Challenges for Multinationals

Conference Report

The European Fraud and Compliance Lawyers Association (EFCL) had the pleasure to host their annual conference in Milan on June 8th, 2018. The EFCL was delighted to welcome back delegates from last year’s conference in Frankfurt and had the pleasure to welcome a number of new members.

The conference was opened by the one and only Monty Raphael who welcomed the delegates and wished them a successful and interesting conference.

The first panel of the day clearly set the tone for the rest of the conference: no rules seem to be clearly established anywhere in Europe. This first panel had the mission to clear out a very blurry road for lawyers around the world: Pushing at the boundaries of privilege. The panel was chaired by Kevin Roberts, and panel members were Adriana de Buerba (Spain), Nabeel Osman (UK), Gareth Rees QC (UK). The panel was very diverse as it involved lawyers but also consultants. The panel members each pointed out the difficulty of knowing whether documents, interviews, and reports were or were not privileged in their country. This session was very interactive as delegates had the opportunity to hear from Italian and German colleagues who also gave their countries’ position. It was very clear that the ENRC decision in the UK had some importance in the European countries and attorneys across Europe are waiting for the Appeal decision. 

All participants had then the chance to connect over the coffee break. 

The second panel was chaired by Dominika Stepinska-Duch and looked at the issues on whistle-blowers: Whistleblowing: A unified approach to whistle-blower protection? The panel was composed of Rebecca Meads (UK), Vincent Asselineau (France) and Andrea Amatuzio (Italy). This session offered the opportunity to outline the gap between European countries. Indeed, the UK seem to be quite advanced on the topic whereas France clearly is a new-born in the area, all in comparison with Poland who at this stage offers no protection. 

At the end of this second session, came the time for everyone to have the opportunity to chat around the lunch break, which allowed for new members to mingle with the people who had already met in Frankfurt. 

The third panel was entitled Multi-Jurisdiction criminal investigations – How to determine the proper defence strategy? This panel was chaired by Roberto Pisano (Italy) and composed of Han Jahae (The Netherlands), Emily Maxwell (Italy), Federico Busata (Italy). This session raised the issues of cross-border investigations such as cooperation with foreign authorities and investigations led by multiple authorities. 

The final panel was rather on a very hot topic since European countries needed to be up to date on the topic a few days before the conference: Data Protection and Investigations – Where does it start, where does it end? The panel was chaired by Oliver Kipper (Germany) and the speakers were Louise Hodges (UK), Jürgen Klengel (Germany), Tobias Eggers (Germany), Francesco De Biasi (Italy). The panel raised very interesting questions with regard to the GDPR and the way lawyers should deal with personal data when conducting investigations. These involved questions related to employee approval or transfer of data. Finally, the panel dealt with issues on the relation between the GDPR and the Cloud Act. 
The day concluded with closing and thanking remarks from the EFCL Chair, followed by a fantastic evening reception at La Terrazza di via Palestro overlooking Milan’s Indro Montanelli park. 

The EFCL would like to express its thanks to all the speakers and delegates for attending this year’s EFCL conference as well as give special thanks to all those who helped organise yet another successful event.

Report written by Victoire Chatelin, Bonifassi Avocats


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