February 23

AEA-EAL in Barcelona

On February 23 and 24 our Association participated in events in Barcelona organized by Federation of European Bars and Barcelona Bar Association. AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak represented us in a traditional Festivity of Sant Raimon of Penyafort and our immediate Past President Monique Stengel represented us in seminar by Barcelona Bar and FBE on protecting and application of the industrial and commercial secrecy.

Information about the Barcelona Bar and FBE seminar


FBE President prof. Sara Chandler


FBE President prof. Sara Chandler and AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak


Beginning of Festivity of San Ramon

February 14

AEA-EAL on the 46th European Presidents' Conference

On February 8 – 10, 2018 Maria Ślązak, President of the European Association of Lawyers represented our Association as a speaker during the 46th European Presidents’ Conference. AEA-EAL Past Presidents Monique Stengel and Konrad Meingast also participated this event.

The convention is the oldest and the biggest summit of the highest representatives of European lawyers. Also, many organizations from the outside of our continent are represented each year in Vienna. During their stay in the capital city of Austria, the participants are hosted by the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Minister of Justice and the Mayor of the City of Vienna. The fact that more than 200 top lawyers are present each year, serves as a proof for the importance the Presidents’ Conference. This meeting is a forum not only for exchanging opinions and views, but also for filling information deficits, debating different viewpoints and developing strategies as well as for informal talks. It is also a tradition that bars, law societies and international organizations of lawyers submits each year reports on their activities and international domestic developments that occurred within the passing year.

Traditional venue of the European Presidents’ Conference – Palais Ferstel

This year the topic was “Self-regulation or heteronomy – lawyers’ independence in danger?”. Maria Slazak was one of four speakers who delivered presentations and was speaking, among others, about international guarantees for Lawyers’ independence and self-government with conclusion that proposed European Convention on a Profession of a Lawyer is more than needed due to the fact that existing legal instruments have non-binding character (resolutions, declarations or recommendations) and the Convention will include an enforcement mechanism also for these Member States, where independence and/ or self-regulation is problematic or threatened. She also underlined that it is crucial for every lawyer to take into account mission of the profession towards citizens and society and not profits only. The presentation was welcomed with great interest from the participants (see below letter from President of the Austrian Bar).

Maria Slazak speaking during the conference

During meetings in Vienna AEA-EAL President met with representatives of several Bars, international organizations of lawyers and institutions, including  Christiane Wendehorst, President of the European Law Institute (ELI).

From the left: AEA-EAL President Maria Slazak and Prof. Christiane Wendehorst, ELI President

She met also with the delegation of Serbian Bar Association, with President and Vice-President of the International Organization of Young Lawyers (AJIA) and with the President of the Kazakhstan Bar Association, with whom a preparation of the common conference in Almaty (June 15-16) was discussed.

Also a meeting of AEA-EAL President and AEA-EAL Past Presidents took place, during which important issues for the Association were discussed.

from the left: AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak, Past President Konrad Meingast and immediate Past President Monique Stengel

Vienna events was closed by a traditional Ball of Lawyers in the Halls of Hofburg Castle. This Ball closes carnival season in the Austrian capital.

February 11

AEA-EAL Conference in Kazakhstan

We invite you for the conference on fundamentals of performing profession of a lawyer, organized by the AEA-EAL together with the Kazakhstan Bar Association and Bar Issues Commission of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Alamaty on June 15 – 16 , 2018. During the conference we will discuss not only such topics like:
· Independence of laywyers and the bar associations,
· Rules of ethics,
· Continuing legal education,
· Structure of legal aid,
· Disciplinary proceedings,
but also make an opportunity for networking between lawyers from Central Asia and Europe as well as to participate in a social program showing the beauty of Kazakhstan.

More information coming soon!

January 31

UNESCO: Holocaust Remembrance and Education: our shared responsibility.

Since 2002, 27th January has been instituted in Europe the international Day of commemoration in Memory of the victims of the holocaust and prevention of crimes against Humanity. In France, this day is dedicated to the memory of all genocides and to the prevention of crimes against humanity.

If this date has been chosen in memory to the date of liberation of the cam in Auschwitz-Brikenau, it has become a date of commemoration but also a day of prevention, specially for young generations to prevent such new crimes.

On January 25, 2018 Monique Stengel, Past President of the AEA-EAL participated in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, organized by UNESCO under the main title: Holocaust Remembrance and Education: our shared responsibility.

WIth this occasion Mr Robert Badinter, lawyer and professor of law, published an important article in the UNESCO Courier – “Anti-Semitism: Learning the lessons of history”.
Our present international actuality shows that, unfortunately, the lessons of the History don’t avoid similar violent acts and violation of human rights, also against lawyers as we could see a few days ago, on 24. January, during the Day of Lawyers in danger.

It is our duty as citizen and our role as lawyer to be watchful and to act to report and act against all sorts of violation against human rights and humanity.

Depuis 2002, le 27 janvier a été instituée en Europe journée de mémoire de l’Holocauste et de prévention des crimes contre l’humanité.
En France, cette journée est intitulée journée de la mémoire des génocides et de la prévention des crimes contre l’humanité.

En effet, si cette date a été choisie comme étant celle de la libération du camp d’Auschwitz-Birkenau, c’est devenue la journée consacrée au souvenir mais aussi à la prévention et, notamment, à l’éducation des jeunes pour prévenir la survenance de tels crimes.

Ainsi, j’ai pu assister le 25 janvier dernier à Paris, au siège de l’UNESCO, à la journée internationale organisée sous le titre “Mémoire et enseignement de l’Holocauste: notre responsabilité partagée”.
Comme le souligne Robert Badinter, Avocat et professeur de droit, dans le “Courrier de l’Unesco” à cette occasion, “l’histoire nous invite à la vigilance”.

Notre actualité internationale montre que, malheureusement, les leçons de l’Histoire n’empêche pas la survenance d’actes de violence et atteintes contre les droits de l’Homme, y compris contre les avocats comme nous avons dû le constater le 24 janvier dernier, à l’occasion de la journée de l’avocat en danger.

