XVI Annual Conference 2013- Milan, Italy

Following the offer from BGI Italia to hold the International Conference in their country, this year we have celebrated our XVI BGI International Conference in Milan. It took place from the 1st to the 4th of May and the hotel that was chosen for the attendees, guests and partners to stay in was the Hotel Una Cusani Milano. The conference sessions also took place in this beautiful, four star hotel, located only a short walk away from the Duomo, in a historic, recently restored building of great value.

Date 11/05/2013

This year, as well as almost all of the partners of the network being able to attend, we also had the presence of several guests including Malcom Smith, a professor at the Manchester Business School, representatives from Bordier & Cie bank and various law firms; potential candidates to become BGI members. The conference began with a welcome cocktail in the new offices of Cerutti and Partners, in Via Durini, after which we went for dinner in the “Posto di Conversazione” restaurant. It was a lovely evening which we used to greet each other and update one another on our latest news. On Thursday the 2nd May, after the submission of all the relevant documents, all the attendees met in the conference room. Following a welcoming from the president of BGI, Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada and the host, Massimo Cerutti, we moved on to the approval of the previous minutes, the presentation of the accounts and the budget for the new year. Although both firms already gave their presentations in the corresponding international conferences, they took this opportunity of us all being together to officially introduce themselves to the partners they didn’t know. After this, the firms who were in attendance as future candidates of BGI introduced themselves. We finally have a new website. The address is still the same: www.bgi-law.com but the content and the design have changed significantly. It is now in seven languages, and although there are still some small errors that need to be corrected, we can already visit it and show it to our existing and potential clients. After presenting the website, we watched a video prepared by the communication department about the relationship between lawyers and social networks. The video also made reference to the web 2.0 and explained how getting involved and making use of new technologies can help the expansion of our brand considerably. Before the break it was decided which would be the host countries for the next continental conferences; those selected were Mexico (Mexico D.F.) which will take place on the 28th and the 29th of November, and Romania (Bucharest) which will take place during the first fortnight of October (the final date is still to be confirmed). In the afternoon, after lunch, we attended the lecture given by Mr. Malcom Smith, Professor at the Manchester Business School, on the concept of branding and its relevance in the communication strategy for businesses. We were also given a presentation about the BGI case study on Brand Challenge that was carried out in the Sao Paulo workshop, organised by the Manchester Business School. Dinner that day took place in the wonderful and stunning restaurant, “Just Cavalli”. On Friday the 3rd of May, the session was dedicated to the internal organisation of the network, of future conferences and to encouraging relationships between the partner members. For this, some 5 minute speedy datings were organised between the partners, where they talked about mutual clients, specialities in which they could collaborate and topics of common interest. On Friday we also held the election of the new vice-president of BGI; Diego Martínez Bernie, partner of BGI Uruguay was chosen. Congratulations! That night, in a more relaxed environment and away from the working sessions, we went to the “Giselle” ballet in the Teatro alla Scala. It was a performance which moved us all, because of its beauty and the context in which it was performed. We dedicated the Saturday to a guided tour around Milan: S. Maria delle Gracie, the Cenacolo Vinciano, the Galleria Emanuelle Vittorio and the catedral del Duomo. After the free afternoon which was used to relax and do the “obligatory shopping” that every tourist must do, we met for the gala dinner, which took place in the Societá del Giardino, an old club, founded in 1783, exclusively for men. Originally, the reasons for its establishment were enjoyment and leisure, with it gradually evolving into a cultural centre. This gala dinner brought the XVI BGI Annual Conference to a close, with the hope of seeing each other again soon.

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