XLNC Spring Conference | Vienna 2019

This year’s XLNC Spring Conference took place in Vienna during 17 – 19 May.

Just over 70 participants from 37 different member firms, and representing 23 different countries, traveled to Austria to meet with fellow members and get to know each other. The conference started on Friday afternoon with an optional “Historical Vienna Tour through Schloss Schönbrunn”, including a Viennese Strudel Show, followed by a Welcome Reception and Dinner at the hotel.

On Saturday morning, Graham Busch (Gerald Edelman, UK) extended a warm welcome to everyone on behalf of his colleague and Chairman of the XLNC Steering Committee, Richard Kleiner, and with the first contribution delivered by the guest keynote speaker, Prof Dr Thomas P. Müller.

Prof Dr Müller has a PhD in Criminal Psychology and Forensic Psychiatry from the University of Innsbruck in Austria. From 1982 to 1992, he trained at the Federal Police School in Innsbruck and, after serving in different police forces, he became a member of the SWAT team of the Federal Police Force. After taking a break to pursue further education, he became the Chief of the Criminal Psychology Service in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Group D/INTERPOL. Since that time, he has routinely taught and researched in the areas of criminology, abnormal criminal psychology, hostage negotiation, threat assessment, criminal personality profiling, crime scene assessment and criminal investigation analysis. He has served as a Hostage Negotiation Coordinator and translator for the Austrian Secret Service Department, under the instruction of the CIA. He conceptualised and initiated the ViCLAS-System (Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System) for all law enforcement agencies in Austria and also initiated the ViCLAS-System in several states in Europe, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, the UK, Switzerland and Poland. He was also responsible for the development of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime / Criminal Psychology Service within the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Austria. Prof Dr Müller has taught many courses to law enforcement agencies, universities, within the Ministry of the Interior, and the Department of Justice. He has also lectured to professional groups such as judges and public prosecutors throughout Austria, Germany, England, Italy, Scotland, Poland, Canada, Australia, the USA and South Africa. His speech on “Crisis situations and the power of psychology” explored how crisis and complex challenges, especially if they last for a while, have specific ways of playing out, and how those who recognise these patterns and can deal with them have an opportunity to grow with them , whilst those who find themselves trapped by a crisis will no doubt fail. One of the recognisable patterns is the distribution of one’s own self-esteem through feedback in the job, in the private environment in particular, but also through actions and decisions, which may be referred to as one’s “ego”. How much "ego" do we need in normal situations and how much “ego” do we need, once we have tumbled into personal, content-related, emotional or psychological crisis. During this session, participants learnt that there are many lessons to be taken from failure. Additionally, there is a clear indication that higher levels of unnecessary occupational stress also affect our private and personal lives. The laws of criminal psychology help to provide clear guidelines, and looking back at history helps to show examples of what should be done but, also importantly, what should be avoided.

The plenary session proceeded with an introduction of the new XLNC member firms participating in the event in Vienna, as well as of candidate firms. Closing off the morning session, an open discussion took place, highlighting information about the structure and functioning of XLNC as well as opening the conversation to comments and questions from participants. Some time was also dedicated to the various XLNC tools and platforms available to all members.

In the afternoon, four different Focus Group meetings took place: Tax, chaired by Graham Busch (Gerald Edelman, UK) and Dr Benjamin Cortez (Schlecht und Partner, Germany); M&A / Corporate Finance, chaired by Carl Lundberg (Gerald Edelman, UK); Legal, chaired by Enrique Brat and Michiel van Haelst (Vestius Attorneys at Law, The Netherlands); and Technology, chaired by Gerald Paolilli (Paolilli, Jarek & Der Ananian, LLC, USA).

After a very interactive day, the closing dinner was a very typical Austrian Heurigen-Abend, taking place in a tavern owned by a local winemaker featuring young wine, simple homemade food, and a live music show. For those who planned to stay longer, an additional day-trip was organised on Sunday, through the Danube Valley “Wachau”, an area just west of Vienna, known for its romantic rolling hills, vineyards and fortresses. We look forward to seeing many of our members once again at the next XLNC event.

Keep an eye on our list of upcoming events at www.xlnc.org/events!


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