Notes from the Road: Hamburg

ECE ProjektmanagementI’ve just left Hamburg after a three-day visit. Some thoughts:

I held public seminars on Monday and Tuesday at the offices of ECE Projektmanagement, the shopping-center developer. My host was the exceedingly gracious Joachim Kämpf, of ECE’s legal department. He’s a veteran of one of my 2012 Geneva seminars.

Last Sunday, Joachim gave me a walking tour of downtown Hamburg. As has often happened in my travels, I got the feeling that here was another part of the world that is demonstrating a level of civic spirit, energy, and imagination that should make anyone from the U.S. sit up and take notice.

Joachim also treated me to dinner twice, with each meal featuring regional dishes. I was particularly taken with labskaus (see a representative example below; the one I had was a little more posh). Perhaps I’ll spring a homemade version on labskaus on my unsuspecting wife and daughter! Then again, perhaps not.

LabskausThe seminars went well, and I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with the participants. As in Geneva last week, the feedback was very positive, with the word “entertaining” featuring prominently. That’s not an obvious proposition for a seminar on contract drafting.

The seminar at ECE represents the first time I’ve attempted a barter arrangement for a public seminar. I’ll spare you the details, but ECE provided the facilities and other support; in return, ECE representatives attended the seminar without charge. Maersk Line is playing that role for purposes of my Copenhagen seminar. My thanks to ECE.

This arrangement worked so well with ECE that I expect to use it for an expanded series of seminars in Europe in April 2014. As usual, I’ll be in Geneva, but other cities I’m contemplating include Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich. And I could imagine doing similar seminars in South America and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, my thoughts have turned to tomorrow’s seminar at Maersk Line. A bunch of people from Maersk and other major Danish companies will be in attendance. It promises to be really interesting.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

4 thoughts on “Notes from the Road: Hamburg”

  1. Ken – Out of interest, do you find that civil law lawyers react in the same way to your drafting suggestions as common law lawyers do? There are different legal traditions, probably including different drafting traditions, so I wonder if they start from a different place and have different priorities when they come to draft a contract?

    • W: I’ve had little in the way of civil-law pushback, mostly because I emphasize that my guidelines relate to whatever you want to say, so they apply whatever the system. I’ve heard more along the lines of “but English law says ….” That’s another can of worms entirely! Ken


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.