Law

THE LAW FIRM AS A BUSINESS

By Dr Robin Leon Fritz, FPS

I. INTRODUCTION

Law firms today are businesses operating in a highly fragmented and intensely competitive environment. The market for legal services is a transparent one. Those interested in this market, potential future developments in the market and what firms need to do to successfully position themselves will find a large number of suitable publications. There is also a broad selection of consulting firms and training programs.

The market for legal services in Germany has undergone significant changes in the past 25 years, and we should not assume that this transformation process has come to an end. On the contrary, there will continue to be significant changes which will have a substantial impact on the way law firms operate. Richard Susskind has written a book on this subject which is very much worth reading.1

These changes will be largely determined by three main factors:

  • the "more for less" challenge;
  • the progressive liberalization of the legal services market; and
  • the increasing use of IT.

With regard to the "more for less" challenge, Susskind rightly points out the enormous pressure resting upon the heads of inhouse legal departments: legal questions are becoming more complicated and complex, internal cost pressure is high and inhouse legal departments are expected to deliver better work results with fewer employees and smaller budgets. This will have an impact on the working relationship between these legal departments and their outside attorneys.

The liberalization of the market for legal services simply means that a large number of services are no longer provided by highly qualified employees in high-priced law firms, but by alternative providers instead. The largest changes are expected to come within the sphere of information technology (legal tech, etc.).

Attorneys with management responsibility within their law firms will have to contend with these issues. Their ability to ask the right questions and, above all, to find the right answers for these changes will be decisive.

These changes will come faster than some people think, and they will have the greatest impact on those of us who continue to believe that our personal work sphere will not be affected.

As right and important as it is to think about how the services of business law firms will be affected by the digital transformation, it is also important not to lose sight of a few of the basic pillars which are indispensable if law firms are to remain competitive in the future. These aspects will be briefly addressed further on.

II. PARTNERS

A law firm is, first and foremost, a business whose success depends on its ability to strategically position itself in the market. Put in simple terms, the question is: who do I work for, and which legal services do I provide? For example, is my target client a private individual, a small business or an international conglomerate?

But of course the law firm as a "business" is not an abstract construction: a firm's success or failure is the direct result of its ability to develop or recruit suitable partners.

If a law firm does not succeed in finding more or less qualified jurists and making them into attorneys first, and then businessmen, it will not be able to survive in competition. The ability to develop or recruit partners, some of whom will eventually be willing and able to assume entrepreneurial responsibility not only for their department but for the firm as a whole, is decisive.

Identifying suitable personalities and training them if necessary or integrating outside attorneys within the firm is no easy task. But the interesting question is "what exactly distinguishes a partner?"

I'm sure that all big law firms have more or less similar ideas about what makes a good partner: from soft skills to professional expertise and business case. In my experience, these criteria are largely the same in every country.

But in my view, there are two main things which make an attorney a suitable partner:

  1. He or she must fit into the corporate culture, by and large (see Section VI).
  2. The partner should make contributions which boost the firm's profits.

Professional expertise and good legal work are not enough: those things can be bought. Rather, the decisive factors are entrepreneurial thinking and action, ambition and the will to be successful.

Two aspects are of particular importance in this regard:

  1. The partner needs to have the ability to set up his or her own business unit, conduct strategic planning and acquire new clients. It's about growing through strategic acquisitions. It's about selling. We're all salesmen, every day of our lives: we're selling our ideas, our plans and our enthusiasm to everyone we come into contact with, whether we're aware of it or not. Selling is a process in which we find people with specific needs, help them recognize and formulate those needs, explain to them how we can meet those needs and convince them to use our solutions. Selling personal services is not the same as selling cars, equipment or other goods. When you're selling services, the client is buying you. In the case of goods, the customer is buying the product because it appeals to him.
  2. The partner must be able to develop and cultivate networks. There is extensive literature on this subject, so I won't say any further at this point.

Earning fees, acquiring clients and building and cultivating a key network of relationships for the firm are important contributions that a partner makes. There will probably be broad agreement on that point.

