainees. The traineeship can vary from 2 weeks to 24 months and can take place in any law related area. Participation in STEP is a very simple and effective way of attracting young, internationally minded lawyers from 43 European countries. Having a STEP trainee working in your company is an opportunity for innovation and growth, and a diverse working environment.

AIJA members who have tried it say

“Here at our law firm, we responded to a joint initiative of ELSA and AIJA and accepted a STEP trainee from Germany. Throughout their time here, our colleague helped tremendously with international cases and contributed a great deal of knowledge of more advanced German language amongst our team.” Stepan Holub, Holubová advokáti s.r.o. (Czech Republic)

“Our office has a specialized, niche field of expertise: assisting German-speaking clients in Belgium. ELSA STEP is therefore an excellent partner for us, as it brings us in contact with many native German-speaking students from abroad. On the other hand, the students find an interesting opportunity abroad where there is no language handicap. On the contrary, the can immediately ‘STEP’ in. The selection process goes very smooth and fast, and is almost completely arranged by ELSA itself. We just fill in the forms concerning the requirements and after some time we receive detailed CVs of the candidates, leaving us only the (difficult) task to select. No hassle with separate traineeship agreements etc… everything is standard form, so we can concentrate on working together with the students” David Diris, Kocks & Partners (Belgium)

“We are very pleased and satisfied in participating in ELSA Traineeship Programme and we will do it again. It was an interesting experience for the trainee who had the opportunity to work with us for a period of time and leave the life of a law firm, but also for the people of our firm who benefited from networking with an international student” 

Manuela Cavallo, Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale (Italy)

 


If you are interested in STEP and would like to know more, simply send an email to AIJA at giuseppe.marletta@aija.org and you will be provided with further details. Please do so before 4th November 2015.

STEP Media Card STEP Traineeship Specification Form

 


New appointments at AIJA, 2015

21 September 2015

Please find below the results of the recent elections held at our last General Assembly which took place in London on 5 September 2015 as well as the different appointments decided during the Congress which will bring new energy and strong personalities to our (already strong!) community of AIJA Officers.

Bureau

  • Orsolya Gorgenyi, President (new position)
  • Dirk H. Nuyts, Immediate Past President (new position)
  • David Frølich, First Vice-President (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Justyna Szpara, Treasurer (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Nicolas Thieltgen, Secretary General (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Emiliano Ganzarolli, Deputy Secretary General (appointed by the Bureau)

Extended Bureau

  • Henna Kinnunen, Co-Chair Law Course Committee (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Justus Jansen, Co-Chair Law Course Committee
  • Lara Vivas, Co-Chair Law Course Committee
  • Michel Bonne, Co-Chair Membership Forum (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Maximiliano D'Auro, Co-Chair Membership Forum (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Paola Fudakowska, Co-Chair Membership Forum (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Benjamin Borsodi, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions
  • Martine Hoogendoorn, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions
  • Mark-Oliver Kühn, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions

Human Rights Committee

  • Dirk Nuyts, Chair Coordinator (new position)
  • Anna Birtwistle, Co-Chair
  • Rosa Isabel Peña Sastre, Co-Chair
  • Karen Zilliacus, Co-Chair

Newly elected Executive Committee Members (in alphabetical order)

  • Joost Achterberg
  • Jean-Philippe Arroyo
  • Tabata Arteta
  • Stefan Bais
  • Jan-Ove Becker
  • Tom Claeys
  • Xavier Costa
  • Jérôme Debras
  • Tiziana Di Ciommo
  • Bruno Guarnieri
  • Agnese Hartpenga
  • Simone Hofbauer
  • Nick Jones
  • Laura Koponen
  • Christian Leuenberger
  • Henrietta Mason
  • Jérôme Nicolas
  • Lennarl Ostenfeld
  • Benedikt Rohrssen
  • Ayse Ulku Solak
  • Stephanie Tack

They will join the other Executive Committee members elected in the past years who are still in office: José Miguel ALGORTA GARICOITS, Elena ANNEZ DE TABOADA, Ferenc BALLEGEER, Cédric DE POUZILHAC, Stephan DITTL, Nils DOEHLER, Cristian ELBERT, Hilka FRESE, Eva INDRUCHOVA, Jaap KLOPPERS, Mark Oliver KÜHN, Benjamin LEVENTHAL, Esther MARTIN, Jasvinder NAKHWAL, Marco Ferreira ORLANDI, Thilo PACHMANN, Rosa Isabel PENA SASTRE, Joe RÄBER, Jan ROLINSKI, Tomas RYBAR, Rasheka SCOTT, Giuseppe SCOTTI, Babak TABESHIAN, Matias VAGEDES, Pieter VAN DEN BROECK, Pablo VINAGERAS, Birgit WÖHREN, Karen ZILLIACUS.


Newly appointed National Representatives

(for a complete list of National Representatives and local contacts, please click here)

  • ARGENTINA, Juan PRINGLES
  • CYPRUS, Stavros STROUZAS
  • FINLAND, Karen ZILLIACUS
  • GERMANY, Pascal BÖHNER
  • IRELAND, Jevan NEILAN
  • LIECHTENSTEIN, Christian PRESOLY
  • LUXEMBOURG, Francois DEPREZ
  • NETHERLANDS, Wiebe DE VRIES
  • PANAMA, Beatriz del Carmen CABAL CHEN
  • PORTUGAL, Nuno OLIVEIRA GARCIA
  • SPAIN, Almudena ALVAREZ OTERO
  • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Matthieu DAGUERRE

Regional Representatives

  • GERMANY (South West Germany), Inga-Kristin ZILLMER
  • GERMANY (Rhein Main), Stephan DITTL
  • GERMANY (Berlin) , Martin VICIANO GOFFERJE
  • GERMANY (North Germany), Birgit WÖHREN
  • GERMANY (Düsseldorf / Rhein Ruhr), Catrice GAYER
  • SPAIN (Barcelona), Cristina HERNANDEZ-MARTI PEREZ
  • UNITED STATES (South), Arnoldo LACAYO

Contact persons

  • EL SALVADOR, Camila ESCOBAR
  • HONG KONG, Robert RHODA
  • IRAN, Encyeh SEYED SADR
  • ROMANIA, Alexandra Maria OLOGU
  • SRI LANKA, Ruwani DANTANARAYANA

Newly appointed Commission Officers

(for the complete list of commission webpages, please click here)

  • Antitrust

President:  David Mamane Vice President:  Eva Bonacker

  • Banking, finance and capital markets law

Vice President: StéphanieHodara el Bez

  • Commercial fraud

President:  Alexander von Saucken Vice Presidents:  Thomas Ricard and Jasvinder Nakhwal

  • Corporate and M&A

President:  Manuela Cavallo Vice President : Michael Lind

  • Distribution law

President: David Diris Vice Presidents: Moritz Maurer and Babak Tabeshian

  • Labour law

Vice Presidents: Rebecka Thorn, Yoav Noy (Immigration Law)

  • Private clients

Vice-President: Joe Räber (Private wealth)

  • Real estate law

President:  Joseph Caleff

  • Tax law

President: José Rubens Scharlack Vice Presidents: Jessica Kemp and Johan Myrén  


  Download here the official communication by Nicolas Thieltgen, AIJA Secretary General

 


AIJA elects new President

08 September 2015

Orsolya 2015At the general assembly convened on the 5th of September in London, Orsolya Görgényi took over as the new president of the International Association of Young Lawyers. Orsolya, a partner at Szecskay Attorneys at Law, an independent Hungarian law firm located in Budapest which is top-ranked in all the major legal directories, is the first AIJA president in the association's more than half a century history who comes from Central Eastern Europe. As a lawyer specialized in corporate, employment and tax matters, Orsolya advises Hungarian and multinational clients in connection with M&A deals and the legal aspects of doing business in Hungary. After a long career within AIJA, which has included being the National Representative for Hungary, the congress chair of the 2009 AIJA congress and the co-chair of the Law Course Committee in charge of AIJA's seminars, Orsolya will now be leading AIJA for the upcoming year.

"AIJA events provide unique learning and networking opportunities for all career-building lawyers who are working on the international scene and they are essential for promoting legal culture and for enhancing cooperation and friendship between lawyers from all over the world. The current instability of the global climate makes it our duty to maintain and foster international avenues of communication. Today's young lawyers are tomorrow's leaders and they play a vital role in spreading an ethical legal and business culture and in assisting governments, NGO-s and businesses to deal with challenges which arise and to become more socially responsible. AIJA not only helps to contribute to making the world a better place through the friendships built here among different cultures and nations, it also helps the participants' personal and career development and business generation in a very efficient and enjoyable way."



