With the globalization of markets, the legal environment has become more complex
Therefore it is essential to have a global vision when seeking solutions to cross jurisdictional legal issues. Because of its approach and international organization, PLG is the ideal solution to multi-jurisdictional legal business requirements.
PLG offers the ideal alternative to the big global law firms.
Through its network of independent medium-sized law firms, it has all the benefits of a big global firm, while giving clients the advantage of working with traditional firms in which partners still keep the personal contact and relationship with their clients.
PLG provides clients of member firms with a very rapid response of service as the needs of clients of other PLG member firms are always treated with the utmost importance, urgency and respect. PLG has recently established a 4 country legal team to carry out a due diligence exercise on 48 hours' notice in a data room located in one country only and produced a due diligence report within the same week. Other successful projects have been multi-jurisdictional reports and analysis of issues arising in several jurisdictions such as data protection treatment, internet trading issues and terms and conditions, the regulation of commercial agents and distributors and multi-jurisdictional insolvency or bankruptcy matters.
Europe's first integrated international law practice
The beginnings of PLG go back as far as the mid 1980s when a group of lawyers from 5 European countries had become friends through meeting at law conferences. Their vision was that as the European Union enlarged and became more integrated and companies and businesses became more globalised, the clients of smaller and medium sized law firms would increasingly need access to advice in their home country about doing business in other jurisdictions. Until this time such international law advice had largely been available only from the bigger internationally orientated law firms, mainly in London and New York.
As remaining independent law firms but working closely together was the objective, it was decided to use the EEIG. - European Economic Interest Grouping as a vehicle under EC Regulation No. 2137/85.
A contract forming PLG was signed by the 5 founding law firms (Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, UK) in 1988 and formalized as an EEIG on 14 September 1989 when PLG represented an innovative and original concept : Europe's first integrated international law practice operating as an EEIG registered in Brussels with registration number 2.
Since its foundation PLG has grown both inside Europe and outside with associated global members to an international law practice encompassing over 1100 lawyers and notaries from 29 member firms represented in more than 50 cities spread over 33 countries and 4 continents.
Over the last 29 years since the formation of PLG, we have seen increasing globalisation of markets, which has caused the legal environment to become more complex. More so now than in 1988 when PLG was formed, it is essential to have a global vision when seeking solutions to cross-jurisdictional legal issues. Because of its approach and international organisation, PLG is the ideal solution for multijurisdictional legal business requirements.
PLG offers the ideal alternative to the big global law firms
Through its network of independent medium-sized law firms we offer all the benefits of a big global firm, while giving clients the advantage of working with traditional firms in which partners still keep the personal contact and relationship with their clients. We look to properly understand our clients' needs and deliver services specifically to meet those needs by partners and assistant lawyers experienced in dealing with international business and multijurisdictional issues.
We place particular importance on the need to bridge not only the legal and linguistic differences, but also cultural differences between negotiating parties, which is why clients often call on PLG partners to be present in business negotiations from an early stage. Many PLG lawyers are multi-lingual, allowing the client to conduct his business away from home often in his own language.
Each and every PLG firm places its office facilities at the disposal of all the member firms and their clients for business meetings, with or without the assistance of interpreters or local law advisers. Since 1988 PLG has steadily expanded and now has 28 members across more than 50 cities in 33 countries. In addition to having offices in a large number of EU countries, we have associate offices in other parts of the world, bringing together more than 1100 lawyers and civil law notaries. Each member firm within PLG is a separate and independent locally practising entity - each a respected law firm in its own right.
PLG has a central office in Brussels, the heart of Europe. This is where PLG's full time secretariat, run by Rebecca Lee, is based.
Council of Administration
PLG's Council of Administration is made up of a maximum of two directors from each member firm. Meetings of the Council of Administration are held three times per year and are hosted by one of our member firms.
The Council of Administration has established a sub-group called the Executive Committee or ExCom.
Besides taking charge of the day-to-day business of PLG in-between meetings, the function of ExCom is largely advisory, recommending strategy and implementing the organisational decisions which are taken by the Council of Administration.
Each year the Excom, which consists of five PLG directors, is made up of the President and two directors nominated by the President as his presidential team, plus two directors appointed by the Council members by direct vote. The President is voted in annually by the Council Members.
Involvement of young lawyers
YPLG (Young PLG) groups PLG lawyers aged 35 or under and employed by one of the PLG member firms.
Its aim is notably to encourage contacts between lawyers, whatever the means, increase the visibility of PLG within member firms on a less formal level and gather and implement ideas on how all young lawyers within PLG can become involved in PLG. Its strong belief is that knowing each other better and involving as many lawyers as possible within the network will increase the confidence of the clients and referrals.
These contacts are used as an opportunity to discuss within committees or in special YPLG meetings or events on new communication means, commercial successes, different legal systems for all of us to gain a better knowledge of each others' professional practices which is essential when one crosses borders.
YPLG members are nurtured with values of friendship, trust, professionalism and respect of each other and of their clients.
To quote a former member of the YPLG ExCom and current member of the PLG ExCom
I am more convinced than ever before that today's YPLG is tomorrow's PLG
Mutual interest groups (MIGs)
PLG has set up a number of MIGs which group together lawyers across the member firms who work in a particular field of interest. Currently we have formalised MIGs as follows:
- Employment Law
- IP, IT and E-Commerce
- Dispute Resolution
- Corporate Law - Trusts - Wills
We also have slightly less formal groups working toward MIG formation in the fields:
- Estate planning
The MIGs meet on a regular basis. Meetings are usually planned to coincide with the holding of PLG Meetings, which allows a greater number of our 1,100 lawyers to meet and get to know each other.
The role of the MIGs is to discuss matters of common interest in relation to delivery of cross-border and multijurisdictional services for clients, new developments in law and the referral of matters between firms.