From the Co-Chairs – Construction Law International – January 2024

Joseph Moore and Jean-Pierre van EijckWednesday 24 January 2024

Dear International Construction Projects Committee members,

All good things come to an end.

When you are reading this December issue of Construction Law International, our term as Co-Chairs of the IBA International Construction Projects Committee (ICP) is coming to an end. The past two years seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. Looking back, we were fortunate to co-chair the ICP at a time when the Covid-19 restrictions had been lifted and we were able to travel again. This allowed us to continue with the 2022 Vevey Working Weekend, originally scheduled to take place in May 2020. This Working Weekend was our first in-person ICP gathering since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Working Weekend was followed by a successful SEERIL Biennial Conference in Milan, and the Annual IBA Conference in Miami, in 2022. It was nice to meet so many old friends and make new friendships during these events. We all felt relieved that travel bans had been lifted and we were able to meet again.

2023 was an exciting year for the ICP too. We kicked off with our ICP Biennial Conference in Berlin, also known as the ‘young lawyers’ conference. With a record attendance of more than 170 delegates, this conference illustrated how keen we all are to meet with colleagues and to share our knowledge and friendship.

The 2023 Working Weekend in May 2023 brought us to Mendoza, Argentina. Besides interesting sessions on construction and infrastructure-related topics, prepared by the ICP’s subcommittees, the weekend provided an excellent opportunity to taste the famous Malbec wines during the excursion to a winery on the Saturday evening. As the Working Weekend has enjoyed increased popularity, we decided to expand the Working Weekend’s attendance to roughly 60 ICP members. This still provides for an intimate atmosphere where all delegates have enough opportunity to meet and to share their views, without becoming a kind of separate conference on its own. We intend to have a similar number of attendees at the 2024 Working Weekend.

In November, we concluded our term with the IBA Annual Conference in Paris. During this conference ICP again hosted five well attended sessions. Once again, we would like to thank the moderators and panellists of these sessions for all their work in preparing for the conference. As is tradition, we had our ICP dinner on Wednesday, during which this year’s ‘hard hat ceremony’ took place, where we handed over our ICP hard hats to the incoming Vice Chairs.

As for our beloved magazine CLInt, it is great to see so many of you contributing to this publication. This allows the ICP to continue its tradition of being the only committee within the IBA having its own publication. During the open business meeting at the Annual Conference in Paris, we discussed the possibilities of having a printed version of CLInt again. We will discuss with the IBA the possibilities of making our magazine as accessible as possible. For now, we would like to note that issues of CLInt are also accessible on your smartphone or tablet via the IBA Members app.

Although this time of year is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year, we would also like to look ahead at what 2024 will bring. From 17–19 April the SEERIL Biennial Conference will take place in Bogota, Columbia, during which the ICP, again, will be responsible for organising a session. The SEERIL Biennial will be followed by the 2024 ICP Working Weekend, taking place from 26–28 April 2024 in Oxford, UK. We thank Roberta Downey and Tony Diamond for hosting this Working Weekend. Registration for this Working Weekend is now closed, but should you be interested in attending if a place becomes vacant, please let us know.

Next year, the IBA Annual Conference will take place earlier than usual. The conference will be held from 15–20 September 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico. We have already started our preparations for this conference by submitting the topics for our five ICP sessions. Once all sessions are set, the ICP will circulate an email with the topics, inviting all ICP members to express their interest in speaking at next year’s Annual Conference. If you are interested, keep an eye on your mailbox.

Looking back at our tenure as Co-Chairs, the slogan of a famous watch brand comes to mind. To paraphrase this slogan, you never actually chair the ICP; you merely look after it for the next generation. That is how we perceive the last two years. It has indeed been a great honour and pleasure to look after this wonderful group of ICP members. We would like to thank all the officers who joined us on this journey for their commitment and dedication to the ICP. As we now hand over our hard hats, we wish our new Co-Chairs Virginie Colaiuta and Júlio Bueno and all ICP officers who started their tenure on 1 January 2024, good luck and success. Take care of this wonderful ICP family!

Finally, we would like to thank all ICP members for participating in all ICP events, whether it is CLInt or during a conference. Without you, there would be no ICP. We wish you all happy holidays and a prosperous and healthy new year, and look forward to meeting you again in 2024.

Joseph Moore
Hanson Bridgett, San Francisco

Jean-Pierre van Eijck
Spant Legal, Eindhoven

Co-Chairs, IBA International Construction Projects Committee