 


AIJA sponsors English classes for Syrian Judges

14 August 2015

Syrian judges refugees in Turkey take English classes to have new tools to start a new life and career. Sponsored by AIJA SOS Avocats and organised by ILAC, International Legal Consortium.   [gallery ids="6570,6571,6572"]    

 


Bearer Shares Limitations

29 April 2015

In a move designed to further discourage the use of bearer shares in the Republic of Panama, the Panamanian Superintendency of Banks issued, on December 2, 2014, the General Resolution of the Board of Directors SBP-GJD-0009-2014 in which they established measures for the identification of the real owners or final beneficiaries of Panamanian corporations.

This latest resolution sets out a list of requirements that all Panamanian banks must comply with in a period of twelve months counted from the issuance of the resolution, for clients whose corporations allow the issuance of bearer shares.

As a first option, the bank must request the client to modify the articles of incorporation of its company in order to specifically state that it can only issue nominal shares or altogether ban the issuance of bearer shares, whichever the client prefers. It is important to note that even before the promulgation of this resolution, this suggestion has been applied regularly in the past few years by local banks.

The second scenario is when the client has a corporation and the shares have been issued to the bearer. The bank can maintain the client in this scenario as long as: i) the bearer shares are kept in custody by the bank or by an authorized custodian, and ii) a sworn statement is delivered to the bank detailing the information of the real owner or final beneficiary. If the information contained in the sworn statement varies in any form, the client must update the information within thirty days after the fact; otherwise, the bank can proceed with the closure of the account.

Finally, these recent changes made by the Superintendency are just another way to enforce the use of nominal shares in Panamanian corporations. They also strengthen the custodian regimen applicable to bearer shares, as stated in Law No. 47 of August 6, 2013.

Article by Beatriz del C. Cabal Chen, Panama



 


Dispute Settlement Mechanism under SAFTA Agreement: A Tiger without Teeth

29 April 2015

Rojina ThapaThe idea of regional cooperation in South Asia materialized in 1985 after the adoption of Charter establishing the organization of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). In order to promote trade and economic growth among SAARC Member States, Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed on January 6, 2004 and it entered into force on January 1, 2006.

Dispute settlement mechanism of any trade agreement remains as a crucial part of such agreement. SAFTA has also provided for a dispute settlement mechanism that involves bilateral consultations, recommendations of Committee of Experts (COE) and review by the SAFTA Ministerial Council (SMC). Article 10 of the SAFTA Agreement has placed the SMC as the highest decision making body of SAFTA and has also entrusted the responsibility for the administration and implementation of the Agreement and all decisions and arrangements made within its legal framework. Similarly, the COE has been designated to monitor, review and facilitate implementation of the provisions of the Agreement and undertake any task assigned to it by the SMC. COE also serves as a Dispute Settlement Body under the Agreement.

Article 20 of the SAFTA Agreement has enshrined provisions related to the dispute settlement mechanism. Even though the Agreement has made a trivial attempt for dispute resolution, there are several lacunae in the mechanism. To begin with, any dispute arising among the Contracting States should be tried to settle amicably through the bilateral consultations but the Agreement does not shed much light on what kind of disputes could be referred for the resolution. Besides, success of consultation between the parties to the dispute with a view to find a mutually satisfactory solution is largely contingent upon the bilateral relation of such parties.

Upon failure of dispute resolution through consultation, dispute can then be referred to the COE. COE after investigating into the matter can make recommendations to the disputing parties. Such recommendations not being binding to the parties can create a room for non-compliance. Similarly, the Agreement is silent on procedures for the operation of the COE as well as on the qualification of its members. It further creates ambiguity in dispute settlement process. Additionally, the appellate review process is also deficient. Any Contracting State, which is a party to the dispute, may appeal the recommendations of the COE to the SMC. Lack of clarity on the scope of review and basis for upholding, modifying or reversing the recommendations of the COE undoubtedly generates reluctance on the parties to make an appeal.

Where the COE or SMC concludes that the measure subject to dispute is inconsistent with any of the provisions of SAFTA Agreement, it can recommend the concerned Contracting State to bring the measure into conformity with SAFTA Agreement. In addition to its recommendations, the COE or SMC may suggest ways in which the concerned Contracting State could implement the recommendations. As the SAFTA Agreement is not comprehensive in terms of dispute settlement process, such provision allows discretion to the COE or SMC to devise any procedure it deems fit for investigating or reviewing the dispute and making recommendations. Such open-ended discretion may at times raise question on credibility of remedy provided.

In order to strengthen the existing dispute settlement mechanism under the SAFTA Agreement, the mechanism should be reviewed clarifying nature and types of dispute. Composition of COE and qualification of COE members; detailed working procedure of COE and SMC; and scope of appeal review should be clearly prescribed.

 

Article by Rojina Thapa, Nepal



 


Winter Seminar in Kitzbuehel – A comprehensive view on M&A and the Austrian Alps.

29 April 2015

KitzbuehelAt the end of January there are not many better places to discuss an M&A process than at the foot of the Kitzbuehel mountains. Around 100 participants from all around the world with a mix of geographical and professional backgrounds enjoyed the sophisticated level of discussions and the perfect slopes of the Austrian alps.

The seminar started Wednesday night with a short introduction of the OC Kistian Ford, Lucas Hänni and Rainer Kaspar and a gathering at the Hotel zur Tenne, one of the oldest and most typical hotels in the centre of Kitzbuehel.

The Thursday morning session focused on the auction process, the interdependencies of in-house counsels and corporate lawyers and intellectual property rights in M&A transactions. The afternoon break was put to good use with AIJA’s first ski race, a fierce battle of more or less proficient skiers with winners from Austria (female) and Greece (male). In the afternoon session, maybe the most factor of M&A transaction, tax, was discussed. The session took place at the top of the Hahnenkammbahn, which is also the start of the famous downhill ski race, currently starring in movie theatres as “one hell of a ride”.

On Friday morning, panelists and the audience discussed due diligence, followed by recent issues of transaction agreements and merger control clearance topics. The afternoon session was held in form of a case study: a cross boarder M&A deal including the purchase of affiliated companies in different countries was reviewed under selected national laws.

Topics of the final day were the director’s liability, crowdfunding as a form of alternative financing and the role of employees in a transfer of undertaking. The official part of the AIJA seminar ended with a presentation of the key note speaker Rob Weber, an Associated Professor at Georgia State University, who presented several cases dealing with advisor firms’ liability in case of representing/advising several parties and “ignoring” the occurring conflicts of interests.

Not having had enough of the challenging academic and social events of the preceding days, many of the seminar participants attended the optional sledging at night which turned out to be not as easy as one might have thought.

It was another great AIJA event, inside and outside the conference room. The combination of business and fun is what made this skiing event so successful. We are now already looking forward to next year’s winter seminar in the Dolomites!

Article by Wolfgang Guggenberger and Rainer Kaspar, Austria Pictures from the seminar available here

 


Discovering AIJA in Santiago de Chile

29 April 2015

Juan JoseAs a lawyer member of the Costa Rican Bar, specialized in Civil and Commercial Law; and also as a Law Lecturer, I am always looking forward to attending different seminars and congresses as I have the clear understanding that Law Sciences are progressive, and change in a very fast basis.

Approximately in Mid - September 2014, I received an email from a colleague of mine sent originally by the Costa Rican Lawyer´s Bar stating that there was going to be an AIJA conference related to Mercosur Disputes to take place in Santiago, Chile, in November 2014. That e-mail caused a powerful interest on me, and something told me from my personal interior that I had to mandatorily apply. Even though I did not have the economical resources to afford its price, the e-mail stated that there was a scholarship available. A lot of people told me that I was going to lose my time by applying for the scholarship as a lot of people were going to apply, but in despite of that something told me that I had to do it, so I finally did; --even though I was not sure about what AIJA was, as that organization is not very well - known in Costa Rica, and most of the people and Lawyers do not even know what that is, or where it is located, or what do they do.

Some months later, I got the good news that the decision of applying for the scholarship had been one of the wisest decisions I´d ever taken. I received the great news, --sent by Mr. Marletta--, that AIJA had approved my scholarship. I could not believe that, as many organizations in Costa Rica would not have the sufficient funds to give those sorts of scholarships, and I had never been related to a foreign organization. However, I gave all the necessary information to Mrs. Masure, who was extremely helpful at arranging my itinerary.

