Seven years after the beginnings of Wagner Arbitration in 2013, Philipp and the Wagner Arbitration team felt it was time to start an alumni group. Interns, legal trainees, LL.M. students – so many young lawyers from all over the world have spent some time at Hegelplatz 1 or the original offices from the beginnings of the firm. All of us share WagArb experiences from projects, rhetoric coachings and get-togethers around a good meal and a glass of wine.
Last Wednesday, current and former team members came together virtually to celebrate Wagner Arbitration’s kick-off alumni event! Close to 40 WagArb alumni dialed in from Australia, Brazil, Singapore and even from a bike-trip on the Way of St. James in Spain.
After Philipp welcomed everyone, we virtually clinked glasses. With the support of many friends in the global arbitration community on different continents, a bottle of champagne had traveled the globe to every participant with the aim of creating a connection across the continents and in times where we have become accustomed to distance. As everyone introduced themselves and shared favorite memories from their time at the firm, there was a “Class of WagArb” feeling though many of us met for the first time.
John Faulk – whose rhetoric coachings are a fixed part of any person’s experience with Wagner Arbitration – showed a series of pictures that captured the spirit of the law firm: a place that is more than just a work environment.
Chef Florian Dupuy had the honor of presenting the “cook of the year” award for outstanding achievement in the arbitrattoria – the firm’s weekly Friday lunches where team members take turn cooking for everyone. Though the kitchen is closed at the moment, the alumni group’s first project will be to develop a cookbook with the cooks sharing recipes they served the team, often from their places of origin.
Across the world, we feel the consequences of the current pandemic. It may be a sense of nostalgia that accompanies every alumni reunion, but looking back at this special get-together I find it was a welcome reminder that “this too shall pass”. Taking a look back to the early years of the firm and how many people from across the world are connected through WagArb, it helped put the current crisis into perspective. As a relatively new member to the WagArb family, I am grateful for being able to meet everyone and look forward to the upcoming reunions!