Event Information

Annual Conference 2023

Prague 21st September - 22nd September, 2023

Annual Conference 2023, Prague

21-22 September 2023

We are delighted to be being hosted by the Czech Bar Association and look forward to establishing and strengthening ties between the European Circuit and the Czech Bar.  The conference sessions will feature an opening panel discussion with Bar leaders on issues facing advocates across Europe today, followed by sessions on Thursday and Friday.

It is the Circuit members who make the Annual Conference such a wonderful event time and again. Please come and join us in Prague and make connections with new friends and old. We look forward to seeing you there!

A copy of the conference programme can be downloaded via the following link: EC Conference Pack
please be advised that the drinks at the british embassy starts at 6pm on 21 september 2023

This event is kindly sponsored by CONSILIO and ASPIRO

  • Booking information
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Social events include a drinks reception on the Thursday evening at the British Embassy, which is located in the historic Thun Palace in the heart of the Malá Strana, and the Annual Gala Dinner, which will be held at the spectacular Restaurace Obecni Dum on the Friday night to close the conference.

This year, the Gala Dinner and all social events are included in the ticket price for the conference; we hope that the less complicated ticketing options will ensure that administrative headaches are avoided. We have, however, kept the option of buying a guest ticket just for the Embassy reception and Gala Dinner for conference delegates who wish to bring a guest to the social events.

Details of the offers arranged for conference attendees at three hotels located near to the conference venue are included below. There is an option for double occupancy at all three hotels for those who wish to avail of that.


Hotel 1: MGallery

Century Old Town Prague boasts its majestic Neo-Baroque architecture in the very heart of the city, near the Old Town Square and the famous astronomical clock. This 169-room hotel is a perfect starting point for unveiling the treasures of the Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter or the Wenceslas Square. Follow the footsteps of the great writer Franz Kafka and embark on a journey to discover all the charms of Prague, in this non-smoking charming hotel with laundry and valet parking service. Breakfast included.

Website: https://all.accor.com/hotel/3440/index.en.shtml

Hotel 2: Ibis Praha Old Town

Ibis Praha Old Town is situated in the heart of Prague, 100 yards from the old town. Na Porici, the main shopping street, is just a few steps away. All rooms of the Ibis Praha provide air conditioning, a shower and a toilet. Some also have flat-screen TV sets. The whole hotel property is accessible to wheelchairs. The hotel also offers rooms with accessibly designed bathrooms on special request. The Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and the Jewish quarter are 550 yards from the Ibis Praha Old Town. Charles Bridge is 0.6 miles and Prague Castle is 0.9 miles away. The next public transportation hub is Namesti Republiky, which is 100 yards from the hotel. The State Opera can be reached within 900 yards. Breakfast and dinner not included.

Website: https://tinyurl.com/3pvtmptd

Hotel 3: The Julius Prague

Ideally set in the centre of Prague, The Julius Prague features air-conditioned rooms, a fitness centre, free WiFi and a restaurant. This 5-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. Private parking is available on site. All rooms at the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. The rooms are fitted with a coffee machine and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, while some rooms also boast a kitchen fitted with a dishwasher. At The Julius Prague each room comes with bed linen and towels. A buffet, continental or American breakfast is available each morning at the property. along with internet access, gym access, and access to a coworking centre.

Website: http://www.thejulius.eu/

Thursday 21 September – Day One


Welcome & Bar Leaders Address

Robert Němec is a Partner at PRK Partners specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, banking, mergers and acquisitions, insolvency and restructuring. 

Robert is an attorney at law and President of the Czech Bar Association. He is an arbitrator of the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic. He has also been named an arbitrator of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC). He is a member of the International Bar Association. 

He obtained a Master's degree (Mgr.) in law from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague in 1995. Between 2005 and 2007 Robert completed an International Practice Diploma Program at the College of Law of England and Wales and received an International Practice Diploma in Corporate Law, M&A, Capital Markets and Loans. In 2009 he completed his postgraduate studies and obtained a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in US and Global Business Law from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts (US). Robert received a Doctorate degree (JUDr.) in law from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague in 2020. 

