Potsdam Conference
28 – 30 September 2007

Friday 28th September

  • 12.00 Hrs Registration in Foyer
    Dorint Hotel Sanssouci Berlin – Potsdam
    Jägerallee 20
    14469 Potsdam
    Tel +49 (0) 331 274-0
  • 12.30 Hrs Buffet Lunch
    Delegates Lunch in Restaurant
    German committee Lunch (Private room D4)
    English committee Lunch (Private room)
  • 14.30 Hrs Session 1 – Dorint Hotel Room F2:

Conference 1: “Public Private Partnerships”

German Speaker:

Dr. Peter Braun, LL.M. is a member of the regulatory practice of Hölters & Elsing and a Senior Associate with the firm’s Frankfurt of-fice. He regularly advises public sector authorities and bidders on complex procurement matters, including PPP. He gained his first experience with PFI/PPP while doing his LL.M. and his Ph.D. in the United Kingdom, where he was a member of the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham. Peter published widely in the area and is a regular speaker on national and international conferences. On his return to Germany he assisted in structuring PPP projects related to various government accommodation projects, regional streets, higher education, federal IT-Projects as well as several other Partnerships between the public authorities and private sector companies. Many of these projects can be characterised as pilot schemes. The Legal 500 of Germany, JUVE, awarded Hölters & Elsing the title „law firm of the year 2006“ for public procurement law.

British Speakers:

Richard Curl Richard is a partner in our Construction, Engineering & Projects practice based in our London office. His particular expertise covers all aspects of PFI, PPP and major projects work, having practised as a projects lawyer for the whole of his professional career. After spending five years with the construction and projects team of a major City practice, Richard practised as a projects lawyer in the Far East for six years advising on major infrastructure projects in the region, initially based in Hong Kong and then in Tokyo where he was the first English lawyer to be admitted by the Japanese Ministry of Justice as an accredited lawyer licensed to practice in Japan. On returning to the UK, Richard has specialised in PFI/PPP in this country since its earliest stages of development in the mid 1990s. He has advised sponsors, contractors, senior lenders and public sector procurers on projects in a wide range of sectors including waste, healthcare, education, defence, local and central government accommodation, transport and IT.

  • 16.00 Hrs Coffee/Tea Break in Foyer
  • 16.30 Hrs Discussion period
  • 17.00 Hrs Session Ends
  • 18.00 Hrs Transport by Coach to Cecilienhof (meeting at the hotel lobby)
    Guided Tour of the Palace and reception.
  • 19.30 Hrs Dinner including wine
  • 22.00 Hrs Coaches return to Hotels

Saturday 29th September

  • 09.30 Hrs Session 2 Dorint Hotel Room F2:

Conference 2: “Mediation”

German Speaker:

Dr. Patrick Schroeder who is a Rechtsanwalt at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Frankfurt. Dr. Schroeder advises on Arbitration, Litigation, Mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a Mediator certified by the Centre for Negotiation and Mediation in Munich.

English Speaker:

Arthur Marriott QC who is a partner at the Dispute Resolution Department of international law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae in London. He is admitted as a solicitor in England and Hong Kong specialis-ing in all forms of international commercial arbitration and mediation. Arthur Marriott QC is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

  • 11.00 Hrs Coffee/Tea Break in Foyer
  • 11.30 Hrs Discussion period
  • 12.00 Hrs Session Ends
  • 12.45 Hrs Coaches depart hotel for quayside (meeting at the hotel lobby)
  • 13.00 Hrs MS Belvedere departs for guided lunch cruise on River Havel
  • 16.00 Hrs Coaches return to hotel.
  • 18.30 Hrs Coach transport to Sanssouci Castle begins and a 400m walk to Krongut Bornstedt
  • 20.00 Hrs Conference Dinner including Wine in Krongut Bornstedt (optional)
  • 22.30 Hrs Coach transport to Hotel begins

Sunday 30th September

  • 08.30 Hrs Joint committee Breakfast (private Room D7)
  • 10.00 Hrs Session 3 – Dorint Hotel Room F2:

Conference 3: “Copyright in the Digital Age”

German Speaker:

Dr. Ralph Oliver Graef, LL.M. (NYU) is a partner with the Hamburg based law firm Unverzagt von Have and has specialised in copy-right law. He advises clients from the media industry, mainly on Film & Enter-tainment law, German and International copyright law, press and publishing law. Dr. Graef is a “Fachanwalt” for copyright and media law and is also ad-mitted as attorney-at-law in New York.

