Thursday, August 03, 2017 - 10:59
What you missed in Düsseldorf ...
Our host city for the 2017 Jurismus annual conference which took place 8 June to 11 June was Dusseldorf, Germany. Dusseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and as a centre for international business it was a fitting meeting place for the 33 attending Jurismussers from all over Europe.
We all met up on Thursday evening for a drink in the lovely hotel garden and then went on to the Altstadt, the Old Town, for dinner at Las Tapas (a little hint for next year’s conference destination as it transpired!). There were both new and familiar faces, and it was an excellent opportunity to network and socialise.
On Friday morning we travelled by tram to the State Parliament of North Rhine Westphalia where we were welcomed by Dr Christian Reitemeier, of the State’s Ministry of Justice. We were visiting at a very interesting time as the previous month there had been an election in the state which had resulted in a big shake-up of the governing parties. It was explained to us that the incumbent government at the time of the election had been an SPD-Green coalition, but following the election it became a CDU-FDF coalition; seen as a major victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU party. Using a panoramic projector screen there was a very informative presentation regarding the political composition of the Parliament prior to, and then following the election. This was followed by a tour of the building which included visiting the plenary chamber, the parliamentary parties’ rooms and some of the conference rooms.
We had a workshop at the State Parliament which was taken by Tanja Heise, during which we learnt about how to successfully market ourselves as lawyers. Tanja helped us to develop our own personal marketing pitches and encouraged us to think about how best to position ourselves in order to attract clients.
After the workshop we headed to the TV Tower for lunch which offered panoramic views of the city from a height of 172m! We then took a beautiful sunny cruise along the Rhine and enjoyed taking in some of the major landmarks of Dusseldorf along the riverside.
With our feet back on dry land, we travelled by tram to the office of Busekist Winter & Partner, our hosts for the weekend, where we were treated to a champagne reception and a tour of the office.
Our evening meal was a truly traditional affair at Zum Schlussel in the Altstadt, which housed its own on-site brewery. We were able to sample traditional German dishes, as well as Altbier, the local dark beer. After dinner it was time to experience Dusseldorf’s nightlife, which boasts “the longest bar in the world.” It turns out this refers to the nearly 300 or so bars, clubs, pubs and breweries which are squeezed into the Altstadt area. In the end, we settled for just one bar and danced the night away there!
The General Assembly was held on Saturday morning. The Jurismus Board members set out the on-going projects which include the JUMP program (an individual exchange program between two Jurismussers) and the Pimp My Firm webinars. The Board also revealed that the next conference will be held in sunny Malaga, and Enrique Delgado Schwarzmann presented a video which gave a taste as to what Malaga has to offer.
During the General Assembly Sven Farbrot (Advokatfirma Tofte DA, Norway) was elected as the new President, Robert Buchmann having had to retire from his position. Lucile Quentel (CVS Avocats, France) was re-elected, and Lievan Van Besien (Racine Advocaten, Belgium), Nils Grenda (Sagawe & Klages, Germany) and Sophie Hearle (Ashtons Legal, UK) were elected as new Board members.
The General Assembly concluded with a short seminar by David Emmerich on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Intellectual Property Law, which prompted a very lively discussion amongst the delegates, with lots of different viewpoints and anecdotes being shared.
After the General Assembly we went for lunch at Seoul, a Korean restaurant close the hotel. There was then some free time when everyone was able to finalise their middle age or futuristic themed costumes for the evening event in Zons, a medieval town outside Dusseldorf. We dined at Zoll Haus in the company of space travellers, knights, Robin Hood, Dr Zoidberg and several Marty McFlys, amongst others - do check out the photos on our Facebook page of this brilliant evening!
Special thanks to Stefan Daubner and his colleagues at Busekist Winter & Partner for organising a very enjoyable and profitable conference.
We look forward to welcoming new and current members alike to the Jurismus conference next year in Malaga!
Report by Sophie Hearle