Robert is consistently ranked among leading practitioners in the areas of banking and finance and dispute resolution by respected legal directories, such as IFLR1000, The European Legal 500 and Chambers Europe and Chambers Global. In addition, Best Lawyers named him Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year 2012. Robert is also listed and recommended in the areas of banking and finance, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and TMT in various other directories and publications, including Chambers Europe, Expert Guides and Legal Experts. He is fluent in Czech and English.


Sara Phelan SC was called to the Bar in 1996, having previously qualified (TCD, 1988) and practised as a pharmacist for a number of years, and she ‘took silk’ in 2013. Sara has a broad practice, including personal injury/medical negligence, child/family law, crime, judicial review and non-jury, with further interests in chancery, probate and mental health law. Sara is also a qualified Mediator (CEDR) and Arbitrator (FCIArb).Sara is an elected member of the Council of the Bar of Ireland and, since September 2022, has been Chair of the Bar of Ireland. Sara previously chaired the Bar of Ireland Professional Practices Committee, Arbitration & ADR Committee and the Law & Women Mentoring Committee. Sara is also a faculty member of the Bar of Ireland Advanced Advocacy Programme and a former Mental Health Tribunal chairperson. Sara isa Bencher of The Honorable Society King’s Inns, was admitted to the Bar of England & Wales in 2019 and is a member of Middle Temple, and was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland in 2023 


Nick Vineall KC is Chair of the Bar of England and Wales 2023. Nick practises from 4 Pump Court in commercial, construction and financial services law, in both litigation and in international arbitration.

Until taking up his post as Chair of the Bar, Nick was Joint Head of Chambers at 4 Pump Court and sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in the King’s Bench Division including the TCC and Commercial Court.

He chaired the Bar Council Education & Training Committee until 2021 and chaired the Regulatory Review Working Group in 2022.

Nick is a Bencher of Middle Temple. In 1994 he was Chair of the Young Bar.


Current Issues in Arbitration

Paul McGarry SC was Chair of the Bar of Ireland from July 2016 to July 2018. He is currently President of Arbitration Ireland. He was called to the Bar in 1996 and appointed a Senior Counsel in 2010. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012 and the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2019. He is also an associate at 6 Pump Court in London.

His practice is primarily in public, commercial and European law. He is currently head of the Irish delegation to the Council of European Bars and Law Societies, a member of the Implementation Group of Ireland for Law, and Deputy Leader of the European Circuit.

He is a bencher of the Honourable Society of Kings Inns and a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.


Martin Maisner is the Vice-President of the Czech Bar Association. He is a Lawyer and an Arbitrator, specialising in the field of information technology, cybersecurity, alternative dispute resolution, sports law and contract law.

Since 1990, he has been actively engaged in the law of information technology and participated in not only the formation of a number of componential legal theories, relating to specific areas of information technology law (outsourcing, comprehensive cybersecurity), but also in the creation of the legal environment and business practices in related industries both in the Czech Republic and internationally.

He is actively engaged in significant publishing activities and does so in the form of legal monographs, commentaries on the law or professional articles in various specialized journals. Martin is also a sought-after speaker at conferences lecturer in a Law school on West Bohemian University and frequently nominated international arbitrator.


Niamh Leinwather is the new Secretary General of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC). Of Irish origin, Niamh has both a common and civil law background (Bachelor of Civil Law, University College Dublin, Mag.iur., University of Vienna, Master of European Studies, University of Vienna). She was the first Irish woman to be admitted to the Austrian Bar in 2013 and has over a decade of experience in international dispute resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Vienna where she acted as both counsel and arbitrator. 


James Hope is a partner in the Stockholm office of Vinge in Sweden. He is a dual-qualified Swedish Advokat and English Solicitor-Advocate, with over 25 years’ experience of working as a dispute resolution lawyer. He started his career as a solicitor in Scotland and then spent ten years in London – at Simmons & Simmons and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom – before moving to Stockholm in 2006. 

