13th Connexx Assembly and the UIHJ Global Legal Forum

Aerial view of Admiralty tower and Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia
With international conferences in France and Russia, High Court Enforcement Group director and Connexx vice-president Martin Leyshon reports on the importance of these cross-border collaborations. It has been a busy few months for Martin, firstly with the 13th Assembly of the international collection and enforcement network Connexx in France, then a trip to St Petersburg to the Global Legal Forum and the International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ) bi-annual conference in May, where Martin was the head delegate from England and Wales, representing the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).

Connexx 13th Assembly

Held in Nice, France, Connexx was buoyed by its continued growth into Eastern Europe with the accession, and presence, of its latest partner in Lithuania. The emphasis was on the importance of the network and the mutual co-operation found within. During the afternoon, Connexx board members gave presentations on the different collection and enforcement procedures in Bulgaria, Serbia, England and Wales, to 50 Huissiers de Justice (Judicial Officers of France) who were representing Leximpact, the French Network. As a mechanism by which a partner can provide an invaluable service to its client/partners within its own country for foreign claims, Connexx president Alex Dockers emphasised that there was a strong increase in the number of cross-border debt recovery instructions throughout the network - re-enforcing the need for collection and enforcement solutions.

UIHL Global Legal Forum

From Nice, to St Petersburg where the Global Legal Forum, along with the Russian Federation of Judicial Officers and the European Permanent Council of the International Union of Judicial Officers attended a five-day conference themed: “Law in a global context”. Held in the General Staff Building, part of the Hermitage Museum located in front of the sumptuous Winter Palace, the 3,500 participants - ranging from lawyers and judges to government officials and CEOS - heard over 500 speakers, saw 80 business events and discussion panels themed under nine tracks. This was followed by the UIHJ’s bi-annual meeting where its president Madame Françoise Andrieux set out the hard work the Union had been doing over the previous 12 months developing international relationships with countries who need help and guidance on the creation of an effective enforcement system. She added that members of the Board would meet with the various Ministries of Justice and discuss how the procedures throughout the Union are carried out. The aim is for emerging countries to cherry-pick the best of all the procedures and create the best enforcement system. During the meeting, there was a discussion on the Grand Questionnaires - these are designed to show the different powers and fee structures of each country, so when the union helps an emerging country, they can use this data to show the norm in enforcement systems for each country. However, as the discussions moved to how the answers compiled appeared remarkably different, I pointed out that it is not the answers that were incorrect, but the wording of the questions. It was agreed that there was a translation issue when going from French to English so I was appointed to reword the questions into English. During the update on the Union’s finances, the continuing issue of the French National Chamber was discussed. Following the failure of the President of the French National Chamber to set up a rival union, following a failed attempt at further control of the UIHJ, he implemented two sanctions on the Union: Firstly, withdrawing permission to have the use of a building in the Moulin Rouge area of Paris; and secondly, the Chamber has not paid their full subscriptions. It certainly has been a busy few months and, French chambers aside, the conferences and meetings only emphasised the need for co-operation among different territories for the benefit of our clients.

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