But there are other important contributions as well, which need to be evaluated, assessed and possibly weighted, independently of the weighting system applied by the firm.

The criteria may include hours worked, hours billed, cultivating client relationships, cross-selling, acquiring new clients, work quality, productivity, teamwork and contributions to the firm, management and leadership, participation in firm activities, presentations and publications and other professional and non-professional activities which ultimately serve the firm's interests.
Talk is cheap, of course, and these criteria can be written down on the side somewhere. But at the end of the day, an important partner is one whose departure would shake the firm to its core, in the truest sense of the word.

III. STRATEGY

Regardless of future developments in the job market, a firm's strategy is of decisive importance for its ability to remain competitive in the future. First of all, the firm must have a common understanding of who it wants to work for and in what areas. As stated earlier, the market for legal services in Germany has become highly fragmented in the past 25 to 30 years. There have been various studies in this regard already.2

Vaagt identifies seven different strategic groups among the 50 leading firms in Germany. We should not fail to mention in this regard that there are about 170,000 attorneys in Germany (including attorneys working in inhouse legal departments), of whom less than 10,000 work for the 50 largest firms. The remainder, about 160,000, works alone or in smaller units. These are two completely different working environments which cannot be compared to one another.

The strategic groups among Germany's 50 leading firms are as follows:

  1. global players;
  2. internationalizers;
  3. German market leaders;
  4. focused firms;
  5. generalists;
  6. regional firms;
  7. integrated firms.

By "integrated firms," Vaagt means the big four auditing firms, who are seeking to offer legal advisory services as a natural complement to their auditing and consulting activities.

The decisive point, in any case, is that the partners have a single long-term strategy for their firm. It is also helpful to write this strategy down. This is less about conducting an extensive analysis than it is about documenting in a generally binding way that the firm, as a business, is engaging with these questions in the first place, such as where you see yourself in the next five to ten years and which challenges you would like to overcome together (including those mentioned in the introduction).

IV. ORGANIZATION

When you work alone, you don't need to ask or coordinate with anyone. Due to the fact that the material is becoming increasingly complicated and complex, a certain minimum size is indispensable for more broadly positioned law firms. Whether you are 50 attorneys or 500 your firm will need a well-developed organizational structure which allows the attorneys (including the partners) to focus primarily on their professional tasks. It is therefore necessary to have professional management with resources for departments like IT, finance, marketing, HR, knowledge management, etc. Given the statements made above, emphasis should also be placed on legal tech, systematization and standardizing advisory services.

Managing a law firm is hard. A major reason for this is that the managing partners are also co-owners of the firm. Many partners find it hard to delegate responsibility and their ability to discipline or subordinate themselves and their readiness to change is rather undeveloped, as is the case for most people.

The larger the firm, the more possible top-down models should be considered. But particularly in light of what was said earlier, managing a firm on the principle that "everything I say goes" is extraordinarily difficult.

It may be expedient to have a true COO. Whether and to what extent this role can be filled by someone who is not an attorney is certainly an interesting question. The degree to which such a COO will be accepted largely depends on the size of the firm and its previous practices. For German law firms, at least, I personally don't believe that a pure top-down model can be successful.

On the other hand, law firms of a certain size cannot operate in a "bottom-up" fashion. Basic democratic decision-making can work in firms of up to four or five partners, but is hardly conceivable in larger units.

After all, law firms need leadership. Management should have an idea of the firm's strategic objectives and it should make suggestions and set rules if necessary and ensure that the partners' resolutions are implemented. Internal discussions and democratic decision-making are important. People need to be brought on-board, as they say. But once the objectives have been formulated and specific resolutions have been adopted, they must be thoroughly implemented. Communication plays an important role in this regard.

Just as there's no optimal size for a law firm, there isn't a single optimal management structure either. The important thing is to have clearly defined management responsibilities. A commitment to personal suitability, ability and extended terms in office also makes sense, in my firm opinion. Spheres of responsibility and decision-making authority must be clearly defined.

