MEET WITH TIINA SEPA, ECLA REPRESENTATIVE OF ESTONIAN COMPANY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
During the General Assembly in Copenhagen we found a moment to get to know something more about this Association which is now 15 years old (just celebrated in May 2015) and represents in-house lawyers only.
In May 2000 EEJÜ (Eesti Juristide Liidu Ettevõtlusjuristide Ühendus) was accepted as ECLA member. During these 15 years their members have grown from 20 to 250.
They have also prepared two ECLA General Assemblies in Tallinn, in 2000 and 2014. On 29 May 2014 prior to ECLA General Assembly, EEJÜ has cooperated with ECLA in organizing an international conference with the title “The position of company lawyers in the European Union”. A big success for the association which is becoming more and more active, this under the roof organization Estonian Lawyers Union, including all the Estonian lawyers with a law degree.
EEJÜ has indeed no own budget and all events are planned within Estonian Lawyers Union’s annual activity plan and budget.
Tiina explains- “Together we organize monthly conferences and seminars on new laws and hot legal topics, in addition to special events for members like one-week tour to some European countries to get an introduction to a local legal system. Furthermore, each year we carry out an on-line questionnaire to get feedback from our members and ideas for enhancing our services.”
In the EEJÜ’s Annual General Assembly Tiina usually gives an overview of ECLA activities during the year. For the next Assembly Tiina has planned to get from the members input for the draft ECLA position paper on TTIP, being a hot topic in the last ECLA GA. She notices that the main expectations of the members are related to strengthening the position of in-house lawyers and getting for company general counsels the legal privilege comparable with advocates. She adds that -“ It is also good to know that contacts of other ECLA member countries colleagues are available and appreciated. Link to ECLA webpage is on EEJÜ webpage”.
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.