Approved by the Board on 16th January 2004, held in Frankfurt
Amended on 10th March 2004
Amended on 31st January 2005
Amended on 3rd October 2005
Amended on 2nd October 2006
Amended on 10th May 2008
Amended on 22nd September 2008
Amended on 28th September 2009
Amended on 19th May 2016

1. Timing

The Association’s conference will be held annually in the first half of the calendar year, usually in the spring.

2. Host EELA Member State

The EELA Member State which hosts the conference will change every year.

3. Conference Committee

As provided by art. 6.2 of the Constitution, “The Board shall establish a Conference Committee to organise the annual conferences. The Conference Committee shall consist of five Board Members comprising the four Board Members from the EU jurisdictions in which the next four annual conferences are to be held and the Board member from the EU jurisdiction in which the last annual conference took place. The chairman of the Conference Committee shall be the Board Member from the jurisdiction in which the next annual conference is to take place.”

4. Language of the Conference

The language of the conference will be English. If appropriate, translation from the host language to English will be provided unless there are exceptional circumstances and as otherwise agreed by the Conference Committee.

5. Conference Organiser

A conference organiser may be used in order to assist with the organisation of the conference provided its fee fits in the budget agreed by the Conference Committee and ratified by the Board.

6. Sessions and Speakers

6.1. Organisation of Sessions

  1. The Conference Committee will decide the number of speakers for each session. The number of speakers should be appropriate to the length of the session and the topic. As a general, non-binding guideline: up to 4 speakers should be considered for long sessions and up to 3 speakers for short sessions. A long session lasts 2.5 hours and a short session 1.5 hours. A plenary session also lasts 1.5 hours.
  2. Board Members cannot be speakers.
  3. The sessions are organised as follows:
    • The Conference Committee appoints a Board Member to be responsible for every session (Session Organiser). For the avoidance of doubt, Session Organisers cannot be speakers. Session Organisers are not mentioned on the agenda or on other materials distributed outside of the Board.
    • The Session Organiser appoints in consultation with the Conference Committee a Session Leader – a person who will lead and chair the session.
    • The Session Organiser is responsible for ensuring that the session takes place.
    • The Session Leader is responsible for the content and conduct of the session at the conference.
    • Sessions should be organised with a view to involving the audience in the discussion.
    • Good preparation of the sessions is of utmost importance. Session Organisers and Session Leaders may decide to hold live rehearsals of the sessions.
    • Sessions do not have to be organised as traditional panels. Alternative ways of organising sessions (e.g. moot trial) are encouraged.

6.2. External Speakers

The expenses of external speakers (i.e. who are not members of EELA) will be paid by the Association. These expenses will cover hotel and travel costs. However, the following conditions will apply:

  • No expenses will be paid in relation to the spouse, family or any companion of the speaker; the same rule applies to their participation in the social event, which will be subject to a fee;
  • The cost of two nights’ stay in a hotel together with breakfast will be paid. Usually a hotel selected for use in conjunction with the conference will be the designated hotel;
  • External speakers will not be required to pay a delegate fee for the conference and will have the right to participate in the conference, including the social event;
  • Only direct travel costs, standard class, will be paid up to a maximum of EUR 700.

Exceptions to the above conditions are subject to a decision of the Conference Committee (which may decide to seek approval from the Board).

Claims for expenses should be made on a standard form supported by receipts where possible and preferably sent to EELA’s head office or by email for prompt settlement.

Any enquiries in relation to outstanding expenses claims from speakers will be dealt with first by EELA’s head office and secondly by the Chairman of the Conference Committee which organised the conference.

The Conference Committee may decide to pay a fee to external speakers. Fees which would in total exceed EUR 5,000 per conference are to be discussed with the Board.

6.3. EELA Member Speakers

No expenses will be paid or accommodation provided for the EELA Member Speakers. EELA Member Speakers will pay the normal conference fee.

7. Conduct of the Conference

7.1. Venue

The conference will be in the chosen host Member State at a venue agreed by the Conference Committee.

7.2. Chair

The Chairman of the Conference Committee will chair the conference.

7.3. General Assembly

The General Assembly of the Association may be held at the same time as the annual conference.

7.4. Duration

The conference will last for no more than two days, usually commencing on a Friday morning and ending on the following Saturday afternoon unless otherwise agreed by the Conference Committee. Usually the Conference is preceded by a cocktail reception on Thursday evening.

