Zurich witnessed the first Inhousecommunity Days Switzerland held at the prestigious GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. The event brought together leading legal professionals from different walks of life to share thoughts and knowledge. It was an opportunity to network and connect with fellow lawyers.
The event was organised by LC Publishing Group with the participation of Lenz & Staehelin, LCA and the support of the Swiss arm of ACC Europe.
The two days event started off with a welcome message from Aldo Scaringella, founder & managing director at LC Publishing Group, followed by an opening speech by Jasprit Sahnsi, deputy general counsel & internal audit leader at Selecta and member of ACC Europe board of directors, highlighting the important role of in-house lawyers and general counsels.
The first round table, moderated by Legalcommunity.ch journalist Mercedes Galan, focused on the topic “The future role of the 21st century in-house counsel: from corporate counsel to general counsel”. The panel of speakers included representative profiles from the legal, business and headhunting sectors. The speakers consisted of Corinne Bühler (senior legal counsel at AXA Investment Managers), Elmar Büth (group general counsel at Ivoclar), Matthias Wolf (partner, corporate and m&a at Lenz & Staehelin), Alexander Lacher (general counsel of Generali Switzerland and CEO of Fortuna Life Insurance Liechtenstein), Fabienne-Anne Rehulka (general counsel of iptiQ, SwissRe) and Alexander Zinser (partner and executive search consultant at Roy C. Hitchman). They all discuss about topics as the lawyer of the future and their qualities beyond legal background, the importance of balance and the internal promotion, the secret to becoming a general counsel or the role of legaltech tools in the next future.
Following the first panel, the evening started with the GC Cocktail and dinner party. During the cocktail party, attendees enjoyed a short dialogue about GC Profession between Karen Yen, general counsel UBS global wealth management together and Enrico Mariani, partner at LCA Studio Legale. The session was moderated by Suzan Taha, Journalist at Legalcommunity MENA. The conversation covered the role evolution of the GC profession as well as the importance of effective collaboration between in-house and external counsels.
On the second day, guests checked-in and enjoyed 30 minutes of networking over complementary coffee and warm pastries. Following the welcome message from Aldo Scaringella, the first round table of the day titled: “The impact of the legal privilege on the Swiss market” saw a vibrant discussion and exchange of information from esteemed speakers Juan Antonio De Lassaletta, vp-global legal and compliance, Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma, Christian Haitz, general counsel, corporate and compliance at Gategroup and ACC Europe country representative Switzerland (Zurich), Veronica Lierau, general counsel at Autoneum, Tamir Livschitz, partner at Niedered Kraft Frey and Roxana Sullivan, lead trademark and anti-piracy counsel at Galderma. All aspects regarding legal privilege for in-house counsel were discussed, including recognition of legal privilege, or the lack thereof as it applies to in-house counsel in Switzerland, its impact on the way GC do their job, its affect on the structure of a legal department as well as the challenges that can arise from lack of the named privilege.
After a quick coffee break, it was time for the second round table titled: “Benchmarking salaries and the future of CLO”. The discussion, moderated by journalist Mercedes Galan, was between Claudio Elia, legal director at STMicroelectronics, Andrea Ferrari, head of global legal functions at Sandoz, Miriam Kuepper, head of Taylor Root, Antonio Le Verghetta, group regulatory relations and head global strategic projects & EMEA coverage at Credit Suisse and Xavier Schops, group general counsel & company secretary at Medmix Group. The panel discussed Swiss salaries as seen from different points of view, from headhunters to general counsel as well as the importance of legal professionals joining C-Suites and the necessity to highlight their value for the company.
The day was concluded with a lively lunch to close the conference where general counsels, in-house lawyers and private lawyers met to exchange views and address issues of great relevance in the Swiss legal market.