The biennial Joint Meeting of the ADVOC Network was held on Saturday 7 November at the Marriott Miraflores Hotel in Lima, Peru. There were around 48 delegates attending. This was a lower number than for previous Joint Meetings. It seems that distance and time of the year were not convenient to many of our members.

The meeting first considered reports both on the work of the Executive Committee and on each of the four Chapters.

Our relationship with Lex Africa was discussed with Niels Olstrup providing a brief history. Simon Rous reported fully on his attendance at the Lex Africa Annual Conference in Kampala, Uganda in May. It was decided to include in the global budget a sum to allow two representatives from ADVOC to attend the Lex Africa Annual Conference in Mauritius in May 2016.

Each of the three ADVOC Committees then reported.

  • Niels Opstrup relayed a brief report from Ingo Selting on the IP Committee.
  • The report from the Website and Marketing Committee was more extensive. It included introducing Amy Noonan as the new ADVOC Administrator. She reported on her achievements to date and ideas for the future and in particular upgrading of the website. It was agreed that the website would be updated at a cost of approximately £8,800 using reserve funds of the Global Network. There was discussion regarding the Association of International Law Firms Network. It was decided to continue to keep the possibility of joining that Network under review and to authorise the Executive Committee to make any decision. Both for our own benefit and to improve our standing as a network with legal directories, the Committee recommended the introduction of a Quality Assurance Program. This was approved. It will involve members completing an annual return covering various topics.
  • The Website and Marketing Committee reported. Its main recommendations related to the concept of an ADVOC Associate. The idea had developed in ADVOC Asia to allow non-legal firms to be associated as supporters of ADVOC in order to try to involve them more in activities including attendance at those seminars which are designed for more than just members. The meeting had some concerns, particularly over the issue of ensuring that the Network remains exclusively a network of independent commercial law firms. The proposal was referred back to the Committee for further consideration in the light of the comments of the meeting. The Executive Committee was given power to act.

Financial statements were presented. The budget for 2016 was adopted involving total expenses of US$86,000. These costs were allocated across the Chapters in the existing agreed basis namely:

Europe - 48%
Asia - 32%
Latin America - 16%
North America - 4%

The meeting also decided that the Global Executive Committee should plan on maintaining reserve funds for the Network an amount of approximately US$25,000.

The meeting agreed that the next Joint Meeting in 2017 would take place in Mumbai and Jaipur in India. The meeting also asked ADVOC Europe to bring forward a recommendation for hosting the 2009 Joint Conference to 2019 Joint Meeting.

The meeting was a valuable one. Members took an active part in all discussions. We look forward to a stronger attendance at the Joint Conference in 2017.

Simon Fraser

Report on Joint Meeting in Lima, Peru 2015

Report on Joint Meeting in Lima, Peru 2015