Phillips Murrah Participates in the ALFAI 2024 International Client Seminar

Three women pose for photograph on an outside patio.

Pictured from left: Leslie Coulter, ALFA International Operations Assistant; Byrona Maule, Shareholder at Phillips Murrah and ALFAI Board Member; and Sheila Kerwin, Shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis and ALFAI Board Member. Photo courtesy of ALFAI.

Phillips Murrah is grateful to have attended and participated in ALFA International’s 2024 International Client Seminar, held Feb. 29-March 3 at the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Phillips Murrah is a member firm of ALFA International, the premier global network of independent law firms whose success is driven by broad, deep, local relationships all over the world.

Three Phillips Murrah Directors attended the seminar: Byrona J. Maule, Kathy D. Terry, and Cody J. Cooper.

Byrona was Course Book Editor for the 2024 International Client Seminar and co-liaison at the seminar’s After-Hours Hospitality Suite.

“I have been honored to participate in ALFA International’s many client seminars,” Byrona said in a recent article about being elected in 2024 to a three-year term on ALFAI’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to serving ALFA International in this new capacity and continuing the strong ALFA International tradition of providing high-quality, cost-effective legal service wherever our clients need them.”

Attorneys sitting at a table hosting a panel discussion

From left: Kathy Terry, Shareholder at Phillips Murrah; Dave Vanalek, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer Richmond National Insurance Company; Richard Hennessey, Shareholder at Morrison Mahoney’s Boston office; and Heather Magnusson, Deputy General Counsel at Shaw Industries Group.

Kathy, current marketing and vice chairperson of the ALFA International Insurance Practice Group, co-moderated a Ted Lasso-themed panel, called “THE LASSO WAY: WE WANT A TIE!”, on how insureds and insurance companies can collaborate proactively to resolve challenges regarding defenses under reservations of rights.

“I led the way as Kathy “*&^#$%*&^&ing” Terry, with Dave Vanalek as Ted Lasso, Richard Hennessey as Beard, and Heather Magnusson, as Rebecca Welton,” explained Kathy.

The panel members discussed challenges and successful approaches to achieving the best outcome (sometimes that’s a tie!) in scenarios such as covered versus non-covered claims, additional insured issues, and first and third-party claims in the context of the duty of good faith and the duty to cooperate.

Aforementioned participants on the panel were co-moderator Richard Hennessey of Morrison Mahoney; Heather Magnuson, Deputy General Council at Shaw Industries Group; and David Vanalek, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Richmond National Insurance Company.

Attorney stands on stage leading a panel discussion with three seated attorneys.

From left: Cody Cooper, Phillips Murrah Shareholder; Elliot Miller, Wowza Senior VP of Corp. Dev. & Legal and ALFA Client Advisory Board member; Christin Krämer, attorney with ALFAI member firm Tiefenbacher in Heidelberg, Germany; and John Osgathorpe, Taylor Day Shareholder and Vice Chair/Marketing Chair for ALFA International’s Business Litigation Practice Group.

Cody moderated a panel discussion addressing the benefits and challenges of in-house counsel’s use of artificial intelligence technology in day-to-day business operations. The program, titled “Winning AI Gold For In-House Legal Departments (& Avoiding the Agony of Defeat),” examined drafting and reviewing contracts, disparate geographical regulations, IP creation and ownership of AI generated creatives, practical billing issues, usage in marketing and HR departments, and more.

2024 International Client Seminar also included several excursions, including ALFA International’s Women’s Initiative event, at which attendees packed hygiene kits for Refugio El Nazareno, Inc., a local charity established to build a safe, creative, and empowering space for Puerto Rico’s young women and girls.

Some of the other excursions available during the seminar were snorkeling, horseback riding, and a tour of a cacao farm that included a guided walk through a cacao forest and a wine and chocolate tasting seminar by a wine specialist.

“When work takes you to great locations, that’s great, but the real plus is spending time connecting with colleagues and clients from across the globe,” Kathy added. “And, yes, environmentally ethical chocolate farms in the Puerto Rican rain forest and wine pairings provide the best opportunities to collaborate!”

#ALFAI2024ICSWhat is ALFA International?

ALFA International is the premier network of independent law firms. Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks. ALFAI has 140 member firms throughout the world. Their 80 U.S. firms represent 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Their 60 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America. ALFA International’s mission is to provide high quality, cost efficient legal services wherever our clients need them. The ALFA International model enables our members to use their local expertise to deliver highly effective legal solutions, often drawing upon the collective wisdom and experience of other member firms. ALFA International clients benefit from a geographically comprehensive network of exceptional law firms and accomplished trial and business counsel. Their member firms meet high standards to be part of the ALFA International network and are well respected by their peers in the legal and business community.


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