Villa Pauli Hotel, Djursholm.
|Austria :||Hubert TRAMPOSCH|
|Belgium :||Paul MUYLAERT, Anne SCHOLLE, Isabelle PERREL (Secretary)|
|Brazil :||Rodrigo MARIHO CRESPO|
|Bulgaria :||Rozalina GRADIAROVA|
|France :||Jean-Marie COSTE-FLORET, Amélia BRAULT (President-Chairman)|
|Germany :||Ralf-Thomas WITTMA|
|Greece :||Ionnis PATELEDIS|
|Italy :||Alessandro GIORGETTI|
|Luxemburg :||Gérard TURPEL|
|The Netherlands :||Bertjan DE LAGE (Treasurer), Mirjam FRAKE|
|Spain :||Jose GARZON|
|Portugal :||Enrique Belzuz (Vice President), Nuno GOCALVES DA CUNHA|
|Sweden :||Suzanna ORELID, Christer HOLM|
|Turkey :||Erdogan SORUKLU|
|UK :||Bill PERRY|
|ARC Canada :||Antoine SAINT-GERMAIN|
The meeting opens on Friday May 7 th at 10.00 a.m. at the Villa Pauli, in Djursholm.
1 . AGM opening : President’s speech introduction
Amélia thanks the Swedish hosts on behalf of the Group. She also thanks everyone for the past 4 years.
Margaret has granted a proxy to Amélia for the motions to be voted.
2 . Introduction of the new Members : Greece and Bulgaria.
3 . Discussion about the official admittance of Greece and Bulgaria.
Belgium rises a question : are the insurance covers for both candidates sufficient ?
Greece has an insurance cover for an amount of 1.500.000 €; Bulgaria shall soon give more specifications about its cover.
Members are reminded that the insurance cover amount shall be adapted to the domestic market and situation (see Brazil issue). The issue shall be regularly checked for each member.
A survey of all Members shall soon occur, in order to update the estimations.
– Bulgaria : unanimity
– Greece : majority of the votes, with one abstention from France
4 . Feedback from Members about the seminar
Alessandro : good organisation; obvious satisfaction of the attendance
Amélia : the topics were very interesting; speakers should be invited to submit their text in order to be published on the Group website, with PDF format
Anne : suggests that articles from Members shall be published as well on the site
Enrique : high quality of the seminar; suggests that questions shall be prepared by Members in advance; the hosting Member shall bring the up the questions and prompt a debate with audience, the debate being an essential part of the seminar
Susanna : it should be up to the hosting Member to decide the kind of events he wishes to organise, taking into account the domestic market and expectations, in order to attract as many people as possible
In general, Members think that it has been a high-quality seminar and there has been a good contact with the guests.
5 . Guidelines for the organisation of the future events
Discussion about the proposal framed by the Board, which should be titled “BILG events organisation guidelines”. The event does not have to be a seminar.
Some Members are questioning the necessity of such guidelines. Susanna expresses her difficulties with the organisation of the present event: it was difficult to put her ideas forwards; she felts some interference from the Board. 3
Amélia explains that there were meant no interference; the Board just wished to be regularly kept informed about the last developments and the practical elements.
Alessandro and Bill underlines that “guidelines” are not rules, but that they are necessary. Hosting Members knows better its market and should be allowed to adapt the concept of a BILG event according to it.
Suggestions are :
– the hosting Members shall decide the kind of event which is the most suitable for the local market; he shall beforehand submit its ideas to the Board, which shall check if minimum standards are fulfilled; the Board shall take the final decision
– the Board shall be involved in the organisation, with a regular communication with the hosting Member. The location of the event, the topics, the speakers shall be communicated at least 3 months in advance, in order to allow the Board to check on the budget, to communicate on time with the other Members – since the agenda should be forwarded 2 months in advance – and to update the website
– the hosting Member shall make sure of all the datas and of the materials
Bill proposes that the meeting note the guidelines. This was agreed
6 . Report about the referral tables for 2009
Isabelle makes a brief report, from which it appears that the concept of the tables is not well understood by Members.
The tables for 2009 do not seem to be complete ; Members are invited to check on their records and to fulfil their datas.