Il est de notre devoir de citoyen et notre rôle d’Avocat d’être vigilants et d’agir pour signaler et lutter contre toutes ces atteintes aux droits de l’homme et à l’humanité.

January 28

Study visit in Strasbourg for human rights lawyers

On January 23 – 24, 2018 AEA-EAL President Maria Slazak, in her capacity of past President of Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), participated as a speaker and chair of the panel in the study visit, organized by Council of Europe for a delegation of alumni of the “International Law in Advocacy” to the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. The aim of the event was to discuss the role of human rights lawyers, supporting the idea of adoption the proposed European Convention on the Profession of a Lawyer. Maria made an introductory remarks and chaired the session on the role of professional bodies in protection for human rights defenders in the light of new risks and problems in countries of Eastern Partnership. Other sessions moderated by judges of the European Court of Human Rights and experts represented civil society were related to the scope of who is a “lawyer” from perspective of NGOs lawyers (in house and/or independent lawyers) – including disbarred lawyers, the range of protection of professional privilege with a special emphasis on lex specialis guaranties and duties of lawyers, including those related to effective exercise of rights of individual petition via legal representation as well as information on the European enforcement mechanisms for monitoring and protection of lawyers’ rights. Maria was also invited to conclude the conference.

The study visit was organized for a group of lawyers from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine by Council of Europe in cooperation with Human Rights House Foundation and CCBE.

On January 24, 2018 Maria participated also in a seminar organized by CCBE at the headquarters of the Council of Europe under the title “Threatened lawyers: The end of the rule of law in Europe?” / the aim of the seminar was to present arguments on the need for development and adoption of a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer/ and in the Parliamentary Assembly where the positive decision to start drafting of the Convention was passed with big majority of votes.

January 28

Day of endangered lawyers

Resolution of the Board of Directors on endangered lawyers in Egypt

The Board of Directors of the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) expresses the solidarity with all endangered lawyers. We are seriously concerned at the current situation of lawyers in many countries where fundamental rights and standards are not observed and lawyers are harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted or even tortured. It constitutes the manifest breach of the rules which are fundamental in the democratic countries.
We would like to express our grave concern for the situation of lawyers in Egypt. We call the Egyptian authorities to refrain from harassment and repression of lawyers and to reconsider the attitude to this professional group which plays a very vital role in the society.

We would like also to remind that when adopting the Declaration on Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the United Nations Organization stressed that “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” We call the Egyptian authorities upon the observance of these rules.

We express our solidarity with Egyptian colleagues who share our beliefs in the importance of rule of law and the respect for the human rights.

The Board of Directors

Journée internationale de l’Avocat en danger – 24 Janvier 2018

L’Association Européenne des Avocats / the European Association of Lawyers, AEA-EAL, exprime sa solidarité avec tous les avocats en danger. Nous sommes sérieusement préoccupés par la situation actuelle des avocats dans de nombreux pays dans lesquels les droits fondamentaux ne sont pas respectés et les Avocats sont harcelés, obligés de se taire, mis sous pression, menacés, persécutés et même torturés. Cela constitue une violation manifeste des règles de base qui sont fondamentales dans des Etats démocratiques.

Nous voudrions exprimer notre grande inquiétude au sujet de la situation des Avocats en Egypte. Nous appelons les autorités égyptiennes à cesser tout persécution et repression à l’encontre d’Avocats et de considérer à nouveau leur attitude à l’égard de ce groupe professionnel qui joue un rôle vital dans la société.

Nous voudrions également rappeler qu’en adoptant la Déclaration sur les principes de base sur le rôle des Barreaux, l’Organisation des Nations Unies a souligné que ” Les pouvoirs publics veillent à ce que les avocats a) puissent s’acquitter de toutes leurs fonctions professionnelles sans entrave, intimidation, harcèlement ni ingérence indue; b) puissent voyager et consulter leurs clients librement, dans le pays comme à l’étranger; et c) ne fassent pas l’objet, ni ne soient menacés de poursuites ou de sanctions économiques ou autres pour toutes mesures prises conformément à leurs obligations et normes professionnelles reconnues et à leur déontologie. ” Nous appelons les autorités égyptiennes à observer ces règles.

Nous exprimons notre solidarité avec nos Confrères égyptiens qui partagent nos convictions quant à l’importance de l’Etat de droit et du respect des Droits de l’Homme.

Le Conseil d’Administration

January 25

Consumers may sue Facebook in their home country

An Austrian citizen is allowed to sue the Facebook in personal case in his home country, however he is not allowed to lodge a class action against this company, ruled today the Court of Justice in case C-498/16.

Max Schrems had lodged the class action in an Austrian court on behalf of himself and seven other users in Austria, Germany and India against Facebook Ireland for various alleged rights violations including personal data. Facebook, which operates its European services in Ireland, had argued that Austrian courts did not have jurisdiction over its Irish operations, and that Schrems was a “professional” user and therefore not covered by consumer protection provisions.

The court decided that a Facebook user could be considered a “consumer” if their use was “predominately” for personal and not professional use and consumers can file complaints against activities in another EU member state in their country of domicile. “Mr Schrems may bring an individual action in Austria against Facebook Ireland,” the Court (ECJ said in a statement. “By contrast, as the assignee of other consumers’ claims, he cannot benefit from the consumer forum for the purposes of a collective action.”

Austria’s supreme court had referred the matter to the ECJ after Schrems’s lawsuit was first thrown out and then restored by the country’s courts. The case now returns to Austria’s Supreme Court for final judgment.

Schrems was the one who brought down the EU’s former “safe harbour” data sharing arrangement in 2015 after he sued Facebook in Ireland over the transfer of personal information by Facebook from Europe to the US.

January 24

AEA-EAL concerns regarding endangered lawyers in Egypt

The European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) expresses the solidarity with all endangered lawyers. We are seriously concerned at the current situation of lawyers in many countries where fundamental rights and standards are not observed and lawyers are harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted or even tortured. It constitutes the manifest breach of the rules which are fundamental in the democratic countries.

