EUROPEAN GENERAL COUNSEL FORUM
CELEBRATING ECLA’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY
EUROPEAN GENERAL COUNSEL FORUM
CELEBRATING ECLA’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY
18-19 September 2023
LEADERSHIP – INNOVATION – IMPACT
The European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) is delighted to announce its 40th Anniversary Conference. This 1.5-day event, specifically designed for corporate lawyers, will focus on the latest developments and technological advancements in the legal field.
FOR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL
The conference will bring together industry leaders, legal professionals, and technology experts to discuss and share insights into the future of corporate law. SEE THE AGENDA HERE
for the In-house Leaders of today!
Network, share best practices, give your opinions, learn in-depth about contemporary legal developments, and much more in a highly interactive and dynamic setting
by the In-house Leaders of today!
Exclusive sessions over three highly impactful streams: Deal Dynamics: M&A, Competition & Financial Regulations; Intersection of Law & Business: European Corporate Law & DSM Legislation; and Future focus: ESG, Digital Transformation & DSM Legislation.
with the In-house Leaders of today!
The event welcomes company lawyers of all industries and seniorities, from General Counsel/Heads of Legal Departments to Senior level legal experts to Junior level lawyers, who are just starting out in this exciting journey.
Please select “Conference Schedule” to see the main-day agenda
International General Counsel, TotalEnergies
Jonathan Marsh has developed extensive experience in international business transactions, with over 20 years’ experience in the energy sector, involving long term projects with long investment horizons. Mr. Marsh manages the legal activities performed by 170 in-house legal counsel in over 100 countries and serves on the Group Legal Committee consisting of 10 General Counsel supervising the global team of 550 lawyers in the TotalEnergies Group.
VP, Legal Director, The Walt Disney Company
Philippe Coen is the Founder of Respect Zone and Assistant Regional Counsel at The Walt Disney Company. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a student of the Academy of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and of the University Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1. Philippe’s advocacy under Respect Zone is dedicated to the protection of victims of cyberviolence and child protection. He directs the Respect Zone Clinic for Human and Digital Rights at the University of Paris Sciences et Lettres Dauphine.
VP, Legal – Corporate, Securities, M&A and International Development, ServiceNow
Laurits Anton Jørgensen
Group General Counsel, Stark Group
Senior Legal Director, Johnson & Johnson
Executive Director & Head of Legal Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Nordic Countries, Banco Santander
Dr. Duncan Weston
Executive Partner, CMS
Dr. Duncan Weston, PhD, has 25 years’ experience in managing professional service firms and was appointed as Executive Partner of CMS in 2018 after being Managing Partner for 8 years. He was responsible for steering the UK firm through the global financial crisis, he was the architect of a number of mergers and also a founding partner of the CMS Academy. Prior to becoming Managing Partner, Duncan was a leading private equity lawyer bringing his characteristic dynamic and innovative approach to the deals. He was also Head of the European Private Equity Group specialising in cross-border investment in Central and Eastern Europe.
Duncan co- founded Lupl in 2019 as the first open industry platform in legal matter synchronisation for legal departments and law firms globally.
Hans Van Heghe
Managing Director, Knowliah
Hans Van Heghe is a proven expert, author, and lecturer in the field of Information and Knowledge Management. With more than 25 years of experience in digital information management, Hans understands the daily challenges of numerous organisations. Hans Van Heghe therefore founded the company Knowliah to create pragmatic & multilingual software solutions. He has uniquely reinvented the way companies use content and expertise, with technology based on AI and NLP. Hans has been at the helm of developing specific software solutions for the legal sector. His expertise and broad understanding of how corporate legal departments operate, ensure that Knowliah develops solutions that meet the needs of the legal sector.
Head of Legal EMEA ECG, Aon Switzerland
Dr. Christina Börner is a Swiss-qualified lawyer and the Head of Legal & Compliance of Aon Switzerland / EMEA ECG. She has more than 20 years of experience in Corporate / Commercial law and ESG in various financial services companies. Christina holds a PhD from the University of Zurich, was a visiting scholar at Berkeley Law (University of California at Berkeley) and is a lecturer at the University of Zurich and at ETH/SFIT.
President (Legal) & General Counsel, Hinduja Group
Head of Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary, Generali
Chairman, AIGI (Italian Association of Business Lawyers)
Deputy General Counsel, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Head of Legal, EMEAI, ENGIE Impact
General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, NEXERA
Wojciech Dziomdziora is a legal advisor, manager; General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at NEXERA – a wholesale telecommunications operator. He is a specialist in telecommunications, copyright, media, new technologies and regulated markets law.
Wojciech started his career at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, than he was a director of the legal department at the Ministry of Culture and at last he served as member of the National Broadcasting Council. After moving to the private sector he was an in-house lawyer in TVN (leading Polish private tv broadcaster, currently part of Discovery), then he worked in Orange Polska, where he held high managerial positions.