James has acted as counsel or arbitrator in more than 100 international arbitration cases, including inter alia under the ICC, SCC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICDR, Danish Institute of Arbitration, and Finnish Chamber of Commerce arbitration rules, as well as before ICSID. He is also a CEDR Accredited Mediator.  

In addition to arbitration, James also has long experience of litigation from three different jurisdictions: Scotland, England and now Sweden.  

As well as having a busy practice, James is a guest lecturer in arbitration at Stockholm, Uppsala and Edinburgh universities. He is also a member of the LCIA Court. From 2013 to 2018, James was a member of the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and he was also previously a member of the Executive Committee of the Swedish Arbitration Association. 

James is fluent in English and Swedish, and he is learning Russian slowly. 


Class Actions in Europe

Hugh Mercer KC was educated at Cambridge University and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He practises in London, Belfast and Brussels (where he is a Belgian Avocat). He is a Bencher of Middle Temple and a Deputy High Court Judge of England and Wales.

He specialises in international litigation, frequently involving issues of regulatory and public law before courts and arbitral tribunals in the UK and overseas, working as a team with local lawyers. He has particular experience in appellate courts in UK (10+ cases in the Supreme Court/House of Lords), CJEU and overseas courts where he tends to focus on regulatory or complex jurisdiction, foreign law and conflict of laws disputes. He has been instructed by the UK as lead advocate in its dispute with the EU under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement over British access to EU science programmes (Horizon & Euratom).

He also sits as an arbitrator and mediator. He is on the reserve list of UK arbitrators under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. He handles cases in both English and French and has a good working knowledge of German, Spanish & Italian.


Robert Němec is a Partner at PRK Partners specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, banking, mergers and acquisitions, insolvency and restructuring. 

Robert is an attorney at law and President of the Czech Bar Association. He is an arbitrator of the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic. He has also been named an arbitrator of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC). He is a member of the International Bar Association. 

He obtained a Master's degree (Mgr.) in law from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague in 1995. Between 2005 and 2007 Robert completed an International Practice Diploma Program at the College of Law of England and Wales and received an International Practice Diploma in Corporate Law, M&A, Capital Markets and Loans. In 2009 he completed his postgraduate studies and obtained a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in US and Global Business Law from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts (US). Robert received a Doctorate degree (JUDr.) in law from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague in 2020. 

Robert is consistently ranked among leading practitioners in the areas of banking and finance and dispute resolution by respected legal directories, such as IFLR1000, The European Legal 500 and Chambers Europe and Chambers Global. In addition, Best Lawyers named him Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year 2012. Robert is also listed and recommended in the areas of banking and finance, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and TMT in various other directories and publications, including Chambers Europe, Expert Guides and Legal Experts. He is fluent in Czech and English. 


Nathy Dunleavy is a Dublin-based barrister who practises in commercial, public and EU law. He has wide-ranging experience in areas including financial regulation, civil fraud, professional negligence, constitutional law, private international law, sanctions, competition, state aid and public procurement. He began his career with Shearman & Sterling in New York and subsequently practised with Sullivan & Cromwell before coming to the Irish Bar in 2007. 


Lucy Rigby is a Parner at Hausfeld who specialises in large-scale collective redress. She has particular expertise in opt-out collective actions brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and opt-in claims via a GLO. 

Lucy started her career in the competition group at Slaughter and May, following which she moved to the Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority) and then to Which?, where she advised on competition and consumer law matters. Lucy joined Hausfeld in 2017 and her expertise has proven invaluable in its filing of two opt-out collective actions under the UK’s class actions regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Notably, Lucy was part of the team which filed the country’s first standalone opt-out claims on behalf of rail passengers in 2019 and that which represented the Consumers’ Association (Which?) in its intervention in Mastercard v Merricks before the Supreme Court in 2020. 

Lucy has experience of conducting litigation before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. She has worked on European and domestic antitrust investigations for public and private companies, as well as for the regulator, and has experience of working on high-profile merger transactions.  