We would like to express our grave concern for the situation of lawyers in Egypt. We call the Egyptian authorities to refrain from harassment and repression of lawyers and to reconsider the attitude to this professional group which plays a very vital role in the society.

We would like also to remind that when adopting the Declaration on Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the United Nations Organization stressed that “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” We call the Egyptian authorities upon the observance of these rules.

We express our solidarity with Egyptian colleagues who share our beliefs in the importance of rule of law and the respect for the human rights.

Board of Directors

January 23

Report from seminar on « Electrochoc Numérique », Second Edition

Patrick Conrads, member of the Board of Directors and Thomas Verbeeck, a colleague of his firm went to the second edition of the “Electrochoc Numérique” semina, which took place in Brussels on December 14, 2017.

Lawyers are increasingly aware of the impact of the digital revolution on their profession. The objective of this seminar was to answer the two main questions which remained at the heart of the reflections: “Why do we have to move?” and “Where to start?”

Too many lawyers today feel innovation as a threat rather than an opportunity. Yet it is by developing a prospective vision of its activity and refocusing on its added value that the lawyer of tomorrow will emerge winner of the digital revolution.
The digital revolution, with its portability tools, misleads the traditional model because it opens up knowledge and pushes for transparency, responsiveness and collaborative mode. (The hourly rate model does not encourage firms to structure more efficiently and clients have become aware of it).

What do customers, who also live their digital revolution and have become digital consumers, expect? This question was the subject of the first part of this meeting. Customers are probably looking for more agile solutions in terms of pricing, communication, listening or content. Customers are increasingly demanding, which has consequences on the value of the benefit, on the prices charged and on how the right is approached as a product. The client wants to become an actor of his file and the lawyer becomes no more guide, but companion of road.

How can the lawyer then review his position in digital time? This question was the subject of the second part of this meeting. It is obvious that the client will no longer come to his lawyer to obtain an obscure or abstract legal answer. He will come to share a common experience with his lawyer and together, they will develop the best solution to adopt.
In order to carry out his transformation, the lawyer will have to improve his organization and develop new tools. He will have to develop a collective intelligence focused on free access to knowledge.

The meteoric developments of artificial intelligence open up new perspectives for the lawyer to manage knowledge, organize data, anticipate the outcome of litigation using predictive tools, and give time to accentuate its advisory role through empathetic listening and sharing of experience.

For lawyers, an interest in innovation, not only technological but also economic, managerial and societal, is a precondition for the necessary transformation to ensure the continuity of the essence of the profession of lawyer: defending and counseling the human.

An article written by Patrick Conrads drawing up a status of the issues of digital for lawyers is coming and will soon be published for all membrers of AEA.

January 22

Digital revolution : What about lawyers?

Please find below a very interesting article by Patrick Conrads, member of the AEA-EAL Board of Directors and Belgian lawyer, on how digital revolution affects lawyers.

Like many other professions, lawyers are affected by the digital revolution. Technological tools and artificial intelligence lead to simplified and automated procedures that upset/subvert/shake our traditional ways of working. In addition, lawyers no longer have a monopoly of knowledge, which is now open, free and available to all. By opening up knowledge, the digital revolution with its portability tools is pushing for transparency, responsiveness and collaborative mode.
The profession is now faced with multiple challenges: economic sluggishness, globalized competition, artificial intelligence, the emergence of an increasingly sophisticated outsourcing, transformation of some of its know-how into commodities. It is also competing with other professions, that is why it is now essential to focus our efforts on driving change.

Although the brand “lawyers” carries many guarantees of quality of service (strong ethics, demanding discipline, guaranteed competence), these essential elements are not sufficient to allow the profession to build its attractiveness and profitability model without holding account of the expectations expressed by consumers.

Lawyers must therefore question the value of changing the way they work, interacting with their clients and with their various partners (jurisdictions, administrations, other professionals). Innovation requires to increase the risk culture and also requires phases of implementation and adaptation that are not always compatible with the profitability requirements of firms.

Despite this, digital electroshock must be seen as a real opportunity for lawyers, the challenge being to think about how to take advantage of it.
Indeed, advances in new technologies offer many advantages: saving time, money, quality and efficiency in the collection and pre-processing of legal information, for example.

New tools of work develop as well as predictive justice. With softwares, it is possible to calculate the probabilities of success in court and to predict the amount of compensation that clients are likely to receive. These softwares recover a maximum of rendered decisions and allow a quantification of the legal risk. Predictive justice is a step forward for litigants because they can have an idea of the chances of success of their action, but the software remains only tools.

However, the use of simple technologies makes it possible to increase accessibility without weighing on the lawyer’s agenda, for example by setting up extranets (Internet tools allowing the storage and the sharing of documents: contracts, procedure, company documents, or calendar sharing). Technology can therefore be a source, under certain conditions, of increased proximity and better service (doctrine.be, droitbelge.be).

In addition, new tools that are now financially accessible make it easier to generate simplified legal documents and platforms for linking lawyers and litigants (my-lawer.be). Platforms also appear for mediation or amicable dispute resolution with reasonable stakes in a diversion perspective.
Other tools exist only at a rudimentary stage but should multiply rapidly, like chatbots. It is a program that incorporates an algorithm to establish short conversations between a user and the website. Also known as “conversational agents”, these programs will develop an increasingly sophisticated language and draw on an increasingly rich mass of information (associated with the recurrence of certain frequently asked questions) to allow a first sorting in the questions asked by the litigants: the user asks a question “in natural language” and gets an answer as soon as the machine has identified the question.
Computer programs of artificial intelligence are also developing. The best known in the legal world is Watson, a program developed by the IBM company, which responds to the questions asked in natural language. A specific version of Watson has been developed specifically to answer legal questions: Ross40, which has been “hired” by a dozen law firms. This program is not only able to find among millions of documents a legal answer to a question asked, but also has a system of learning: It self-improves as it works.
These Artificial Intelligence tools will eventually replace the lawyer in his job as a legal technician to extract relevant references to the case. The lawyer will focus on the strategy and the human aspect of the case, which is at the heart of his job.


