Hallie J. Mann
Executive Director

Lawyers Associated Worldwide
2823 McKenzie Point Road
Minneapolis, MN 55391 USA

Phone: +1 952-404-1546
Fax: +1 952-404-1796

Nancy Eiler

Phone: +1 216-561-3466
Fax: +1 216-561-3016

If you would like to contribute content for future newsletters, please contact Ms. Eiler.

July 2017
LAW Newsletter

2017 LAW Regional Meetings

Lawyers Associated Worldwide regional meetings were held on three continents during April and May with over 150 delegates attending. Our thanks to host firms: Morris, Manning & Martin LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Clelands Lawyers in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; and Ledingham Chalmers LLP in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. All of them rolled out the red carpet for our members, and delegates gained valuable information and new relationships to take back to their law firms.


The biggest challenge for this year’s Americas Regional Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA was Mother Nature. The meeting was hosted by Morris, Manning & Martin LLP at the St. Regis Buckhead. For some  Americas delegates, however, what should have been one or two flights to Atlanta became a two-day odyssey of delays and replacing canceled flights, all due to local severe weather. Several die-hard delegates toughed out scheduling mayhem to finally arrive after the meeting began and meet with their LAW colleagues from North, Central and South America. Three new member firms in the Americas attended the meeting: Hellmuth & Johnson PLLC - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Santos Elizondo - Monterrey Mexico; and Stokes Lawrence, P.S. - Seattle, Washington, USA.

The presentations covered global, regional and internal topics. “Is a Nine-Year Cycle Old or Having a Rebirth?  Reflections on Current Trends in Global Trade and the Regions’ Economies” was presented by Dr. Donald Ratajczak - Georgia State University - Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He covered the US economy and acknowledged the economic problems, and covered trade policy, tax reform, energy policy and the challenges of regulatory changes. Dr. Ratajczak also talked about the world economy and leading manufacturing countries of Germany and China.

The founder and CEO of the Cornerstone Group, Mary Abbajay, presented, “From the Flintstones to Game of Thrones: Managing and Marketing in a Multi-Generational Business Environment”. Providing characteristics of the current workplace generations, Abbajay described the resultant generational clashes. However, she also pointed out commonalities. She later led a roundtable on “Multi-Generational Firm Management and Marketing Issues”.

Sylint cyber security consultant Serge Jorgensen gave a presentation on "A Practical Guide to Functional Cyber Security” and covered the most up-to-date protective steps law firms should be taking.

Morris, Manning & Martin presented several sessions, including a panel of its firm from its 20/20 Committee, a group of multigenerational employees, whose purpose is to leverage firm culture. The panel described their research and process of creating firm culture across generations and the areas where they apply this knowledge.

The final day of the meeting included a networking session and a regional representative election. Hartford Brown, Klinedinst PC in San Diego, California and Alejandro Batalla, Batalla Salto Luna in Costa Rica, were elected to the positions.

Asia Pacific

In the largest ever-attended Asia Pacific regional meeting, 40 delegates came to Adelaide, Australia. The meeting was hosted by Clelands Lawyers at the InterContinental Adelaide. New member Kamthorn Surachet & Somsak, having rejoined LAW, and an observer from Sydney were also part of the delegates. The meeting began with a lively and engaging opening dinner keynote by Amanda Vanstone. Vanstone, a former Australian senator and the Australian ambassador to Italy from 2007-2010 shared some of those experiences in politics and expressed her views about the current global political situation.

The formal meeting began with a presentation on “Changes in the Legal Landscape” by Sue-Ella Prodonovich of Prodonovich Advisory in Sydney, Australia. She described how legal in-house and firms historically worked and emphasized that now the competition is stiff and law firms are ‘hyper-segmentizing’. She talked about the buyer’s market and corporate counsels. In-house counsel has grown from about 10% to about 35% of practicing commercial lawyers over the past 10 years. Prodonovich discussed the rise of mega law firms, changes in outsourcing and technology, and the challenges of changing a traditional law firm. However, she emphasized that law is still a person business where relationships are important. In a subsequent presentation, she presented on aligning social media with firm strategy and gave four methods for alignment.

