Ambassador André Schaller, Consul General of Switzerland in New
York, with Marc Redlich at Lausanne event in Boston.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope that you and your family had a pleasant and
enjoyable summer. Over the past several months we have been
involved in a number of successful matters that I thought you might be
interested in hearing about.
Recently we negotiated the departure of one of my
clients from a large business corporation so that he could begin his
own business. The hurdle to be overcome was a tightly drafted
noncompetition clause which would have prevented him from working with
customers he had developed over the years with his former employer.
While clearly at a disadvantage, we were successfully able to work with
the company to fashion a business arrangement by which my client shared
some of his profits with the former employer for a discrete period of
time following his departure. This permitted my client to carry on
business and survive financially in his new company despite the
non-compete clause while also permitting his longtime clients the
freedom to work with whomever they chose. Over many years I
have represented companies enforcing non-competition agreements, and
defended employees and their new employers seeking to avoid their
restrictions. There are good arguments presented by both sides of this
issue. That being said, one of the drawbacks of noncompete clauses is
that the customers and clients are prevented
from continuing a relationship with the person they want to work with
– a factor often overlooked in the argument for and against
I have written before about a Will contest
involving a client of mine who was born in Austria and lived for many
years in the U.S. After I filed her Will for probate in my role
as the nominated executor, litigation was commenced initially by one of
the decedent’s relatives, who ironically was not mentioned in
either of my client’s Wills. She was later joined in the
case by the Salvation Army, which was named as a beneficiary in the
prior Will, but not in the final one. As a result of my
suggestion that the client see a psychiatrist upon her move to Austria,
I was able to take the deposition of her psychiatrist in Vienna, and we
were able to confirm that my client was indeed competent to make her
new Will before her departure for Austria. We have succeeded in
settling the case and enabled payment to the beneficiary of my
client’s last Will, as well as a portion to the other side. The
settlement was occasioned by the realization on all sides that
continued litigation would deplete the estate and that it was better to
reach a compromise than see the estate substantially diminished by fees
and administrative costs.
November promises to be a busy month as later in
the month. I will be in New York City arbitrating an employment
discrimination case before the securities industry’s forum,
FINRA. The case arises out of a financial banking institution’s
actions which we consider discrimination and retaliation based on my
client’s disability, and which eventually resulted in his
In the first part of November, I will be attending
the Management Committee meeting of ij International Jurists in
Cyprus. ij is an organization of nearly 40 law firms around the
world dedicated to providing the best representation and advice to
clients with business interests and activities outside their own
I will be presenting remarks and participating in a
panel at the Annual Conference of the German-American Lawyers
Association, which will be held in Cambridge at The Harvard Law School.
This will be a good opportunity to share thoughts and concerns with my
colleagues both here and in Germany about legal issues and concerns
between our two countries.
I recently attended the inauguration of “The
Park at D Street” adjacent to the Boston Convention and
Exhibition Center, by invitation of David Gibbons, the newly appointed
Executive Director of the Convention Center. David has extensive
experience in the hotel and travel industry, having been General
Manager of among others, the Drake Hotel in New York City, and the Taj
and Swissotel in Boston.
As Director of the Boston Eric M. Warburg Chapter
of the American Council on Germany, we continue to sponsor monthly
luncheon speaker events. The most recent was a talk by the
Newsweek journalist and author Andrew Nagorski, co-sponsored and held
at Brandeis University this month, at which he discussed his new book
“The Nazi Hunters”. Our next speaker luncheon on
October 28 will be held in conjunction with the Boston University
Center for the Study of Europe, featuring Thorsten Benner, Director of
the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI), and a member of the faculty
of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, who will speak about the
difficult leadership position of Germany within the EU. He will be
joined by former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Hon. Kurt Volker, and Boston
University Professor Joseph Wippl.
I continue to serve as a member of the Board of
Directors of Friends of Switzerland and as a participant in activities
with Swissnex, the Swiss Consulate in Cambridge, and the American Swiss
Foundation in New York. I attended a recent event sponsored by
Swissnex and the General Consul of Switzerland in Boston, attended by
business and government leaders from Lausanne. Photos from some
of these recent events are enclosed.
This year, FOSI’s Stratton Prize winners are
three Swiss artists who developed the “Swiss Style” of
graphic design. The Stratton Prize recognizes outstanding people
in the arts, humanities, science and business, and who have made a
lasting contribution to the relationship between the U.S. and
Switzerland. The Dinner will be held on October 21.
For more information about upcoming FOSI and ACG
events this coming year, please feel free to contact me directly, or go
to our website where you will find links to these organizations’
websites and events.
We continue to practice in a wide range of legal
areas, including corporate, business and commercial law, trials and
appeals, real estate issues, employment, discrimination, divorce and
university law. If you have any questions about our areas of
practice or about any legal matters where we can be of assistance to
you or someone you know, both here and abroad, please do not hesitate
to call on me.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you, and
send you my best wishes for a healthy and successful Fall season.