The first table for 2010 shows a clear confusion between “values of the claim” and “values of the fees”. It originally was not meant to report about the fees; some Members think that such information would be relevant and that the first interest of the referrals within the Group is the benefit for each Member.
Some other Members point out the difficulty to make an estimation in advance and the administrative burden it would mean; the reported fees shall be then those which are already paid, with a follow-up in each table.
The motion for changing the table by adding a column “fees” is then voted at the majority, with 1 vote against of Italy.
7 . Swedish proposal for changing the financing of the events
Brief report from Bertjan about the current situation; he insists on the importance for Members to participate for creating friendship. Voting the proposal would mean changing the budget reserved to the events and a more important contribution for each Member.
Referring to his proposal which has been forwarded to all Members prior the AGM, Christer explains that each participant should be bearing its own costs; the current way is good for small structures, but no longer for a Group like BILG which is meant to expand. Susanna suggests that the hosting Member should advance the costs and that each Member should be then invoiced after the event.
Bill explains that it is important to preserve a fair situation within the Group, while it is still growing. He agrees that each extra person than the one representative should be in charge of the Member.
Amélia outlines that if the proposal is voted, each Member would then need to know in advance the estimated quotation.
Each Member should be allowed to be represented by one person only. Bertjan outlines that the more people are involved in a member firm, better it is; the number of representatives for each Member does not really affect the fixed costs.
Gerard suggests rising up the annual contribution to cover all the costs; Enrique thinks that it would be unfair for the Members with only one attending representative.
Susanna wonders if it would be possible to use the balance of the devoted budget for the organisation of the event in order to cover those costs ? The answer is no.
Motion : BILG shall pay from its budget for the seminar and food costs of one delegate per firm as well as the Members of the Board at the annual and mid-year meetings ; any firm may send another representative (and spouses/significant others), but at its own cost.
Vote at the majority, with 1 abstention from Ireland and 3 votes against from The etherlands, Spain and Portugal
8 .Modifications of the Constitution Act
The modified text shall be sent to Members after the AGM.
Hubert asks if the statutes of the Group – subject to the French law –allow a general liability for the action of one of its Members; no, since French law makes no provision about it.
Anne suggests that each and every Member shall inform its Insurer of its membership to BILG network. She points out a possible risk with the article 12 and its possible consequence for the liability issue.
Alessandro and Bill foresee no possible risk, since the risk is limited to the activities of the Group : organisation of events, etc… not to the referrals, for which each and every Member keep its own liability.
Bill explains that it would be suitable to choose for one term only : “contracting party” or “member”. Amélia points out the distinction between the 2 terms in French Law, applicable for the Constitution Act.
Art. 13 : is a deadline necessary ? 6 months are necessary between 2 events. Why 25 % ,and not 20 % or 1/3 ?
– modification for 20 % : 1 vote pro for Austria
– modification for 1/3 : unanimous vote against
At the majority, no modification of the article 13.2.
Art. 18-3 : Anne points out that Insurers cannot be bound by any recognition of liability among BILG Members; it should be then expressly specified by each and every Member to its Insurer.
Art. 6 : Gerard explains that this article would need to be clarified, in case of a Member firm with only 2 partners which would split.
Other motions proposed for modifying the Constitution Act are unanimously voted (see updated Constitution Act).
9 . Marketing London
2 issues :
– does the Group have the need of marketing London, in priority ?
– does the Group have the need of a specific person specially appointed to market London on its behalf ?
Hubert thinks that there is no need to have an appointed person to market London; or the Members shall do it themselves, or, if a specific person is appointed to market on behalf of the Group, it should be for all the interesting insurance markets. He personally does not have any interest for the London market, but for the Eastern market.
Enrique points out the particular importance of the London insurance market, which is the main insurance place in Europe. It has been already discussed during the previous AGMs. There is a need of appointing a specific person, since the experience shows that Members do not involve enough to market themselves. Amélia explains the importance of having personal and close contacts with the London insurance agents.
Hubert suggests creating various funds with different purposes; Members would then contribute according its interests.
Alessandro emphasizes the risk of losing focus if splitting the efforts; it would be more appropriate for the Group to focus on one goal at the time, like London which is already an quite advanced project. It does not exclude to develop later another project. He suggests Hubert to develop his own project for other possible markets in anticipation of the next AGM in Vienna.
