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Mackrell International Women's Group - Fireworks is right for this… we are celebrating.

YES...fireworks is right for this…

And not before time.

This week, Mackrell International launched our Women’s Initiative – a networking group to support and foster female talent across our international family of law firms.

We had a brilliant turnout and contribution at our inaugural get-together, with lawyers and professionals from across the Americas, north to south, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific – this has resonated across the network and to all corners of the globe.

And we had the full range of experience on show - from Trainee Solicitors, to Associates and Seniors, to Partners, Managing Partners and senior Marketing and Operational professionals. The foundation is set; the ecosystem is building.

Already looking forward to the next gathering in two months’ time.

With thanks to Daniela Turcanu on Unsplash for the celebration photo.

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Accelerating out of the bend – the MI AGM in the Cloud


157 of us came together, ‘shoulder to shoulder’, screen to screen, to celebrate the diversity and unity of the Mackrell International global family.

Unusual for sure – the biggest gathering ever, but one where the only handshake, hug, or kiss on the cheeks was virtual. And where many of us had to remain silent for a large part of the AGM (tough any day for a group of sparky lawyers and more so for a group of friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long while)…

But – when we unmuted all at once to say hello to one another across the world - what an unleashing of energy, a vibrant wall of noise and greeting and connection. It’s testament to the deep roots of friendship, trust and mutual appreciation that connect us, that we could link arms, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ style from early morning in the West Coast of Canada and the USA to late night in some of our furthest reaches of Asia Pacific.

And we had business to attend to too.

We witnessed the passing of the sceptre from outgoing Chair, Nigel Rowley, to new Chair, David Ettinger – and across the network we showed our recognition and respect for the effort and dedication Nigel has shown to MI over his years in the hot seat. And we wished David well as he settles into that self-same seat.

We did the necessary and highlighted the Minutes of last year’s AGM in Bangalore and the 2019 audit and Budget – and prefaced the ‘Closing Ceremony’ on 25th June 2020 (2pm UK BST), where we will vote on the 2021 Budget.

And we opened a Mackrell International first – the ‘Virtual AGM’ a treasure trove of virtual ‘rooms’ like the Houses of Parliament, Galactic Cabin and International Suite, containing insight, information and legal input from many sectors and many corners of the network, plus reflections from the leadership team.

In the virtual rooms, we reminded ourselves of previous AGMs, of how amazing London is (to inspire us for revisiting for the London 2021 AGM) and the fact that as a network, we’ve #gotitcovered.

We also looked ahead at the building of our MI ecosystem with the strengthening of our Next Generation network, the launch of a Female Lawyer network and welcoming our flurry of new family members, four in the USA, 2 in Asia Pacific, 7 in Europe and 5 in Africa, including our recently joined member from Kenya.

Visit the AGM in the Cloud

On Thursday 25th June, we’ll officially ‘close’ the 2020 AGM and there will be a chance to come together one more time – we may even have a contender for Best Coronavirus Hair (currently it’s a close run thing between Roeland and Nikolaus…) and Best Lockdown view (contrary to rumour, the prize will not be a David Ettinger mask…).

Remember to complete the poll situated in the M.I. Arena – this will help us support you as we all accelerate out of the bend.

Keith Heddle Managing Director

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Highlights of the Mackrell International Bankruptcy & Insolvency Webinar

"The current crisis creates shared problems. Just because you are the strongest party in legal negotiations does not mean you have accomplished anything to help yourself. We should step-back, consider the legal position and consider the economic implications of advancing it."

MI attorneys from New Jersey, Oregon, Seattle, Serbia and Argentina discuss some of the key issues facing business and consumers currently. Listen here

Ray Patella from Kraemer Burns (and B&I Practice Group Leader) gives an overview of the extraordinary unemployment surge in the US and the volume of companies filing for insolvency - also how the swift and staggering action of the US Federal Reserve and the World Central Bank has ensured that international credit markets have not frozen completely. For the moment, this has avoided taking the US back to 2008 financial crisis levels. In respect of B&I, the crisis will have as lasting effect for months and years to come.

Howard Levine from Sussman Shank explains the US Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and how the US government have offered a provision for loans up to USD 10 million to cover payroll and other specific business expenses. With certain conditions, PPP loans can be accessed by mainstream business in the US and may even not require repayment - but there are exceptions and criminals need not apply! He gives examples of how companies are exploring the most varied use of the loans to save their business from bankruptcy.

Francisco Roggero from Zang, Bergel & Viñes highlights the impact of Covid-19 on an already complicated situation across South America. With the current position of no judiciary presence in Argentina in particular, insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings are on hold at the moment but are likely to commence once lockdown starts lifting. He also explains that banks and governments are making distress funds available to assist companies across the region.

Ivan Nikolic from SOG – Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic features the European situation and how European governments have made provisions available to slow down the flood, to avoid a peak of bankruptcies. He explains that the Tourism industry in Europe is an area that will probably not see the full effect of the financial impact until later in the year - so it may take until late Autumn to see companies failing particularly the hotel, tourism and leisure industry. However, there were already signs of countries opening up for tourism and trying to salvage something from the 2020 season.

Chris Young from Cairncross & Hempelmann covered Commercial Real Estate and Retail business in the US. He explains that the public health crisis has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities in the retail sector and indicates that companies that operate on a omni-channel retail basis, selling through multiple sources and having bricks and mortar stores, websites and social media operations (eg Walmart, Home Depot) are the most likely to survive. The vulnerability of the bricks and mortar retailers will impact the Commercial Real Estate market, with landlords having to agree various forms of rent relief or deferment. Office space leasing will also be impacted by more staff working from home in the future.

Look out for other MI webinars in future.

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

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