V. MONEY

Distribution of profits is typically the way partners earn a living for themselves and their families. Of course, distributed profits are also a reflection of the firm's current market value and therefore serve as a gauge and expression of its reputation and standing in the market. To put it simply, the firm's performers, whether they are employees or partners, must feel that they are being adequately compensated for their performance. This is determined first and foremost by the firm's compensation system.

There are essentially four conceivable models:

  • equal shares;
  • seniority (lockstep);
  • performance-based compensation (eat what you kill);
  • mixtures of seniority (lockstep) and performance-based (eat what you kill) models.

In smaller firms, in which each partner really does contribute more or less equally to the firm's success, equal distribution of the profits (if there are four partners, for example, each would receive 25%) is a conceivable solution. But even firms in this category often find that their performance varies depending on the professional and business talents of individual partners, so that the profit distribution system will be revised sooner or later there as well.

For larger organizations, this mode of profit distribution is impracticable, in my view. The lockstep system provides stability, predictability and certainty, as well as doing the most to ensure amicable collaboration. The main disadvantage of this system is that it doesn't create an incentive to improve individual performance or results. Accordingly, for the lockstep system to work, there must be zero tolerance for those who are unwilling or unable to meet the firm's expectations. Over time, neither underperformers nor overperformers are tolerated under the lockstep system.

Basing compensation on individual performance is a clear and seemingly simple approach. After all, each person can decide for himself how and how much to work and what expenses to incur. However, the system for allocating expenses has to be crystal clear and transparent; after all, it makes a difference whether I generate my fees myself or, for example, with the help of four other attorneys and a correspondingly large secretarial staff. The advantage of this system is that each individual takes full responsibility for his or her profits. The main disadvantage is that they are not responsible for the firm as a whole, and therefore won't put in work for the firm's benefit. The resulting problems include the lack of a strategy for the firm as a whole, as well as cultural and structural problems, including the risk that the firm will fall apart.

An additional problem, of course, is the need to determine and evaluate in detail what actually counts as relevant performances in the compensation system (see Section II.).

VI. PEOPLE

People are different, and that's true of course for attorneys as well. Something attorneys who become partners in law firms have in common, in any case, is that they must have the ability to maintain perspective in situations that are often difficult and complex and develop and implement solutions which meet the client's objectives, as clients are willing to pay handsomely for these services.

These attorneys must be confident, creative and very convincing. They should have leadership ability as well as the ability to work in a team. These people should be accustomed to working their hardest to ensure their clients' success.

It's not hard to imagine what exaggerated form this could take when their own interests are at stake. It's hard to keep this group of assorted "A-type personalities" together and in a good temper. In my opinion, the human factor is one of the most important challenges for firms to succeed and remain competitive in the future.

The character of the individuals is decisive. A firm cannot afford to keep around real divas and troublemakers. While a firm is a business and earning power plays a key role, it makes a difference if the firm's utmost objective is maximizing annual profits or performing the best possible work for the client in a clear and reliable working climate. My purpose is not to evaluate these approaches or to say which is good or bad, right or wrong. Ultimately, all of us need to decide for ourselves what we expect from our lives, both personally and professionally.
But an individual, whether that individual is an employee or the client, will very quickly understand the corporate culture of the firm which he or she is working in or with. Is the working atmosphere open, collaborative and positive, or is the predominant feeling one of pressure, anxiety or trepidation?

As stated earlier, attorneys don't sell products: ultimately, what they're selling is themselves. The human factor is the sole production factor in a law firm and is therefore of prime importance. If the egos of the individual partners are too big and each one thinks he's the best and most important, and even thinks that he's irreplaceable, then sooner or later there will be unpleasant conflicts between the partners, and maybe even a falling out.

Accordingly, one of the most important, if not the most important, challenge for law firms to succeed is to bring together the right people and then guide, support and lead them.

VII. CONCLUSION

Law firms are businesses which have to be able to compete in an intensely competitive and highly fragmented market. IT (the impact of technology) will result in significant changes. Law firms must be prepared for this if they wish to remain competitive in the future.

