Lowell Lifschultz opened the
ILN Business Session on Friday, September 8, 2006 by welcoming all of the
members to the European Regional Meeting and extending a special thank you to
our hosts, Schmidt, Jaton & Associes.
Alan Griffiths began the
Business Session by noting to the assembled delegates that for the first time,
the ILN business session was being broadcast over the internet. The broadcast was available to all ILN
members, and joining the group remotely was Didem Ozcan of Ozcan & Natan in
Turkey, Andrey Zelenin of Legas Legal Solutions in Russia, Dej-Udom Krairit
from Dej-Udom & Associates in Thailand, and Bart Van Hyfte from Vanden
Eynde & Partners in Belgium.
Alan then continued by introducing our newest member in the Network
– Mr. Rune Hamborg from DAHL Law in Copenhagen, Denmark (www.dahllaw.dk). He noted that unfortunately, Rune had
been delayed by a client commitment, but would be joining the delegates on
Member Firm Updates
Alan moved on to member firm
updates, and reiterated to the delegates that in Berlin, Pavla Prikrylova had
made a presentation regarding her firm?s plan to open an office in Kiev,
Ukraine. The office was officially
opened as of July 1, 2006.
Andreas Bauer then informed
the membership that his partner, Klaus Braunegg, had retired earlier in the
year, although he is still spending a great deal of time in the office.
Alan reported on a recent
development with our ILN member in the Philippines. He noted that after twenty years, the firm, Roco Kapunan
Migallos Perez & Luna Law Offices, has dissolved. He said that Lorna Kapunan and Barbara Migallos have formed
two separate law offices and both firms were interested in continuing their
membership. The firms would be
submitting formal applications for membership, which would be reviewed by the
Board and the membership as per the by laws.
Alan then invited Urs Kaelin to give the
Director?s Update. Urs focused
mostly on the discussion that the Directors had with regard to the recruitment
of member firms and the improvement of referrals. He mentioned that the discussion had arisen from a letter
that Jeff Shapiro of Arnstein & Lehr had circulated among a select number
of Directors, of which Urs was not a recipient. The letter focused specifically on Jeff?s concerns regarding
referrals and recruitment, particularly in the US, and on the question of how
to better improve the push-down effort within member firms. Urs noted that while this is not a new
issue, it is worthwhile to discuss it periodically, especially with respect to
the larger firms, where the contact person is expected to be the liaison within
his own firm, as well as to the outside.
Lowell added that the contact person has an obligation to involve more
and more members of the firm in the business of the ILN, and this is something
that the Board and the Network will continue to be focused on moving forward,
particularly in the US.
Urs briefly touched on a few other topics, noting
that the minutes from the last Directors? Meeting had been passed, that Lindsay
had given a preview of her presentation, and Alan had reported on the progress
of the specialty groups and touched on the referral survey report. In addition, Urs said that the Board
had agreed to put together guidelines for hosting an ILN meeting in order to
standardize the process. Further,
the Board had agreed to form a conference program development committee of 6-8
members, to assist Alan and the host firm in developing the business
Lowell then announced to the membership his
decision to stay on as Chairman of the ILN for at least another year, and the
assembled delegates showed their enthusiasm with a round of applause.
Alan began the Administration
update with an overview of the Administrations activities. First, he showed the structure of the
ILN on a slide, which consists of the fourteen Directors at the top, followed
by Alan and then Lindsay in the Administration. He went on to note that he and Lindsay work full time for
the ILN and are happy to assist in the business of the Network twenty four
hours a day, seven days a week if necessary. To breakdown the activities that the Administration focuses
on, Alan stated that 20% of their time is dedicated to recruitment, 20% is goes
to meeting planning and development (although this percentage is higher for
Lindsay), 40% is dedicated to member communications in some form, and 20% goes
to specialty group activities. To
this final point, Alan added that the specialty groups add a great dimension
not only to existing members, but also as a feature when recruiting new
2006 – January
to June Referral Activity and Analysis:
Alan moved on to discuss the January to June
referral activity and analysis. He
said that in addition to being involved in more and more individual referrals
between firms, the ILN Administration is being asked to assist in larger
The most recent of these involved Epstein Becker & Green?s request
for assistance in determining which ILN firms have medical research
experience. Following this
request, Alan circulated an email to the membership with the request, and is
currently compiling the information to provide to Epstein Becker &
With regard to new referrals, the numbers have
increased 20% since the last period.