On the other hand, the digital revolution has also changed the requirements of customers who are better informed, Google being their first consultant. They want simple answers in fast deadlines. Clients’ legal needs are evolving into turnkey solutions, which forces us to reinvent our services and the relationship with our clients. Two major implications are to be taken into account:

The first one concerns the standardization of some of our services: Regular products such as general sales conditions, company statutes, a rather simple work contract are now “standardizable”. Faced with the already active presence of online platforms with more standardized services, we can see that the client now accepts the idea of reducing some of his expectations (especially the “tailor-made” dimension) to satisfy an immediate need or constraint budget. The lawyer will have to accept this phenomenon of standardization of some of its services, because of the appearance of the digital.

The second implication relates to the phenomenon of rating benefits: It is not unlikely that in the long run, there will be indications on lawyers in relation to defined criteria as its efficiency or the respect of the budget. This notation can be unfounded, unfair or simply artificial, but it is a phenomenon inherent to the Digital. If we do not accept this phenomenon of “desecration” of certain aspects of our profession, then we will undergo this digital change rather than accompany it.
Customers have become digital consumers and are looking for more agile solutions for communication, pricing, listening and content. They are more and more demanding which has consequences on the valuation of the service, on the prices practiced and on the way the right is approached as product. The client wants to become an actor of his file and the lawyer becomes neither guide nor companion of road.
The challenge is to learn how to serve them the way they want. The need for legal advice is immense in our complex society, and machines can offer us more resources and time to put the human in the center. Too many lawyers today perceive innovation as a threat rather than an opportunity. However, it is by developing a prospective vision of its activity and refocusing on its added value that the lawyer of tomorrow will be the winner of the digital revolution. The client will no longer come to his lawyer to obtain an obscure or abstract legal answer. He will come to share a common experience with his lawyer and together they will work out the best practical solution to adopt.

Therefore, the lawyer will have to change his practice. He will have to have the tools of Artificial Intelligence while remaining focused on his primary role, that of consulting. Also, measuring risks, listening, empathy, pedagogy, ethics, deontology and creativity will remain constant. Explaining the issues to the client, diagnose, and find solutions cannot be done only through a machine, the lawyer will always use his skills to know whether it is advisable to follow or not the opinion of the machine given as an indication.

Artificial Intelligence should not be seen as competing with human intelligence, but as complementary. It will always take humans to think the rules, to elaborate them, to do justice and to apply the law. Even though people have access to information, they do not have the skills to understand it. The lawyer will always be indispensable to interpret the rules of law. He also has an increasingly important role to play regarding the psychological, social and human support of his clients. An innovative lawyer does not see justice as an end but as a way to do his job better. He uses technology to rethink and improve the key elements of his business and his added value.

In France, the process of change is already well underway. Lawyers expand their field of action: they collaborate with other regulated professions, manage transversal projects, and develop innovative tools.
Emmanuel Macron initiated the movement by passing a bill in 2015 that opens the door to interprofessionality, external financing and authorization to market related goods and services on an ancillary basis. “These adaptations are at the origin of a remarkable dynamic of creation of new structures and new technological solutions “. (Stanislas van Wassenhove, Lawyer And Initiator Of The Digital Electro-Choc Conference)
In Belgium, the Bars (Avocats.be and the OVB) have created in 2016 a digital platform to put lawyers in touch with the courts and tribunals. A year later, young lawyers launched the Incubateur.legal to educate lawyers about new technologies and innovation;
In addition, the European Incubator of the Brussels Bar (INCUEBRUX), which aims to complement the incubator of the O.B.F.G, has just been created. This incubator, which wanted to be mixed and international, has for mission to ensure the training and the information of the lawyers of the bar of Brussels on the technological developments which concern them, to be a place of exchanges and debates on the modernization and the reform of the legal profession, to act to ensure that the bar is committed to the digital revolution in accordance with its values and to federate European initiatives on technological innovation and its implications for the profession. Several projects are already in preparation (http://www.incubateur.brussels).

In conclusion, the developments in artificial intelligence offer the lawyer new perspectives to manage knowledge, organize data, and anticipate the outcome of litigation through predictive tools and thus free up time to accentuate its advisory role.

Beyond certain prerequisites (finance, IT, communication, project management), the lawyer will open by developing his human and relational skills: listening, empathy, acceptance of failure, creativity, agility, adaptability, management of emotions, letting go and sharing experience. Emphasis will be on well-being rather than know-how.

For lawyers, being interested in innovation, not only technological but also economic, managerial and societal is a prerequisite for the necessary transformation to ensure the sustainability of the essence of the legal profession: to defend and advise the human.

Some people think that the technique is neutral and that everything depends on the way users control it. Others, highlight the dangers of any technical progress, including digital. Without wanting to be able to decide this debate, we can highlight the following certainties:

o Digital technology can make people aware of their legal needs and contribute to the knowledge of the law, which is an essential element of the rule of law.

o For professionals, the eruption of digital is a threat because the benefits become interchangeable, and are judged by customers only in terms of price, which becomes the main criterion of choice.

o Digital represents a world of opportunities: by breaking down the barrier of inaccessibility, it makes it possible to come into contact with non-consumers and thus gain a lot in productivity. Similarly, getting rid of tedious, non-value-added tasks also increases productivity.

As an indication, here are the digital proposals from the report by Kami Haeri, a lawyer at the Paris Bar, on “the future of the legal profession”:
o Develop a culture of innovation, integrating the concept of entrepreneurial risk into the lawyer’s learning;
o Sensitize law firms to new offers for their clients, including the provision of “intelligent forms”, general legal information (“freemium” offers);
o Sensitize law firms to develop a branding strategy that goes beyond the name of the founders and ensures the firm’s outreach through other forms of brand expression;
o Introduce in the management of firms, new practices and new tools borrowed from the world of business: develop work in project mode, assign assignments to younger employees in the development of the firm, set regular interviews and, in any event bi-annual;
o Professionalize the management of firms, favoring the management of non-lawyer firms, such as secretaries general.
In short, lawyers are experts at controlling the risks of their clients and they have developed sharp specializations. The skills of excellence must today be coupled with the skills identified as those of the future by the last Davos Economic Forum: an entrepreneurial attitude, a listening posture, open to project management and multidisciplinarity as well as collaborative methods.