Aside from this, a law firm's success rests on a few main pillars. Above all, it is the partners and owners of the firm who determine its financial success and shape its business climate and corporate culture. A clear strategy is needed, as well as an appropriate organization to implement the measures which are decided on.

----------------------

1 Richard Susskind: "Tomorrow's Lawyers," 2nd ed., Oxford 2017
2 See for example Christoph H. Vaagt: "Erfolgreiche Strategien von Wirtschaftskanzleien," Munich 2011


Dr Robin Leon Fritz

Dr Robin Leon Fritz

FPS, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
T: +49 69 959 570; F: +49 69 959 574 55
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; W: www.fps-law.de


Published: August 2018 l Photo: Claudia - Fotolia.com

GGI Logo 70x50px

GGI Geneva Group
International AG

Schaffhauserstrasse 550
P.O. Box 286
8052 Zurich
Switzerland

Contact

T: +41 44 2561818
F: +41 44 2561811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ggi.com

Disclaimer

Disclaimer and Privacy Notice

Legal Disclaimer

This website is managed by Geneva Group International AG Zürich (hereinafter referred to as "GGI") on behalf of the member firms of GGI, a worldwide organization of independent Law, Accounting and Consulting Firms. GGI provides information and documentation on World Wide Web sites, such site(s) being known as the GGI Internet (hereinafter referred to as the "Website"). If you make any use of this Website, you confirm that you agree to each of the terms and conditions set forth below. You shall not be authorized to use this Website if you do not agree with any of the terms and/or conditions set forth below.

GGI, a company incorporated in accordance with the laws of Switzerland, provides no legal, audit or other professional services to clients. Such services are provided solely by GGI member firms in their respective geographic areas. GGI and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, partners, joint ventures or agents. No member firm of GGI has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind GGI or any other GGI member firm in any manner whatsoever.

No action should be taken or omitted to be taken in reliance upon information contained in this Website. The information contained and accessed on this site is provided by the member firms of GGI for general guidance and is intended to offer the user general information of interest. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for any accounting, legal (in those jurisdictions where GGI member firms are permitted to practice law), tax or other professional advice, consultation or service. You should consult with a professional from a GGI member firm in the respective legal, accounting, tax or other professional area. Based on specific facts or circumstances, the application of laws and regulations may vary.

Based on the fundamental universal condition of the electronic communication process, GGI does not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that this Website (including its functions, contents, downloadable files, software etc.) will be uninterrupted, without delay, error-free, omission-free, or free of viruses, free of Trojan horses, similar destructive software and/or free of harmful codes which may impair the proper functioning of any software, hardware or other equipment and/or materials of the user. GGI does not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that this Website is compatible with any user's computer equipment (hardware and/or software) or network through which access to this Website is gained. GGI does further not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that the use of this Website will not lead to viruses, Trojan horses and/or similar destructive software accessing any user's computer equipment.

Access to this Website may be interrupted or unavailable at any time, in particular during maintenance or upgrade procedures. Therefore, the information is provided "as is" without warranties of any kind, express or implied, including accuracy, timeliness and completeness. In no event shall GGI or partners, executives, principals, agents or employees of its member firms be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other losses and/or damages of any kind (including, but not limited to, liability for loss of use, data, profits, other intangibles, the costs of procurement of substitute goods and/or services), without regard to the form of any action, including but not limited to contract, negligence or other tortuous actions, arising out of or in connection with this Website, any content on or accessed by use of this Website, or any copying, display or other use hereof even if GGI has been notified of the possibility of such loss and/or damage. All statements, information, downloadable data and files etc. on this Website are made available without liability or guarantee for their correctness, completeness, accuracy, durability, assurance of features, reliability, workability, merchantability, quality, fitness for a particular purpose, achievement of results, non-infringement of proprietary rights, absence of any deficiencies or something similar. GGI shall not be liable for any damage which a user may suffer as a result of any errors in content or arising from any virus or other destructive software. Users are responsible for ensuring that their computer equipment has appropriate security and virus protection features.

