Welcome to what was the Chairman’s Report but is now the Chairman’s Column.
2017 has been a busy year for LEI.
We held very well attended, brilliantly organised and professionally rewarding conferences in Dubai (April) and Dublin (September). My sincere thanks to Atiq and the team at Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota and to Pat and the Flynn O’Driscoll team for the great effort they each made in hosting so successful conferences.
We also continued the now established practice of holding an annual regional conference for each of Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Regional conferences are a great opportunity for firms to introduce more of their partners to LEI. It is really pleasing that many of our members did exactly that this year. We can forget that it requires a lot of work to develop and host a regional conference and I want to thank Studio Galgano and Hewitsons for putting together the European conference in Bologna, Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton for hosting the Americas conference in Boston and Weli and Curtis at LLC Partners for organising the Asia Pacific Conference in Taipei.
In the last edition of SoundByte, I reported the Executive Committee has developed a number of initiatives for the benefit of members. We have now costed and run these initiatives past the gatekeepers, who have responded positively to them.
Briefly, the principal initiatives are:
continue our expansion program – Argentina, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam are territories where we should have member,
increased support for regional conferences and to encourage members to send as many delegates as possible to them,
strengthen our ties with African firms through ACH and the African Legal Network by sending, at LEI’s cost, 2 representatives to each ALN conference,
development of a new LEI website with a new look and better functionality,
moving more aggressively into social media which is the medium of choice for many of our members’ attorneys,
greater involvement of the Secretary in recording of referrals, quality control and member liaison,
providing a free practice management assistance, particularly in IT and marketing, to members through a virtual help-desk service to be provided by the relevant managers at Gould & Ratner, Hewitsons, Holding Redlich, Phillips Lytle and Procopio – thank you to all these members for agreeing to do this,
encouraging greater participation by younger partners in LEI by providing free attendance at LEI conferences for a limited number of partners aged under 40 and convening a group of younger partners to consider what else can be done to bring younger (and particularly younger female) partners into LEI’s orbits.
As these initiatives will add very considerably to the Secretaries work, the EC has appointed David Lindgren as honorary assistant secretary to assist Lewis.
All these initiatives will be implemented in 2018. I will provide more detail on each initiative early in the New Year.
In 2018 we will have conferences in Toronto (May) and Bangalore (September). Thank you Loopstra Nixon and Lexigen for volunteering to host these major events in their wonderful cities.
We have already started planning the agenda for Toronto. It is looking exciting at this stage, but we do need to lock a few people in before I can give you more details. However, Allan Ritchie and his team have already sent out invitations to the conference and I urge you to reply soon.
We have also set an Asia Pacific regional conference for 7/8 July in Kuala Lumpur. Thank you Gideon and the partners at GTRZ for offering to host the far-flung Asia Pacific members next year.
Finally, I wish everyone all you the readers of this column a happy, rewarding and healthy 2018. It should be a great year for LEI and I hope it is for you also.