Most recently, Lucy worked for client Privacy International in its intervention in the European Commission’s review of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. 

Lucy has worked on numerous pieces of highly complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation across a variety of sectors. Notable representations at Hausfeld include acting on behalf of 100+ corporate groups against British Airways in the Air Cargo litigation, for proposed class representative Justin Gutmann against train operating companies in the first standalone class actions to be filed in the UK and for the Consumers’ Association (Which?) in its intervention in Mastercard v Merricks before the Supreme Court.  

Passionate about achieving justice, including for those who cannot afford legal representation, Lucy has been involved in the running of a number of community law centres.


Alexander Hutton KC is a Barrister at Hailsham Chambers whose practice is focused in two fields: clinical negligence, for claimants and defendants, and all aspects of costs law and litigation funding.

In both these fields, Alexander is recommended in the highest band of leading silks in the directories and acts in connection with a range of clinical negligence cases, with special focus on those of the most serious nature and highest value. He has also appeared in many of the leading costs cases over the last 20 years, he has been involved in many of the highest value and largest group actions in relation to litigation funding and costs (including in the new wave of collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal) and was chair of the committee that introduced the now mandatory electronic bill of costs.

It is said of him that he is “An outstanding litigator who elicits trust and confidence from his clients. A superb all-rounder both on paper and in court” (Chambers UK 2022). “He contributes immense authority with costs cases and his quality of service is golden.” Legal 500, 2022. He is regularly instructed in some of the largest and most complex clinical negligence actions. Over a number of years, he has appeared in a substantial number of the most important costs cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal.”

Alexander is an all-rounder with recognised strengths on paper, on mastering difficult medical and legal issues and in person with clients and in court, whether as a trial or appellate advocate and whether for claimant or defendant.”


Friday 22 September – Day Two


Protecting the Environment through Legislation and Litigation

Dr Alessandra Donati is a Référendaire (legal clerk) at the Court of Justice of the European Union and a lecturer at the University of Luxembourg. She is also Editor in chief of the European Journal of Consumer Law and co-editor of the collection Europe edited by Larcier-Intersentia. 

Alessandra holds a degree in law from the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (Milan) and in economics from the Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona). She also holds an LL.M. in French and European Law from the University Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne and a PHD in European Union Law from the University Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne.  Her PhD thesis focused on the precautionary principle under EU law. Before joining the CJEU, Alessandra practiced law as a qualified attorney in Italy (Milan) and France (Paris). She also worked as a junior and then senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for procedural law in Luxembourg and, as postdoctoral researcher, at the University of Luxembourg. She has been a visiting researcher at the European University Institute and at the UC Louvain. Her primary research interests include EU environmental law with a specific focus on risk regulation.


Irena Sabic KC is a Barrister at Garden Court Chambers. Described as "a great legal mind" by Chambers & Partners, Irena is a public law barrister with significant expertise in environmental, immigration and asylum, community care, unlawful detention and international law. Irena’s multi -disciplinary practice is rooted in civil liberties and human rights law.  

Irena has extensive experience in climate justice and environmental law. In recent years, Irena has focused her practice on issues of wider environmental importance and climate change. Irena has advised on challenges to the Government’s Net Zero Strategy and is instructed in the case of Duarte Agostinho and Others v Austria and 32 other Member States, representing 6 Portuguese youth applicants who filed a multi-state climate change complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.   

Irena was instructed in the M4 Public Inquiry through the Environmental Law Foundation representing organisations including the Wildlife Trust, Gwent Wildlife Trust and Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. She has experience in high-profile litigation on having practiced in planning and environmental law at the start of her career at the Bar, including the eviction of Dale Farm residents in 2011.


Jamas Hodivala KC is a Barrister at Matrix Chambers, London. He is ranked and recommended by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 in the areas of Business and Regulatory Crime, Criminal Fraud, Health & Safety, Environmental Law and Professional Discipline. He is particularly instructed to advise and assist corporate clients from the early stages of an investigation, and has the specialist skills to represent such clients throughout all stages of the investigation or prosecution. His cases often involve an international element including serious fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering, restraint, confiscation and civil recovery proceedings as well as regularly being instructed in investigations and prosecutions brought by specialist regulators. He advises and acts on behalf of NGOs in cases involving the intersection between money laundering and environmental law, and also regularly writes and speaks on the subject of global supply chains.