All intellectual property rights (in particular copyrights, trademark rights, design rights and patent rights) to the contents of this Website shall be reserved. As content on the site is protected by intellectual property laws (such as for instance copyright, trademark, patent laws) as well as by unfair competition laws, any unauthorised use of any materials on the site may violate copyright, trademark, patent and other laws. Pictures, texts, graphics, computer software etc. which are contained, featured and/or downloadable on this Website may not be copied, downloaded or used in any other way unless indicated otherwise on this Website. Should a user download and/or print the materials on this Website for personal or non-commercial use, the user must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original materials on any copies of the material and the source must be indicated completely. The complete and/or partial reproduction, transmission (electronically and/or otherwise), modification, public display, performance, distribution, linking, framing or other use of this Website for any public and/or commercial purposes shall not be allowed without the prior written consent of GGI and the complete indication of the source. GGI does not grant the users of this Website any rights (in particular no intellectual property rights), except for the rights that are necessary to use this Website for purposes permitted under these conditions.
Some links on this Website refer to other websites which have been set up and are operated by third parties. Such links are provided only as a convenience to users. GGI does not control and is not responsible for any of these sites or their content. GGI explicitly disclaims any endorsement or recommendation of and guarantee or liability for such websites of third parties.
This Website is not intended for persons who are subject to a jurisdiction that prohibits the publication of and/or access to this Website (be it because of the nationality, their age, the domicile or for any other reason). If you are affected by such restrictions, you may not access this Website.

GGI data protection policy

This privacy policy describes the collection and use of your personal data made by GGI Geneva Group International AG Zürich as data controller, a joint-stock company incorporated under Swiss law with Swiss company registration number CH-170.3.020.433-0 whose registered offices at Schaffhauserstrasse 550, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland (hereinafter referred to as "GGI"). GGI’s data protection manager is Mr. Marco IZZO, who can be contacted by email at the following address: izzo@ggi.com.

A. Which data does GGI collect?

In the context of your organisation’s membership in GGI (or potential membership) or collaboration or your participation to a GGI event, GGI may collect the following information about you: name, gender, title, date of birth, position, email address, phone number, key competences, practice area, special interests, CV, picture, social media pages (such as your LinkedIn profile), memberships, languages spoken, private, political and business positions, insurances, signature, address, travel arrangement details, accommodation preferences, credit card details, identity card or passport copy, visa information, participation in meetings, participation in optional activities, information about transactions and deals concluded.

GGI may also collect data about your (minor) children when they accompany you to events organised by GGI. In that case, GGI may collect their names, photo, accommodation dates, travel arrangement details, participation in optional activities and their identity card or visa when it is necessary.

This information may qualify as personal data under the applicable legislation (including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) n° 2016/679).

GGI may also collect “special categories” of personal data, such as health condition, allergies and dietary preferences.
The collected personal data are considered useful or even necessary for GGI to provide its services to its members and events’ participants. Some data are mandatory (such as name, e-mail address, picture, address, accommodation dates, participation in meetings, participation in optional activities, your company name: without these data, you will not be able to benefit from GGI’s services. Other data is optional and will allow GGI to provide a better service.

B. Use of personal data

1. Purposes of the processing and legal bases for processing

GGI processes the above-mentioned information for the following purposes:
- Compiling and using general or specific mailing lists for sending newsletters, announcements (e.g. new members) and information emails (e.g. related to a particular conference)
- Listing in the GGI global directory publicly accessible online at www.ggi.com
- Organising and executing GGI activities (e.g. contacting members for participating in GGI projects such as writing articles for the newsletter or publications on social media, matchmaking and networking, organising social events, invoicing)
- Analysis of the activities and the functioning of the GGI organisations (e.g. post-event analysis based on the attendance of the delegates of the various sessions)
- Business development activities related to candidates for GGI membership, potential partnerships and/or collaborations
- Announcements on new members on social media and sharing of members’ articles on social media
- Inclusion in the GGI’s website internal area downloadable Excel files (including the contact details)
- Publication of tombstones related to members’ transactions

