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Large event law

Publié le : 01/01/2005 01 janvier Janv. 2005
What's in a big eventOur law office specialises in the legal engineering of large events. Our main clients in this field are associations or cities organising meetings of tall-ships and warships. These events last between 6 and 10 days, gather about 50 big-size ships, over 3,000 seafarers and sailors, and between 1 and 10 million visitors, depending on the location.

- What are the specific needs. of this category of clients?

Clients expect the team of lawyers in charge to ensure the legal engineering of the project as a whole while afford­ing the maximum legal safety.

The lawyers have to be even more flexible and pro-active than usual. Even though the bulk of the legal work will have to be planned and done well in advance, as the event gets closer, the lawyers will face expected and unex­pected legal tasks and their response will have to be close to immediate.

In addition, as time is essential to this type of event, it is very important that the lawyer entertains smooth relation­ships with the local establishment and politicians to obtain the maximum cooperation from the local decision-­makers (representatives of the local authorities, of the main sponsors, Municipality, Chamber of Commerce, Health and Safety Directorate...).

It is also very important to have good relationships with the ship-owners and to meet them on a regular basis. One must never forget these people are the ones who make the event possible in the first place.

The lawyers will have to use their nego­tiation skills at best with the ship-owners and main suppliers of funds for the organisation of such an event. The minimum budget amounts to 10 million euros.

Good organisational skills are also required. The lawyer will work crescendo from 4 hours a week two years before the event up to full time during the event, while satisfying the needs of his other clients.

Finally, it also means that lawyers will have to be able to take various fields of law into account as they will automati­cally interact and overlap (contract law, competition law, administrative law, sports law, maritime law, insurance law, intellectual property law, etc.).

- Which future development do you see in your specific area of practice?

Similar skills are needed to provide legal assistance to organisers of large sports events. Our law office has already provided legal assistance to this type of clients at the local level (tennis open, cycling race) and would of course dream of being involved in national sports events.

As far as large maritime events are concerned, the sea remains a great vehicle of dream and adventure. Sailing on board old sailing ships becomes more and more popular amongst the French people.

In general terms, we have entered a leisure area which is sustained in France by the 35 hours working week. As a result, this type of events will certainly continue developing in the near future.

- How do you intend to contact your potential clients?

We get the opportunity to meet other potential clients at the yearly gathering of ship-owners in Europe where we also meet other organisers of similar events.

Being around for years - our office has been involved in such events for 15 years now-as well as being considered as experienced in this type of events also brings new business from the maritime world: skippers, ship-owners, municipalities, etc.

Through our Eurojuris International network, we have managed to help colleagues convince their municipality to organise a similar event when the city enjoys the characteristics required.

- What is your European approach for these legal issues / legal practice?

The approach must of course adapt to the respective country of origin of the ship-owners.

The negotiation culture can be some­what different from one country to another, even within Europe.

The most difficult is to set up a trusting relationship with foreign contacts. Trust will come naturally after a first successful experience. We can now venture to say that we are considered as reliable by our usual contacts in the maritime field from the UK, the Nether­lands, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Spain.

Turning to the substance of the law, the respective regulations governing each ship according to her nationality must also be taken into account. Harmonisa­tion at the European level is going to make our task easier when checking the papers of the ships (safety equip­ment, passenger certificates, insurance policies and so on).

Again, the safety of the ships is one of the main concerns of the organisers: the safety of the visitors and passen­gers during the event depends on it and the recurrence of the event as well!





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CREVECOEUR Valérie

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