AEL, of which we were founder members in 1989, comprises some 39 firms and nearly 4000 lawyers working across 41 legal jurisdictions throughout Europe - North to South from Norway to Turkey, and East to West from Portugal to Estonia.
AEL originally came together in response to the negotiations that would lead to the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, which paved the way for the Euro and closer integration of policy between member States. The founding firms recognised the need at that time for law firms across Europe to work together to best serve their clients' interests, as those fundamental changes began to take effect.
25 years later, Brexit means the UK is now reversing out of the EU, and a whole new set of challenges and opportunities face our clients. Our close working relationships with AEL firms, developed over three decades, will enable us to guide our clients through the complexities and consequences of Brexit as they emerge, with help from our AEL partners.
AEL meetings are about the law, but they are also important cultural exchanges and an opportunity for the host firm to showcase its surroundings. We were delighted to hold welcome drinks at our Harbourside office followed by dinner at Bordeaux Quay. The main AGM gala dinner took place aboard the SS Great Britain, Brunel's iconic steamship, and the following day our guests enjoyed a trip to Bath, including a tour of the Roman Baths and a traditional afternoon tea.