The How & Why of LEI
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2019, our 25th Anniversary, is a time for looking back and, much more importantly, looking forward.
When Hewitsons LLP founded LawExchange International (LEI) in 1994, with just two co-founder firms in Germany and France, our philosophy was simple: our members must be willing to treat a client referred to them by another member firm with the same commitment to quality of advice and service as they would show to their own clients. Now, 25 years later (2019) and with 34 member firms, that commitment remains unchanged. Legal Directories exist today, just as they did when we started, but I have always believed in the importance of close personal relationships when one needs urgent advice, in another jurisdiction, for a client.
Like all progressive organizations, we have evolved substantially over the last 25 years. Our half-yearly conferences now extend over two full days of intensive work. Our retained Consultant, Dr. Jim Perkins, of our member firm, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch of San Diego, an authority on legal practice management, keeps us up to date on the latest developments in this sector.
We have introduced annual regional conferences for our member firms in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region and we encourage our members to send to these conferences partners and senior associates who do not get to attend our main, half-yearly meetings.
Currently, Maggie Marques-Bom, a partner with Marques-Bom & Associados, our member firm in Lisbon, is leading an initiative aimed at bringing together younger lawyers in all our member firms; this initiative is being widely supported.
As the founder of LEI, I have every confidence that our organization, while continuing its policy of carefully planned expansion, will never lose sight of our main reason for existing — to provide swift and effective advice to each other's clients.
Founder and Past Secretary of LawExchange International
A photo from the Milan conference in 1997, one of the first conferences.