Patrick Conrads


Key Legal Law Firm

English version developed in collaboration with prof. Philipp Zurkinden and Olivier Raynaud

Electrochoc Numérique version francophone format pdf [1]

http://www.justice.gouv.fr/publication/rapport_kami_haeri.pdf https://www.lecho.be/actualite/archive/L-avocat-3-0-augmente-par-la-technologie-libere-descarcans-du-passe-et-forme-a-l-humain/9961894 https://revuedesjuristesdesciencespo.com/2017/03/07/lavenir-de-la-profession-davocat-entretienavec-maitre-kami-haeri/
http://openlaw.fr/index.php?title=Open_Law,_le_Droit_Ouvert https://blockchainfrance.net/2016/01/28/applications‐smart‐contracts/ http://www.coindesk.com/ipo‐and‐insurance‐projects‐win2000‐at‐blockchain‐hackathon/ http://www.rossintelligence.com/

January 13

Memories - meeting with Prince Philipp

The above picture was taken during EAL Congress in Brussels on November 2000 (the topic was the State Aid).
It was organized with the participation of the EU Commission DG 4 (now general direction competition) with the participation of the Dr Schaub, General Manager of the DG 4.

This annual Congress was supported by the Prince Philippe of Belgium (current King of Belgium)

The picture represents the shake hands between the Prince and Jean-Pierre van Cutsem, President of the AEA-EAL at that time, in the presence of the the Count Olivier d’Ursel

January 3

Commission proposal on working conditions

The European Commission has adopted on December 20, 2017 a proposal for a new Directive for more transparent and predictable working conditions across the EU. This proposal will complete and modify the current Directive 91/533/EEC. The Commission’s proposal complements and modernises existing obligations to inform each worker of his or her working conditions and creates new minimum standards to ensure that all workers,benefit from more predictability and clarity as regards their working conditions.

More concretely, the Commission aims to reduce the risk of insufficient protection of workers by:
• Aligning the notion of worker to the case-law of the European Court of Justice. Consequently, this Directive would ensure that the same broad categories of workers will be covered.
• Bringing within the scope of the Directive forms of employment that are now often excluded. This includes domestic workers, marginal part-time workers or workers on very short contracts, and extends to new forms of employment, such as on-demand workers, voucher-based workers and platform workers.
• Ensuring that workers are provided with an updated and extended information package directly at the start of employment from day one.
• Creating new minimum rights, such as the right to greater predictability of work for those working mostly with a variable schedule, the possibility to request transition to a more stable form of employment and receive a reply in writing, or the right to mandatory training without deduction from salary.
• Reinforcing the means of enforcement and redress as a last resort to resolve possible disagreements, should dialogue not be sufficient.
The proposed Directive would need to adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and be implemented by the Member States, either through legislation or by social partners’ collective agreements.

January 3

Antitrust: cheaper imports of beer into Belgium

The European Commission has informed Anheuser – Bush InBev on November 30, 2017 of its preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market, by hindering cheaper imports of its Jupiler and Leffe beers from the Netherlands and France into Belgium.
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) is the world’s biggest beer brewer, with a very strong position on the Belgian beer market. Its most popular beer brands in Belgium are Jupiler and Leffe. AB InBev also sells these last two brands in the Netherlands and France. The Commission’s investigation has shown that in these two countries AB InBev sells Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices than in Belgium due to the increased competition it faces there. The Commission’s preliminary view, outlined in its Statement of Objections, is that AB InBev is dominant on the Belgian beer market.
In particular, the Commission is concerned by a number of AB InBev business practices, which have been in place since at least 2009 :
• AB InBev changed the packaging of Jupiler and Leffe beer cans in the Netherlands and France to make it harder to sell them in Belgium ;
• AB InBev limited access of Dutch retailers to key products and promotions, in order to prevent them from bringing less expensive beer products to Belgium ;
The Commission’s preliminary view is that these practices have created anti-competitive obstacles to trade and partitioned the EU’s Single Market along national borders. If confirmed, this would infringe Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.
The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation

January 3

Judgment in Case C-230/16 Coty v Akzente

Coty Germany sells luxury cosmetic goods in Germany. In order to preserve their luxury image, it markets certain of its brands via a selective distribution network, that is to say, through authorised distributors. The sales locations of those authorised distributors must comply with a number of requirements relating to their environment, décor and furnishing. Furthermore, authorised distributors are allowed to sell the goods in question online, provided that they use their own electronic shop window or non-authorised third-party platforms, at the condition that the use of such platforms is not discernible to the consumer. By contrast, they are expressly prohibited from selling the goods online via third-party platforms which operate in a discernible manner towards consumers.

By its judgment of December 6, 2017 the Court, referring to its settled case-law :

1) states first of all that a selective distribution system for luxury goods, designed primarily to preserve the luxury image of those goods, does not breach the prohibition of agreements, decisions and concerted practices laid down in EU law,

2) provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) resellers are chosen on the basis of objective criteria of a qualitative nature, laid down uniformly for all potential resellers and not applied in a discriminatory fashion;
(ii) the criteria laid down must not go beyond what is necessary.

Next, the Court finds that the prohibition of agreements, decisions and concerted practices, laid down in EU law:

1) does not preclude a contractual clause prohibiting authorised distributors of a selective
distribution network of luxury goods designed, primarily, to preserve the luxury image of those goods from using, in a discernible manner, third-party platforms for internet sales of the goods in question.

2) provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) that clause has the objective of preserving the luxury image of
the goods in question;
(ii) it is laid down uniformly and not applied in a discriminatory fashion
(ii) it is proportionate in the light of the objective pursued.

January 3

Judgment in Case C-434/15 Elite Taxi v Uber

The electronic platform Uber provides, by means of a smartphone application, a paid service consisting of connecting non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys.

In its judgment of December 20 2017, the Court declares that an intermediation service such as that at issue in the main proceedings, the purpose of which is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as ‘a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of EU law. Consequently, such a service must be excluded from the scope of the freedom to provide services in general as well as the directive on services in the internal market and the directive on electronic commerce.