Yves Lefere is a commercial leader in the legaltech industry with a global footprint, renowned for his strategic and consultative approach to helping corporate legal departments overcome their digital challenges. With a deep understanding of sales and marketing, and a talent for developing and executing strategic plans, Yves has successfully supported clients globally in building and executing effective digital strategies. His expertise in accelerating growth and developing strong relationships with clients has earned him a reputation as a trusted advisor. As a visionary leader in the legaltech industry, Yves is committed to helping organizations achieve success in the digital age.
Head of Legal, Wells Fargo Bank International
Sarah Landry Maltais
Vice President, Legal Affairs, CGI
Partner, CEE Managing Director, Global Co-Head of the Technology, Media and Communications Group, CMS
Dóra is a partner and CEE Managing Director at CMS and Global Co-Head of the Technology, Media and Communications Group (TMC). She also heads the TMC, Data Protection and Intellectual property (IP) practices, and is a partner in the Antitrust, Competition and Trade practice in the Budapest office. Her areas of specialisation include AI, digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, data protection, GDPR, competition law, IP law, general commercial contracts, corporate restructuring and M&A. She has established and leads our managed legal services delivery centre from Budapest. In addition, she has in-depth experience managing and coordinating multi-jurisdictional projects in over 20 countries.
Guy Pendell is a commercial disputes partner based in London. He has been a partner since 2005 and has over 20 years’ experience handling corporate/commercial disputes. His main areas of work include corporate/M&A disputes, technology, media and telecoms, international projects, aviation and finance disputes. He also has years of experience handling disputes in the hotels and consumer products sectors. Guy is one of a few London practitioners with leading rankings in both litigation and arbitration in the major legal directories. He has been credited as “giving clients the best chance of winning”.
Dirk van Liedekerke
European and national competition law
Dirk Van Liedekerke is a lawyer specialising in European and national competition law as well as in various regulatory areas. In competition law, he advises companies active in all sectors and particularly in the digital fields (telecommunication, media, online platforms, …) about the impact of European and national competition law on their activities. He assists companies daily in the context of investigations conducted by the European and national competition authorities, in dealing with complaints about breaches of competition law or during searches, and to ensure the compliance of their actions and projects with competition law. Dirk assists his clients in the preparation of responses to requests for information and statements of grievance. He deals with requests for interim measures and intervenes in appeals against decisions of the competent authorities.
María González Gordon
CMS Spain Managing Partner, Global Co-Head of Digital Business Subgroup, CMS global Executive Committee member
María González Gordon heads the Intellectual Property & Digital Business practice at CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo (CMS Spain). She specialises in advising domestic and international companies on intellectual and industrial property, media, technology and digital businesses, with a particular focus in litigation and negotiation in those fields. María is coManaging Partner of the firm and sits at the board of directors of CMS Spain and at its Executive Committee. At a CMS global level, she is a member of the global Executive Committee and also the global co-head of the CMS Digital Business international group and is a leader of the CMS Digital Regulation Campaign.
Ivo Hoppler is a permanent lecturer at the University of Zurich & Federal Institute of Technology ETH as well as at the University of St. Gallen / HSG and the LL.M Program of the European Institute of Zurich.
He has more than twelve years of experience as Examining Magistrate / Prosecutor for the canton of Zurich in the fields of “White Collar”- Crime, Money Laundering offences and Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters.
Ivo is currently working for Zurich Insurance Group on a Human Factor project. Previously he was a Forensic Partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Managing Director at Stroz Friedberg/ Aon with the responsibility to lead investigations (Data loss, bribery, AML, Insider etc.) and other Forensic related matters (Forensic accounting projects, Disputes, Compliance reviews, Investigations etc.) in Switzerland and abroad.
Senior Counsel, Trust and Compliance Officer Europe, IBM
Alessandra joined the IBM Legal Department in 2001, starting her professional development has in- house lawyer with roles and responsibilities both at Italian and European level. Previously, Alessandra had gained a few years of professional experience in major law firms in Milan. In 2017, Alessandra concluded her assignment in Middle East and Africa and took the role of Head of the IBM Legal Department of IBM Italy. In 2022 she has lead the EMEA Litigation Team until February 2023 when she has been appointed as Trust and Compliance Officer for Europe. Alessandra is the Executive Sponsor of Women@IBM in Italy where she leads the Italian BRG named “Women Leadership Counsel”. Since 2019, Alessandra is the Regional Coordinator for Lombardia and Liguria of Associazione Italiana Avvocati In-house (AIGI) and since 2022 she is member of the General Board of the association.