At last, when time had come to board the plane that would take me to Chile, making a stop in Panama, a great feeling of excitement had taken place inside of me. A lot of friends, --many lawyers-- were clearly regretted for having recommended me not to apply for the scholarship, so it made me feel even happier. I definitely knew that the trip was going to be an awesome opportunity for me not only to know more about Commerce Law, but also to meet people, and learn more about cultures. Many other reasons made me have a great expectative of the whole trip. In fact, more than seven hours flying, did not feel at all, as I was thinking the whole trip not only about the great opportunity that AIJA was giving me, but also about the great opportunities that I guess they have given to many lawyers in the past. I was also very excited that I was going to be in Chile, which I do not know why, but I had always had great interest to be there.

Finally I arrived, --now a little tired in physical terms--, but still very happy and excited for my trip. I landed in Santiago and took a taxi to the hotel which I must say at this point that I did not expect AIJA to arrange my nights at a fancy hotel as the Intercontinental, but they did; and that grew up the anxiety that I had by then to know more about AIJA. Well, I finally made the check –in, and immediately went over for dinner, as I was starving. I definitely had time during that night to think a lot about many things, and those things then began changing my points of view from life in general; not only about myself, but also about the world and the people, specifically the way I used to appreciate it. Feelings were also combined with Christmas winds, joined also with the spirit of that fresh and cool Santiago night!. I got back to the hotel that night with a mood of melancholy and happiness at the meantime.

The next day, I took breakfast and showed up at the event on time, as I was very excited to be part of this congress. When I was giving my name to the sweet lady that was checking it with the list; I saw that a woman who was working around heard my name, and suddenly came to introduce herself to me, and my surprise was that this charming lady was Mrs. Masure and I was very happy as I knew that I had certainly met the first person during my trip! I then checked myself to assist to the seminary related to Mercosur Disputes, and focused my attention on this. What an interest subject is this! I had no idea about the millions of dollars that involve this matter, and every second that passed by made me submerge more into the deeps of that complex topics related to commercial law, which is the area of law that I most love.

Some hours later we made a quick break to drink coffee, and then I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Marletta, after I recognized his face since I had looked at his linked – In profile days before. That was the second person that I got to know by then, and I was even more excited!

Words might barely explain what I lived during the following days in Santiago. I exchanged business cards with lawyers raised all around the world, I assisted to the wonderful lunches and dinners that AIJA had perfectly set up for us both inside and outside the hotel, I went over to the lovely vineyard named Santa Rita where AIJA´s organization took us. I can say without a doubt that I learned during those days a lot about specific law topics, but that was nothing compared to the magic of the whole event that I lived in Santiago. I definitely knew what being alive is, and combined that with making friends all over the world, including the honor of meeting Mr. Dirk, --AIJA´s President--. What a charismatic person! I will not ever forget neither the wonderful dinner that AIJA had set up for us in Santiago downtown at that fancy and prestigious club!

I was impressed on how AIJA had taken care of every single detail during the trip for all of us, and had taken that to perfection. Finally, the congress got to its end, and everything seemed to pass in one second! I got back to my country with more general knowledge in certain specific law areas, but I brought with me the precious moments that I lived there. I brought with me dozens of business cards, and friends too. I came back with more energy to face my job, and more ideas to combine it with. I came back looking forward to get a computer in order to become an AIJA member, and also with the great intention in the soon future to represent AIJA in Costa Rica, as many members suggested that to me during the stay in Santiago. I finally brought back more inspiration, more experiences, vibrations, and many more reasons to appreciate the exquisite beauty of life. In few words, the trip met even more than all of the expectatives that I had from it.

Now I am part of the great association of AIJA, and am waiting to receive orders from them. I have offered my help for anything they consider I might be helpful at. I close down this letter, by stating and replying once more, my appreciation with this organization, and specially with their bright members, organizers, and staff in general that I got to meet in Santiago.

Sincerely yours, and from a Sunny Costa Rican Day,

 Article by Juan José Acuña Leandro, Costa Rica

AIJA Scholarship, Santiago de Chile 2014



 


Supporting the rule of law in Syria

29 April 2015

[caption id="attachment_6144" align="alignleft" width="300"]ILAC_AIJA_Syria2015 Karen Ramm-Schmidt (AIJA) and Mazin Albalkhi (ILAC)[/caption]

ILAC, the International Legal Assistance Consortium, recently launched a two-year program that will support protection of the rule of law in parts of Syria outside of the regime’s control. Working with the Free Independent Judicial Council and with the Syrian Interim Government’s endorsement, ILAC will help establish documentation centers that will help provide simple legal services to those living in areas not controlled by the Syrian Regime.

The AIJA Human Rights Committee is now involved in a new project and is sponsor of a new initiative. Several Syrian judges fled the country and openly refused to serve the regime: they can now follow English classes thanks to the generous donation of AIJA and the SOS Avocats Programme.

AIJA and ILAC aim to provide these judges with the possibility of accessing knowledge and information so that they can re-build their career and life. Both organisations are glad to partner on this challenging and promising initiative.



 


A nice sense of achievement

29 April 2015

Some months ago all AIJA members have received a survey enquiring about the value of AIJA membership: why they are members, if they are happy with AIJA membership today, which new member benefits they would like to have.

Over 30% of AIJA members took the survey, providing us with a solid sample of data. 80% of respondents are happy with what AIJA offers today: this is great news and we thank them for that! No surprise that most AIJA members consider the possibility to have face to face networking opportunities as well as discounted rates for AIJA events as the most important reasons why they are members. At AIJA we try our best to maximize networking possibilities, being it online or even more at our events. This is what makes our association special and distinguish us from other legal networks.

What about new member benefits? Most members said they would consider very positively attending webinars (33% of respondents) and having an online tool to manage business referrals (42%). You asked, we did it!

A successful webinar on how international lawyers can effectively use LinkedIn was held on 10th March. Over 200 attendees enjoyed a lively presentation full of practical tips. More webinars are being organised for the rest of the year: feel free to forward me your ideas about topics you would find relevant to your practice.

Since early March, AIJA members can log in onto the AIJA website and use our new platform for business referral. Identify your need, make a question and check what the AIJA network has to offer. Have a look at pending questions and opportunities here: AIJA can give you even more than what you already get!

Talking about new projects, something brand new is coming up soon. Details are still top secret but rumours say that next Autumn AIJA will be leading the campaign “Young Lawyers’ Week”, an occasion to celebrate young lawyers in different parts of the world… Stay tuned for further information.

On a more personal note, I have the pleasure to announce that I have been shortlisted for a prestigious award in the associations’ world. I am shortlisted as “Young Leader of the Year” at the International and European Association Awards. This is THE award for association professionals and a remarkable recognition of my professional achievements. This nomination wouldn’t have been possible without the huge trust and support I have always got from the AIJA Bureau since my first day at AIJA and the excellent collaboration I have had with AIJA members and staff. Thanks for sending me good vibes on the 6th May, during the final award ceremony taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland.

On this festive note, let me wish you a nice time with AIJA –mine surely is!

All the best,

Giuseppe Marletta

AIJA Association Manager



 


The highlights of the President

29 April 2015

Dirk Nuyts_2014_smallKitzbühel, London, Brussels, Helsinki, Vienna, Panama, Venice, Basel, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Shanghai, Tokyo, Brighton, Madrid, Washington DC. These are the cities I had the pleasure to visit only in 2015 thanks to my Presidential mandate.

What a gift for me to see motivated AIJA Organising Committees. What a pleasure to be part of the élite of the International Legal world. That’s very demanding and tiring but so rewarding. Representing AIJA in the world is an honour for me and I am glad to confirm how reputable our organisation is internationally.

One of the highlights of my Presidency was the invitation to Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the Magna Carta Anniversary in London. Queen Elizabeth II received a very important delegation at her Palace and I was invited together with Orsolya Gorgenyi, AIJA First Vice-President. It does not happen every day to meet such a charismatic and important world leader.

The Bureau, with the kind support of Michel Bonne (Belgium) and Emiliano Ganzarolli (Italy), is currently working on the new Strategic Plan which will set our Association’s objectives for the next three years. Believe me, it is not an easy task to decide what the priorities for the organisation have to be, which direction we have to take. A draft plan will be presented at the next Executive Committee which is taking place in Antwerp during our May Half Year Conference. The final plan will be presented at the next General Assembly, taking place in London during our Annual Congress on Saturday 5th September.

Talking about the Annual Congress, this is as you know the highlight of the AIJA year. We are fine-tuning the final programme: new ideas for the working sessions, a lot of speakers who are not coming from the “AIJA family”, exclusive venues confirmed for the social programme (oh yes, it will be a memorable congress!). Registration opens in mid-May. We expect to break all the records of attendance, so make sure you are there to live this important moment of the AIJA history.