Where possible GGI requests your consent for the processing of your personal data. GGI will also ask for your specific consent when it processes sensitive data (e.g. dietary requirements). However, it is not always possible to process your personal data on the basis of your consent. GGI will process your personal data where you act as the contact person or representative of your organisation, for the performance of the contract that GGI has with your organisation (e.g. organisations of meetings, networking or conferences); such processing will serve the legitimate interest of GGI, your organisation and third parties involved. GGI also has a legitimate interest in processing the personal data of representatives or contact persons of prospects on the basis of its legitimate interests, i.e. for promoting GGI’s activities and membership. Similarly, prospects have a legitimate interest in being informed about GGI opportunities. Such processing has a limited impact on your rights and freedoms (as a representatives of your organisation), considering the non-sensitive nature of the data and the limited data processing involved.
Concerning the processing of special categories of data, you have given your explicit consent for such processing.

2. Recipients of personal data

GGI may share your personal data with other GGI members (e.g. for referrals or recommendations or in the context of Practice Group activities).

GGI may share your data with processors and GGI partners, such as genevents GmbH, GGI North America Services Corp., Geneva Group International (Latin America) S.A., Geneva Capital Group AG, Geneva Consulting Group AG, and GCG International AG. GGI will only transfer your data in the pursuit of purposes such as the organisation of events and conferences, networking, matchmaking or business development activities.

GGI may also share your personal data (in particular your name and contact details), when it communicates publicly on the (new) membership of organisations (e.g. for marketing purposes and for the listing in the global rankings). Recipients of your personal data will be organisations such as Association of International Law Firms Network (AILFN), European Group of International Accounting Networks (EGIAN), International Accounting Bulletin (IAB), Accountancy Magazine and Accountancy Age.

Your personal data may also be communicated to the general public when GGI sends newsletters or posts announcements via social media.

3. Transfer outside the European Economic Area

Your data will be processed outside the European Economic Area, i.e. in Switzerland, and transferred to and within the European Economic Area, the United States, Argentina and and Uruguay. These countries have been recognised as providing an adequate level of protection of personal data, by the adoption of an adequacy decision by the European Commission (see
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-transfers-outside-eu/adequacy-protection-personal-data-non-eu-countries_en).

Your data may also be transferred to Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Your rights as a data subject are guaranteed on the basis of the standard data protection clauses (as proposed by the European Commission).

4. Retention of your personal data

GGI will process your personal data as long as your data are useful for the listed purposes. In principle, it will store and use your data as long as your organisation is a member or a prospect of GGI and you remain a representative for your organisation. Where the processing is based on consent, GGI will stop processing your data when you withdraw your consent.

5. Your rights as data subjects

In addition to the information contained in this data protection policy, you have the right to access the personal data which GGI processes regarding you. Should the personal data that GGI has regarding you be incorrect or incomplete, you are entitled to have the data rectified.

You have the right to request from GGI the erasure of your personal data, when they are no longer necessary for the listed purposes, when you withdraw your consent or when you object to the processing (if GGI or third parties have no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing), when GGI has unlawfully processed the personal data or when GGI is subject to a legal obligation to erase the data. GGI will honour your request, unless it is subject to a legal obligation requiring it to process your personal data, the processing is done for reasons of public interest (public health), for archiving or statistical purposes and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

You are entitled to request the restriction of processing (temporarily) if the accuracy of the personal data is contested, the processing is unlawful and you prefer the restriction of the processing to the erasure of your data, if GGI no longer needs your data except for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or while it is being verified whether your legitimate interests override GGI’s.

You have the right to object to the processing, when the processing is based on GGI’s or third party’s legitimate interests, on the basis of your particular situation. You also have the right to object when your data are processed for direct marketing purposes by clicking the “unsubscribe” link in the newsletters that you receive.