English Speaker:

Michael Gardner who is a partner at Wedlake Bell in Lon-don where he heads up Wedlake Bell’s IP and commercial team. He advises clients in relation to dispute avoidance and dispute resolution involving intel-lectual property matters. He is highly experienced in both pursuing and de-fending claims in the fields of trade marks, passing off, malicious falsehood, copyright and designs – including Community designs. He also regularly ad-vises on the associated areas of confidentiality, privacy and data protection and reviews material for libel. Michael has a particular expertise in relation to the law and practice of parallel imports and in combating counterfeiting.

  • 11.30 Hrs Coffee/Tea Break
  • 12.00 Hrs Discussion period
  • 12.30 Hrs Conference Ends

BGJA Conference

A Student’s Perspective

Although we are both graduates with Law degrees and are currently taking the Legal Practice Course, neither of us had actually attended a legal conference before. Needless to say, we were both a little apprehensive about how the weekend would unfold!

In agreement that the 6.00 am flight from Stansted was too much of an unsociable hour for us, we opted to arrive the day before. Looking back, this was a very good idea, leaving us with ample time to check in to the hotel, explore the city and get a decent night’s sleep! Even before the conference started, we had managed a quick tour of the Russian Quarter, eager not to miss the opportunity to see some of Potsdam.

On Friday morning we made our way down to the hotel reception and nervously observed every guest in hope that they were here for the same reasons as us. Safety in numbers was definitely a feeling we shared! However, we were not alone for long as there were soon other smart looking professionals each loitering in the foyer and sporting a helpful name tag.
Dr. Peter Braun from Hölters & Elsing kicked off the conference speaking on the procedural aspects of Public Private Partnerships.
This was a new subject to both of us and we listened intently to Dr. Braun’s description about the development of Public Private Partnerships in Germany and the practice differences between Germany and the UK. Richard Curl from Hammonds then commented on the practical and procurement aspects of Public Private Partnerships in England.

After the discussion period, we travelled to Cecilienhof. Unfortunately, the weather did not hold and only having one umbrella between us which then broke, we were extremely happy to get inside the Palace. Our tour guide was very informative and really brought the history within the walls of the Palace to life. Perhaps the most memorable part of the tour was seeing the desks of President Truman and Stalin. However, to our disappointment, the British comparison was rather a let down and to be honest, a bit of an embarrassment…but nevertheless, a photo opportunity!
We dined in the Palace, enjoying outstanding food and wine. Both speakers made very moving speeches before the meal which added to the poignancy of the evening.
The dinner also offered the opportunity to speak to other members we had not previously met and discuss a variety of topics both legal and non-legal. Dining in Cecilienhof was a memory to treasure and the night was thoroughly enjoyed! Back at the hotel we only managed a quick drink in the hotel bar before bed, promising to make up for it the next evening.

Saturday morning’s session was on the topic of mediation. Dr. Patrick Schroeder from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer started the morning off with an overview of mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Methods of acceptance and implementation of mediation were also discussed in detail.
Arthur Marriott QC from LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae then addressed the issues of whether mediation should be mandatory, how it should be organised within the court system and how a civil litigation system should be financed. After a coffee break and time for reflection, a thought-provoking discussion invited some interesting comments.
The afternoon riverboat cruise took us along the River Havel where our friendly and most efficient tour guide was keen to explain the sights we passed. The cruise provided us with another opportunity to meet some more new faces and enjoy the fresh, if not somewhat chilly, September air up on deck.

After the cruise many people went for the guided tour of Sanssouci Castle followed by the optional conference dinner, which we were told was enjoyed by all. We did not attend the conference dinner and instead took the shuttle to Berlin to make the most of the little time that we had left and see a few sights of the capital. Returning to the hotel, we ended the night with some friendly banter in the bar which was most enjoyable.

The Sunday morning sessions were on the topic of Copyright in the Digital Age. Dr. Ralph Oliver Graef from Unverzagt von Have opened the session with an overview of the German and English systems and their differing approaches towards copyright.
Michael Gardner from Wedlake Bell addressed the challenges that copyright law faces in reference to infringements and defences in a fast paced technological era. Unfortunately, due to flight times, we had to leave the conference before the discussion period had started, leaving only a small amount of time to say a few quick good byes.

All the speakers gave extremely clear and interesting presentations that we, as law students, felt able to understand and enjoy. The conference was very well organised and structured making us feel both welcome and comfortable amongst so many leading professionals. We feel very privileged that we were given the opportunity to attend the conference. We would like to thank everybody for their time and advice spent with us discussing our future career options. This has been a truly enjoyable experience and we both left not only having enjoyed the weekend, but full of confidence and enthusiasm towards our impending legal careers.