I wish you a nice spring and look forward to seeing you soon at an AIJA event!

Dirk Nuyts,

President of AIJA

 

 



 


AIJA Association Manager shortlisted for prestigious award

22 April 2015

Giuseppe_Marletta_bwThe Jury of the International and European Association Awards has disclosed today the names of the shortlisted association executives who are running to win this year’s prestigious awards.

The Association Awards ceremony will take place during the International & European Associations Congress on 6th May 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Giuseppe Marletta, who manages AIJA since 2012, has shown in the last ten years outstanding leadership skills, assisting European and international associations to grow and increase their reputation internationally.

Giuseppe said “I am delighted to be in the running for the award as Young Leader of the Year. I’m so glad the Jury understood the value of my hard work until now. I love the challenges of the association world and am very excited about this fantastic opportunity”.

More information is expected to be released following the ceremony on 6th May.



 


AIJA, strategic partner of the ELSA STEP Programme

19 March 2015

Step traineeshipsAIJA is again a special partner of the European Law Students' Association, helping them recruiting law firms who can host trainees.

STEP is a trainee exchange programme that enables law students and young lawyers to gain first hand experience of the substantive and procedural law as well as the culture of another country. The Student Trainee Exchange Programme of ELSA offers law firms members of AIJA the opportunity to have highly qualified law students from all over Europe as trainees. The traineeship can vary from 2 weeks to 24 months and can take place in any law related area.

Deadline for sending traineeship requests is end of March 2015.

Download here the programme brochure

Download here the trainee specification form

 



 


One year as AIJA President

17 March 2015

AnitaAnita Schläpfer, Immediate Past President of AIJA, talks to the Swiss Bar Association magazine about her experience as President of a dynamic association of lawyers. A lot of responsibility, travels, exposure and fun!

The interview is in German and worth reading.

Read here the interview



 


AIJA leadership invited by Elizabeth II

23 February 2015

Today 23 February a delegation of AIJA leadership is invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace. Just to confirm how reputable our organisation is! New Picture

 


Anita Gerdin, Norwegian National Representative, talks about AIJA

18 December 2014

Gerdin_Anita_NORWAYIn its world expansion, AIJA doesn't forget to consolidate its Northern network. You can read here a nice article (in Norwegian) about AIJA published today in the Norwegian Bar Association Magazine. Go AIJA go!  

 


Kicking off a New AIJA Year!

30 September 2014

Dear AIJA-friends,Dirk Nuyts_2014_small

Four weeks ago, at the end of the General Assembly in Prague, I took over the AIJA Presidency from Anita Schläpfer, who fulfilled her Presidency in the most excellent way. Anita serves as an example for me, especially on how she diplomatically coped with the challenges every AIJA President comes across with during his (or her) mandate.

My honeymoon weeks are over now and last week I attended the first AIJA seminar of this working year, which took place in Santa Margherita (Liguria). With an excellent scientific program, almost 70 participants and beautiful weather conditions, Santa Margerita seemed to be the ideal place to kick off the year.

The next part of this year sounds also promising. Seminars will be organised in every corner of Europe, but in the framework of AIJA’s expansion plans to the East we will also have a seminar in Shanghai and Tokyo (March and April 2015).

Traditionally we will not leave behind our growing membership in Latin America. With a Half Year Conference and EC Meeting in Santiago de Chile (November) and a seminar in Panama, we hope to attract also a lot of our European and Asian members who want to do business with the Americas.

Our cooperation with the ABA-SIL, IBA and UIA continues and results in several joint seminars. One of these will be the joint AIJA-ABA-SIL seminar on LGBT issues (employment, immigration, estate planning, adoption, marriage,...). It is the first time that AIJA organises a scientific program around this topic and we expect to see you all in April in Brighton.

Our Half Year Conference in May 2015 will take place in Antwerp, which I will always consider as one of the most beautiful cities in the world (and this not because I was born there).

The apotheosis of the year will be our annual Congress 2015 which will take place in London in the first week of September. We expect to beat the record of the Paris 2008 Congress where more than 700 participants attended.

To end my first contribution to the E-zette I want to draw your attention to what happened last week with one of our colleagues in Iraq. Human Rights lawyer and activist Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was tortured and killed by ISIS because she was defending the civil and human rights of her people. This news has shocked all lawyers in the world and together with the Leaders of other International Lawyers Association we are working on a joint and appropriate statement to condemn these barbarian acts. For Samira we hope that she may rest in peace and besides showing our deepest respect for this brave woman, we extend our heartfelt condolances to her husband and three children.



 


Organising PRAGUE AIJA CONGRESS as a life changing experience

30 September 2014

Day 5 - Gala dinner 46Eva Indruchová, member of the local Prague AIJA Congress Organizing Committee, representative of the Czech Bar Association in Brussels, newly elected member of the AIJA Executive Committee.

When we started to form our local organizing committee (OC) of the Prague AIJA Congress more than two years ago, the whole event  seemed so far away! I suspect  none of us  had a real idea of  how BIG  this congress would be and what its preparation actually entails. It took a lot of work, time, flexibilty and coordination as several members of our OC, including myself, were   based in different parts of the world, such as Dubai, Belgium, Hungary or Sweden. We were indeed local and yet international OC – a true AIJA reflection!

It must have been also the case of all our predecessors in the last 51 annual congress OCs that  their  enthusiasm, determination and a clear division of work brought every congress to a success.  However the personal experience is unique.  The possibility to be involved in the decision-making process  all along the way, the opportunity to see your own suggestions come true, the chance to learn from your „partners in crime“ and to arrive at meaningful solutions after a heated discussion – these are moments in life one never forgets and I am very grateful I lived them through AIJA.

Of course our success as OC would be only partial were it not for  the unconditional help  of all our partners, including AIJA Secretariat or the Czech Bar Association, which supported the idea of an AIJA Congress in Prague from the very beginning as there are some very enthusiastic former AIJA members in the Bar  - including the current President and Vice-President.

We should also not forget the crucial role of the venue: we were lucky to be able to organise the Congress in our „Golden Prague“ and we literally basked in all the compliments we received from the participants – even if we knew we were only surrogates, the King Charles IV not being around any more.

However, at the end of the day, it´s all about people. I am glad  to say that from OC colleagues two years ago we became friends on the way and for me personally, the greatest  satisfaction  was then to see AIJA smiling faces from all over the world being HAPPY during our Congress.



 


Discovering the amazing network of AIJA

30 September 2014

Paranjpe_Apoorvaa_INDIAI was thrilled to find out that I had been selected by the AIJA Scholarship Programme to attend the AIJA 52nd Congress, Prague 2014.  At 26 years, I am very fortunate to have attended the AIJA Congress which was one of the most phenomenal experiences of my life, both professionally and personally.

Professionally because I believe that while it is crucial to have a thorough and complete understanding of the legal system in one’s country of origin, it is equally imperative to understand legal systems around the world.  AIJA gave me the opportunity to meet with lawyers from all over the world and through the various working sessions and workshops I had a first-hand opportunity to learn international best practices.  I particularly enjoyed the working sessions of the ‘Movement of High Net Worth Individuals’ and ‘Timing, Confidentiality and Strategy in Multi-Jurisdictional Settlement Arrangements’.

Personally, through AIJA, I have created a network of lawyer friends in Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, Hong Kong, Italy, Czech Republic and America.  At the speed dating event, I also met old friends and colleagues from my time spent working as an associate at a firm in London! From hiking up to Krivoklat Castle and participating in the team games to enjoying the parties and after-parties, AIJA ensured that I had a great time socially.  The home hospitality evening was a very special experience as our very gracious host; David had organized a lovely barbeque which we enjoyed with Czech wine late into the night, chatting about world and life experiences of all the guests who were from Estonia, Switzerland, Hong Kong and India!

On my return to India all my colleagues and friends were very curious and eager to learn more about AIJA especially after I recounted my wonderful experiences to them.  One of the most encouraging aspects of AIJA, especially for young lawyers from non-European jurisdictions is how welcoming and open AIJA is.  Right from my selection process, Giuseppe, Anne and Christine were very approachable, encouraging and helpful.  At the AIJA Congress, I met various members of the organising committee who welcomed me to contribute to organising various AIJA events and seminars and reassured me that the only requirement was enthusiasm!

After an unforgettable week in Prague, whilst on my flight back home, I found myself wondering if it would be possible to keep up this wonderful network of AIJA friends and colleagues, especially since I was so far away in India. My doubts vanished as soon as I landed in Mumbai. When I switched on my phone I was so pleased to receive messages and emails from my AIJA friends.  Thank you AIJA for giving me an opportunity to become a truly international lawyer!