December 27

Use of the AEA-EAL logo

All full members of the AEA-EAL are entitled to use of the AEA-EAL logo (as well as to indicate: “member of AEA-EAL”) in their professional communication, i.e. web page, official fan page on Facebook as well as in electronic and traditional correspondence (on a letterhead). If you wish to obtain the file with official logo, please contact us at office@aea-eal.eu.

Please find below the resolution of the Board of Directors on use of our logo:

Resolution on right to use the AEA-EAL logo

December 20

Winter issue of the AEA-EAL Newsletter

Please find below the newest issue of the AEA-EAL Newsletter including relations from our events organised in Spain and in Poland, activities we undertook last year, information about important developments as well as news from our members. We invite all of you to read it and to participate in making future issues of the Newsletter.

We wish all of you Merry Christmas, peace & prosperity and a Happy New Year!

AEA-EAL Newsletter December 2017

December 15

50th Congress of the Federation of the European Bars

On November 9 – 11, 2017 the 50th Congress of the Federation of the European Bars on “The role of lawyers in protecting the planet” took place. On this occasion President Maria Ślązak sent a letter to the FBE thanking for the invitation for this event and underlying significance of the problem of protecting the Earth by all, also by lawyers. AEA-EAL immediate past President Monique Stengel participated this conference. Please find below her information about the event.

Monique Stengel as immediate past President representing the AEA-EAL participated to the 25th Anniversary of the Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe- European Federation of Bars which took place in London under the dynamic and engaged organization of the President, Mrs. Prof. Sara Chandler. As it was the 25th Anniversary of FBE-EFB, different international and European Lawyers associations were represented. As for the CCBE, UIA and IBA, it has been for the AEA-EAL a pleasure and great honour to open this congress by congratulating FBE-EFB for this important occasion. For this meeting, the FBE choosed as topic for this Congress the topic .. “Lawyers and climate changes”. If some may have thought wrongly that it is a very specific topic, the quality and engagement of all speakers from different European States showed that it is a crucial topic for the future and survival of our world and, yes, Lawyers may be active in very different ways . It was again a nice opportunity to meet colleagues, representatives of Bars from different European countries to exchange ideas ans discuss possible common actions of our profession in Europe but also outside Europe, specially for the protection of Human Rights and Liberty. Once again, the AEA-EAL was very happy to participate to a meeting of the FBA-EFB as we all share the same enthusiasm for Europe and the place of the Lawyers in Europe!

December 15

155 Anniversary of Kraków Bar Association

The AEA-EAL took a patronage over the celebrations of the 155 anniversary of the Krakow Bar Association. On this occasion, a seminar “Can Lawyer Still Preserve Secrets?” was organized in Krakow on October 6, 2017. Monique Stengel, past President of the AEA-EAL made a presentation about rules on obligation to preserve secrets in France. Please find below an information prepared by Monique.

In October, Monique Stengel as immediate past President representing the AEA-EAL participated to the 155th Anniversary of the Cracow Bar Association: it was a great honor and pleasure as the Cracow Bar asked for the patronage of the AEA-EAL together with the FBE-EFB and UIA: it was a real “Birthday Party” with a lot of European Colleagues! There was a very interesting Conference about the topic “Access to information…” with speakers from Poland and different European countries: a very actual and important topic for all lawyers. I was asked as past-president to participate to the panel and present the situation in France.We had exchange of professional experience in this area concerning the human rights of the defence! Beside the scientific part, the Cracow Bar Association offered us a wonderful Gala Dinner in the fascinating Aviation Museum with gastronomie and music! Last but not least, a moving holy mass took place on Saturday with all Lawyers in robe before an impressive official Ceremony took place where the Cracow Bar Association as its older and younger members were honoured.This Ceremony as the celebration finished with an impressive concert on orgel! Once again, the Board of the AEA-EAL thanks the Cracow Bar Association and Mr Pawel Gieras, Dean of the bar Association, for its invitation and congratulates for the perfect and generous organization and congratulates for this impressive anniversary!

December 15

Human Rights Committee letter to Belarus

The AEA-EAL Human Rights Committee is deeply concerned with violations of rights of Belorussian Lawyers. For many years their independence has been limited. Many of our colleagues were threatened, disbarred, persecuted or even imprisoned. The Human RIghts Committee called Belorussian authorities – President of the Republic and Minister of Justice to undertake all possible actions to stop persecution of independent advocates in Belarus. Please find below full texts of sent letters.

President of the Republic

Minister of Justice

November 9

Questionnaire for members and letter of the AEA-EAL President

Dear members of the AEA-EAL – please find below (for download) a letter from AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak on amendments made to our Statutes as well as on our works and goals for the future. You can also find a questionnaire which should help us to know better your needs and expectations towards the Association. We kindly ask you to send your responses to office@aea-eal.eu. Letter and questionnaire is available in English and French.

EN Letter to members FR Letter to members

October 27

Join us - see a list of benefits for AEA-EAL members

We encourage you to become a part of growing network of lawyers from the EU and beyond. We offer an easy access to colleagues from a number of European and non-European countries, participation in training and social events as well as an exchange of knowledge and know-how with top specialists in wide areas of EU and national laws. The full list of membership benefits is available here

October 6

Amended Statutes of the AEA-EAL

Please be informed, that on Monday, September 18, 2017, the AEA-EAL Extraordinary Assembly, in a presence of a Belgian Notary, passed unanimously amendments to our Statutes.

Amendments introduced to the Statutes aim to increase full membership for lawyers from countries belonging to Council of Europe and associate membership for all other lawyers sharing same professional values. Their goal is also to facilitate decision-making process to deepen engagement of our Members in development of the  Association. We will do our best to engage in  works as many members as possible.

English and French text of the Statutes are available here

October 3

Condolences for American People

To: Ms. Hilarie Bass
President of the American Bar Association


On behalf of the European Association of Lawyers and on my own behalf I express sincere condolences to all American people touched by the terrible tragedy that occurred yesterday in Las Vegas.

