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Editorial: Puttin’ On the Ritz

Editorial: Puttin’ On the Ritz

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Where: Why in Istanbul, of course. The size of a couple of New Yorks, Istanbul is one metropolis that made the right decision on urban wildlife. Mice and rats can be unseemly and dangerous, and dogs tend to leave a mess in the middle of the street. Cats, on the other hand, are clean, take care of the rat problem, are reasonably well-behaved, and are just exceedingly cute. Well done, Istanbul!

Then there were the people – more welcoming than you’d ever believe. Kind and helpful as well, doing their best to overcome any language or cultural barriers. And the food – my goodness, the food. Ali Nazik has carved a permanent spot in my top ten dishes worldwide. 

While in Istanbul, I frequently felt like I was stealing from businesses. I was losing my voice at one point – so for an evening, I was just sipping hot tea. Three hours later I had racked up a three-euro bar tab while sitting under a heating lamp and interacting with at least five waitstaff (one to welcome us, one to take our orders, one to deliver our orders, one to clear our table, and one to just ask us if everything is in order). Even with a 100% tip, I felt I couldn’t possibly have covered the electricity and the time of those five people. I’m probably missing something. 

What: The CEELM GC Summit and 2022 Deal of the Year Awards. If you missed it, well, you shouldn’t have. It was a packed two days, in more ways than one: the full schedule, the people in the room, the best practices being shared, and the insightful conversations. I’m grateful I was able to attend – and was both honored and humbled by the caliber of lawyers who chose to join us for both events. The Award Gala was, I thought, a spectacular event and a chance to meet old and new friends, put some faces to those names I’ve been corresponding with for some time, and celebrate those lawyers that make our work both easy and difficult, but certainly, at the end of the day, worth it.

Who: A full list of participants is available somewhere on the GC Summit and DOTY Gala websites. To all of them, our heartfelt thanks. Hope you had a good time, took something away with you, and liked the photos. See you at the next one!

And, below, I’d like to introduce you to the team that made it all click: the CEELM Five. We’re like the Avengers or AC/DC – but we mostly sit behind computers. 

The Heart: Anna, our events czar, and de facto leader of the Istanbul expedition. She handled all the logistics while – and this is mind-boggling – still being able to focus on whether people were happy, having a good time, or needed anything sorted. If Istanbul was a win, it was primarily hers.

The Brain: Bianca, a quite literal deus ex machina for our attendance lists. She made sure everyone was accounted for, present where they needed to be, signed in, badged, and introduced to people. I have no idea how she did it, but she made any problems go away. 

The Brawn: Andrija. Covered the whole GC summit by himself, while also handling presentations, microphones, questions, and the people on stage. You need something done right away, no questions asked? Making it look easy, Andrija is your man. 

The Lancer: Yours truly. I exist to make the life of our leader hard(er). I ask questions, disagree with him, point out alternatives, then disagree some more. I’m the primary point of contact for yelling expressing dissatisfaction. But when push comes to shove, I get on board – and make sure everyone else is on board as well.

The Hero: Radu Prime, our fearless (read: daredevil) leader. He’s the one who believed – all the way – that five people from outside Turkiye can fly in, arrange everything, and host 260 lawyers for an event. He’s also the one who believed – and rightly so – that if you can organize one event, you might as well put together two of them. At the same time! Handing out tasks and barks, from beginning to end, we wouldn’t be here without him.  

This article was originally published in Issue 10.4 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here