Apoorvaa Paranjpe, AIJA Scholarship winner

 


AIJA, the professional family

30 September 2014

Bucerius Law School Graduation MLB Programm 2012When I was first asked to write about the AIJA as the first-timer, I thought that I am going to write about my professional family and the very exclusive and brilliant week I shared with the leading and young lawyers and partners from round the world. AIJA was combination of different academic, social, networking and deluxe reception and events that could all be offered under great and well-organized management.

I may skip the academic events that per se were very useful, informative and distinct nevertheless since most of the lawyers and professionals have the experience of attending in different conferences and seminars, I prefer to talk about few social and networking events that really impressed me.

I start with the speed dating which was a very creative way of introduction that should have taken place in two minutes under a time supervisor. The speed dating reminded me the first year of study at law school, when you enter the hall of faculty seeing numerous unfamiliar faces with the thirst of getting know your fellows. The speed dating was also practice of networking skill for introduction in very short time. The crowd was well divided by two groups who sat in two rows of face-to-face chairs. By ringing the magical bell the crowd was lead to start and stop talking and to change rows. The speed dating was well scheduled on the first day of Congress so that after 30 minutes I was automatically familiar with considerable people attending the Congress. This event was like a jumping start for me as I could caught up again and talk to the similar faces during the subsequent days and to make good friends and meet great colleagues.

Nowadays doing sport for lawyers and also for other professionals is a must and this was not also ignored from the sharp eyes of the AIJA's directors. Purchasing a good quality red T-Shirt with the logo of SOS Avocats was our ticket for joining the jugging 10k in the third day of the Congress. SOS Avocats (coordinated by the Human Rights Committee of AIJA) organized the run for human rights. Obviously not all the AIJA red team finished the 10k run and few left after 5k and even earlier but the common spirit of the participants that motivated everyone to wake up early in the morning and to join for human rights run was inspiring.

Now that I look back into the papers and catalogues of 52nd AIJA Congress in Prague, I am not only remembering the colorful and happy days of Congress but also feel that I miss my professional family and look forward for the re-join next year in London.

Encyeh Seyed Sadr, AIJA Scholarship winner

Bayan Emrooz Law Firm

Tehran, Iran  



 


AIJA HYC Zurich 2014 – Once upon a time...

30 September 2014

Zurich 2014_napkinOnce upon a time… three AIJAistes, Ines Pöschel, Severin Roelli and Beat Brechbühl, who were (almost/partially) overaged.

Being very sad about having to leave their friends soon, they decided to do a farewell gathering. Yet, how many of their friends would fly to Zurich without having a decent or at least a business reason?

After hours of reflecting, discussing and drinking in London, they concluded univocally: Let’s just organize a Half Year Conference. So decided, and within minutes there was a historical high number of supportive signatures on a napkin, and it did not come as a surprise that the Bureau approved both organizing committee and venue.

The other day, the three musketeers noticed that powering up the organizing team is one of the key lessons learned after having organized so many events with AIJA, even more if you are about to overage. Hence they looked around to expand their team with younger ones and found the perfect match in the persons of Raphaëlle Favre Schnyder and Sandra De Vito Bieri.

The remainder is history: They organized the May 2014 HYC in the newly built Renaissance Hotel under the heading “Learning from the Best” which included insights from top notch negotiators, from a Secretary of State, from a seasoned investor and entrepreneur, and from CEOs and former CEOs having experienced personal or professional crises and challenges. Both the participation numbers and the numbers of AIJAistes in the conference rooms (!) were overwhelming, and the feedback of the so many participants was thoroughly positive and highly rewarding, also with respect to the social program and of course the embedded home hospitality…and the three oldies reached their (only..?) goal: to create a perfect opportunity for a big farewell to their friends in AIJA!

Beat Brechbühl, Ines Pöschel, Severin Roelli, Sandra De Vito Bieri, Raphaëlle Favre Schnyder



 


A Nigerian in Zurich

30 September 2014


I was excited to learn that I had been selected for the AIJA scholarship grant to attend the Zurich Half Year Conference. I was happy at the opportunity to make my first visit to continental Europe. Apart from looking forward to attending the Conference, I was also looking forward to experiencing the sights and sounds of Zurich.

I immediately applied for and was issued with a Swiss Visa. I arrived Zurich (via Paris) on May 7 2014 at about 8 am. It was raining. Coming from Lagos, Nigeria with a population of around 17 million people, my first shock was the limited number of people I saw on the streets. I had no difficulty locating the Hotel and settled in immediately.

The welcome cocktail was an interesting experience. I had the opportunity of meeting young and vibrant lawyers from across Europe. I was also excited at the face-face meeting of AIJA’s staff who were responsible for planning my trip. Later that evening, we were hosted to a dinner in a beautiful restaurant. Surely, these welcome activities set the right mode for the scientific programmes that were to follow.

The scientific sessions that followed were very educating and enlightening. I particularly enjoyed the story about the United States Department of Justice investigations of Panalpina’s operations in Nigeria. In my view, the topics for the sessions I was able to attend were timely and engaging. Also, the organisation of the sessions was near perfect. The speakers arrived on time and each kept to their time limits. Save for the International Bar Association’s Annual Conference, I have never seen a conference with so many attendees so well organised. To the organizing committee, I say – very well done!

I also enjoyed the home hospitality dinner. During the dinner, we talked about so many things and I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to listen and learn from the experiences of lawyers working in different jurisdictions. The home hospitality dinner is a great idea!

My trip to Zurich was academically and socially rewarding and I look forward to participating in future AIJA’s activities. Chinedum Umeche, AIJA Scholarship winner

ACIArb, Barrister and Solicitor Lagos, Nigeria



 


New appointments at AIJA

17 September 2014

Please find below the results of the recent elections held at our last General Assembly which took place in Prague on 30 August 2014 as well as the different appointments decided during the Congress which will bring new energy and strong personalities to our (already strong!) community of AIJA Officers.

Bureau

  • Dirk H. Nuyts, President (new position)
  • Anita Schläpfer, Immediate Past President (new position)
  • Orsolya Gorgenyi, First Vice-President (elected by the General assembly)
  • Nicolas Thieltgen, Secretary General
  • Philippe Notter, Treasurer (elected by the General Assembly)
  • Justyna Szpara, Deputy Treasurer (appointed by the Bureau)

Extended Bureau

  • Marta de Oliveira Pinto Trindade, Co-Chair Law Course Committee
  • Justus Jansen, Co-Chair Law Course Committee (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Lara Vivas, Co-Chair Law Course Committee (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Renata Antiquera, Co-Chair Membership Forum
  • David Frølich, Co-Chair Membership Forum (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Pablo Pedrajas Quiles, Co-Chair Membership Forum
  • Benjamin Borsodi, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions
  • Martine Hoogendoorn, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions (newly appointed by the Bureau)
  • Mark-Oliver Kühn, Co-Chair Forum of the Commissions

Human Rights Committee

  • Anita Schläpfer, Chair Coordinator
  • Anna Birtwistle, Co-Chair
  • Raphaëlle Favre Schnyder, Co-Chair

Newly elected Executive Committee Members (in alphabetical order)

  • Ferenc Ballegeer
  • Michel Bonne
  • Christian Elbert
  • Marco Ferreira Orlandi
  • Paola Fudakowska
  • Emiliano Ganzarolli
  • Eva Indruchova
  • Henna Kinnunen
  • Jaap Kloppers
  • Benjamin Leventhal
  • Rosa Isabel Peña Sastre
  • Maïte Ottes
  • Thilo Pachmann
  • Karen Ramm-Schmidt
  • Tomas Rybar
  • Giuseppe Scotti
  • Babak Tabeshian
  • Pieter Van den Broeck
  • Pablo Vinageras
  • Birgit Wöhren

They will join the other Executive Committee members elected in the past years who are still in office:

José Miguel Algorta Garicoits, Elena Annez De Taboada, Renata Antiquera, Anna Birtwistle, Sergio Calderara, Oliver Cleblad, Aurélien Condomines, Cédric De Pouzilhac, Wiebe De Vries, Stephan Dittl, Nils Doehler, Hilka Eckardt, Jean-Rodolphe Fiechter, David Froelich, Jean-Philippe Jacob, Mark-Oliver Kühn, Esther Martin, Jasvinder Nakhwal, Luis Uriel Perez Delgado, Caroline Pluta, Christian    Presoly, Joe Räber, Anna-Kaisa Remes, Jan Rolinski, Rasheka Scott, Simone Stebler, Matias Vagedes, Leo Van Den Hole.