Alan noted that the Administration has developed a database which allow
for greater ease in tracking the referrals, their estimated values, and what
types of matters are being referred.
The estimated totals for this period have risen significantly over the
last period. For July
2005-December 2005, the estimated value was $1.5 million and for January 2006
– June 2006, the estimated value was $2.6 million, a substantial increase
when combined with the total number of referrals. Alan reiterated that the number of referrals are
underreported, even by firms with good internal tracking procedures. He also noted that the referrals that
are shown reflect only the new referrals made during this period, and not any
ongoing referrals. While the
Administration does not currently have a way to track ongoing referrals, they
will look to determine what percentage of referrals made turn into short or
long term ongoing referrals.
When looking at the regional activity analysis,
it is clear again that interregional referrals are the highest percentage. They account for over 60% of total
referrals in Europe, more than 50% in North America, and almost 50% in
Asia. This reflects the importance
of regional recruitment and participation in regional meetings. The table also identifies key areas for
recruitment needs, specifically Central and South America, and Africa.
Further analysis showed that 50% of the referrals
fall into the $5,000 - $25,000 range, 2% fall between $25,000 and $50,000, 4%
fall between %50,000 and $100,000, and 2% is in excess of $100,000. The types of matters that are referred
can often apply to more than one category, but the top referrals are made
within corporate (40%), litigation (15%), and tax (10%). Alan noted that the Administration
would like to eventually correlate these referrals with the activities of the
specialty groups to determine how best to increase these numbers. He also reiterated that for ease in
tracking, the referring firm should copy him or Lindsay on the initial email
for all referrals. This can also
ensure that follow up occurs as quickly as possible.
With regard to the specialty groups, Alan
announced the formation of two new groups. The Real Estate Group will be headed by Pavla Prikrylova and
had their first meeting during the breakout sessions on Saturday, and the
Sports Law Group will be chaired by Johan Vanden Eynde, and met during lunch on
Saturday. Alan noted that each
group, with the assistance of the ILN Administration, can use the other groups?
success as a template.
He touched on the activities of the Medical
Device Group, who have just finished a virtual roundtable on the topic of
Electronic Discovery and Spoliation.
Steve Rathke of Lommen Abdo in Minneapolis took the lead to develop a
series of questions, which he and seven other participants answered. The resulting document is now available
on the ILN website, and was circulated to the members of the specialty group,
as well as the marketing group. In
addition, the Administration would be distributing it at the upcoming Global Counsel
Forum, for which the ILN is a media partner.
The International Tax Group is focusing more on
the technology side. Alan showed
an example of a teleconference and web broadcast that the group participated
in. He went through the mechanics
of participation, saying that the Administration would provide a web address
that the participants go to. They
can then either log in with a user ID and password, or log in as a guest. The view they see is pre-determined by
the group, based on the topic, and the participants are provided with a
telephone number to call. The
teleconference is then combined with the web broadcast, with only a slight
delay in any video processing taking place. The whole meeting can then be recorded and saved for future
purposes on their servers. Alan
noted that while Adobe is very secure, he would be following up with them to
get their exact security measures for these web broadcasts.
Alan said that while useful for the specialty
groups, the Administration would also be able to use the systems to allow firms
to present webinars to their clients.
The Administration is also currently working with some of the member
firms to develop a series of client and attorney webinars that would be of
interest to clients around the globe, including India and their outsourcing
capabilities, doing business in China, and investment opportunities in eastern
and central Europe.
ILN Future Programs
To further discuss the topic
of technology, Alan focused again on the ILN website to make the delegates
aware of what is offered there. On
the home page, visitors can download the most updated contact list and the ILN
brochure. The news items are also
kept up to date, and along with being shown on the home page, are attributed to
their individual authors and firms.
Events are also listed on the home page, from ILN events to those events
produced by the ILN?s media partners.
In addition, there is a page called ?ILNLink.? For PC users, they can download this link, and it will
put an ILN icon on their desktop that will automatically link to the ILN
homepage when it is clicked.
