History of EELA

This is how it all started:

In March 1996, the Law Society of England and Wales was granted European commission funds to organize a Union-wide conference for practicing European Employment Lawyers in Brussels. The initiative came from the Society’s Employment Law Committee during Dame Janet Gaymer’s Chairmanship.

An invitation to join a ‘Scientific Committee’ was sent to eminent practitioners from 17 EU Member States, who had been selected for their expertise. The first meeting of the Scientific Committee was held in London, on 25 November 1996. Germany was chosen as the most appropriate jurisdiction for the foundation of the association. The European Employment Lawyers Forum (EELF) duly took place in Brussels in April 1997. Following the conference in Brussels, a further conference was held in London in 1998 and it was attended by 130 delegates from all over the European Union. At this conference, the Association was formally launched. The terms of the Constitution were hotly debated by participants and settled by democratic vote. The Constitution was adopted on Sunday, 25 April 1998, and signed by each member of the Scientific Committee. When the constitution was signed, the European Employment Lawyers Forum (EELF) became the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA). That was the moment when EELA was born.

EELA has a distinctly European culture that is highly valued by members. It provides its members with opportunities for meeting colleagues from other European jurisdictions and for sharing views.

Since 1998, the Association has held conferences in many European cities. There is an Annual conference every year in May or June in one of the member countries.

The EELA Annual Conference is the largest annual gathering of European employment lawyers, which brings an update on the most recent CJEU cases and discussions on current topics of European labour law. The latest trends, recent case law and main challenges ahead are presented and debated by high-level speakers.