Newly appointed National Representatives

(for a complete list of National Representatives and local contacts, please click here)

  • Belgium, Marie Brasseur
  • Chile, Sergio Urrejola
  • Croatia, Zeljka Filipcic
  • Czech Republic, Denisa Molnar
  • Denmark, Nis Marinus Dommergaard
  • Estonia, Kadri Kallas
  • Hungary, Anna Ranky
  • Israel, Yaov Noy
  • Italy, Giuseppe Cristiano
  • Latvia, Kristine Zvejniece
  • Lithuania, Laurynas Lukosiunas
  • Mexico, Samuel Chacon
  • Norway, Anita Gerdin
  • Peru, Diego Huertas
  • Poland, Ludomir Biedecki
  • Slovak Republic, Slavomir Cauder
  • Switzerland, Thomas Peter
  • Turkey, Kortan Toygar
  • UK, Mark Beardsworth
  • Uruguay, Alejandra Garcia

Newly appointed Commission Officers

(for a complete list of commission officers, please click here) Banking Finance & Capital Markets Law Gerard Correig, President Corporate Acquisition & Joint Ventures Jérôme Vermeylen, Vice-President Corporate Counsel Maks Prokop, President Bjørn Krog Andersen, Vice-President Intellectual Property, Technology, Media and Telecommunication Olivier Sasserath, President Arpad Gered, Vice-President Technology Ave Piik, Vice-President Telecom International arbitration Pascale Gola, President Hagit Elul, Vice-President International Business Law Frank Boyle, President Milena Prisco, Vice-President Labour Law Andreas White, President Jan-Ove Becker, Vice-President Emiliano Ganzarolli, Vice-President Real Estate Law Carolijn Kuipers, Vice-President Skills, Career, Innovation, Leadership and Learning (SCILL) Henrietta Mason, Vice-President Transport Law Niels J. Friborg, President Scott Pilkington, Vice-President Javier Zabala, Vice-President You can see here the official communication by the Secretary General

 


Annual Congress 2014 - Press release

04 September 2014

Last week more than 550 international lawyers coming from 55 different countries visited Prague and took part in the AIJA Annual Congress 2014.

Over 5 days with more than 50 hours of training and lectures and a number of social events held in the most prestigious locations of the Czech Republic Capital made this another Break-The-Record event, with the highest participation at AIJA Congresses since 2008.

Congress participants appreciate the divAIJA 20ersification of working sessions offered, addressing all areas of international law practice, as well as the possibility to network in a friendly environment with global business partners.

At the AIJA General Assembly, convened in Prague on 30 August, Dirk Nuyts became the new President of the International Association of Young Lawyers. Nuyts, Partner at Fragomen Global LLP , is a Belgian lawyer based in Zurich, where he assists Swiss and multinational corporate clients and HNWI’s with all aspects of their immigration needs. After a long career within AIJA, including being National Representative for Belgium and Secretary General of the Association, Dirk is now leading AIJA for the upcoming year.

“With an increasing number of young, motivated and talented members all around the world, AIJA is today an institution for the international legal community. Our membership is strong and our events are an outstanding platform for career-building lawyers’ personal and professional development. Our passion for the rule of law must be the lighthouse leading our actions and protection of human rights. If there is one profession in the world that consists of people who have the privilege and the talent to speak out loud about anomalies in the respect of every human being, it is the profession of lawyer”.

Download here the Press release



 


Open officers positions at AIJA. Apply now!

21 May 2014

Like every year, the Annual Congress is also the opportunity for AIJA members to take a step forward.

A number of National Representatives, Contact Persons and Commission officers will be stepping down, be it because of the end of their three-year term, be it for other reasons.

This is a great chance for you to shine, to increase your visibility within the AIJA network and beyond. Become an AIJA ambassador, commit more and boost your personal and professional development.

Have a look at the calls here below and find out the open positions. You have time until 9th June to apply.

If you are interested and need further information on the roles involved and responsibilities, you can have a look at the handbooks below.

 

 


AIJA Association Manager on global press

15 May 2014

IMG_4395 -2Giuseppe Marletta, AIJA Association Manager, is on the press and talks about his career and AIJA events. Great interest for our association and all the many talents we are proud to have with us.

 


Half time!

28 March 2014

Dear readers, dear AIJA Friends,Anita_Schlaepfer_P_sw_UC_DL

Already six months passed since I faced my first challenge as President of AIJA, namely to impeccably pronounce the names of all officers at the first Executive Committee meeting I chaired at the end of a memorable Annual Congress of AIJA in Buenos Aires. Half time! Let me share some insights on what the Bureau, our staff in Brussels and I have working on since then.

You may remember that, within the framework of the present Strategic Plan of the Bureau of AIJA, my work plan and, hence, the efforts of AIJA leadership and staff during “my” year, focus on (i) membership development, among others, by making our wonderful Association and the opportunities it offers better known to the "young youngs", (ii) AIJA’s profile in professional advocacy by supporting our Human Rights Committee it its activities and (iii) high quality services for our members. We have all put a lot off efforts in achieving these goals as well as other tasks.

I met quite a few young (and older) lawyers who expressed regrets that they had not heard about AIJA until they only had a few (or – even worse – no more) years to go before turning 45. Hopefully, this can be changed by increasing our membership development and marketing efforts with the "young youngs", i.e., law students and graduates who have not yet passed the bar exam. To this end, as explained in more detail in this edition of the E-zette, we successfully launched a cooperation with the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) in November 2013. This cooperation relates to ELSA's student trainee exchange programme (STEP). The participating firms of our members get the opportunity to employ a trainee (at terms suitable for the firm). AIJA (and the participating firms), get visibility among a group of more than 30,000 law students who are members of ELSA. We are considering ways to pursue a similar cooperation with associations and/or with universities in other geographical areas (please let us know if you have respective contacts). Another initiative in this area relates to introducing a new category of "supporting membership" for law students and graduates. We will present this project in detail to the Executive Committee at the May Half Year Conference in Zurich. Remember: This group of people may not yet have the resources to regularly attend our events. But it comprises our members of tomorrow. They should know about AIJA when they start their career in a law firm or an enterprise.

Professional advocacy is an important statutory objective of AIJA. In particular, human rights matters should be on the radar of each one of us, however young we are. We have recently intensified the cooperation with other associations in this area. Also, based on the respective initiative of our Human Rights Committee, the Bureau was able to approve, and present to the Executive Committee at our last November Half Year Conference in Luxembourg, a face-lift for SOS Avocats, incl. a new appealing logo. The updated SOS Avocats charter reflects today's mandate of the Human Rights Committee and how this mandate is funded. Remember: SOS Avocats receives allocations out of the general budget of AIJA but also relies greatly on donations of our members. Please participate in the respective projects of the Human Rights Committee and donate a few (or many) Euros, e.g., when you register for one of our events.

Offering excellent learning, development and networking opportunities is maybe the most obvious objective of AIJA. To a great extent, it is our members who create these opportunities when they organize Annual Congresses, conferences, seminars and informal gatherings. The (Extended) Bureau and our staff in Brussels are here to supervise and support these efforts, thereby both ensuring and providing high quality services on all levels, at the same time taking into account the financial means of our Association and its members. A lot has being going on in the background in this respect. With the competent guidance of our Association Manager, Giuseppe Marletta, we continued the process of reviewing and, where deemed appropriate, streamlining our relations with external providers. In particular, we wrapped up our cooperation with Judy Lane Consulting, our external professional congress organizer (PCO) successfully and in a friendly manner and started to perform the respective tasks “inhouse”. We are able to do so thanks to the expertise of both our Event Manager, Christine Masure, who started her job right before the Buenos Aires Congress, and of our Office Manager, Anne Degimbe, as well as our new database and online registration system that went live only a few weeks ago. The launch of the new database and online-casino osterreich system was a major achievement into which Giuseppe invested countless hours. Apart from the online registration tool – Have you noted that you are now able to pay for your membership and event registration fees with your American Express credit card? – you will also find a new integrated membership directory when you are logged on to our website. Remember: This directory is only worth as much as the data contained in it – please keep your coordinates up to date or let us know if they are outdated.

