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The Role of In-House Counsel in Today's Legal Practice

Date: 11th September 2014

Time: 14:00 - 17:30

Venue: Microsoft Executive Briefing Center, Rue Montoyer 51, BRUXELLES, 1040

Event Details

Time: 14:00-17:30

Venue: Microsoft Offices, Rue Montoyer 51, 1040 Brussels, Belgium


The role of employed lawyers in today's legal practice - and the regulation of their profession - continues to be controversial. While much academic and judicial consideration has been given to the role and independence of private practitioners, less attention has been paid to the role or independence of in-house counsel. On May 29, 2014, the European Company Lawyers Association ("ECLA") published a White Paper entitled "Company Lawyers: Independent by Design". The White Paper gives an international perspective on a number of topics relating to in-house counsel and argues that professional independence is a necessary prerequisite to the provision of legal advice of any value. ECLA's White Paper makes a number of recommendations including proposals aimed at: (i) better recognising the need for companies to receive independent advice from their in-house counsel; (ii) clarifying, both at the EU and Member State levels, the independent nature of the in-house counsel role; and (iii) securing legal privilege for in-house counsel advice.

Against the backdrop of ECLA's White Paper, this seminar will explore: (i) significant recent developments regarding the role and status of in-house counsel in the EU; and (ii) how - in a global business environment increasingly dominated by "risk" and "compliance" - in-house counsel are uniquely-placed to uphold and promote the rule of law.

The seminar will be split into two panel sessions. The first panel session will track developments at EU and Member State level regarding the extent to which in-house counsel are considered independent and subject to professional regulation - and the extent to which their advice is considered privileged. The second panel will discuss the varying roles played by in-house counsel, focusing on the increased importance of compliance, and considering the ways in which in-house counsel are uniquely-placed to meet the challenges posed by ever-more-intrusive regulation and increasingly-active enforcement across the globe.

Confirmed speakers

  • Sofia Alves, Head of Unit - DG Competition European Commission
  • Philippe Coen, President, European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA)
  • Matthew Heim, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Qualcomm
  • Dr Boris Kasten, Head of Competition Law, Schindler Management AG
  • Kristina Nordlander, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Steve Preece, Assistant Director, Competition Markets Authority
  • Karen Williams, Director - DG Human Resources and Security, European Commission

Additional speakers to be confirmed.

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Sponsored by

Event convened by Justine Stefanelli, Maurice Wohl Associate Senior Research Fellow in European Law

CPD points

This event has been accredited for 3 CPD points.

Pricing and Registration

In-house Counsel:

  • Free

BIICL Members:

  • Individual - £95
  • Full-time Academic - £60
  • Full-time Student - £35


  • Individual - £160
  • Full-time Academic - £100
  • Full-time Student - £60

N.B. The Academic rate also applies to staff of government and non-profit organisations.

How to register

In-house Counsel booking: to register for this event please send an email to the Events team

All other bookings: Please register online by clicking the 'Login Now' link at the top of the page.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

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