MEET WITH MARIE BREJCHOVA, PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH IN-HOUSE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
Unfortunately, just after its foundation, the Czech Government established another organization called “Chamber of Commercial Lawyers” where the members benefited from the legal privilege and were recognized by the law. This new organization of course attracted the most company lawyers, especially after the Chamber of Commercial Lawyers was absorbed by the Chamber of Advocates in 1996. UPP ČR lost many members and became quite inactive.
“But a fundamental step happened in 1999” Marie explains us with a radiant smile “When the Chairman of UPP ČR at that time was contacted by ECLA in order to help in the battle of achieving the legal privilege and became an ECLA member, the 1st among the central and eastern Europe Association.”
The new millennium highlighted a new era in the Association’s life with new people in the board focusing on financial reinforcement, more activities such as legal seminars/conferences and the launch of the institutional website which increased the membership and the visibility.
“I was elected as President in 2007 and developed UPP ČR further in order to make it become the most prestigious and well organization considered by the authorities in the Czech Republic representing the company lawyers. We organize twice a year important conferences in addition to smaller events and competition as The Company Lawyer of the Year” adds Marie with pleasure. “Our members now are not only individuals with an employee contract, but also companies having internal legal departments. The position of company lawyers in our country is still not very positive although we keep battling together with ECLA for the professional legal privilege. This is why we believe strongly in ECLA’s capacity to achieve the same legal privilege as external lawyers as well as a networking tool for our members not only on common legal matters, but also to exchange the best practices”.
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.