AGM & Spring Conference 2013 – Munich

AGM & Spring Conference 2013 - Munich/Germany. Thursday, 2 May, 2013-Sunday, 7 April, 2013

AGM & Spring Conference 2013

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Spring Conference 2013 in Munich/Germany was set up in cooperation by the member law firms Dr. Grill & Wilde Rechtsanwälte and Mariacher Rechtsanwälte.

A total of 117 participants (including partners and guests) representing 53 member firms attended the conference, which was a real success in terms of program and interrelationship between members!

This year`s Spring conference has taken place in Munich. First mentioned in 1158, Munich is today the well-known capital of the German state Bavaria. Famous not only for events like the Oktoberfest or the Bavarian culture, Munich offers a large variety of museums, historic buildings, architecture and the mixture of tradition and the pulsating life of the third largest city in Germany. Situated in the elevated plains of upper Bavaria, Munich is surrounded by one of the most impressive regions in Germany.

The AGM and Spring Conference 2013 has been taken place at the Hotel SOFITEL in the centre of the city. This year`s conference started with the traditional “unofficial” early arrivals dinner on Wednesday, May 1^st 2013, with more than 30 participants. The restaurant “The Grill” was located at the heart of Munich and was offering excellent food. Because it was also the day of the semi-final of the Champions League (FC Bayern Munich vs. FC Barcelona), some members were too curious and watched the last minutes of the really exciting soccer game on an iPad.

The traditional “Welcome Reception” on Thursday, May 2^nd 2013, was hosted by Dr. Grill & Wilde Rechtsanwälte and Mariacher Rechtsanwälte and the participants met after a short bus tour to the impressive Munich city park “The English Garten”, which is bigger than the Central Park in New York. The Welcome reception was taken place at the Seehaus in the middle of the park. The participants have been offered – besides delicious bavarian fingerfood – traditional bavarian beer.

Officially the conference started on Thursday, May 2^nd 2013, with the meeting of the Advisory Board.

The venue for the AGM conference on Friday, May 3^rd 2013, was the Hotel SOFITEL. The chairman of the Advisory Board, Gerd Ziegenfeuter, opened the meeting at 9:00h and welcomed the members and guests present. He thanked Dr. Wolf Grill and Dr. Boris Mariacher for organizing and hosting this year’s Annual General Meeting and Spring Conference. The two guests – Martin Hütte (Hütte Law AG) and Alexandra Ziegenfeuter (KGA Avocats Paris) and new members João Claudio De Luca (DDSA - De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados) were welcomed and presented themselves in a few minutes speech. Gerd Ziegenfeuter then moved on to the agenda of this year’s AGM.

Anke Brauns, managing director, carried out the statutory business. The Advisory Board and business management were relieved without opposition, and the approval of the minutes of the AGM 2012, the annual report 2012, approval of the annual accounts/balance sheets 2012 and the 2013 budget was also accepted unanimously and without discussion by the plenary session. The Advisory Board and the management proposed the re-election of Horst Becker of Becker & Partner in Hamburg as auditor.
There was no further business and the chairman brought the AGM 2013 to a close at 09:30h, followed by Irmtraud Wendland and Dr. Florian Schell, who presented the new strategy and concept of the Young Lawyers Initiative. The aim should be, to build a strong network for the young CONSULEGIS lawyers with a regular exchange within the network.

Around 09:45h, the staggered re-elections of the Advisory Board for the term from May 2013 - May 2017 was on the agenda.
The Advisory Board decided to propose to the AGM 2013 the following process concerning the staggered elections:
- 4 new candidates are elected at the AGM 2013 for 4 years (Term: 2013 - 2017)
- The new elected Advisory Board will consist of 10 Board Members from 2013 - 2015

The process was accepted unanimously by the plenary session. Furthermore the electoral assistants, Horst Becker (Teller), Dr. Helmut Redeker (Teller), Marco Mariani (Controller) and Anke Brauns (Controller) were accepted unanimously.
At the occasion of the Board Meeting in Munich, January 21^st 2013, Gerd O. Ziegenfeuter announced that he will step down as Chairman and Board Member at the AGM 2013 in Munich. Two other Board Members, Elin Pinnell and Sidney Bluming, announced to step down, too. As Gerd Ziegenfeuter himself pointed out: “These changes are in complete harmony with the ongoing evolution and strategy of CONSULEGIS: cohesion, expansion, continuity, change and fresh blood”.

2013 was not a “regular” election year, but represents the introduction of the staggered election system, as voted on the new CONSULEGIS strategy paper. From now on, we will have election every two years. This time for the four mandates, we received applications from a total of nine candidates, running for election!