The above are only examples of what we all have been up to since Buenos Aires. All of us, (Extended) Bureau members and Brussels staff alike, have dealt with numerous (bigger and smaller) other tasks during the past months. We had (Extended) Bureau meetings in Rome, Luxembourg and Bruges, a normally bi-weekly call among the (Extended) Bureau, and I also had a weekly management call with our Association Manager. On these occasions, we discussed, and took decisions on, various topics, some more difficult than others. I opened many great AIJA seminars (I thank my Bureau colleagues for replacing me at those that I could unfortunately not attend) and congratulated many excellent Organizing Committees. I sometimes wished I were Captain Kirk in Star Trek (Beam me up, Scotty…). I held up the AIJA flag at the major events of IBA, UIA and ABA Section of International Law as well as at legal year opening ceremonies of various national bar associations (again, thanks to the officers who stepped in at a few of them) and other meetings with bar leaders and law firms. I travelled to Prague for visits of intriguing Congress sites and fine food tastings (you can indeed look forward to our Congress in August this year!). I purchased many pairs of nice shoes (my souvenir from each location to which my AIJA office brings me – what a great excuse for completing my collection!). I had a great evening in Brussels on the occasion of a delicious Christmas dinner with our staff and wrote dozens of personal Christmas cards to our dear Honorary Presidents as well as the leadership of other bar associations on the next day. I wrote even more thank-you letters to AIJA officers, event organizers and other colleagues and sent and read thousands of e-mails with "AIJA" in the header.

And while working on all of the above (and more), I found it simply amazing to see how much dedication, heart and hours AIJA members dedicate to making our Association what it is. It is sound proof of one of the unique points about AIJA that I stress when speaking of AIJA with other associations, law firms, bar leaders: AIJA is for members – by members. Not a single AIJA event and none of the above tasks would be possible or worthwhile, if not for our active members, my colleagues in the (Extended) Bureau, our other AIJA officers, our members who serve as organizers, moderators, speakers and panelists. I cannot say often enough how much I cherish this.

THANK YOU.

Anita Schläpfer, President of AIJA



 


Heading to Prague

28 March 2014

Prag_-_Rathausuhr_MonatsarbeitenWith around 20 events per year, AIJA could not disregard the vibrant city of Prague, one of the most dynamic hubs of Eastern Europe. On 26-30 August 2014 around 600 young lawyers from all over the world will gather at the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague to discuss about trends of international law as well as opportunities to develop further their business.

Working sessions include Counsels’ Role in International Arbitration Proceedings, Insolvency in the Real Estate Industry, High growth companies and how to fund them, Communications with the tax authorities, and other informative workshops on Transport Law, International Business Law, Intellectual Property and much more. A five-day intense scientific programme where all lawyers (of all ages!) will find topics of their interest.

An AIJA Congress is not only a unique opportunity to learn more and follow interactive sessions to be up to speed with latest international legal trends. It is also THE chance to be part of a network that one can hardly find somewhere else: over 50 countries represented, attorneys and counsel dealing with all kinds of legal matters will all be there, in the city of Prague. They will not only share their views during the daily scientific programme but they will be part of an entertaining social programme. This will bring them to discover hidden gems of this fantastic city, enjoying a pleasant ambiance while doing business and building long-lasting professional relationships.

In particular, one of the highlights of the AIJA Annual Congress, is the Home Hospitality Dinner where local lawyers open the doors of their firms and houses to host intimate dinners, allowing foreigners to find out more about Czech food and renowned hospitality. What a great opportunity to showcase Czech cuisine as well as talk about business in an informal setting!

Looking ahead, Giuseppe Marletta, Association Manager, commented, “We look forward to our Annual Congress in Prague, to welcoming new members to our inspiring conference, to advancing their knowledge of the ever-changing legal world and preparing them for their future as high-achieving lawyers.”

This Congress is the right opportunity for Czech law firms that wish to expand their network and be part of the young lawyers global community.

Registrations open in April. For further infromation about the AIJA Annual Congress 2014, http://prague.aija.org/



 


AIJA Half-year conference November 2013 – Back to Luxembourg!

28 March 2014

With more than 240 participants, the Luxembourg half-year conference has set a new record for November AIJA Half-year conferences. Let’s have a look back at this event which took place from 20 to 23 November 2013 in the capital of this small state located in the very heart of Europe.

As you all know it (I am sure!), in 1962, the founding fathers of AIJA incorporated our association under the form of a Luxembourg Association sans but lucratif.

Today, AIJA is a Belgian ASBL but the AIJA half-year conference which took place in Luxembourg on 20-23 November 2013 has shown there is still in the DNA of the Association a bit of the openness to the world of the small country which hosted our dear members

Those of you who were present have of course been able to attend two scientific seminars with top speakers on e-commerce (“Are you ready to launch an e-shop? Catches and pitfalls to avoid”) and shareholders activism (“Help, I am losing control! How to deal with shareholders/stakeholders activism”), but they have also been able to:

  • meet the new Luxembourg Prime Minister, Mr Xavier Bettel, a former lawyer, who could still be an AIJA member (he is only 41 years old) and who opened the conference on Wednesday evening (who is next on the list for our events? David Cameron? Angela Merkel? Barack Obama?):
  • discover the intriguing Cyborgs of the South Korean artist Lee Bul durig our Night at the Mudam, the Luxembourg Muse04_592403_1315um of Modern Art on Thursday evening (as well as the uncluttered style of a real “contemporary art” gastronomy ;-)).
  • the Luxembourg hospitality during the Home hospitality dinners which took place on Friday evening;
  • enjoy the truly exclusive atmosphere of the Cercle Munster, a private club located in the Grund, a small village within Luxembourg-City (Lions were seen everywhere during the night!).

These are only parts of the highlights of a conference which we will never forget, and not only because of the tons of e-mails, outlook invitations, conference calls, skype calls, facebook chats, lunch meetings, on-site visits, draft budgets, draft programs, amended draft program, second amended draft programs and never-ending to-do lists, which were necessary to achieve the result which you enjoyed during 4 days.

A big thank you to all of those who have made it possible!

Greetings from Luxembourg!

On behalf of the OC of the Luxembourg November 2013 Half-year conference,

Nicolas Thieltgen



 


Where the money is and risk – German-speaking regional meeting in Vienna

28 March 2014

Finally, this January, after the long wait… my first AIJA seminar. All my expectations were more than met.

The subjects of this year’s regional meeting of the German-speaking AIJA members were the economic chances and risks of a lawfirm. In various sessions, Speaker Christoph H. Vaagt discussed Vienna_2014 (2) Vienna_2014 (1)organizational structures of partnerships, the market position of lawfirms as well as financing and profit distribution in lawfirms. On the second day, his colleague Thorsten Zulauf spoke about the possibilities to improve the economic situation of a lawfirm by way of e. g. increase of turnover and optimization of marges.

Each session began or ended with a workshop in small groups during which each participant could describe and reflect their own situation. The groups were always shuffled and so the seminar was drawn in various directions by the combination of young lawyers, partners or lawyers who were just changing or negotiating positions in their firms. I was particularly pleased by the exchange in small groups. It was interesting to hear how other lawfirms are structured.

For me as first timer and young associate, the seminar included plenty of new information about organizational structures of lawfirms. What is a lock-step-system? How is a mandate calculated? What models were chosen by one’s own lawfirm and what do other firms do? I now consider many processes of my own firm quite differently.

However – as I was always assured and not disappointed –, the social side of the event was quite as important as the professional part. The local OC took every opportunity to present their beautiful city of Vienna despite our tight schedule. Even the walk from the hotel to the firm Dorda Brugger Jordis turned into a guided tour. The Justiz-Clubbing, a party in the Wiener Volksgarten which was organized by judges, was the absolute highlight of the first evening and a perfect opportunity to meet people. As VIPs from AIJA, we were even permitted to pass the line and enter the club directly.

Friday evening took off with an excellent Austrian meal in the hotel and continued in the bar Red Room. Saturday afternoon, we had time to explore the city on our own. At -9° Celsius and with the brisk wind on our faces, we made our way from coffee house to coffee house. The famous Vienna charm presented itself from its best side: Where else are we bowed in and out with a kind “Küss die Hand” - “Enchanté!”?

The grand finale of the seminar was the dinner at the “Heurigen“ Fuhrgassl-Huber. Thanks to two musicians, we had a particularly amusing evening, with jugs of grüner Veltliner wine, meat and sausage. The two musicians tested their entire repertoire on us. Finally we let the evening end in a bar in the Albertina-Passagen where we enjoyed cocktails and a live band.

I can only say that this AIJA meeting was a perfect start for me as first timer. I met many interesting new people, made new contacts which I was able to keep in contact with after the seminar. I was able to gain new knowledge. And I’m greatly looking forward to my next AIJA meeting.