Clíona Kimber SC is a Senior Counsel practising at The Bar of Ireland.  She specialises in employment law, EU law and environmental law..  She practices before the CJEU, Supreme Court of Ireland, Court of Appeal of Ireland, High Court of Ireland, Labour Court and Workplace Relations Commission.  She is chair of Comhshaol, The Climate Bar Association, which is an independent association of Barristers.  Prior to coming to the bar, Ms Kimber was a lecturer in environmental law at the University of Aberdeen.  She has published extensively, most recently, Employment Equality Law with Ms Justice M Bolger and C Bruton, in 2022 and has a forthcoming article in Environmental Liability: Law, Policy and Practice on "Blueprint for an Environmental Code".  Ms Kimber led a Taskforce which reported in 2021 entitled "Towards a Model Environmental Law" which looked at reform of environmental litigation.  The results were presented in an international symposium at The Bar of Ireland in January 2022.


Vladimír Ambruz is a multi-jurisdictional solicitor, qualified and practicing as a solicitor in England and Wales and in the Czech Republic since 2019. Vladimir is also a qualified (non-practising) solicitor in Ireland and New South Wales (Australia).

Vladimir completed his first LL.M. degree at the University College of London, 8th in the QS World University Rankings 2023, and his second LL.M. and the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Vladimir also studied at the University of Sydney and University of Wales.

Vladimir is a co-founder of The Association of English Law whose members are lawyers qualified in England and the Czech Republic.

His co-operation with Czech, English and Australian law firms brought him a unique experience in providing legal services across jurisdictions.

Vladimir offers legal services in M&A, private equity, contract law, regulation and compliance, start-ups, e-commerce, ESG, EU law and any matters with an international aspect.


Ingrid Beránková Ambruzová is a Partner at Harber. After concluding her previous career of a ballet dancer in the National Theatre Ballet in Prague, Czech Republic, Ingrid gained experience as a paralegal in a Prague-based law firm with general legal practice. In 2011, she joined INVENTIA s.r.o., a patent attorney and licensing advisory company, and became fully focused on IP law. In 2015, Ingrid qualified as a Trademark and Design Attorney. Ingrid is the founding partner and executive director of HARBER IP s.r.o. Ingrid has been repeatedly featured in the World Trademark Review WTR1000 rankings as recommended expert in trademarks and licensing in the Czech Republic. 


Challenges faced by Trustees of Off-Shore Trusts following a Beneficiary’s Divorce

Renáta Šínová is a legal expert at Havel & Partners, s.r.o. At the same time, she is the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law in Olomouc. In her professional practice she focuses on procedural and family law. She is the author of a number of publications and is also a member of the working committee of the Legislative Council of the Government.


Catherine Moore is a Partner in Ogier’s Private Wealth team in Guernsey, advising on a variety of non-contentious as well as contentious matters. A Guernsey Advocate and STEP qualified trusts and estate practitioner, she advises fiduciary service providers, intermediaries and high net worth individuals in relation to a range of private wealth structures. From a non-contentious perspective, she advises on the creation, administration and reorganisation of trusts, foundations and corporate structures as well as regulatory matters and pension and succession advice. Having previously been a litigator, Catherine also advises on contentious or potentially contentious matters relating to trusts and other private wealth structures, including Beddoes applications, requests for disclosure and enforcement of court orders in divorce proceedings, often working closely with the firm's Dispute Resolution team. Catherine regularly presents both locally and internationally on topics relating to her expertise and has been nominated for a number of industry awards, including being named in ePrivateclient's 35 under 35 and Citywealth’s Top 100 International Powerwomen (2019) and winning Woman of the Year - Rising Star – Silver at the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards in 2020.  A Chambers and Legal 500 ranked lawyer, Catherine has been described by clients as ‘super smart’ and ‘a good lawyer who knows her stuff’ who is ‘extremely calm under pressure and pragmatic in dealing with challenges’ (Chambers UK Guide and Chambers HNW Guide). 