The nine candidates presented themselves and their goals for CONSULEGIS in a few minutes speech. After the presentation, the members voted for the 4 mandates.
After the traditional photo-session and a short coffee-break, the potential new member from Japan, Kazuhiko Nishihara partner of Umegae Chuo, gave a short overview of the law firm in Osaka and Tokyo.

Around 11:00h, the key note speaker – Prof. Dr. Peter Höppe – Head of Geo Risk Research/Corporate Climate Centre, Munich Re, presented the topic “Risk and Chances of Climate Change”. The extremely interesting topic ended with several questions of the members.

After the hot topic speaker, Wojciech Roclawski, Partner of RGW Roclawski Graczyk I Wspolnicy gave a preview on Autumn Conference, October 9^th - 13^th 2013 with the title: “See you in Warsaw”. His presentation and short movie was followed by the report of Hartmut Heuser - the charity project, hosted by the Rotary Club Munich.

The following 20 minutes were dominated by the marketing topics, which have been implemented the last few month (e.g. CONSULEGIS brochure, one-sheet flyer, newsletter, web App, etc.).

Around 12:15h, the announcement of the election results were presented by Gerd O. Ziegenfeuter. The following members were elected or re-elected:
- Sidney Bluming, New York (re-elected)
- Marlies Hoecherl, Cardiff (new)
- Dr. Florian Schell, Siegen (new)
- Denis Schultheis, Hanau (new)

We offer our hearty congratulations to the four new members of the Advisory Board! Additional members are the Ombudsman and the Managing Director. The short announcement of the four new board members was followed by a group picture and all participants went to lunch at the Hotel SOFITEL – probably with a lot of topics for discussion during the lunch break. The newly elected board had a separate lunch and held elections.

The results were as follows:
- Chairman of the Board Pedro Pais de Almeida
- Vice-Chairmen Irmtraud Wendland
Fernando Hernández Gómez
- Ombudsman Dr. Henrich Schleifenbaum
Furthermore, the Advisory Board unanimously decided that Gerd O. Ziegenfeuter will be granted with the title of an “Honorary Chairman Emeritus” (Ehrenvorsitzender) for his loyal dedicated and efficient service during the past 28 years as CONSULEGIS founding member, Board Member and Chairman.

The following Specialist Groups met on Friday afternoon from 14:15 -16:00h:
Corporate and Tax Law, IP, Entertainment and IT, Litigation and Arbitration, Labour and Employment Law and Sports Law.
The workshops ended with the new CONSULEGIS tradition – the get-together with a short report of each Chair of the Specialist Groups. In order to support the discussion afterwards, german beer was offered to the participants. In parallel the Young Lawyers Group met and discussed the further steps.

On Friday evening two busses were chartered to shuttle the members to the Yacht club of on the lake Starnberg. The participants were encouraged before, to wear their traditional clothes and some of them wore for example a Kimono, Dirndl or Lederhosen or typical Scottish pants. The evening at the lake was completed by a traditional folklore dancing and a bavarian brass band.

On Saturday morning’s agenda at 9:00h was the Business Generation Workshop at the Hotel SOFITEL. Following a short presentation of the marketing tools, which will be offered by CONSULEGIS in the future, the active part for the approximate 60 participants began. Small groups discussed various subjects before presenting the results to the entire group.

After the workshop, the tour to Herrenchiemsee started by bus and the final transfer to the island was by boat. The participants were lucky – it started raining on the way back home, approximately 5 minutes, everybody arrived back at the bus.

The traditional farewell dinner took place in the wonderful gala room at the Rilano No. 6 Nebach Palais. Excellent food and an impressive and outstanding swing band – the Eddie Miller Group - made this gala evening an unforgettable event.
Before the traditional “passing on” of the CONSULEGIS flag, Pedro Pais de Almeida - the newly elected Chairman - delivered a speech thanking his predecessor, Gerd O. Ziegenfeuter, for his professional and personal involvement during 28 years and handed over three symbolic gifts: one framed acrylic picture of recognition signed by all Board members and the members present in Munich, a CONSULEGIS flag for his sailing boot and finally a combination of a hygrometer, barometer and clock.

The conference ended with the traditional „passing on“ of the CONSULEGIS flag from our two hosts in Munich to Wojciech Roclawski,, where we will meet for our autumn conference 2013 in Warsaw. We thank Dr. Wolf Grill and Dr. Boris Mariacher for hosting this wonderful meeting and unique experience in Munich/Germany.

Anke Brauns