Frankfurt Skyline

The D&O Diary is on assignment this week in Europe, with a first stop in Frankfurt, Germany. I have been to Frankfurt on several prior visits, and the city’s streets, sites, and public transportation system are pleasantly familiar. The weather was cool and mostly cloudy for most of the visit, but just the same it was great being back and enjoying the city again.

The primary purpose of my visit to Frankfurt was to participate in the annual Global Investor Loss Recovery Conference, hosted by the DRRT law firm, for its clients and collaborators from around the world. I participated in the event’s opening session, in which DRRT’s Alexander Reus and I discussed Hot Topics in Director and Officer liability. I always feel that if I am having fun when participating as a speaker at a conference than it probably went pretty well, and I enjoyed the opportunity to participate on the panel with Alexander. I would like to thank Alexander and his colleagues for inviting to participate again in this well-organized and well-attended event.

Here I am pictured with Alexander Reus, just after our session.

The conference was well-attended, with audience members from around the world
The event-opening dinner the night before the conference itself was held in the dining room of the restaurant at Frankfurt’s Old Opera House (Alte Oper), a beautiful and ornate setting and a great venue for an evening meal.

We did have some time while in Frankfurt to revisit some of the city’s familiar sites. After arriving in the city, bleary-eyed and jet-lagged after the overnight flight, we tried to recover our equilibrium with a long walk along the Main River (pronounced “Mine”). On this visit, we discovered that the riverside path on the southside of the river heads much further to the east of the city that we had appreciated from our prior visits. The weather was brisk and a little chilly, but nevertheless, the long riverside walk was pleasant and restorative. 

A view of the riverside along the Main River
A looking west toward the Frankfurt skyline from the city’s east side. The building on the left is the European Central Bank.

In the afternoon before the conference opening dinner at the Alte Oper, we made a return visit to Frankfurt’s large and impressive botanical garden, the Palmengarten. Many of the early spring flowers were in bloom when we visited though other blooms had not yet emerged – the rhododendrons and roses, for example, were yet to bloom. We did get some broken sunshine during our visit to the gardens and it was a great way to spend a spring afternoon.

Many of the early spring flowers at the Palmengarten were in bloom when we visited
A butterfly among some of the blooms in one of the garden’s greenhouses.


Turtles trying to warm themselves in the pale sunlight breaking through the clouds
A green heron at the Palmengarten
We particularly enjoyed the display of palms in the botanical garden’s Palmenhaus. The Frankfurt botanical garden is not as large as Kew Gardens in London or the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, nor is it s exotic as the botanical garden in Singapore, but it in its own way a very impressive garden and it is an enjoyable place to visit.

For anyone planning a visit to Frankfurt in the near future, I have a recommendation. In a neighborhood nearby but separate from the main tourist district, we found a traditional brew pub on a quiet pedestrianized street. Zu den 12 Aposteln has old-fashioned charm and serves draft beers brewed on site, along with traditional German specialties. We really enjoyed the place.

We also enjoyed a bit of evening sunshine during a brief walk around the neighborhood after our dinner at the 12 Aposteln. We came across the Pieterskirsche, a handsome brick church (now apparently converted to a youth center) that looked particularly appealing in the rare sunshine).