The Korean Air litigation – Are you nuts?!?


Everybody who has seen ‘Up in the air’ with George Clooney will know: the frequent traveller likes his/her habits.

No wonder, Ms Heather Cho went completely nuts last year on a Korean Air flight when here macademia nuts were served still in the bag, while first class passengers have the right to have them served on a plate.

Happened to be that Ms Cho was also daughter of the CEO of Korean Air.  Without further notice, she forced the crew to return the plane back to the gate for this serious breach of (first class) aviation law.  And at the same time, she could kick the crew member who served her these nuts off her plane.  As it was more or less indeed HER plane.

Unfortunately for her, Korean Court ruled today there was no serious breach on behalf of the crew but found Ms Cho guilty of forcing the plane to change its route, obstructing the flight captain and forcing a crew member off a plane, resulting in 1 year prison sentence.

I wonder how they serve nuts in prison… if they serve them at all…

David Diris – Belgian lawyer – Kocks & Partners – Brussels

Picture: Bloomberg


The lawyer and the media

nulens saltalamacchia hertenweg murderMr. Kris Luyckx is one of the most famous criminal defense lawyers of Belgium.  Here you see him defending one of the accused in the Nulens and Saltalamacchia vs. Hertenweg murder trail.

Some say criminal lawyers are only looking for media attention and trials covered extensively in the media.

Some even say that they only have eye for the camera…

Picture ©HBVL

Please wait… the Court is moving

moving-snoopy2So we have been battling for some years now against the Belgian State itself on behalf of big German insolvency administrator in – what seemed to be and actually is – a simple application of the European Insolvency Regulation 1346/2000.

Of course, nothing is simple if the Belgian State has to return +3M euros after a successful clawback action, leading up to us obtaining penalty payments against the State.  The judgment was expected somewhere end February.

As we were already mid March, I decided to call the Clerks of the Court of Attachments to ask why the judgment was not pronounced yet.

The Clerk told me on the phone: ‘the judgment has been pronounced already a few weeks ago, but we are behind in sending the copies out.  We are in the middle of moving and because the State did not want to hire a moving company, we are moving ourselves.  And we can’t move and do our work at the same’.

Oh yeah… the Clerks were moving from 2nd floor to 3rd floor… same building…

Legal Awards: prizes with prices (2) – Trophy Time!


After long debates with my ego, I decided in the end not to claim the prize that I won.  After a few reminders that my place in the winners’ book would slip through my fingers, I thought I would be safe for another year.

Alas, how could I forget?  They hadn’t told me the price of my trophy yet!  This 1,6kg crystal capture of my victory on Allen&Overy would only cost me 145 euros (shipment costs excluded – but who cares in the excitement of victory).

What to do with it?  Well, luckily I don’t have to think about that myself:

A trophy would be a fantastic statement of your achievement and there are numerous benefits to ordering this permanent reminder of your success:

·            To be displayed in your personal office

·            For the reception area of your office ensuring visitors take notice of your success

·            To be provided to the members of your team who have added to the success of your firm

·            To be kept at home as a memento

And what would a victory be without some secret backstabbing:

If you want to order more than one trophy with different wording this is not a problem, some people like to have a trophy with the firm name and one with their own name.

I can’t wait till mine arrives in the promised luxurious gift box!

Legal Awards: prizes with prices

legal awards

So this week, I got an e-mail from Corporate INTL, congratulating me that I won the award for ‘International Litigation Law Firm of the Year in Belgium‘.  Apparently my ‘colleagues’ and ‘clients’ estimated that my firm beat all the Allen&Overy‘s and Baker&McKenzie‘s this year.

As that might not come a surprise, I am still surprised that people/clients/companies actually value these awards.  In recent years – and much against the will of the Belgian Bar – legal awards have taken the Belgian legal market by storm.  Some colleagues’ e-mail signature is twice as long as the actual contents of their e-mails with all the .jpgs of their awards.

Is there any client out there who really believes these awards mean anything, and are not just marketing-tools-to-buy?

Acclaiming my prize would cost me between 360 and 1.200 euros, depending how big I wanted my picture in the winners book.

Twenty minutes after me, my partner Christoph Kocks ‘won’ the award for ‘Distribution Law Firm of the Year in Belgium’.  His award came for the same price.

So we shook hands and congratulated each other, after which we both deleted the e-mails.

Don’t shoot the pianist…

James Belushi

“Listen, we all have to agree that there is too much litigation going on in this world.  But every year it seems to multiply tenfold.  Why can’t we stop it?  Well, it’s because the lawmakers in Congress and the Senate are almost all lawyers, too!”

– James Belushi