You are entitled to receive the data concerning you in a structured, machine-readable format that is commonly used and you have the right to have the data transmitted to a controller of your choice (data portability).

You can exercise these rights by sending an e-mail to the data protection manager, Mr. Marco IZZO at izzo@ggi.com.
Should you have a complaint concerning the processing of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the competent national supervisory authority.

Cookie Policy

A cookie is a small text file containing data for technical session logging and enabling GGI to store information related to the user's computer and/or device for the duration of the user's use of the Website.

Below you will find specifically the list of cookies used on the website:

Session (Necessary)

Google Analytics:
Cookies:
_ga
_gid
_gat

Cookies related to the analysis and monitoring of the software in question anonymously collect some data about the use of the site as page views, time spent on site etc. Also in this case no sensitive data that can connect the user to the navigation is stored, in this way respecting the privacy of the public web.

Google GoubleClick For Publishers - Small Business:
Cookies:
__gads

This cookies serve purposes such as measuring interactions with the ads on that domain and preventing the same ads from being shown to you too many times (banner GGI Members).

JB Cookies:
Cookie:
jbcookie

This cookie documents the declaration of consent to the use of cookies when using the homepage.

Locking or deleting Cookies

Users can set the computer's browser so that it accept / reject all cookies or to display a warning whenever a cookie is offered, in order to assess whether or not to accept.

The user is allowed, however, to change the default configuration ( default ) and disable cookies ( ie block a final ), by setting the security level higher. You can find information about how to manage cookies in your browser to the following addresses: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Windows Explorer.

If you disable the cookies that we use, this could affect navigation on our site, or prevent you from visiting certain sections or to use certain services offered by the site.

Security of information

GGI has implemented accepted standards of technical measures and security policies that are aimed at protecting the personal data it has under its control from:

  • unauthorized access
  • improper use or disclosure
  • unauthorized modification
  • unlawful destruction or accidental loss

All GGI personnel are required to keep personal information confidential and only authorised persons have access to such information. Please note that the Website contains links to other sites (including sites maintained by Partners) which are not governed by this privacy statement.

Choices

You have several choices regarding your use of the Website. In general, you are not required to submit any personal information when you visit our websites, but GGI may require you to provide certain personal information in order for you to receive additional information about our services and events. If you opt-in for particular services or communications, such as an e-newsletter, you will be able to unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions included in each communication or on the website.

Additional general conditions governing the Privacy Statement

The rejection of any liability and/or responsibility regarding the Website and its content and other terms and/or conditions contained in this Privacy Statement are also applicable to all companies associated or affiliated with GGI, particularly GGI member firms (Partners).

GGI reserves the right to change all and/or any of the regulations mentioned above at any time without any prior announcement. Unless explicitly indicated otherwise, the new regulations shall immediately apply to all information, indications etc. featured on the GGI Website. By continuing to use the GGI Website, you accept all changes of such regulations.

The invalidity or unenforceability in any jurisdiction of any of these terms shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other of these terms. If any term is held to be invalid or unenforceable it shall be deemed to be amended to the minimum extent required to render such term valid or enforceable, such amendment to be determined by GGI.

The Privacy Statement indicated above shall be governed by and are construed in accordance with Swiss substantive laws (excluding the rules of the conflict of laws) and the courts of Zurich, Switzerland shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any possible dispute.


Copyright pictures

The copyright of the photos is published here or under the articles.

