WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr
No one can believe it, but sadly it’s true: the Multilaw Academy 2018 has come to an end.
But we didn’t let it go without a proper send off, wrapping up the programme with some truly insightful sessions on litigation and law trial process in the civil and common law systems. The speakers - the Faculty members Arnaud Picard (Lerins BCW, France) and Christiane Campbell (Duane Morris, USA) - took us through both litigation procedures. Besides general differences, we have also discussed specific issues that are currently getting the most attention (such as cost-consciousness, as well as the increasing importance of advanced software assisting lawyers in litigation proceedings). One of the key takeaways, however, was that in both of the legal frameworks, the true challenge lies in educating and adequately addressing any doubts of the client. This is particularly important with regard to the issue of the costs of litigation proceedings, which led us to discuss some other current hot topics such as budgeting, alternative fee arrangements and litigation funding. Having considered all of the challenges that litigators face, we agreed that essentially “litigation is an art”.
The official working programme closed with the session led by Multilaw’s Executive Director, Adam Cooke, who addressed the delegates with an overview of opportunities that the network offers to its member firms, their lawyers and their clients. We left the conference room inspired by the stories of recent successful international collaborations and eager to contribute to the numerous Multilaw initiatives. We also left with a feeling of honour having been able to participate in one of the flagship programmes of one of the most prominent global law firm networks (and certainly one of the most valued by clients - to the point where “it’s not only the client who drives Multilaw, it’s also Multilaw and it’s presence in various jurisdictions that acts as the driver for the client”).
Having officially concluded this last item on this year’s agenda, we spent the afternoon enjoying the blissfully beautiful surroundings of the Veranda High Resort and Spa, which felt so like home to us for these last few days. And it wasn’t just due to the amazing staff (whose attentiveness and attention to detail didn’t cease to amaze us), but because home is where your friends are. And - as one of the delegates put it later in the evening - we haven’t just made business contacts here this week. We have made new friends.
The Friday night dinner was all about saying a proper goodbye to those friends. It was a truly memorable one, set in the scenery of the resort’s restaurant sitting high above the ground and overlooking surrounding hills covered in all shades of lush green. With the most interesting Thai traditional music playing in the background, we tried to capture the last moments together and make just a few more memories. The highlights of the evening also included a lovely performance of a Thai dance and a spectacle, both delivered by the children from the local Ban Pong school (where we spent the Thursday afternoon, contributing our time and effort and leaving the Multilaw’s footprint for the local community (see Day 4 post). The official part of the evening ended with the delegates receiving their diplomas (we are happy to report a 100% success rate!). Last but not least, the Faculty welcomed its current member Henry Shi (JunHe, China) as the new Chancellor of the Multilaw Academy, taking over the lead from the wonderful Joanne Vengadesan (Penningtons Manches, UK).
Joanne has been dedicating herself to this initiative for over a decade with a passion that has allowed the Academy to continuously grow and become what it is now - not just a great educational and networking experience - but - most importantly - a soil for the growth of a true community.
We have all said our goodbyes with true sadness but certain that for the community of the Multilaw Academy 2018, this is just the beginning. As the new Chancellor so beautifully put it in his last night speech, “When we come together, we are the fire on one torch; when we disperse, we are the stars dotting in the sky.”
We are all leaving Chiang Mai today eager to keep this fire burning, because for each and every one of us the Multilaw Academy experience exceeded all expectations. If we were to describe it in one word, that would be:
Jaroslav : “horizon-expanding”
We will never forget it. Thank you.