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IPG springtime in Paris


Each of the IPG conferences is hosted by a designated member/s of the Group in the city or area where they operate. The string of pearls was complemented this May by a rare gem: Paris. The conference was hosted by law firm Aston Société d´Advocats and audit and accounting firm Groupe Conseil Union.

St. James Albany Hotel, with its exceptional location on Rue Rivoli, was an ideal venue for the event allowing members to participate on the conference meetings, lectures and workshops as well as to network during the coffee breaks, lunches and in their spare time, surrounded by some of the most significant city sights.

Guests were welcomed on Thursday evening on the premises of Aston where a cocktail dinner was served. The relaxed atmosphere and full engagement of the hosting team provided a very smooth transition before the busy day ahead.

On Friday morning, after an early city-center jogging, the official conference program started. The enjoyable and fresh opening session was followed by presentation of the candidates. This time, the organizers chose as a subject of the main part of the IPG meeting a soft-skills related topic. The lecture was held by Richard D Lewis. His presentation on intercultural differences in communication and negotiation explained his theory on cultural specifics. Members could and familiarize themselves with his Model of Cultures and gain knowledge that is applicable to work with international clients and partners. The afternoon workshop, moderated by Michael Gate, allowed everyone to practice these newly acquired skills in a role-play mock negotiation.

The evening program was the first opportunity for the whole IPG group to see Paris together. The participants were picked up in front of the hotel by well-kept Citroën 2CVs that took them on a guided tour round Paris. The city in bloom, some of the most beautiful streets and monuments and a photo-stop by the Eiffel Tower are only some of the unexpected highlights of the trip. Few drivers even sat spurs to the deux chevaux and started a mini race. The final destination was Lido de Paris on Champs-Élysée where a dinner show was booked for IPG. This special experience allowed us to witness one of a kind spectacle setting new limits to theatre technique, scenography, acrobatics and conceivable length of women´s legs. The enjoyable evening was followed by drinks at local bars. Understanding that this is perhaps a tradition of the natives, many of the members did not object to such a proposal.

The general meeting took place on Saturday morning again at St James Albany. The agenda was very capacious this time and many of the points are yet to be discussed in the future. During the GM the elections were held and IPG welcomed the following new members:

  • Shah Al Shamali Associates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Al-Hamli Certified Accountants, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Studio Legale Mastellone, Florence, Italy
  • TLS Partners | Chrysanthi Varnava & Cο. LLC, Limassol, Cyprus

Lisa Rosen from Studio Spito & Associati, hosting IPG Conference in fall, introduced in her very interesting presentation the city of Rome and our hosts for the upcoming conference.

Saturday afternoon provided a good opportunity to continue in professional discussions and to exchange the latest news about development in our respective fields of practice outside of meeting room, during the guided tour of Montmartre and of the Louvre Museum. Nobody broke the 6-minutes Louvre record and Amelie was not seen in her café.

This part of day also allowed members to learn from the spouses about their Parisian IPG experience: from morning spent with a personal shopper, through visit of the Foundation of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé to a cooking class in the school of 3-times 3-star Michelin chef Alain Ducasse, the spouses program was carefully designed as a perfect anniversary celebration. 

The gala dinner took place on L´Onyx, an elegant boat taking the group on a cruise on Seine. The views from the surface were magnificent. Graham Wallace handed out the prices for best Golf player (Duncan Stannet) and the best tennis player (Olivier Sanviti). The combination of interesting discussions and perception of reflections of life in Paris flowing behind the windows furnished a very pleasant closing of the conference.

There was still Sunday and some decided to visit Fontainebleau and have a lunch there - a trip organized by our hosts, while others visited museums, rented a bike or spent the time left by closing the last conversations with fellow IPG members.

The IPG Spring Conference in Paris was planned and organized in a manner that gave the attendees an opportunity to use every minute of their time in the city to network, actively participate on the conference program and to enjoy the exceptional beauty of Paris while learning much about its history, culture and its signature chic. 

The indefatigable organizers Olivier Sanviti from Aston and Romuald Garnier from Groupe Conseil Union along with their respective teams deserve many thanks and a major acknowledgement for introducing their work and their city to the International Practice Group in truly splendid way. 

IPG looks forward to meet all of its members in Rome.

From the City of Lights to the Eternal City… 

Veronika Krížová
rague 1, Dlouh 13
1-110 00 Prag
T: +420 224 819 337