In 1984 Law Firm Van Aerde & Partners was the second customer of the new CICERO LawPack. A young advocate Clive Van Aerde had just taken over his father’s law practice.
While he was still an apprentice at the practice of his father, Jo Cant, he – rather reluctantly – mainly handled divorces. He had a hard time watching how couples would do anything to fight over custody and child maintenance. When, inspired by the Notaris X case at the time, a client asked him to file a complaint because of incest with his two daughters, only because she wanted to cause problems for her husband, he had enough.
He got a degree in Port & Maritime Sciences and shot to international fame when his thesis on arrest of ships (impound law) was published as a book and he subsequenly won the Albert Lilar prize. International customes started pouring in, and soon Belgian customers followed.
Together with his father advocate Van Aerde attended a presentation with Philips computers in a little hall. “I spent many sleepless nights on that purchase. A pc cost a small fortune at the time, approximately 150.000 BEF. Once we decided to buy the computers, we learned that Philips already had stopped making computers, and we were advised to buy IBM PCs. We bought six, which was quite an investment. ”
Nowadays Van Aerde & Partners is a well organized law firm with 5 advocates and 1 secretary. 80 % of the cases deal with corporate law, of which maritime law still is an important part. The remaining 20 % of cases deal with personal law and family law.
“From the very beginning we upgraded each time an upgrade was available. In the past they had to come over to install the upgrade, but nowadays it all happens over the Internet. At the start we all completed a course. But because we were right there so early on, we have become seasoned pc users and manage quite well. We sometimes send a new collaborator for training, or sometimes Sarah De Neys will visit us for an on-site training with regard to a new module. She does that very well, by the way.”