Amélia emphasizes the competition with the Harmonie group, which tries to elaborate an other law firms network specialised in insurance. BILG needs all the more to market London since Harmonie is well settled in London thanks to DAC.
Hubert suggests to vote about it, since it is part of the Group strategy and it could have an influence on the budget.
After discussion, it is then decided to vote about the necessity of outsourcing the marketing to a specific appointed person:
– 1 abstention : UK
– 2 votes against : Austria and Sweden
The motion is then voted at the majority of the Members.
Amélia suggests to discuss and vote about Laurence’s proposal, taking into consideration the survey of Bernadette and Bill.
Bill explains the results of his quest; he contacted 2 professionals on the London market: one was suggesting to act more through general publicity; the second one was having a similar proposal than Laurence, but for 3.000 £/month. Laurence’s proposal appears to offer the best combination and to be the most suitable one.
At Member’s request, Amélia summarises the proposal of Laurence. She would work under the UK and the Board’s supervision. It would not increase the budget
Alessandro specifies that marketing means individual contacts, with the purpose to belong to a panel for receiving instructions. Being in the panel is compulsory if BILG wishes to receive instructions; it is the London procedure. Once in the panel, there will be the need of a personal member contact to stimulate instructions, knowing that being in the panel does not automatically mean that there will be instructions.
Hubert suggests that Laurence should work according to success; the Board mentions that she already refused such a condition.
Motion : is the Board allowed to negotiate further with Laurence ? UK, Sweden and Austria abstain.
The motion is voted at the majority of the Members.
10 .Proposal for changing name
Discussion about Margaret and Hubert’s proposals. Members suggests to vote first about the need for the Group to change name.
The motion is denied at the majority of the votes.
11 .Treasury’s report by Bertjan
Bertjan explains the budget 2009 and the previsions for 2010. Some modifications are voted (see the modified budget).
12 .Coming joint event in London with ARC Canada by Antoine and Bill
It will occur in November, the 4 th . The budget still needs to be specified; it will probably turn around 10.500 €, to be split between the two Groups. It probably wont’ influence the budget for 2010. 7
The chosen topic : “Duty to defend”, when Insurers are reluctant defending insures.
13 .Potential new candidatures by Enrique
1) the Polish firm which was approached has declined our proposal to become a member.
2) the Czech firm, introduced by Hubert and our partner QBE ; difficulties : the firm have branches in different countries, which brings the risk that they could block the votes. The Board shall approach other potential candidates.
3) the South-American market; Enrique has some contacts with Venezuela and Mexico. Brazil shall help to market further.
4) Finland : there has been some contacts made; however, Susanna points out that the partner of the firm, who is the Insurance specialist, shall soon retire.
5) Norway : the Swedish Member shall try to market further; however, there is still the issue of the strong connections with Kennedy’s in London. Enrique had a good contact with their representative during the seminar. The Firm did not show real interest so far.
14 .Harmonie’s last developments by Alessandro
BILG needs to be careful with Harmonie, which might try to cover the Nordic countries through Kennedy’s.
15 . ARC America by Alessandro
Nothing concrete happened since the last meeting; Americans still have difficulties to build a network. It is not reliable at the moment. BILG needs to work further without the Americans.
Antoine mentions that ARC Canada declined the offer of the Americans to integrate.
16 . The QBE issue by Enrique and Alessandro
The recent confusion with the fee tables has been solved during negotiations in London (see Enrique’s report). BILG is now officially in the QBE panel.
BILG should learn its lesson for the future and avoid the same kind of confusion.
This settlement is valid with QBE only; with any other potential client, there will have to be new negotiations.
Members are invited to contact QBE local representatives or London representatives if there are no local ones.
The panel agreement does not include UK.
17 . Elections of the new Board
– Presidency : Enrique BELZUZ
– Vice-Presidency : Bill PERRY
– Treasury : Bertjan DELAGE
– Secretary : Anne SCHOLLE
The new Board is unanimously elected.
18 . Closing speeches by Amélia and Enrique
Amélia thanks again everyone for the past 4 years and the members of the outgoing Board.
Enrique thanks everyone for his vote and insists on the importance of friendship which cements the Group. Special thanks to Amélia and Isabelle for their collaboration.
The meeting ends at 4.00 p.m.