IPG 2016 SPRING CONFERENCE (LONDON)
On May 5-8, the Island of Albion hosted 107 IPG delegates, 30 of their significant others and 4 candidates for membership at the Spring Conference. 141 attendees, representing 29 jurisdictions from four continents, converged on the City of London, once again demonstrating IPG’s global reach and diversity. The tireless efforts of Conference Hosts Silverman Sherliker Solicitors LLP, Barnes Roffe LLP and DWFM Beckman brought together excellent programming and seamless organization.
These Hosts aptly chose the Tower Hotel on St. Katharine’s Dock, adjacent to Tower Bridge and the fabled Tower of London, for the Conference venue. The Delegates Program started early Thursday morning with optional Golf and Tennis events. Around 20 Delegates enjoyed a golf at the Royal Blackheath Golf Club or doubles and singles tennis on the beautifully manicured lawn tennis courts at the Blackheath Lawn Tennis Club. The two groups later joined amidst bright sunshine to enjoy lunch at the historic Royal Blackheath Golf Club manor house. Thursday evening brought all Delegates together at the nearby Dickens Inn to enjoy informal buffet, cocktails and, of course, a warm pint or two.
Friday morning continued the conference tradition of an optional 8 km run across Tower Bridge and down and back along the south bank of the Thames. After breakfast with significant others, the Delegates met to begin the official Conference program at 9:30 am. Following presentations by the Conference Hosts and the opening remarks of IPG Chair Graham Wallace, four Candidates gave brief presentations to support their candidacies for admission to IPG.
- Hin Tat Augustine & Partners, Singapore (represented by Mr. Tan Hin Tat).
- Nockelmann Rechtsanwaelte Partnerschafts GMBB, Dortmund, Germany (represented by Mr. Wolfgang Nockelmann).
- Alliant LLP, Los Angeles, California, USA (represented by Mr. Jacob Stein)
- Addax Advocats, Strasbourg, France (represented by Mr. Michel Mall)
Upon concluding the Candidates’ presentations, programming turned to the day´s featured speakers. Daniel Finkelstein, OBE, weekly columnist of The Times and former adviser to Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague, gripped the room’s attention while speaking on “The UK Political Scene.” Following Lord Finkelstein’s talk, Mr. Alan Higgins (Coutts) presented the Delegates with his views on “World, UK and London Economic Scene.” Morning programming was rounded out by Mr. Mark Foley (Rawley & Co), who spoke about “The London Property Scene” Mr.Benjamin Alsop (British Museum), who dissertated on “The Past, Present and Future of Money,” and City of London Aldermen Peter Estlin and William Russell, who opened up the fascinating world and work of the City Livery Companies and the Lord Mayor’s Office.
A working lunch at the hotel included breakout sessions for 10 IPG Practice Groups. These Practice Groups currently include: Trust & Financial Services; IT Experts; Insolvency and Directors’ Liability; Mergers & Acquisitions; Employment Law; Mediation & Arbitration; Real Estate Law; Intellectual Property; International Trade Law; and International Accounting & Auditing. Delegates may manage their membership and participation in these Practice Groups through their LinkedIn settings.
The Delegates resumed Conference activity with the fascinating presentation of Mr. Viv Williams, consultant and principal of the 360 Legal Group, who looked at the “Future of Professional Firms.” This presentation segued into breakout sessions led by Mr. Williams, in which the Delegates shared their experiences and lessons learned in their professional practices.
Meanwhile, the significant others attending the Conference enjoyed a choice between a tour of West End shops or a visit to the Tate Modern Gallery. The two groups met to have lunch at the elegant Sartoria restaurant in Mayfair, before continuing on to Harrods in Knightsbridge. After a long and enjoyable day, the group returned to the hotel to meet the Delegates for the evening’s Gala Dinner held aboard the Thames River Boat “The Elizabethan.” Delegates, Candidates and significant others enjoyed a delightful evening enhanced by the passing London skyline.
Saturday morning found the Delegates and Candidates working again. After review and discussion of the meeting agenda, the assembly unanimously approved the resolutions and the admission of the four candidates for IPG Membership. Following the elections, Mr. Rahul Chadha (Chadha & Co.) gave a presentation on New Delhi, the site for the 2016 Fall Conference, November 17-20. Conference business was thereafter concluded and the Delegates met their significant others (who had spent the morning choosing between visits to either the Borough Market or the Tower of London) for lunch at the hotel.
Next, it was time for all 141 attendees to make their way to the Houses of Parliament. Did you know the work of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod? Or who was the last monarch to have entered the House of Commons? Or why there is a velvet bag that hangs from the back of the Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons? Those of us less familiar with Parliament’s history and protocol were fascinated to learn answers to these questions and more. The visit was capped by—what else?—a delightful afternoon tea on the House of Commons terrace.
Saturday evening brought us all together one last time at the Butler’s Wharf Chop House. Like other closing dinners, it was a bittersweet occasion. As the night draws to a close, you realize it may be six months before you again spend time with the many individuals who make IPG an enriching, stimulating and diverse amalgam of professionals. We are grateful to our Conference Hosts and looking forward to seeing one another in New Delhi!
Laurence P. Wiener and Wiener Soto Caparrós