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WLN Next Conference report

Budapest 28-30 April 2017

Focus on Social Media

Hosted by: Squarra & Partners Law Office

Hosting WLN Next member: Dr. Réka Katona

Attendants:

Sarah Abel
Susanna Grichtmaier
Dr. Réka Katona
Alberto Lama
David Meyer
Gustav Nittby
Dragos Ramniceanu
Isabel Ringsby
Natalia Rutkowska
Rosie Seaward
Hugo Vaz Serra

The WLN Next meeting started on Thursday, 27 April 2017 with a reception at the Squarra & Partners law office where our group had the chance to meet all members of our hosting firm.

Friday, 28 April 2017
The working session started on Friday morning in the premises of the Budapest Bar Association. Réka gave our group an introduction outlining the organisation and the functioning of the Hungarian Bar Association and the Budapest Bar Association as public bodies and regulators and shared her insights about working as a young attorney at law (ügyvéd) in Hungary.

Afterwards each attendant introduced his/her law firm and field of expertise. After the lunch break we continued the working session in the premises of Squarra & Partners.

 Concerning current WLN next projects Susanna briefly mentioned the possibility for international placements within the network with the help of the Jorge Mañá Award and the Connecting the Dots Project. Further we discussed to continue to contribute articles for the newsfeed section. The goal is for WLN Next to provide an article every two weeks. As a general rule the articles are to be written in English and will be proofread by WLN Next members from UK or Ireland. It is, however, not necessary (but it is acceptable) to provide a version of the article in the author’s mother tongue. Rosie offered her help proofreading the articles. The list for the current series of articles has been updated which was necessary due to fluctuation.

Alberto introduced the meeting’s main theme: Focus on Social Media Marketing

His presentation provided a structural approach to the issue by defining the term “Social Media” and common features of different Social Media platforms. We discussed data about the use of Social Media in the corporate world (marketing, tailored advertisement, research, recruitment etc). Alberto outlined the key issues to be considered when working with Social Media as a law firm, different approaches on how to use Social Media and its potential as a marketing tool for law firms.

After this briefing on Social Media the attendants presented information about the legal framework for Social Media Marketing for Law Firms in their jurisdiction and presented examples of Social Media activities in their firms. We heard presentations about Social Media Marketing in Scotland (Rosie), Romania (Dragos), Germany (David and Susanna) and Sweden (Isabel and Gustav).

As a common characteristic, Social Media Marketing nowadays is a legal form of advertising for law firms but restricted by certain provisions such as codes of conduct and ethics, marketing regulations or data protection regulations. In some jurisdictions the marketing of legal services essentially used to be forbidden or severely restricted (e.g. in Germany, Italy, Romania or Sweden) but now is legal with more or less strict requirements to be observed. The Romanian system offered the most illustrative example. Until recently Romanian law firms were barred from most forms of marketing, i.e. also online activity. It is only now that the Romanian Bar Association is about to adopt a more liberal approach and softens the provisions on marketing activities.

As to the practical use of Social Media in the represented WLN member firms, we also saw different approaches. Most firms do use LinkedIn or Twitter profiles to promote publications, workshops or corporate social responsibility endeavours with different intensity. Some firms do, however, focus on Social Media presence in blogs and also youtube channels. Social Media platforms have also turned out to be a useful recruitment tool for legal staff, office management staff and/or assistants.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The group finished the presentations on Social Media Marketing with contributions from Natalia (Poland), Alberto (Italy), Hugo (Portugal) and Réka (Hungary).

Alberto presented the network’s presence on LinkedIn and invited the attendants to join/follow the group’s activities on the WLN Next group page.

Dragos set out the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures and amending Directive 2012/30/EU. These plans for a reform could have a huge impact of insolvency law and could definitely be a topic to discuss further at the occasion of upcoming WLN conferences.

The next conference will take place in Kraków, Poland (28-30 Sept 2017) .  Hugo has proposed to discuss data protection regulations as a possible theme for the next meeting.

We would like to thank all attendants for their participation and presentations which made the conference a success and Squarra & Partners who could not have made us feel more welcome.

For more information about the work of WLN Next & how to get involved, contact:

Susanna Grichtmaier, Rechtsanwältin

ebl factum rechtsanwälte, Frankurt, Germany

e: s.grichtmaier@factum-legal.com

t: +49 69 74749120