The International Lawyer's Network Specialty Groups provide all member firms with the ability to pool their resources and take advantage of the tremendous strength and depth of their combined expertise. Currently, the ILN has six specialty groups: Medical Device and Drug Manufacturing Litigation, Finance and Restructuring, Intellectual Property, International Trade and Transportation, Labor and Employment, and International Tax. The shared goals of each of these groups can be identified as introducing and developing personal relationships through networking with fellow ILN specialists in their specific practice areas, generating business opportunities through the exchange of information and marketing materials, providing an easy method of communication and access to ILN attorney specialties within each of these practice areas, and finding better approaches and solutions for client issues. Each of these groups has made great strides in recent months and their progress is detailed below:
Medical Device and Drug Manufacturing Litigation: The Medical Device and Drug Manufacturing Litigation Group had a successful inaugural meeting at the 2004 Regional Meeting of the Americas in La Jolla, California. Chaired by Jeff Shapiro of Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, the Group decided at the time to focus on three goals: hosting a cocktail reception for clients and potential clients; developing the networking relationships of the Group through conference calls, email communication, and face to face meetings; and increasing the visibility of the Group to clients and potential clients through the development of a newsletter. To meet their first goal, they hosted a cocktail reception in conjunction with the Defense Research Instituteís Drug and Medical Device Seminar in New York City. Nine of the Groupís firms hosted the event in conjunction with the ILN at The Leash, a private club in New York on May 12th. This event was especially organized to take advantage of the small, intimate and exclusive style of the Leash (a private club in Manhattan whose owners were originally involved in the early days of American Kennel Club). The Administration will be developing a report to detail the results of this event for the membership. To build on the relationships forged at the Regional Meeting of the Americas, the Medical Device Group, which has tripled in size since the Meeting, has participated in several conference calls, shared emails via our email distribution list and met in Houston, Texas at the offices of Beirne, Maynard and Parsons for a face to face meeting on March 16th to further define their focus. The Medical Device Groupís third goal of increasing their visibility with clients and potential clients through the creation of a newsletter will be realized following the Annual Meeting in June, with the first publication of the ILN Medical Device and Drug Manufacturing Litigation Groupís newsletter. The articles will be authored by the group members, with distribution to the list of clients and potential clients generated from the cocktail receptionís invitation list. In addition, we have been working to compile a directory of contact information for attorneys in our member firms' Medical Device and Drug Manufacturing Litigation practices.
Finance and Restructuring: The Finance and Restructuring Group, co-chaired by Marc Udink of Udink & De Jong in The Hague, the Netherlands and David Willenzik of McGlinchey Stafford in New Orleans, Louisiana, had their inaugural workshop at the 16th Annual Meeting in London in June of 2004. Included on the Groupís Development Committee are Rupert Connell of Fladgate Fielder in London, England and Guy Lofalk of Hellstrom & Partners in Stockholm, Sweden. This group is in the very early stages of development and is moving forward using the Tax Groupís template. Currently, we are developing a directory of main contacts for each of the firms that will be available for reference.
Intellectual Property: The Intellectual Property Group has met several times at various ILN Meetings over the past couple of years, with their introductory meeting taking place in Seattle at the 2003 ILN Annual Meeting. Headed by Marga Wolpert of Goehmann Wrede Haas Kappus & Hartman, Frankfurt, Germany and Norman Zivin of Cooper & Dunham LLP, New York, New York, the Development Committee also includes David Hansel of Memery Crystal in London, England and Andrew Perry of Gadens Lawyers in Sydney, Australia. They organized their first Group event in connection with the International Trademark Associationís (INTA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004 and followed this up with an IP workshop at the ILNís 16th Annual Meeting in London in June. Currently, in addition to developing a directory for the Groupís attorneys, the IP Group took advantage of the opportunity to showcase their collective expertise again at INTAís 127th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California in May. They hosted an informal buffet lunch on Tuesday, May 17th for ILN Members, clients and potential clients which followed one of the morning's concurrent sessions - "No Longer a Missing Link - The CTM and the Madrid Protocol." With the United States joining the Madrid Protocol on November 2, 2003, the informal discussions at lunch were an interesting forum to talk about the reasons for the use or non-use of the Madrid Protocol, based on the Group Membersí experiences from two perspectives, including the reasons for the filing of International Applications by American Companies using the Madrid Protocol and the reasons to request the extension of trademark protection in the United States by foreign companies using the Madrid Protocol. The Administration will be developing a report to detail the results of this event for the membership.
International Trade and Transportation: Our newest specialty group to be organized is the International Trade and Transportation group, chaired by Peter van der Velden of Udink & De Jong, in The Hague, the Netherlands. David Russell of Harrison & Moberly in Indianapolis, Indiana is assisting Peter on the Development Committee. This Group will focus on two main areas, International Trade and Transportation. For the purposes of this Group, ďInternational TradeĒ covers the sale and purchase of goods under the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods ("CISG"); agency and distribution (contracts) in relation to sale of goods; documentary credit; export finance; credit insurance and arbitration under commercial contracts. ďTransportationĒ will include carriage of goods by sea, road and air; arrest and release of ships; carrier's liability and cargo insurance; charter parties; freight forwarding and physical distribution, arbitration under contracts of carriage and charter parties. We are in the process of putting together a directory of attorneys who have an international trade and transportation practice and the group will have their first opportunity to set forth their goals at our 17th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 2005.
Labor and Employment: The Labor and Employment Group is also in the very early stages of development and the ILN will be working with the committee to move this group along as well. Co-chaired by Mary-Daphne Fishelson of LefŤvre Pelletier & Associes in Paris, France and William Milani of Epstein Becker & Green in New York, New York, the Development Committee will use the European Regional Meeting in September 2005 as their first opportunity to put together their goals. Under the leadership of the Labor and Employment committee, this Group will facilitate a platform for enhanced communication that will enable all members to easily service the needs of their clients requiring advice on cross-border transactions. Prior to the European Regional Meeting in September, we will put together the attorney directory for this group.
International Tax: Co-chaired by Gary Kaplan of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin in San Francisco, California and Peter Kirpensteijn of Udink & De Jong in The Hague, the Netherlands, the International Tax Group has met several times at various ILN meetings. They had their first meeting in London at the ILNís 2004 Annual Meeting, where they did a case study on the topic ďThe EU Participation Exemption: Which One to Use?Ē In November 2004, Peter Kirpensteijn gave an international tax presentation at the World Trade Center in Atlanta for 25 clients and potential clients. Most recently, the Group met at the 2004 Regional Meeting of the Americas in La Jolla, California, where they worked with Michael Colacchio, our marketing facilitator for the meeting, to develop a solid plan for moving the Group forward. Subsequently, they have also had conference calls to continue their discussions. The Group has recently been working to finalize this business development plan, which is their current main goal. The future focus of the Group will be on relationship development, marketing and technology. The other members of the Development Committee include Hock Chan of Cooper Chan Solicitors in Castletown, the Isle of Man, Andrew McKenzie of Fladgate Fielder in London, England, William Poole of Epstein Becker & Green in Atlanta, Georgia and Raul Salas of Shutts & Bowen in Miami, Florida. Early on, the Group developed a questionnaire that surveys the expertise of the individual attorneys in the Tax Group. This, in conjunction with the directory of Tax Group main contacts, provides a comprehensive guide to the tax attorneys within the ILN and is provided on the ILN website. They have already begun to have some success, thanks in part to technology. Because of the publication of the ILNís newsletters to our website, Peter Kirpensteijnís article on the US/Netherlands Tax Treaty is generated as a search result, which resulted in a potential client in San Francisco contacting him.