Head of Commercial Contracts – UK&E Division, Serco
Chris is the Head of Commercial Contracts for Serco’s UK & Europe Division. Previously he has held the position as Legal and Commercial Director for Serco’s European Operations and prior to that has held managing legal positions in the aviation and oil and gas industries. Chris is also the global head of in@serco, Serco’s employee support network for its LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies.
Senior Legal Counsel – GBU Energy Solutions, ENGIE
Partner, Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group, CMS
Louise Wallace is the Global Co-Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group, a global group of over 1,400 corporate lawyers throughout Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America. Louise specialises in cross-border transactions, particularly logistics and aviation, hotels & leisure, consumer and retail sectors, focussing on all M&A and corporate advisory matters for her clients, who include many multi-national organisations. Louise is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers for her work in the hotels & leisure sector and is recognised by Legal500 as a Leading Lawyer for M&A: Upper Mid-Market And Premium Deals, £500m+. She regularly speaks at conferences on a wide variety of corporate, sector and D&I issues.
Partner, Rechtsanwalt | Co-Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group, CMS
Malte Bruhns is a corporate M&A partner of CMS Germany and serves as the firm’s Global Co-Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group. For more than 20 years he has advised strategic and financial investors on numerous complex and high-value transactions across various business sectors. He is regularly listed in leading directories (mergermarket, Legal 500, JUVE) as a leading M&A lawyer in Germany and is recommended by clients and competitors alike as a “high-end M&A lawyer”, “outstanding negotiator and deal organizer”, and known for his “vast experience, negotiating power and great efficiency”.
Under his leadership, the CMS Corporate/M&A Group recently won, inter alia, the mergermarket Award as “Law Firm of the year – M&A Germany” in November 2022 and The Lawyer Award as “Law Firm of the year – Private Equity” in June 2023.
Hilke Herchen is a Corporate/M&A partner based in Hamburg. She has been a partner with CMS since 2008. Hilke specialises in advising on corporate group law matters with a particular focus on corporate governance issues and complex transactions, especially complex joint venture structures. She also advises strategic investors on mergers and acquisitions restructurings. Her clients include international groups, large and medium-sized companies in Germany and abroad, in particular from the energy (renewable energy) and TMC (technology, media and communications) sectors with strong links to technology in the automotive industry.
Caroline is a partner in the Employment Law Department of CMS France. She works mainly with large French and international corporate groups in different sectors. Her expertise includes restructuring (transfer of employment contracts, adjustment of collective statutes, structure of information/consultation procedures, management of staff reps, etc.) and the employment aspects of M&A transactions (due diligence, employment aspects of negotiations, support during information/consultation procedures, employment aspects of the legal framework used, post-acquisition monitoring, etc.). She has extensive experience in providing day-to-day support to businesses or foreign corporate groups located in France or looking to move to France.
Partner, KPMG Law
Laura is a Partner in KPMG Law’s International Business Reorganisations team focused on planning, designing and implementing complex, multi-disciplinary projects. Laura has over 17 years of experience in advising on global reorganisations projects and subsidiary governance and recently joined the KPMG Law team from Baker McKenzie. Her recent work includes leading a multi-jurisdictional legal entity rationalisation project for a major technology client, and leading a complex post-acquisition integration and intra-group debt reorganisation Laura was recognised as a Rising Star for International Business Reorganisations by Legal 500 2023.
Partner, KPMG Law
James heads the Legal Technology and Innovation team in KPMG Law. He is an effective and highly skilled legal technologist having been listed in the top 10 legal business technologists by the Financial Times in 2019. He led KPMG’s Global legal technology initiative as part of KPMG international from 2016 to 2019 before returning to KPMG UK to head the legal technology & innovation team.
James designed and implemented KPMG’s global legal technology strategy, working with teams from more than 70 member firms in the KPMG network to drive efficiency and new client offerings and productising legal services working with a number of KPMG’s alliance partners including Microsoft, ServiceNow and Thomson Reuters.
Dr. Christian Hensel
Partner, KPMG Law
Kostas C. Argyropoulos
General Counsel, SPACE HELLAS Group
Kostas C. Argyropoulos is the General Counsel of SPACE HELLAS Group, digital integrator, and value-add service provider, with an international presence in the field of electronic communications, it, software, and security. He has a wide experience of more than twenty-five years as an in-house legal counselor in the ICT market both in a national and in an international level. He has published various articles in cyberspace law, data protection, public procurement, capital markets and corporate governance. He graduated from the Law School of the University of Athens (1993) and concluded his post graduate studies at the University of Paris II – Panthéon Assas (1995) and Harvard Law School (1999).
Dr. Kamyar Abrar
Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Kamyar Abrar is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department, where he focuses on private equity and M&A transactions, including distressed transactions. He has handled numerous transactions in a variety of industries.