Alan also reiterated the
benefits offered by publishing the International Legal News. He said that the Administration can
identify who is reading various articles and specifically highlighted an
article on China, which was read by 127 of 850 general counsel and senior
executives. This newsletter
continues to reside on the ILN website making it searchable and allowing
articles to be read over a long period of time. Alan again requested that firms supply the Administration
with a list of their clients to be added to the email database for this
newsletter, and noted that he could personalize it to show that their firm had
then invited Lindsay Griffiths to give her update on the ILN?s marketing
Lindsay began with an update on the Strategic
Differentiation project. She noted
that she had completed phases one and two, and is currently working on phase
three. Phase three is dedicated to
identifying the ILN?s strategic message, which she announced is ?The ILN
– Your Partners Around the World.?
She then went on to say that the next part of phase three will be to
define how various marketing tools will be used to get this message
across. Following phase three is
phase four, which will ensure that the ILN?s message is true within the entire
Lindsay then went on to discuss the ILN?s media
partnerships. She said that in
June, the ILN formed a media partnership with American Lawyer Media Events, a division
of American Lawyer Media, which is a leading integrated media company serving
legal, real estate, financial and business professionals. They publish award-winning publications
such as The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel Magazine. ALM Events is the conference division
for ALM which produces such events such as LegalTech, the Corporate Counsel
Forum, and T3 – Trial, Tactics & Technology and events series,
including Small Firm Business, the Definitive Management Series, General
Counsel Conferences, IP Law and Business Briefings, and International
Briefings. Marty Beirne of Beirne,
Maynard & Parsons in Houston was very instrumental in introducing the ILN
to American Lawyer Media Events and the first event that the Network are
partnering with them on is their Global Counsel Forum, taking place in New York
during the second week in September.
In addition, the ILN has partnered with the Asia Business Forum on their
Legal Sys Tech conference in November.
They are one of Asia?s leading providers of high-value business
information, and they are the only major conference company with a network of
operating offices in Asia researching and producing business conferences
throughout the region.
These media partnerships offer a number of key
benefits: the ability to distribute ILN and member firm materials at various
events, have the logo and short write up in conference brochures, websites and
all advertisements, and offer discounts to ILN members planning to attend, and
for ALM Events, to their clients who are planning to attend. In addition, these relationships will
enable the ILN to collaborate with the organizations to provide speaking opportunities
for members. The ILN does not pay
a sponsorship fee in return, but instead affords the organizations with
publicity among the membership through dedicated email blasts, periodic
advertisements in the newsletter, and the announcement of the conference in the
events section of the website.
In addition to developing and implementing these
media partnerships, the Board of Directors agreed in Berlin that it would be
helpful to identify and circulate major legal association meetings where member
firms were likely to have representatives in attendance and ask member firms to
advise the ILN of which of their colleagues was planning to participate. The Administration would then assist in
making introductions to other ILN members in order to stimulate networking
opportunities and where possible, would sponsor ILN ?get togethers? for those
members in attendance. So far, we
have circulated emails for the AIJA meeting in Geneva at the end of August, the
IFA?s Annual Congress in Amsterdam in September, the IBA?s Annual Meeting in
Chicago in September, the ABA?s Section of Business Law and Section of
Litigations meetings in September, INSOL Europe?s Annual Congress in Bucharest
in September, and LAWASIA?s 40th Annual Conference in Goa in September. Sylvia Linden and Paul McDowall of
Hellstrom, attended the AIJA meeting and following our email to the membership,
took the initiative to seek out ILN members. As a result, they met with Alexander Wildshutz from Fladgate
As Lindsay noted at the Annual
Meeting in Berlin, the ILN contracted with Sun Communications Group in January,
to focus on a combination of a domestic and international media relations
program and a strong speaker program with key attorneys within the ILN in
different trade organizations. So
far, the results include: Rebecca Donnini of
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, Michigan is writing an article
for the Journal of Financial Planning, Peter Kirpensteijn was used as a source
for Tax Business UK following Gary Kaplan?s contribution to the same publication,
both Bill Milani of Epstein Becker & Green and Paul Starkman of Arnstein
& Lehr were interviewed as sources for an upcoming employment article in
Business Week, and Lowell and Alan recently met with Tom Freeman of Legal 500,
who is the editor of their new business publication, Legal Business.
In addition to working with Sun Communications
Group, the ILN is continuing to send out press releases. The most recent of these is a release
sent out to announce the membership of DAHL Law Firm in Copenhagen, which was
circulated to major media outlets in Germany, France and the UK.