7.5. Programme and Speakers

  1. The conference programme will be decided by the Conference Committee. The programme should not include topics of purely national interest. Topics may include professional skills (e.g. negotiations).
  2. The speakers will be decided by the Session Organisers and Session Leaders. Speakers may be chosen from among members of the Association or eminent persons from outside of the Association (external speakers).
  3. The criteria for selecting speakers will include:
    • the speaker’s expertise in the selected topic
    • his/her language skills (fluent English)
    • a diverse geographical coverage (avoiding in particular that several representatives of the same country appear on the same panel, save for the representation of the host country at the plenary session)
    • the speaker must not have given a speech at a recent EELA conference (the last three years can be used as a reasonable reference in this regard)
    • the speaker’s initiative in proposing a topic
    • in sessions where it is relevant – the preferable representation of both company and employee/trade union lawyers at the conference, if possible
    • the need to avoid over-representation of speakers of the same law firm or alliance of law firms on a panel and more broadly, at the conference
  4. The conference will be opened by the Chairman of the Association.
  5. The conference will start with a short welcome by the Chairman of the Conference Committee, which will be followed by a keynote speech.
  6. After the keynote speech, there may be a plenary session. This is the most prestigious session of the Conference. It is recommended that it discusses a subject of a philosophical/political/economic nature which is of general interest to employment lawyers. Eminent lawyers or other renowned persons from other continents may be invited to speak at the plenary session.
  7. There should not be more than 3 parallel sessions (i.e. non-plenary sessions taking place at the same time).

 7.6. Organisation Timetable

The following timetable for the organisation of the conference will be used as a guide:

June Call for speakers and topics sent by the Chairman of the Conference Committee to all Association members
September Appointment of all Session Organisers and Session Leaders
September/October Draft agenda, Session Organisers, Session Leaders, preliminary budget to be presented to the Board.
December Completed agenda (incl. speakers)
January First mailing of conference details to Association members
February Registration opens
End of February Closing date for receipt of any discounted registration fee

The Conference Committee reports to the Board on the progress made and the completion of every stage

Note: Mailings will only be sent to fully paid-up members of the Association at the relevant time.

7.7. Handouts

These are to be encouraged. If possible these should be delivered to the Chairman of the Conference Committee no later than four weeks before the conference. If handouts are delivered after this time, the cost of copying any notes and handouts may be charged to the speaker.

7.8. Dealings with Speakers

If the speaker accepts an invitation to speak at the conference, he or she should be asked to supply his or her biographical details as soon as possible and to give an estimated time of delivery of any handout.

The speaker should also be asked to complete and return a speaker checklist in standard form dealing, for example, with the use of audio-visual aids, copyright waiver etc. Speakers should be thanked for their contribution after the conference has concluded. Presentations prepared by lawyers should be drafted using the EELA presentation format and not showing their own law firm logo. Presentations by representatives of companies/trade unions and external speakers may be made using their own format.

7.9. Social Event

The conference programme should include a social event, preferably on the Friday evening of the conference, to be attended by members, speakers, guests and their spouses/partners (if present).

7.10. Sponsorship

Appropriate sponsorship of the conference is permitted subject to approval by the Conference Committee. Law Firms and alliances of law firms cannot be sponsors.

7.11. Publicity

Any requests from advertisers to exhibit at the conference will be considered by the Conference Committee. No costs should be incurred by the Association in relation to outside advertising.

Members of the press will be permitted to attend the conference session subject to the agreement of the Chairman of the Conference Committee.

Arrangements for publicising the conference will be made by the Chairman of the Conference Committee subject to discussion with the Conference Committee.

7.12. Guests

Invitations to guests at the conference will be sent out by the Chairman of the Conference Committee after agreement with the Conference Committee.

Suggestions for guests may be provided by all Board members. There will be a limit on the number of guest places decided each year by the Conference Committee. The expenses of guests will be treated in the same way as the expenses of external speakers.

7.13. Delegate Lists

All delegates to the annual conference will receive full contact details of all delegates at the conference.

7.14. Evaluation and Debrief

All delegates to the conference will be asked to complete evaluation forms at the conference in readiness for a debrief at the next Board meeting following the conference.