Marta Fantová Argalášová is the alumna of both the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Currently an Associate at Havel & Partners, she specialises in family and inheritance law and related private clients services. She focuses primarily on advising and representing clients in proceedings related to relationship break-up, both at the stage of negotiating out-of-court agreements and as part of representation in court. In this context, Marta also deals with issues related to the community property of spouses, both in terms of defining its operation and its settlement.


Amy Scollan is a partner in the Family law department at Hunters Law LLP. She deals with all aspects of family law and has particular expertise in divorce and finance cases which often involve complex trust and company arrangements with an international dimension. 

Amy has represented many high-profile clients in exceptionally high-value and complicated litigation.   Amy attracts clients from all over the country, and internationally, who seek her out to find a solution to the most difficult legal issues concerning finances, cross-border disputes and children matters.  Many of Amy’s clients are the result of referrals from other lawyers who know her to be an exceptional problem solver and a talented litigator. 

The majority of Amy’s time is spent dealing with cases in court proceedings but she also has an active practice of drafting pre and post nuptial agreements and conducts professional negligence claims with a family law element. 

Chambers and Partners describe Amy as ‘an incredible lawyer with forensic attention to detail and solid interpersonal skills.’  Legal 500 say that her ‘attention to detail and research capabilities are outstanding.  Amy is a first-class lawyer and leaves no stone unturned.’ Amy was also listed in the 2019 Spear’s 500 guide. 


Legal issues arising from the invasion of Ukraine – looking to the future

Kate Davenport OBE has been Deputy Head of Mission in Prague since October 2022. 

She was previously posted to Ukraine for four years as Head of Political (Political Counsellor) at the British Embassy in Kyiv. 

She has a background in EU work, with postings to the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU as Head of the European Parliament Section, and the British Embassy in Berlin as First Secretary. In London, she has held a number of cross-Whitehall roles, working as a senior policy advisor in the Cabinet Office European and International Issues Secretariat, and undertook a secondment to the Federal Chancellery in Berlin to support the German EU Presidency of 2007. 

Prior to joining the British Civil Service, Kate worked for the European Commission as the policy lead on interprofessional social dialogue at DG Employment, having started her career in the private sector working in management for Marks and Spencer PLC. Kate speaks French, German and Ukrainian. 

She is a keen musician and enjoys cross-country skiing.


Dr. Antonín Mokrý, a Czech Lawyer (“advokát”) is currently a substitute member of the Board of the Czech Bar Association and Past President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) seated in Brussels, Belgium. 

He graduated at Charles’ University, Prague - Law Faculty obtaining the title Juris Doctor in 1980.    

He entered the legal profession in Czechoslovakia in 1980 and became the member of the Czech Bar as “advokát” in 1985. Since 1985 until 1990 he acted as a lawyer in Advokátní poradna No 2 in Prague.     

In 1990 he got through the legal scheme with the Centre of Commercial Legal Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield College - London University, linked with the practice at Barrister`s Chambers - Four Essex Court, London.   

Since 1996 he became the partner in Law Firm Sodomka Souček & Partners in Prague. In 2013 after termination of the partnership he founded the Law Office JUDr. Antonín Mokrý. The Law Firm was prevailingly oriented to providing legal service in corporate law, commercial and real-estate transactions and private injury.   

As from 1991 until 1999 he acted as the national presidential delegate in AIJA /Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats. 

Since 2001 he worked as the national vice-president in UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats).  

Since 2002 he acted as a representative of the Czech Bar in CCBE, becoming Head of Czech delegation since accession of the Czech Republic to the EU in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed as member of the Finance Committee of CCBE where he worked for 6 years until 2013.    

