The purpose of this article is to recruit hosts for the Dutch lawyers. Some readers will have generously performed this role before and we hope very much will feel able to offer a spare room once again. Ideally we are looking for barristers who live in central London although this is not essential; also there is no age limit for the hosts. Accommodation will be required from the evening of 28 October to the morning of 1 November.

The exchange itself

In 2012 I was fortunate enough to attend the ADE when it was held across three Dutch cities and delegates were given exposure to the different focuses prevailing in them: Rotterdam primarily specialising in maritime law; The Hague with its focus on International Criminal Law; and Amsterdam, the commercial law centre of The Netherlands. The Dutch lawyers laid on a packed, varied and hugely enjoyable programme.

Exchanges with the Dutch are particularly valuable because they have among the best English language skills of lawyers outside the Common Law jurisdictions and anybody interested in gaining an insight into Continental inquisitorial legal systems would be well advised to grasp any opportunity of meeting with Dutch lawyers.

Furthermore the Dutch have historically been very keen to turn out towards the world, no doubt partly explaining why The Hague has become such a centre of international law.

The ADE is commencing on the evening of Tuesday 28 October with a reception kindly hosted by the Junior Lawyers’ Division at the Law Society on Chancery Lane. This will give the visiting delegates an opportunity to be united with their hosts, be briefed on the events of the week and meet any sponsors who would like an opportunity to interact with the Dutch.

A website has been launched which sets out in more detail what the programme includes, a link to which can be found on the YBC page of the Bar Council website: http://www.barcouncil.’- committee/.

Other highlights of the exchange are:

  • Attending a trial at the Central Criminal Court
  • Lunch in the Inns
  • Attending cases at the Royal Court of Justice
  • Attending the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament
  • Visit to Lloyd’s of London
  • Visit to the Mansion House to meet the Lord Mayor who has historically been a stalwart supporter of the ADE

Anyone able to host one or two lawyers is urged to contact me as soon as possible. In addition, we need barristers to host the Dutch lawyers when they visit the Inns. I can personally vouch for the friendliness of the Dutch and the strength of the friendships that result from this act of hospitality. My warmest memories of the trip to The Netherlands were of staying with my generous host in her flat in The Hague. Do get in touch.