Guest Blogger: Julien Valliorgues is an assistant general counsel at ACC, handling both transactional and resource development matters. He is A French attorney admitted to practice in France and New York. Prior to joining the ACC, he worked for six years with the Law Firm Gide Loyrette Nouel in both its Paris and Shanghai offices. His international transactional background encompasses the areas of corporate, financing and commercial transactions. He speaks English, French and Spanish fluently. firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was a real pleasure attending the ACC Europe Annual Meeting in Amsterdam between May 13 and May 15. The sessions scheduled during these two days tackled practical topics, ranging from legal department management issues (metrics, knowledge management, soft skills, etc.) to more sectorial issues (data privacy, anti-bribery laws and cross-border M&A).
Overall, the attendance surpassed the one reached the previous year in Berlin (more than 300 delegates from 27 countries).
For the opening session, John Malpas, publisher at Legal Week, moderated high-level panelists, including Marianna Nitsch, general counsel, Europe at General Electric; Steve Leroy, vice president of legal and corporate affairs, Western Europe at Anheuser Busch InBev; and Stephan Swinkels, executive director at L&E Global. Their discussion focused on leadership challenges in a rapidly moving environment. The panelists provided practical insight on how the leaders of legal departments can demonstrate the value of in-house work. When the topic of metrics came up, it was noted that in addition to risk management, client service and cost control, demonstration of value is the fourth main area measured through metrics.
More practical topics were discussed during the closing session. An extremely lively and interactive workshop addressed legal risk management in a very innovative manner. The panelists included Dan Fitz, group general counsel at BT; Steven Grubb, director of compliance at Diageo Plc; and Axel Viaene, EMEA legal director at Starbucks Coffee. During the session, the panelists acted out different leadership roles within a global organization and divided the audience into departments of the organization. Through mock scenario, they addressed common issues relating to risk management in a global environment.
The Gala Dinner, held at the beautiful Beurs Van Berlage (Amsterdam’s historical stock exchange site), was also a highlight of the conference. Now that it is over, I look forward to seeing you next year in Barcelona for another demonstration of ACC European Chapter’s drive!