Autumn Conference 2006

Autumn Conference 2006 - Baden-Baden. Thursday, 12 October, 2006-Sunday, 15 October, 2006

CONSULEGIS Fall Meeting 2006 in Baden-Baden, Germany, another highpoint in the series of successful membership meetings

Hosts of this year’s fall meeting were for the first time five member firms:

Germany / Mannheim:   - GSM Rechtsanwälte

                                               - Dr. Weber & Partner GbR

Germany / Freiburg:      - Dr. Grund, Grund, Hüllenkremer & Räuchle Rechtsanwälte

France / Strasbourg:     - HSKA Avocats Associés

Switzerland / Muttenz:   - Völlminpartners Advokaten & Notare

At the hosts’ request, the meeting took place in beautiful Baden-Baden and bore the motto “An invitation from three countries“. Some 170 people from a total of 68 law firms (including nine guest firms) accepted the invitation and enjoyed a colorful bouquet of interesting presentations and discussions, stimulating events, cultivated hotel service, and a Baden-Baden bathed in autumn colors.  Guests came from North and Latin America, India, Malaysia, Sudan, and naturally Europe.

The conference hotel, the Steigenberger Europäischer Hof, and its cultivated facilities and top-flight service were fully satisfactory.  The meeting itself took place in the Conference Center of the Baden-Baden Kurhaus. The presentations of Patrick Schindler („Arbitration - a report“) and Michael Hemming, US (Consulegis core business group Mediation), stirred up interest. Mr. Hemming’s proposal to found a business group “Mediation“ drew a positive response in an ad hoc survey.

The round of discussion on Friday afternoon focused on two issues („Strategic Growth“ and  „Improvement in Flow of Consulegis conferences). A consensus prevailed that Consulegis should admit even more members and also be represented especially in areas where only few or no members exist (Africa, the Far East, Australia, etc.). The creation of six regionally active task forces on „new members“ should enable the growth goals demanded to be achieved soon.

A proposal aroused interest and was adopted that the volume of referrals arising in connection with Consulegis be recorded, so that this information can be used as a reference in discussions with potential clients and new members. Members present agreed to participate in a survey which will be initiated in January 2007.

In regard to organization of the two international conferences, it was again pointed out that the program was overloaded. Proposed solutions involved reducing the formal part to a maximum of two hours and moving the key speaker’s presentation to the noon meal. A highly discussed point concerned starting times. Some held that the meeting should begin at 9 or even 9:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday instead of at 8:30 am. It was also proposed that specialist group meetings be staggered, so that those interested could attend more than one meeting. There was general opinion that  topics and programs in specialist groups should be discussed in greater specifics.  One overseas participant proposed holding only one international meeting (e.g., the spring annual general meeting) and replacing the existing fall meeting with regional group meetings.

A highpoint was the guest presentation by Dr. Martin Herrenknecht, Dr. Ing. h.c., CEO and president of Herrenknecht AG in Schwanau near Lahr, Germany, a world leader in tunnel construction. Dr. Herrenknecht conveyed a fascinating insight to his audience on a very specialized business sector.

As usual, participants’ appetites were also well satisfied. The meeting opened on Thursday evening with a welcoming cocktail and stand-up buffet in the elegant setting of the Baden-Baden Gaming Casino. On Friday evening the Hotel “Europäischer Hof“ offered a three-nation buffet with specialties from France, Switzerland, and Germany.

Eliana Burk, a young Swiss artist, supported this event by two appearances.  She employed the alphorn with full ”sound“ and artistry as a fourth instrument (besides piano, bass, and drums) to perform outstanding jazz music. Listeners were fascinated!

On Saturday participants and guests could choose between a visit to Strasbourg, a tour of the Black Forest, or a golf tournament.

The meeting closed with an excellent evening meal (star chef Armin Röttele) in the romantic Neuweier Castle. The Alsatian band Petitu then played catchy dance tunes, and there was no stopping the merry-making. The celebration continued until 2 a.m.

We thank the hosts for this extremely well-organized meeting in Baden-Baden and hope that we will all see each other again for the general assembly meeting 3-5 May 2007 in Prague.