Lindsay also touched on the importance of
technology, and specifically the ILN website. She reiterated the importance of keeping the main page
updated with the latest news and events in order to keep it current in the
search engines. She said that one
of the new features of the site is the success stories page, which showcases
how the Network works and the satisfaction of the firms and their clients. In addition, the ILN also recently
included an Honorary Members page, which recognizes those members that have
given a significant contribution to the ILN, but are not part of firms that are
Lindsay finished up by speaking about the newly
formed ILN Marketing Specialty Group, which was developed from the ad hoc group
formed in November of 2004. The goals
of the group are to serve as a means of sharing knowledge and best practices
among member firms, to assist the ILN Administration in its marketing efforts,
and to serve as a resource to firms in the Network without marketing
professionals or departments. To
push forward these goals, Lindsay formed a development committee, which
includes herself, Fritz Morsches from Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn,
Peter Feldman of Beirne Maynard & Parsons, Luke Miller of Arnstein &
Lehr, and Kathy Major of McDonald Hopkins. The development committee met via teleconference in August
to develop a series of action points to aid the larger group of almost fifty
participants in reaching its goals.
Lowell summarized by saying that Alan had
outlined an ambitious series of themes for the next few years, with only two
employees in the Administration.
He said that the work of the Administration will have an impact on the
firms over the next few years, and he thinks that the group is in terrific
With the ILN Administration
update complete, Alan introduced Mr. Pierre Jacquier, who spoke on the benefits
of doing business in Geneva. If you would like to receive more information on this
presentation, please contact the ILN Administration for a complete audio transcript.
After thanking Mr. Jacquier, Alan
introduced Mr. Mathieu Reeb, the ICAS Secretary (outside Council) and CAS
Secretary General (Court of Arbitration for Sports). Mr. Reeb spoke on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which
is an institution independent of any sports organization, which provides for
services in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes
through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the
specific needs of the sports world.
If you would like to receive more
information on this presentation, please contact the ILN Administration for a complete
welcomed the delegates to the Saturday morning session and introduced the panel
of attorneys from his firm. If you
would like to receive more information on this presentation, please contact the
ILN Administration for a complete audio transcript.
Kirpensteijn chaired the Tax Group session. Mr. Sandro Vecchio, Schmidt, Jaton & Associès and Ms.
Nathalie Veyesset, Credit Suisse, Geneva presented the case study - Trusts - >From Settlor
to Beneficiary. We would like to
give a special thanks to, both Ms. Nathalie Veyesset and Mr. Marcel Dahinden
from Credit Suisse, for their assistance with the case study.
A report for this breakout session will be
generated and circulated to members of the group, those in attendance of the
meeting, and all of the main contacts.
Pavla Prikrylova chaired the Real Estate Group
session, with assistance from Pierre Banna. A report for this breakout session will be generated and
circulated to members of the group, those in attendance of the meeting, and all
of the main contacts.
– Neptune Room – Marc Udink & Johan Vanden Eynde
chaired the Corporate Group in coordination with Johan Vanden Eynde. A report for this
breakout session will be generated and circulated to members of the group,
those in attendance of the meeting, and all of the main contacts.
Resolution Group – Diane II – Dario Nikolic
Nikolic chaired the International Dispute Resolution Group session. A report for this breakout session will be
generated and circulated to members of the group, those in attendance of the
meeting, and all of the main contacts.
Lowell gave the closing
remarks to the assembled delegates.
He thanked everyone for coming to Geneva, and especially thanked
Pierre-Alain and his colleagues for all of her hard work in organizing the
conference. Lowell then said he
looked forward to seeing everyone at next year?s Annual Meeting in New York,
and adjourned the meeting.
Delegates and companions were
treated to memorable evening aboard the Simplon on Lake Geneva. The Gala Evening began with a cocktail
on the deck of the boat, enjoying the scenery and the companionship of our ILN
colleagues. The boat paused in
Coppet for the evening?s entertainment – an interesting and enthusiastic
drumming show. Then, everyone
enjoyed a lovely dinner to wrap up the conference, and followed their meal by
kicking up their heels to the stylings of the band. It was certainly a magical way to wrap up the
conference and remember Geneva by!