By now everyone who was at The Lawyer’s Legal Summit in Monte Carlo last weekend should be back at the grindstone.
But the themes raised in the 17 sessions and discussed in detail by the 200 in-house and private practice lawyers will linger far longer in the memory than the two days of the annual event. For those that couldn’t make it, here’s a brief recap.
The tone was set at the start in a keynote speech by Dr Richard Reid, chief European economist at Citigroup. Reid read the economic runes for 2007 and beyond, and revealed that the canniest firms should start looking further afield for their next overseas outposts.
“Freshfields should open in Cairo and they’ll be stupid if they don’t,” Reid warned. It would bring a whole new meaning to a pyramid structure.
After Reid the conference proper began. There isn’t room here to mention everybody, but a few highlights will give a taster of the event.
Financial Services Authority (FSA) director of enforcement Margaret Cole offered a few tips to companies dealing with regulators. Reporting anything out of the ordinary was high up Cole’s list. Or, if it is too late for that, replying promptly to queries from the FSA and taking a constructive approach to negotiations with the regulator would be advisable.
One of the most popular sessions featured Microsoft’s Chris Parker and DLA Piper‘s Mike Pullen. The pair offered in-housers some guidance on what to do if you’re facing the wrath of DG Comp.
Parker revealed that Microsoft’s strategy involves rehearsing dawn raids at least once a year, every year. Parker’s advice in the event of a raid was to keep calm, make sure everyone (including the secretaries) knows what to do, and don’t start shredding documents.
Parker added that it’s probably not a great idea to sit the DG Comp chaps in a room with any incriminating evidence in it.
He went on to reveal one true-life (presumably not Microsoft-related, but who knows?) scenario in which DG Comp officers entered a room with a whiteboard that had ‘Cartel information’ in big letters written on it. That could be construed as a giveaway.
Matt Byrne, associate editor