The Eurojuris practice groups are on the march, with a new approach to bring members together and further innovation planned.
Currently there are 10 practice groups in operation, covering interests from insolvency and intellectual property through real estate to business and management, with two more in development covering private wealth and energy. Members can join groups according to their expertise and interests.
As well as regular meetings for the groups, in future members will find new approaches to events, both online and offline, and more opportunities for interaction outside the events.
One key change is a less structured approach to events, in response to member feedback. Trialled at the recent Cologne event, where the practice groups celebrated being back in person after the online meetings of the pandemic, it was all about keeping moving.
Instead of a full programme of formal presentations, the agenda was equally shaped around networking and interaction, with members moving between venues and discovering the host city.
“The recent event in Cologne was a great outcome of our trial for a less structured, more social style of event and had enthusiastic feedback from those taking part,” said Bram Marcus of Netherlands firm Van Dam & Kruidenier | Fairway Advocaten, board member lead for the groups.
As Budapest member Dr. Katalin Szecskay of Szecskay Attorneys At Law explained: “The formal program was not overly packed, so we had plenty of time to chat about other things than law too. It’s a group of truly outstanding legal professionals and we all get along so well.”
Members took part from around the world, including Tobias F. Ziegler of New York firm Bressler, Amery & Ross, PC, who said: “Nothing better than turning friendships into successful collaboration for the benefit of our clients. That’s what we do here.”
The newest practice group to be established is focused on cross-border issues in private wealth and the joint chair of the group is Susan Glenholme of UK firm Debenhams Ottaway, who said: “This is a great network of lawyers who are all so friendly, welcoming and willing to work together to help their clients”.
The private wealth group may be the newest practice group, but it’s already leading the way in introducing new ways of getting together. The group is using hybrid meetings to allow group members to attend remotely as well as in person.
It’s an approach which other groups are keen to follow and, says Bram, will be just one of the new ways of engaging in future. He explained: “We are looking at introducing hybrid meetings for more groups; at how meetings and knowledge can be shared online after events; and how cooperation between some of the groups covering complementary topics may add value and increase participation by members. New practice groups are also under consideration, following proposals from members.
“The most important component for the future success of the groups is active participation. We have excellent leadership on the groups, and the more involvement and interaction between members within the group, the greater the value for everyone.”
Online, more opportunities are being created within the Eurojuris website for members to exchange information and to post content for sharing, not just with peers, but with clients and other partners too. The blog section is available for short contributions and White Papers are planned for sharing more in-depth analysis.
Added Bram: “The meeting in Cologne was a great success, with 65 attendees in person and more online, despite the short amount of time available for organisation by Iris, Diane and Stefan after we took the hard decision to relocate the meeting from Estonia.”
The network is hoping to put Estonia back in the schedule in future, and in the meantime members can learn about the country and hear from member Veikko Toomere of Njord Law Firm here.
Feedback from other members joining the practice groups in Cologne included first-time attendee Dr Carmen Fritz, of German firm Kanzlei Dr. Fritz, who said: “I was surprised how unstressful it is to have legal and non-legal conversations with colleagues from other countries.”
That ease of communication was echoed by another German first-time delegate. Philipp Hartlieb, of Caemmerer Lenz in Karlsruhe, who added: “The best thing about Eurojuris is the great mix of professional exchange and warm-hearted networking with inspiring people of all ages.”