Additional outside speakers presented to the group. "Digital Fraud and the Evolution of Cybercrime" was presented by Nigel Sanderson, Westpac Banking Corporation in Adelaide, Australia who emphasized tools for protection. The “Challenges of Doing Business in Asia” was presented by Geoff Merrill of Geoff Merrill Wines, covering some of the challenges of tax issues, trade agreements and cross border corruption. Consultant Carl White of  CXINLAW’s in Melbourne, Australia talked on “How Law Firms Can Develop a Competitive Advantage by Measuring Client Service”. He emphasized the importance of first impressions and talked about ‘mystery shopping’ at law firms to evaluate first impressions. He believes that the mystery shopping method provides a link to what is happening in law firm interactions with clients and the public. White also conducted roundtable discussions among the delegates. Techstar's managing director, Terry Gold, described his company's highly-successful startup program, for which he is a mentor. He described the challenges of finding lawyers in Adelaide for complicated startup issues and the lessons learned from litigation.

The meeting also included a Saturday presentation by Rowan Ramsey MP, Federal Member for Grey - Port Pirie, Australia on “South Australia Seafood and Agriculture Industries and the Importance of Asia in the Development of these Industries”. He described his personal journey from farmer to politician. His electorate is bigger than France and Germany with mining, tourism, steel manufacturing and a large agricultural sector. Ramsay said his biggest challenge is maximizing the value of the regions products and keeping vigorous quality assurance. The meeting concluded with a networking session and the election of Frank Mao, Shanghai Pudong Law Offices in Shanghai, P.R. China and Charles Choo, Jehyun Attorneys at Law in Seoul, South Korea as the new Asia Pacific regional representatives to the Executive Committee.

Europe, Africa & Middle East

Aberdeen, known as the 'Granite City' in Scotland was the site of the Europe, Africa & Middle East (EAME) Regional Meeting in May. Hosted by Ledingham Chalmers LLP, delegates from the EAME met at the Chester Hotel. New member firms attending were WILDGEN S.A. in Luxembourg and Fiebinger Polak Leon & Partner Rechtsanwälte GMBH in Vienna, Austria.

The kickoff presentation was a lively and engaging talk by Petra Wetzel, owner of WEST Brewery in Glasgow, Scotland. She shared her journey from lawyer to brewery owner. Wetzel also described how she views legal representation of her business from both sides – lawyer and owner – and the importance of understanding both. She then joined the panel, "Brexit means Brexit - What Could that Mean for People Movement?" led by Jennifer Young, chair of Ledingham Chalmers. Among the other panelists were: Erikka Askeland, journalist from The Press and Journal; James Bream, research and policy director of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce; and Kenny Anderson of Anderson Construction Limited. Each offered the possible impact of Brexit from their professional perspectives and acknowledged that it is now a waiting game until there are more definitive answers.

"The Seven Deadly Wastes: Applying the Principles of LEAN Management to Legal Services" was a presentation by Alistair Black of Johnston Carmichael. Black shared that 'Lean' is about getting everything optimized. He acknowledged that legal services are changing to fixed fees and this is a challenge to law firms. His recommendations included examining business processes and standardized training for all employees.

There were also panel discussions by LAW members on "Client Expectancy of Increased Productivity - How to meet the Market Demand for Lower Costs, and at the Same Time Maintain Delivery Standards and Deliver Profit to the Firm" and "Our Employees are Our Main Assets - Do You Realize their Full Potential?" During these sessions, LAW members shared how their firms deal with technology, fixed fee/productivity and employee issues of retention, mentorship and diversity, among others.

On the final day of the meeting, EAME delegates had a networking session and a presentation by an Aberdeen EY panel on "Human Risk: What are You Doing to Support and Manage the Risk of Mental Health within Your Firm?" EY professionals Jill Simpson, Beth Wright and Chinmay Punekar shared their work within their company on issues of workplace stress and the help and support available to EY employees. The goal of the program is to create awareness regarding workplace stress and to maintain good mental health. There was an election for EAME regional representatives in which Niels Anderson of Rime in Oslo, Norway and Anders Stoltenberg of Moltke-Leth in Copenhagen, Denmark were re-elected to those positions.