ECLA GENERAL ASSEMBLY (COPENHAGEN)
On 20 November 2015 ECLA had its autumn General Assembly in Copenhagen where the national association of company lawyers of Denmark was the host.
One of the more important topics discussed in the meeting was TTIP (the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership), between the USA and the European Union. It was felt that the average knowledge level on TTIP should be increased among the members, also as it is still unknown how TTIP might influence the profession of the company lawyer in Europe.
President Sergio Marini gave some insight into the negotiations and emphasized the wish to be involved in the opinion making process, and (indirectly) in the negotiations.
No definitive position has been taken in the meeting, but the President set a strict deadline in order to understand how ECLA should act in these negotiations which could have an important impact on the role of company lawyers in Europe. However, nobody knows at this point of time what the final text of TTIP will be, as on both sides of the Atlantic there are several contradicting political streams.
Another topic of interest was the opportunity of strategic partnerships with other company lawyers organizations in order to do lobbying actions viz. the European Commission with respect to the recognition of the position of the company lawyer. Also the topic of Legal Privilege is, of course, still important for ECLA, as it has always been the case since 1982. This topic may also play a role in the negotiations around TTIP.
Further, it was discussed how to improve ECLA’s visibility, as well as to encourage more networking among individual members in and between national associations.
President Marini expressed a special word of gratitude to Danske Advokater for its hospitality in its attractive headquarter and to Gorrissen Federspiel Law Firm, for offering ECLA such a pleasant Gala Dinner.
On 31 March 2017 ECLA had its Annual General Assembly in Rome, where the national association AIGI acted as an excellent host. The agenda of the meeting contained its usual topics, such as the annual accounts, communication, etc. There was also an intensive discussion on the goals, aspirations and future of ECLA, for which the new President Jonathan Marsh earlier made an appeal to the national associations. The outcome of the discussions, which took place in workgroups, will form a solid basis for further discussions later in the year. Stephan Barthe (Spain) was elected as new secretary of the Executive Board. The topic of young lawyers in AIGI was presented by a young member of AIGI, followed by an interesting discussion.