In 2005 he was elected the member of the Board of the Czech Bar Association. In 2009 elected the vice-president of the Czech Bar Association at which post he served until September 2017. He is also the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Czech Bar, the Commissioner for the Recognition Exams and Exams for Mediators and the member of Czech Bar´s ADR Section. In CCBE he was also the member of Free Movement of Lawyers, Deontology and Access to Justice Committees.  

In 2017 he acted as a Chair of CCBE Brexit Task Force and since 2018 he is a member of the Brexit Task Force.    

Honorary member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) seated in London since 2002.  

In 2014 he was elected the 3rd Vice-President of the CCBE, thus becoming the member of the CCBE Presidency. In 2018 he was elected the President of the CCBE.  

During his presidential mandate in the CCBE Dr. Mokrý focused in particular on protection of the core values of the legal profession (eg. EU directives DAC 5 and DAC 6), access to justice issues, effectiveness of justice systems, legal aid issues, human rights protection (especial Defence of Defenders) and all aspects of upholding the Rule of Law (eg. judicial reforms in Poland and Hungary) and Brexit issues.   

He regularly contributes with his articles to Czech legal journals with focus on EU legal issues. In November 2018, during the Austrian Presidency in EU Council he was one of the key-speakers of the Vienna “Conference on the effectiveness of the Justice systems” In 2020 he received the Austrian National State Award in Vienna.   

He speaks Czech (native language), English, Slovak and Russian. 


Illia Chernohorenko has served as the Director General for the Rule of Law Directorate at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine from 2018 to 2019. Following this, he held the position of Council of Europe Observer for the Commission on Legal Reform for the President of Ukraine from 2019 to 2020. Prior to that, Illia also served as the European Court of Human Rights SCN Focal Point in the Supreme Court, Ukraine.  Illia holds an MSt in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and an LL.M in International Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary University of London. Since September 2023, he has been pursuing DPhil in Law at the University of Oxford, with a focus on state asset seizure mechanisms.


Olena Sukmanova is a Partner at Sayenko Kharenko Law Firm, where she heads litigation practice. Boasting over 20 years of professional experience, she specializes in the comprehensive resolution of complex disputes and conflicts. Olena gained valuable practical experience in debt collection, land dispute resolution and anti-raiding, business and foreign investment protection.   

Olena actively participates in various professional and business events. Acting as a moderator and speaker, she proved to be an influential opinion leader among entrepreneurs. She has been named among notable practitioners in Litigation by Ukrainian Law Firms 2020 and recommended among leading lawyers in Litigation by Best Lawyers in Ukraine 2022.


Dr Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg is Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham School of Law, specializing in international law and international dispute settlement. She is the Head of the Business, Trade and Human Rights Unit of the Human Rights Law Centre and a member of the Nottingham International Law and Security Centre and the University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre. She also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the 3DI: the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative.

Dr Van der Ploeg's work focuses on transformations of international law with respect to collective non-state entities; international legal regulation and dispute settlement of global coordination problems; interface between private law and international law; international investment law; business and human rights; and international law in domestic courts. Her research includes both basic theoretical and empirical research and policy-oriented work.
Dr Van der Ploeg completed her PhD in international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland with highest distinction (summa cum laude avec les félicitations du jury). She also holds an LLM degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, USA (having attended as Michigan Grotius Fellow), and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She has held visiting fellowships at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, the British Institute for International and Comparative Law in London, and the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context, Queen Mary University of London.
Dr Van der Ploeg is also a dual-qualified attorney-at-law (State of New York; Czech Republic) and has advised States and private parties on a wide range of public international law and international dispute settlement matters. She served as a judicial assistant to Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood at the International Court of Justice and practiced public international law for several years with leading global law firms in the City of London, United Kingdom, and Prague, Czech Republic.


AI in Disputes

The Honourable Mrs Justice Finola O’Farrell is a Justice of the UK’s High Court (King’s Bench Division) since 2016, assigned to the Technology and Construction Courts, which deals primarily with litigation of disputes arising in the field of technology and construction, and also public procurement claims. Prior to her judicial appointment, she had over 30 yearsexperience as a leading barrister.


