European Law Firm Members meet in Krakow

Last week, the members of European Law Firm convened in Krakow, the former capital of Poland, to discuss network matters and strengthen links between members.

The meeting began with a welcome supper of traditional food at Marmolada restaurant in Krakow’s old town.

Friday’s conference included an update on membership interest from potential candidate firms in Croatia and Lithuania and the presentation of the final accounts for 2016 and approval of the 2017 budget.

Delegates were presented with the newly printed 2017 Company Incorporation guide and asked to promote it.

They were also informed that Chambers of Commerce and Accountants contacts are still being sought for the new marketing contacts database.

During the first quarter, 38 network referrals with estimated fees of €110,220 were reported. The top referrer of work was TLT (UK) whilst Dutch firm Holla advocaten received the most number of cases. Matters were filed predominantly under commercial law. The single highest value case was a pan-European matter requiring tax and company set up information, initially progressed by Holla’s tax team. Going forward, the matter will generate fees for a number of other network members.

Given the increasing occurrence of this type of enquiry, members discussed how a network of independent firms such as ELF should best respond to and manage this type of pan-European matter. In the first instance, it was agreed that practice specific key contacts should be identified and supporting information collated.
In a bid to better understand the main strengths or focus of firms within the network, members were asked to provide more information about the key specialisms, new partners, awards or other firm news. Xavier Lebrasseur gave a short presentation on how Moureu Associés assists CNIM Group, a company providing high technology turnkey industrial solutions worldwide to the environment, innovation and systems & energy sectors.

Karol Szwbstarski of Intel Capital gave a fascinating and eye opening presentation on how Big Data and automation has and will continue to re-shape the world as we know it.

Ivo Klotins used the “Open mic” slot to first thank colleagues József Kapolyi (Kapolyi Law Firm) and Mitja Vidmar (Odvetniki Vidmar Zemljarič) for their recent MAR advice for a client of his. He went on to thank a number of other members for their input in an article published recently in the Latvian press that profiled European Law Firm. Rafal Sarbiński talked through a trademark infringement case involving meta tags and asked members for any relevant experiences in their own jurisdictions.

Rafal Sarbiński, managing partner at host firm Sarbiński & Sobczyk introduced each member of his team covering their background and specialist areas. 45% of the firm’s work is commercial, 40% is litigation and the rest falls under IP, real estate and private client.

Friday’s formal dinner took place at Wierzynek Restaurant, Poland’s most popular restaurant, renown for having hosted a 20 day long feast back in the 14th century and for the rich and famous who come to enjoy it’s cuisine today.

On Saturday, the group descended 130 meters below ground at the Wieliczka salt mine – a UNESCO World Heritage site to explore the 20 excavated chambers, chapels, salt sculptures and underground salt lakes.

The group met for the last time at Szara Kazimierz Restaurant in the Jewish quarter for the farewell dinner.

Thank you again to our hosts Sarbiński & Sobczyk for an interesting and well organised programme.

Next meeting: 28-30 September 2017, Vienna. Host firm: Dr J. Leon Rechtsanwalt