Geneva Group International; Rieder Media - Uwe Rieder
Fotolia.com: Kurhan; lagom; Abou Jaoude, Siegmar; Jürgen Effner; magcom; Maksim Šmeljov; Gilles Paire; david hughes; clayllama; robynmac; Dan Marsh; daphot75; Suzanne E.; Pierre-Yves Babelon; QQ7; Fotokon; reinobjektiv; cienpies; Alterfalter; Mark Yuill; Flying-Tiger; Katja Wickert; sk19; fazon; Andy Dean; Immo Schiller; Pavla Vanicka; jamesdavidphoto; sysiphus; Kirill_M; Herbert Esser; djama; Rafael Ben-Ari; ollirg; bruder jakob; soleg; Kobby Dagan; Chris Boswell; Hagit Berkovich; Ruzanna Arutyunyan; lilufoto; zybilo; Esther Wagner; pixelfux; Jim Parkin; Zacarias da Mata; Martina Berg; Konstantin Yuganov; Gail Johnson; maudanros; auremar; swisshippo; tobago77; rudi1976; tagstiles.com; detlef menzel; Luftbildfotograf; FotolEdhar; Temistocle Lucarelli; ErnstPieber; synto; ZINQ Stock; Tupungato; Barbara Helgason; Aleksey Khripunkov; Lucian Milasan; Gabriela; JonaSanpo Tokyo; Leonid Tit; Sven Hoppe; sborisov; denys_kuvaiev; G.J. Prozee; Andrey Burmakin; Digitalpress; gemenacom; arsdigital; deusexlupus; travelwitness; Alison Cornford; gena96; anyaivanova; spiritofamerica; G. Mönks Photografie; Moreno Novello; Picture-Factory; Galyna Andrushko; endostock; Thomas Röske; carlos; Mezzalira Davide; griangraf; laur7410; simon gurney; sborisov; ChantalS; th-photo;kbuntu; maudanros; apops; JR Photography; Josemaria Toscano; luanka; Tyler Olson; Jörg Hackemann; drubig-photo; AlfaSirius; arenaphotouk; vvoe; rolffimages; Ross Kummer; dabldy; silver-john; Wimbledon; nitroshoprod; Moreno Soppelsa; piccaya; Hawkeye; Horváth Botond; motodan; fazon; Minerva Studio; Digishooter; Mapics; TMAX; Fanchy; JFL Photography; kichigin19; Nmedia; fotofuerst; Henri FRONTIER; Marcin Kubiak; pitrs; goldencow_images; habrda; nattanan726; dmitrydesigner; PackShot; swisshippo; michaeljung; Friedberg; Rawpixel; bluedesign; Ralf Gosch; Forgiss; Frankix; Jörg Hackemann; Gilles Paire; JaimeP; peresanz; lumen-digital; Stefano Garau; AlexF76; industrieblick; sborisov; chris2766; mitifoto; kamonrat; Rainer Plendl; peresanz; Vojtech Vlk; scabrn; Luftbildfotograf; Andrew Kazmierski; bruno135_406; pressmaster; vandertens; Tom-Hanisch; Alexey Stiop; Patrik Stedrak; Jiri Foltyn; kosmos111; Tomfry; S.Alias; beerkoff; Peter Marble; forcdan; Henryk Sadura; TTstudio; samott; Nordreisender; QQ7; imagineilona; 072618; aroberlin; lunamarina; whitelook; Pavel Parmenov; Jeff; jcfotografo; Jiri Foltyn; JS; Robert Wilson; SNEHIT; Sergii Figurnyi; mandritoiu; tilialucida; rabbit75_fot; IRStone; stockphoto mania; saiko3p; zoltangabor; E. Adler; lovegtr35; kiravolkov; davidevison; Kruwt; alexandro900; Rafael Ben-Ari; Frédéric Prochasson; Halfpoint; fotoherkules; eddygaleotti; mandritoiu; Mik Man; ALCE; LUNYANSKIY; Sondem; heyengel; forcdan; IRStone; gianliguori; Henryk Sadura; .shock; SNEHIT; alex9500; mpodrucki; KarenDMartin; mimadeo; SNEHIT; IRStone; lena_serditova ; Friedberg; pixelABC; peshkov; Klaus Heidemann; photofang; frakala; Beboy; vacant; Noppasin; : Leonid Andronov; surangaw; dennisvdwater; Chris Lofty; Robert Kneschke; Gajus; chrisdorney; samografy; DOC RABE Media; vichie81; everythingpossible; Rafael Ben-Ari; Eisenhans; bakerjarvis; stokkete; hankimage9;