Mr Justice Richard Humphreys is a judge of the High Court of Ireland.  His current assignment is as Judge in Charge of the Commercial Planning and Environmental List.  He is also a Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.  Before his appointment to judicial office in 2015 he was a practising barrister and prior to that he worked in government and academia.  He holds a Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin and has published widely on legal issues. 


Dr Václav Janeček is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol and a Researcher at the University of Oxford Law Faculty. Having previously researched how lawyers and computer scientists can work together more efficiently, Václav is currently leading the development of a new LLM programme in Law, Innovation and Technology, University of Bristol. In 2017 and 2018, he held a research position at the Digital Ethics Lab in the Oxford Internet Institute. Between 2019 and 2021, Václav was a Research and Course Development Fellow in Law and Technology at the University of Oxford. He studied law and philosophy at Charles University, the University of Sussex, and the University of Oxford. 

In his work, Václav explores some of the most pressing questions around law, philosophy and technology, including questions related to data ownership, trading in data, digital ethics, and tech-enhanced legal services. Václav has given talks about his work in numerous countries around the globe and several of his publications won awards for research excellence.


Charles Ciumei KC is a Barrister at Essex Court Chambers. 

His practice is at the intersection of commercial and data protection law. He has expertise in confidential information (including algorithmic trading software), data protection (including class actions), artificial intelligence, interim injunctions, jurisdiction disputes, LLP and employment disputes, and cyber-crime. He is known for his innovative approach in difficult cases and for his strength as an advocate in cross-examination. His arbitration experience includes LCIA, JAMS, and ad hoc arbitrations. 

Nominated for Technology and Data silk of the year 2022 by Legal 500. He is studying an MSc in Artificial Intelligence part-time. 


Ben Rusch is a Vice President at Consilio and leads Consilio’s EU Competition Law Practice Group.  He studied law at the University of Oxford and speaks German, French and basic Greek.  A former competition lawyer, Ben is a practising Solicitor (England & Wales) and prior to joining Consilio worked as an Associate for Herbert Smith (London) and Ashurst in Brussels. 

Ben’s job revolves around the analysis of large amounts of data – typically, in connection with dispute resolution matters, regulatory investigations and Cyber Breach events.  Ben also has a keen interest in the challenges of interrogating multilingual data in cross-border matters. 

The programme covers a broad range of topics of interest to multi-jurisdictional practitioners and those with an interest in cross-border issues, including: current issues in arbitration with a focus on the Prague Rules; collective redress; future legal issues arising from the invasion of Ukraine, including sanctions, dispute resolution and moving from freezing to confiscation; the challenges faced by trustees of off-shore trusts; the use of AI in dispute resolution; and protecting the environment through legislation and litigation.

The conference will kick off with a session with the leaders of the Bars of the Czech Republic, England & Wales and Ireland.

A copy of the programme and speaker list can be downloaded here - EC Conference Pack

please be advised that the drinks at the british embassy starts at 6pm on 21 september 2023

Thursday, 21 September 2023

13:30pm – 5:00pm Conference Day One

Registration | Welcome & Bar Leaders Address | Current Issues in Arbitration | Collective Redress

Grand Hotel Bohemia 
6:00pm – 9:00pm Drinks Reception

Drinks at the British Embassy

British Embassy Prague

Friday, 22 September 2023

8:30am – 11:00am Court Visit

Welcome Address by Mr Michal Roubíček, Vice-President of the Criminal Law Division, other representatives of the Court who will be present: Ms Jaroslava Pokorná, President of the Court & Mr. Adam Wenig, spokesperson of the Court.

Municipal Court in Prague
11:30am – 5:30pm Conference Day Two

Legal Issues Arising from the Invasion of Ukraine – Looking to the Future | Challenges faced by Trustees of Offshore Trusts | AI in Disputes | Protecting the Environment through Legislation & Litigation

Grand Hotel Bohemia 
7:30pm Gala Dinner

Dress code: smart casual

Restaurace Obecni Dum 
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