We are deeply shocked by this senseless act of violation causing so many death and injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Americans killed or wounded as well as with their families.

I personally would like to pass my words of commiserations also to all past Presidents of the American Bar Association, with whom I had an honor to co-operate within last years – to William C. Hubbard, Paulette Brown and Linda A. Klein.

I assure you that we, European lawyers, will always stand united against violence and terror, supporting fundamental values of democratic society.

Yours sincerely,

Maria Ślązak

October 3

Olsztyn Conference

AEA-EAL Olsztyn 2017 Seminary

Conference on the subject of personal data security


7-10 SEPTEMBER 2017


Conference “Practical aspects of the EU regulation 2016/679 concerning the protection of personal data. How the lawyers should be prepared?” took place on September 7-9, 2017 in Olsztyn. The AEA-EAL was a co-organizer of this event with its four prestigious speakers from United Kingdom (Iain Mitchell QC), Hungary (Peter Homoki), China (Susan Ning) and Poland (Manana Topolewska). Dean of the Olsztyn Bar Association Katarzyna Skrodzka – Sadowska and AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak welcomed participants underlying that presence of lawyers and other guests from seven countries shows a European dimension of the conference. AEA-EAL President highlighted also importance General Data Protection Regulation (further GDPR), its practical aspects of implementation and preparation of lawyers and law firms for the new legal regime. AEA-EAL speakers presented relations of the coming law with the professional secrecy, guidelines of international organization of lawyers on implementation GDPR rules by lawyers and on how to advise clients on application of the Regulation, influence of the GDPR on business processes inside the company as well as on non- EU regulations in the area of data protection including transfer of data to another jurisdiction. The presentations also touched upon the best personal data protection practices under the GDPR, the tools for safe, effective and compliant with law transfer of personal data and practical examples of GDPR implementation challenges for lawyers. Participants also benefitted from the comprehensive cultural program, which allowed them to discover the beauty and hospitality of Warmia and Masuria Region.

Conference presentations are available here

October 2

New collective members of the AEA-EAL

We are pleased to inform that two new bar associations has been admitted as full members of the European Associations of Lawyers (AEA-EAL): Białystok Bar Association and Georgian Bar Association. Both organizations applied for membership in the AEA-EAL with the aim of wide co-operation in organizing common projects, events and other undertakings in line with Association’s statuary goals.

The Georgian Bar Association (GBA) is the only official bar in the Republic of Georgia with mandatory membership of all Georgian lawyers. Currently GBA has over 3,600 members. The main seat of the bar is located in Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia. The GBA maintains wide relations with bar associations in Europe, Caucasus and middle Asia actively participating in international exchanges and training of lawyers.

The President of the Georgian Bar Association is Mr. Zaza Khatiashvili.

Białystok Bar Association is one of 19 regional bars of attorneys in the Republic of Poland and associates around 1200 lawyers. The main seat of the bar is located in Bialystok, a capital of Podlasie region in north-east part of Poland famous, among others, of the last of natural forest in Europe – Bialowieża Forest.

Białystok Bar Association cooperated already with the AEA-EAL organising in 2015 a seminar on European family law.

The Dean of the Białystok Bar Association is Mr. Andrzej Kaliński.


September 29

Presentations from Olsztyn Conference

On behalf of the European Association of Lawyers we would like to thank you for participation in the conference on General Regulation of Data Protection (GDPR) held in Olsztyn on September 7-9, 2017.

The conference was a part of AEA-EAL programme on European law, conducted together with Regional Bar Associations in Poland. Since 2010 we have organized ten conferences and seminars on various areas of community regulations, being met with high interest of Polish colleagues.

We are delighted that you had an opportunity to meet our speakers from Poland, Hungary and United Kingdom presenting in a very practical way national and European dimension of the GDPR. Presence of speaker from China was an excellent opportunity to touch the problem of data exchange with non-EU jurisdiction, being particularly important in the context of growing political, commercial and legal influence of China in our part of the continent.

Conference presentations are available for download in pdf.

Marlena Sakowska Baryla

Peter Homoki

Controller’s obligations

Anna Kaczyńska

Olga Zabolewicz

Przemysław Polański

Dominik Lubasz

Ning Susan1

Manana Topolewska

August 31

Autumn issue of the AEA-EAL Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,
Dear Friends,

Please find below the newest issue of the AEA-EL Newsletter in pdf format ready for download. This publication is intended to keep you informed about AEA-EAL activities, important developments related to European and national law as well as to inform you about activities of our members, including presentations of their business profiles.

We invite you to participate in creating future issues of the Newsletter.

Newsletter AEA-EAL August 2017_

August 29

Olsztyn conference

Conference “PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF THE EU REGULATION 2016/790 CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA. HOW LAWYERS SHOULD BE PREPARED?” is open for lawyers, IT practitioners and all other professionals interested in data retention issue. Meet top experts, legal practitioners, academics, IT and security specialists providing knowledge and expertise on personal data protection. Speakers from Poland, EU and beyond will present and discuss recent EU reforms in a very practical approach. More information about the conference can be found here. Registration is available on dedicated conference website.

August 18

Condolences for Catalonian and Spanish people

On behalf of the European Association of Lawyers and on my own behalf I express my deepest condolences to all Catalonian and Spanish people, but above all, to the families of those, who have been killed in a terrorist attack, which happened yesterday in Barcelona. My thoughts remain also with all people injured in this senseless violence.

It is deeply worrying that so many tragedies occurred recently in Europe. There is strong need to fight together against terrorism. I am sure that this horrific act of violence will only strengthen the commitment of Catalonian and Spanish people to protect peace and freedom.

As a longtime friends of Catalonian and Spanish lawyers we wish to assure you about our solidarity and our support for core values of humanity, violated yesterday.

Maria Ślązak
AEA-EAL President

August 2

AEA-EAL Annual Congress in Barcelona, June 15-17, 2017

On June 15-16-17, took place at the Barcelona Bar Association the congress of the our Association, with a very important and successful conference on the new European Regulation about cross-border insolvencies, and the forthcoming Proposal for a Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks and Fresh Start opportunities.

