22 Feb Meet with Marie Brejchova
The Czech Association, Unie podnikových právníků ČR (UPP ČR), established in 1990 upon obtaining membership of the majority of the company lawyers in the country, had a difficult start. Unfortunately, just after its foundation, the Czech Government established another organization called the “Chamber of Commercial Lawyers”, in which members benefited from legal privilege and were recognized by the law. This new organization then attracted most company lawyers, especially after the Chamber of Commercial Lawyers was absorbed by the Chamber of Advocates in 1996. UPP ČR lost many members and became rather inactive.
“But a fundamental step happened in 1999” Marie explains us with a radiant smile “When the Chairman of UPP ČR at that time was contacted by ECLA in order to help in the battle of achieving the legal privilege and became an ECLA member, the 1st among the central and eastern Europe Association.” The new millennium highlighted a new era in the Association’s life with new people in the board focusing on financial reinforcement, more activities such as legal seminars/conferences and the launch of the institutional website which increased the membership and the visibility.
“I was elected as President in 2007 and developed UPP ČR further in order to make it become the most prestigious and well organization considered by the authorities in the Czech Republic representing the company lawyers. We organize twice a year important conferences in addition to smaller events and competition as The Company Lawyer of the Year” adds Marie with pleasure. “Our members now are not only individuals with an employee contract, but also companies having internal legal departments. The position of company lawyers in our country is still not very positive although we keep battling together with ECLA for the professional legal privilege. This is why we believe strongly in ECLA’s capacity to achieve the same legal privilege as external lawyers as well as a networking tool for our members not only on common legal matters, but also to exchange the best practices”.