Twinning Weekend at Karlsruhe 2019 – In a nutshell

Written By: Billy Shaw
Edition: July 2019

In celebration of our historic links with the law societies of Karlsruhe and Ghent, “twinning” trips are arranged annually, each of the law societies taking it in turns to host the trip. This year it was Karlsruhe’s turn who did an excellent job with the programme. The weekend was crammed with well thought out social events.

The weekend started with the Karlsruhe annual asparagus dinner. For those of you who aren’t too keen on asparagus:

1. this asparagus is on another level; and
2. other foods are available!

I had been warned several times about how much asparagus is served. I quickly found out that the warnings were true. Once I had got anywhere close to finishing a plate of the stuff, another mountain was added to my plate. Not that I minded, it’s delicious.

Asparagus aside, this was a good way to socialise with and get to know the German and Belgian lawyers ahead of the next few days’ activities.

Our second day consisted of lunch at the Karlsruhe Law Society premises and then an afternoon of golf lessons at a nearby golf course where we learnt the basics of pitch and put. In the spirit of golf, we ended the afternoon sat outside the 19th hole with a few beers in the sun. Despite the sunburn, it was a very enjoyable day. Again, it was an opportunity to socialise among ourselves, this time, in a less formal setting.

… I don’t know what is more impressive in this photograph, Wayne’s swing or my photography skills… I might be in the wrong job.

Our final day involved a trip to a very impressive modern art museum in Mannheim.

Following our cultured trip to the art museum, we went wine tasting at a vineyard, then drank more beer in the sun and ended the evening with another social evening meal.

I would encourage anyone to attend one of the twinning events. The hospitality we were shown whilst in Karlsruhe was amazing and we were treated to an excellent weekend by our friends at the Karlsruhe Law Society. It was a great opportunity to forge new friendships with lawyers from Nottinghamshire, Ghent and Karlsruhe. It also helped that the weather was perfect all weekend.

I would specifically encourage my fellow junior lawyers to consider attending. Meeting new people and seeing another legal community with a different culture and professional structure has really broadened my horizons. Visiting Karlsruhe has also allowed me to develop my transferrable skills, specifically my networking skills, and has enhanced my CV. I have also strengthened my links with more senior lawyers in Nottingham. Those who attend from Nottingham are a friendly bunch, which made the practicalities of the trip really straightforward and inclusive. Moreover, I spent far less than I had planned to as the Karlsruhe Law Society covers the costs of pretty much all activities.

Our next Twinning will be in Ghent next year. The information will be circulated once we receive the specific details. Twinning for the first time this year has certainly confirmed that I will be at Ghent next year.

Billy Shaw