This new Regulation and the forthcoming Proposal for a Directive represent a major step forward in achieving uniform insolvency regulation at European level. This is to avoid obstacles in the management of processes, since more and more companies have branches, and workplaces spread throughout Europe.

The conference in Barcelona brought together a dozen experts from different countries who debated before the participants about their respective systems and the opportunities and advantages of a more harmonized system.

The conference was opened by the member of the Board of the Barcelona Bar, responsible for international affairs.

But not all was work! There were different very kind events for the network and relaxing.

July 25

Letter regarding situation in Poland

At the beginning of July Polish Parliament approved two bills which have been the subject of trenchant criticism over the past year – on National Council of Judiciary and on common courts. Furthermore, also last week a draft law was introduced in Parliament that affects the composition of the Supreme Court. The first law is the reform of the National Council of Judiciary. This reform involves termination of the mandate of the Polish Judges’ Council’s members; that the appointment of the judicial members of the Judges’ Council by Parliament and that the establishment of two assemblies within the Polish Judges’ Council (the first one formed by the 15 judges appointed by Parliament and the second one including six members from the Polish Parliament, the Minister of Justice, a representative of the Head of State, the President of the Supreme Court and the President of the High Administrative Court), allied with a requirement that any resolution by the Judges’ Council has to be adopted by both assemblies sitting separately, gives a substantial role to politicians in the selection and appointment of judges. The second law approved by Parliament gives the Minister of Justice the power to dismiss court presidents and substitute them within the next six months after the entering into force of this new law. In the opinion of the AEA-EAL these laws will inevitably involve an erosion in judicial independence with an equally inevitable impact on the rule of law. The Third raft law introduced on 12th July involves the dissolution of the current Supreme Court by imposing retirement on its members and giving the Minister of Justice the discretionary power to designate those judges who shall remain in active service.

On July 18, 2017, after consultation with the AEA-EAL Board, President Maria Slazak sent a letter to Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, in which she pointed out lack of consultation on three bills passed or discussed in the Parliament, negative consequences that may arise for citizens’ rights guaranteed by Article 6 of the European Convention on human rights and by Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. President Slazak asked President Duda to conduct wide public consultations on judicial reform and to issue new proposals within the President’s powers of legislative initiative.

On July 24, 2017 President Andrzej Duda declared presidential veto against the bill on National Council of Judiciary and the bill on common courts as well as announced preparation of new drafts within next two months. President’s spokesman informed us that President decided to sign the bill on common courts.

You can find EAE-EAL President’s letter in English, French and Polish as well as correspondence from the Polish National Bar of Attorneys in English below.

List Prezydent RP

FR List do Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej

EN Letter to President of Poland

Letter from Poland – request for intervention

Gratitude letter from Poland

September 8

May 25th, 26th and 27th 2012


  • The EAL will hold its annual General Assembly on Saturday May 26th 2012 at 4.00 pm at the EAL’s working offices, Avenue Louise 385/1, 1050 Brussels. As members of the International Association AEA-EAL, you are most welcome to the Ordinary Annual General Meeting.
  • Due to an agreement with the European Bars Federation and the Brussels Bar, the EAL members will be able to register to the EBF’s general congress to be hold in Brussels on May 24th, 25th and 26th 2012 and meet colleagues from all over Europe.


September 6

30th Anniversary of AEA-EAL

30th Anniversary of the AEA-EAL
22nd October in Paris

 eiffel   paris

I would like to invite you on 22nd October in Paris to celebrate together the 30th Anniversary of the AEA-EAL.

Our meeting will take place on the day after the conference organized by CCBE, also in Paris on Friday 21st October about “Innovation & future of the legal profession”.

We will enjoy a gala evening at the prestigious place of the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, 33 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, F – 75008 PARIS.

Monique Stengel – President and the Board

Please find full program and the registration form below.

Program and registration form

September 6

May 6-7 2011 – EAL’s 25th Anniversary Congress


On May the 6th and 7th 2011, the European Association of Lawyers held a congress celebrating its 25th anniversary under the important but still largely ignored main topic of ‘Insolvency under European law’. The European Commission’s best specialists underlined the growing importance of European law and its impact on our own legal systems. Well known specialists explained the complexity of the European Insolvency Regulation, the problems related and number of legal consequences to be aware of.

September 5


Rome I is a complex but very important tool in the legal practice of lawyers advising in cross-border matters. Our next conference is dedicated to this subject. We are delighted to organise this event jointly with the district bar of legal advisors of Sszczecin in Poland. This inasmuch as one of the main goals of AEA-EAL is to intensify the contacts with our colleagues in Eastern countries.

September 4


There were significant changes regarding the lawyers’ profession in the last few years. Further challenges and issues are awaiting: to what extent shall continuing training be required? How shall deontology be defined? How will the new technologies influence the lawyer’s activity? What shall be the right relationship with other legal, audit or commercial professions? etc. The modernization of the lawyers’ profession will be the topic of the morning session held jointly with the F.B.E.

September 2


On 12 December 2008, the new procedure of European Order of Payment, created by the regulation 1896/2006 will be applicable. The AEA-EAL, following its spirit of approaching the latest in European Law to the lawyers of the Old Continent, and into the context of the Procedural Sessions to be hold regularly in Barcelona, wanted to use the opportunity to deeply analyse this new procedural tool, which will certainly have a prime place in the fight against trans-national late payments, especially in the present situation of economical crisis.

To be able to provide the best lecturers, Professor in Procedural Law and Former Dean of the Barcelona Bar, Pr. Dr. Jaime Alonso-Cuevillas, organized the scientific programme.

September 1


The European Commission, in 2003 and then in 2005, examined the question relative to the validity of the laws and professional rules that restricted the following aspects: the organisation and the ownership of structures offering judicial services, the possibilities of partnership with others professions, especially with chartered accountants and the opening of branch, franchises or chains.

August 30


Last May, from 22nd to 24th, we held a very special and successful Congress at Istanbul.

For the first time, we made a joint Congress with the Federation of European Bars (FBE), where we organized a working session about Procedural Issues between EU and third Countries.