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New York 2017 - Post Conference Review

World Link for Law Conference, New York, USA (May 11-13)
 
The 2017 World Link for Law 28th conference was held in mid-May in New York. It was attended by over 60 delegates.
 
New York needs no introduction… it is one of the most notable cities in the world and offers the visitor a huge variety of experiences, whether it is a short walk in Central park in the spring sunshine, nightclubs or bars to suit every taste, visiting a Broadway show, shopping on 5th Avenue or scaling the heights of one of the city’s skyscrapers for memorable views of Manhattan, or just absorbing the atmosphere that is essentially ‘New York’.

The conference itself was held in the impressive amphitheatre room at the offices of World Link member law firm, Herrick Feinstein LLP, located on Park Avenue South in the upper East Side, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, Macy’s, Times Square and to the East, the Murray Hill District of the city and the United Nations building. Hotel accommodation was arranged at the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn Hotel on East 33rd Street. It is within a few blocks of 5th Avenue, Madison Square, Penn Street station, Grand Central Station; and only 50 meters to Herrick Feinstein’s offices.

The conference included informative presentations and discussions. Additionally, there were meetings of the Special Interest Groups for Arbitration and Tax; and before the conference there was a North American and a ‘LATAM’ meeting.
 
The Amphitheatre Room at Herrick Feinstein LLP At the dinner at the West Club, Philippe Bedard (newly elected President), presented Paul Sillis (outgoing President) with a commemorative engraved silver pen.

 
The conference business programme
 
The main meeting was held in the Amphitheatre Room at Herrick Feinstein’s offices on Friday and Saturday (up to lunchtime) with its pre-function lounge area for coffee breaks; with lunches at the Hilton Garden Inn.
 
The first presentation was made by Barry Werbin and Erica Markowitz of Herrick Feinstein about cyber fraud prevention and scams against professional firms. Various useful guidelines were provided supplemented by some slides from Paul Sillis of additional examples of typical scams. Next and following the security theme, there was a presentation on the management of enterprise risk by Joe de Salvo of Blackstone Asset Management, New York, followed by a short presentation by Elizabeth Holtzman of Herrick Feinstein LLP about the role of a Government Relations Law practice.
 
In the afternoon on Friday, we received a topical and informative presentation by Stephen Myrow of Beacon Policy Advisers in Washington DC about Donald Trump’s ‘orbit’ and his circle of advisers and various ‘agendas’. The conference then separated into two sessions –the International Arbitration session was as a ‘round table’ style discussion led by Stephen Rosen of Collyer Bristow, UK on the subject of the ethical challenges facing lawyers in international arbitrations. The session was ably convened by Michael D. Young of Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Services – USA (JAMS). The tax session led by Peter Kirpensteijn of the Netherlands with support from Olga Bogush of Herrick Feinstein focussed on the Ultimate Beneficial Owner Register and various taxation issues linked to EU/USA cross-border investments.
 
On Saturday morning after the Annual General Assembly of World Link for Law, there was a presentation about the Chinese business perspective of investment into Canadian real estate made by Tony Kwan of PLLR Lawyers, of Canada.
 
Before lunch, there was a panel session and discussion on legal professional privilege and a comparison between different jurisdictions about confidentiality based on a case study. This case study had been provided to delegates before the conference so that they could consider the issues from their own country’s perspective – with presentations from the USA, France and Brazil. It was led by Philippe Bedard & KBRC & Associés, with panel contributions from Melisande Felton of KBRC & Associés, France; Charles Valente, Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati, LLP, USA & Neil Montgomery of Montgomery & Associados, Brazil who made very thorough contributions.
 
   

 
Comments from some of the delegates
 
                                              
Post conference comments by some of the delegates.
 
“Great to be back in New York and a useful opportunity to link up with clients and friends. It was an informal yet interesting conference with thought provoking topics. Also, I felt that the interaction between members was very positive”.
Stephen Rosen
Collyer Bristow LLP, London, UK

 
“It was a nice idea to have the meeting in a member firm’s offices. Interesting topics, especially about cyber-fraud issues and professional issues concerning law firms”.
Luus Hillen
Everest Law, Belgium
 
“We had three representatives from our Estonian firm in New York and it was an interesting conference agenda and good to meet other members” 
Elise Vasamäe
Aavik & Partnerid, Tallinn, Estonia
 
“The good success of such an event depends always on the presence of as many members as possible. This is the main chance that we get to know each other really well and then we are able to work together successfully. The New York conference met this criteria.”
Dr Frank Schmitz
Coeler Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg, Germany
 
“Thank you to Herrick Feinstein and all the organiser’s and the participants of the New York conference. Obviously a great location and also an opportunity to connect with North American clients.
Malcolm Mifsud
Mifsud & Mifsud, Valletta, Malta
 
 
 
Thursday– pre-conference dinner (11th May)
 
Before the conference, on Thursday evening there was a pre-conference drinks reception and 4 course dinner at the nearby Ben & Jacks steak restaurant on 5th Avenue in a private room upstairs. The was a good choice of food but most decided on either Ribeye, Rump or Fillet steak. When the steaks arrived, the size was huge! It was very pleasant to be able to meet existing and new friends and colleagues.
 
   

  
Friday (12th May)
 
On Friday evening we travelled by two buses to the West Club near the Rockefeller Centre and. There were pre-dinner drinks on an outside terrace overlooking St. Patricks Cathedral and a 3 course dinner followed by the World Link for Law quiz.
 
On the balcony at the West Club Views over St Patrick’s cathedral
Pre-dinner reception inside the terrace area 80 guests for dinner in the Salon Room at the West Club and one group working on the fun quiz.
 
 
Saturday –excursion (13th May) – One World Trade Center Observatory
 
On Saturday afternoon an excursion had been arranged to the One World Trade Center Observatory – the tallest building in New York. Unfortunately the weather was against us and going to the top was pointless as it was shrouded in mist. Wet weather tickets were issued to enable a visit the next day.
 
One World on a good day!

 
 

See you in Copenhagen, April 26-28, 2018

 
The bars and cafés on the Nyhavn waterfront about 200 meters from the Admiral Hotel, (to the right) which will be our conference venue.


 
 

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