Kamyar also counsels clients on a wide variety of antitrust and compliance issues, ranging from mergers and acquisitions, B2B exchanges, joint ventures and distribution practices to civil litigation. He has represented clients before the European Commission, the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) as well as German courts.
Managing Director / Head of DACH, Howden M&A
Head of Legal Expertise & Alliances, DiliTrust
Cyril Godet, Head of Legal Expertise & Alliances at DiliTrust, a top French corporate governance software provider, boasts extensive corporate law experience. Beginning as a solicitor in France in 1999, Cyril held pivotal roles at AXA, Groupe AZUR-GMF, Elior, and Etam. Since 2012, he’s contributed his tech-savvy leadership to DiliTrust, overseeing IT missions and Visual Scope solution administration. Cyril excels in complex international legal matters. His solid academic background in French and American/English Law, coupled with a commitment to innovation, makes him a corporate governance asset. His active participation in the Digital Task Force at AFJE highlights his dedication to the field.
|Deal Dynamics: M&A||Intersection of Law & Business: Risk and responsibilities||Rising challenges – data and digital regulation|
|European M&A Outlook: what the future holds? – Louise Wallace, Malte Bruhns||Managing Risk: Board level approaches to risk in the 21st century – Guy Pendell, Hilke Herchen, Caroline Froger-Michon||Panel discussion: Techniques for Taming a Tsunami: Riding the Waves of Digital Regulation – Dora Petranyi, Maria Gonzalez Gordon, Dirk van Liedekerke|
|The M&A Machine: Practical tips and guidance – Laurits Anton Jørgensen||ESG and related risk: a challenge for in-house Counsel? – Christina Boerner, Ivo Hoppler||Redefining the Horizon: Integrating AI Ethics and Literacy into the EU Data Strategy Framework – Alessandra Bini|
|Corporate Carve-outs: Lessons Learnt and Best Practices from a W&I insurance perspective – Dr. Kamyar Abrar, Gennadiy Kharif||The role GCs or Company Secretaries are playing in the dialogue between issuers and investors – Giuseppe Catalano||Workshop: Future of Business Reorganisations – Laura Fisher, James Thomas, Christian Hensel|
14:00 Focus sessions – three parallel breakout sessions
|Deal Dynamics: M&A and Regulation||Intersection of Law & Business:||Rising Challenges: Digital Transformation of the Legal Department|
|Shaping Corporate Futures: The Role of Law in M&A Decisions – Sarah Landry Maltais||The role of a General Counsel in a 21st century legal department against the backdrop of AI – Abhijit Mukhopadhyay||Revolutionizing Contract Management: Understanding Legal Contract Eco System – Yves Lefere|
|Europe’s Financial Landscapes – Building Bridges with Regulatory Authorities – Rory Flynn||Panel Discussion: Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Legal Departments: Scope, Technology, and Regulatory Shifts – Moderated by Cyril Godet||Integrating Advanced LLMs in Legal Practice: ChatGPT and the Next Steps in Digitalisation – Kostas C. Argyropoulos|
|Deal Dynamics: Disputes and commercial contracting||Intersection of Law & Business: The role of corporate counsel||Leadership and Legacy: Navigating Integrity and Sustainability in a Global Landscape|
|Collective redress in the EU – impact and consequences for the financial landscape – Simon Neill||The role of in-house lawyers in international organisations not subject to domestic law – Christoph Sicking||The Importance Of Human Leadership with Integrity – Timo Spitzer|
|Strategic Navigation: A Legal Perspective on Commercial Contracting in the UK & Europe – Christopher Greig-Bonnier||The Dance of Law and Business: Finding Rhythm in Corporate Sectors – Wojciech Dziomdziora||Multinational Corporations: Challenges on the Road to Net Zero – Steve Louw, Arthur Goethals|
19:00 Gala evening
Enjoy a three course meal and be enchanted by stage magician Nicolai Friedrich.
Join us for a relaxed Gala Evening after a full day at our European General Counsel Forum. The evening will take place at the event venue, after a short interlude from the end of the conference. The night’s agenda includes a three-course meal and world-class entertainment. With a variety of starters, main courses, and desserts, there should be something for everyone. Adding a twist to the evening, we have invited magician Nicolai Friedrich, once a lawyer himself, to provide some entertainment.
Nicolai Friedrich belongs to the new generation of Magicians whose success lies not only with their technical equipment, but with an unparalleled and remarkable stage presence that amazes the audience. His love of his work is apparent during every moment of his performance, and is felt by all in his audience. His mixture of visual artistry, fantastic comedy and fascinating Mental Magic is one of a kind. A refreshing brainteaser combined with so much laughter your stomach will hurt, creating a result that is guaranteed to blow your mind! As you dine and enjoy the show, there will be plenty of time to relax and network with fellow conference attendees.