My series of articles on future eDisclosure/eDiscovery conferences keeps being interrupted by my attendance at current conferences, most recently by a week at ILTA 2012 in Washington D.C. The conference season now seems to last all year, at least for those of us (and I am not the only one) whose interests embrace the US, the UK, Asia-Pacific and continental Europe.
For eDiscovery purposes, the expression “continental Europe” has hitherto meant Germany or the Netherlands. That does not mean that no other country has eDiscovery problems to solve, merely that conference organisers can be reasonably sure of getting audiences in Germany and Holland. As Spain, Portugal and Italy drop off the economic map, so eyes turn east to the area to the area known geographically, culturally and politically as Mitteleuropa, whose Western edge includes Germany and which embraces, amongst other countries, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland and Poland.
The economic standing of these countries varies as much as their languages do, and it is no more than a geographical convenience to group them together. One measure of economic importance is the number of law firms and international consultants who think it worth their while opening offices in one or more of the region’s capitals. They are there.
More or less bang in the middle of this vast area sits Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic and, so Wikipedia tells me, the fourteenth largest city in the European Union. It is here that Frederick Gyebi-Ababio has established a new player in the international legal technology conference league with the LawTech Europe Congress, due to take place on 12 November.
I had not come across Fred until he contacted me a year or so ago to ask if I would take part in an event which was then but a twinkle in his eye. If he has time after this, he could give masterclasses in the art of wooing sponsors, speakers and audiences. Some conference organisers are pretty cavalier with their participants, expecting us to drop everything at their whim and to meet their deadlines – I had one recently whose every e-mail demanded a reply “by COB tomorrow” and said that they “required” things urgently; that approach gets two short words expressive of pleasure and travel from me (though I might phrase it differently in the reply e-mail).
There was none of that with Fred, who patiently converted me from reluctance (November is a busy month) to enthusiastic support. He made the sensible decision early on to get Sasha Hefler involved to help with the organisation and with rounding up participants. Charles Christian and I, amongst others, joined the advisory board. To top this off, Richard Susskind agreed to be the keynote speaker.
The list of sponsors includes Guidance Software, Recommind, AccessData, ZyLAB, Nuix and Valora Technologies as well as up-and-coming legal technology recruiter APTSearch. The speaker list is full of names which will be known to you, as well as others. The agenda runs in three tracks, Electronic Evidence, Forensic Investigations and Legal Technology and offers a wide range of topics relevant to anyone, in any jurisdiction, who is concerned with the management of electronic evidence.
Add to all that the fact that Prague is a beautiful city to which I have never been. 12 November is a Monday, which makes it easy to decide to spend the weekend in Prague.
Contact Frederick Gyebi-Ababio or Sasha Hefler (details here) if you are interested in sponsoring or being involved in any other capacity at this interesting-looking conference.