Rebekka Stumpfrock, KLEINER Rechtsanwälte, Stuttgart



 


Antitrust 2.0 – Competition Law and Technology

28 March 2014

Bruges 06 – 08 February 2014

Discussing the fast evolving high-tech industries aBruges_2014nd the applicability of traditional concepts of competition in the setting of the historic medieval Bruges – not a contradiction at all! As the city where the first commodity exchange was set up in the 14th century and where fantastic frites, waffles and beer contribute to the well-being of seminar attendants, of course, Bruges was the perfect location for a seminar dealing with a topic that has come more and more to the focus of competition regulators in recent years.

The Antitrust 2.0 Seminar in Bruges was perfectly organized by the Antitrust Commission and attracted not only 70 participants of more than 15 different jurisdictions, but also allowed an interesting exchange with professors and students from the College of Europe in Bruges joining the Seminar.

The presentations covered a broad range of hot topics, starting with an update on the new TTBER and an overview on how these new rules will affect practice. Further the topic that market power triggers great responsibility and the problem that high market shares as well as possession of standard essential patents are likely to be put on a level with the abuse of a dominant position was addressed. Moreover, a very recent topical issue was discussed: the regulation of internet services, covering new developments on travel markets from a competition law perspective, the EU Google investigation and an insight to German antitrust cases in the internet economy. The Seminar continued in the light of patent litigation and settlements, also dealing with the limits of settlements as well as pay-for-delay and antitrust boundaries when it comes to patent strategies and potential abuse of dominance followed by presentations on interoperability.

As always, the AIJA Seminar was a perfect occasion to meet old friends and make new acquaintances in a relaxed atmosphere and at wonderful dinners in the unique setting of Bruges. And of course, the guided tour in the only family brewery in the centre of Bruges that is still active was a perfect conclusion of the Seminar.

Last but not least I would like to thank the organizers for their great efforts in making the Antitrust 2.0 Seminar in Bruges to such an unforgettable event.

Corinna Potocnik

c.potocnik@wmlaw.at



 


AIJA appoints Swiss Lawyer as new President

02 October 2013

Anita_Schlaepfer_P_sw_UC_DLAnita Schläpfer, Partner of Schellenberg Wittmer AG in Zurich, has been appointed the new President of AIJA, the leading global association for young lawyers.

The 51st Annual Congress brought together over 380 lawyers from around the world in Buenos Aires. It is only the second time in over 50 years an AIJA congress has taken place in South America, a continent where lawyers are increasingly internationalising their own practices. The attendance list included over 100 lawyers from the Americas as well as representatives from an additional 50 countries worldwide, with Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland showing the greatest level of support.

Newly appointed President, Anita Schläpfer, expressed her thanks at the close of the Congress: “On behalf of AIJA’s Bureau and all participants, I would like to personally thank the members of the O.C. and everyone else involved in making this wonderful Congress happen, for their commitment and hard work and for the exceptionally high level of quality input to the scientific programme. A warm thank you also goes to our Argentinian hosts. If there were any doubts that Buenos Aires moves to the rhythm of the tango these have surely been quashed.”

Read the Press Release here

Anita's appointment on the European agenda

 

 


AIJA President invites you to Buenos Aires

19 August 2013

Aballea-PresidentDear Members,

Fifty years of international relations as intense as exceptional have brought AIJA to the extraordinary country of Argentina.

In Stockholm, back in 2011, the young international lawyers and jurists decided to begin their second half century in South America.

So the AIJA machine was set in motion. Fifty years of (elbow) grease in the workings makes the harnessing process increasingly efficient.

The members began to appropriate the event. The works coordinators started up on their marathon to ensure the link between developments in the law, specialist topics and the programme still in preparation.

Almost 20 scientific commissions are already preparing sessions on the legal themes that are most important to you. The Presidents and Vice-Presidents of each of them are searching for and picking out the most fiery and the most interesting topics and those which are the most topical in their specific fields of expertise. For the benefit of their audience, they will manage to bring in recognised speakers, lawyers, legal directors and representatives of the most prestigious international or local institutions to talk about the chosen subjects. Once again, these orators will do us the honour of joining us to talk frankly and directly about the future, the stakes and the recommended options in dealing with the problematic issues shared by all these professionals.

AIJA will recall its devotion to human rights and to ensuring they are respected as well as the actions that it has continued to take since its creation in connection with the principles that the young international lawyers and jurists believe in so firmly.

The organisation committee is already busy on all fronts looking into ways to make you welcome, share, progress and marvel at all the aspects of a unique local tradition.

The only objective is to make you happy, glad you came, pleased to be there and to participate, to learn to progress and to enjoy meeting the world. And happy to return home again with new clients, new colleagues, new contacts and unforgettable memories.

Buenos Aires awaits you,

AIJA invites you,

Argentina is expecting you,

Thierry Aballéa

President



 


AIJA President, Thierry Aballéa, writes to President Obama

17 July 2013

Due to recent developments in Guantanamo, AIJA President, Thierry Aballéa, writes to President Obama to invite him to close the place once and for all.

Considering the historic contribution of the USA to the respect of the Rule of Law, Thierry writes “We ask you to devote your energy to getting rid of this blot on American democracy that Guantanamo represents, that time may help to erase quicker on condition that you act immediately”.

AIJA has few resources, no networks, no budget, no constraints…. yet youth has the gift of always believing in a better future.

Hope is sometimes very powerful as we have seen in many countries over the last two years and it is with a great deal of hope that AIJA sends that letter.

Click here to read the letter

 


AIJA at the Argentinian Embassy in Lima, Peru

08 July 2013

995918_10151737336586101_986780454_nAIJA continues the successful promotion of the forthcoming Annual Congress, which will take place in Buenos Aires on 17-21 September 2013. Frank Boyle, AIJA National Representative of Peru and member of the Congress Organising Committee, met over 30 Peruvian lawyers at a cocktail organised at the Argentinian Embassy in Peru last 2 July. With all these initiatives, this congress will break all records of participation!

 


AIJA meets the CESA in São Paulo, Brazil

27 June 2013

On 25 June AIJA Members Renata Antiquera and Felipe Faltay Katz de Castro visited CESA (Law Firms’ Studies Centre) in São Paulo (Brazil), the strongest association of law firms in Brazil. An interesting meeting with over 70 lawyers to talk about AIJA and its outstanding network of 4000 members.

Participants of the meeting were especially intrigued by the 51st Annual Congress which will take place in Buenos Aires in September. We are sure to see lots of them attending!

[gallery ids="3840,3839,3838"]

 


AIJA Members awarded at the Europe Women in Business Law 2013

25 June 2013

  • Pauliina Tenhunen, Castrén & Snellman, Managing Director et trésorière honoraire de l'AIJA , a encore une fois reçu le Meilleur Prix d'Excellence en gouvernance d'entreprise à l'occasion de l'enquête annuelle menée auprès les femmes européennes spécialisées en droit des affaires et réalisée par Euromoney LMG, qui distingue les femmes avocates exerçant dans les différents domaines du droit. Pauliina a été choisi comme lauréat parmi six autres candidates issues des différents cabinets d'avocats européens.

Article de presse disponible ici  

  • Le Cabinet Portolano Cavallo a été récompensé par les femmes européennes en droit des affaires de l' Awards 2012 pour l'Italie. Manuela Cavallo, l'une des membres fondatrices et membre du Bureau élargi de l'AIJA, a déclaré:«cette reconnaissance européenne reconnaît une façon de penser qui a façonné notre cabinet d'avocats dès son début et continue de le faire encore aujourd'hui: avec comme objectif de créer un environnement de travail favorisant l'égalité des chances pour tous nos professionnels et personnels. Aujourd'hui, c'est avec une grande satisfaction,que  je peux dire que nos chiffres le confirment: 40% de nos partenaires sont des femmes et 47% des professionnels sont des femmes ".

Article de presse disponible ici

 


Tango night à Paris

14 June 2013

Les "AIJA tango nights" continuent tout autour de la planète. Paris tango night L'initiative vise à promouvoir le congrès annuel, qui aura lieu à Buenos Aires du 17 au 21 Septembre prochain, c'est une grande et une occasion unique  de rassembler et promouvoir cet incontournable rendez-vous . La dernière de ces soirées a eu lieu à Paris le 13 Juin. du Boeuf argentins et de la bonne compagnie. Vous êtes à danser un tango!  

 


AIJA in Asia

23 March 2012

Tokyo, 15 April 2013 More than 120 Japanese lawyers came to our session to introduce AIJA and to share knowledge on how to do business in the international arena. The session was broadcasted so that several other Bars in Japan could also benefit from the presentations. Our gratefulness and thanks go to the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations which hosted the event and to our AIJA ambassadors (Kenji Hirooka for Japan), Ramesh Vaidyanathan (for India), Leopoldo Pagotto (for South America and Brazil) and Justus Jansen (for Europe and Germany).

 


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