When Suits from All Over the World Meet to Check the Pulse of the Legal Profession
During this week, Washington D.C. is being invaded by lawyers from all over the world. The annual conference of the International Bar Association, ‘IBA’, has attracted over 6,000 lawyers from 130 different countries to pick up on new trends and to hear the latest news on the legal market.
All this takes place during more than 200 sessions, workshops and panels held during this week. At the same time, there is ample opportunity to network - meeting friends, business partners and new contacts.
What’s on in Washington?
Because of the location and timing of this year’s conference, there will be a unique opportunity to hear from senior US government officials such as retired General Colin Powell and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. We can also experience the current, controversial U.S. Presidential election campaigning first hand; who will draw the long straw, Senator Clinton or Mr Trump?
Convention sessions expected to prove especially popular include those covering the challenges of law firm management and the future of the legal profession. Expect to be hard-pressed to find an empty chair in the new showcase sessions as well, where some of the world’s leading legal thinkers will expound on the role of the legal profession in society today.
Of course, everyone has their own particular favorites among the wealth of sessions on offer at the annual conference.
“As a M&A lawyer, I personally look forward to the session about project management in M&A transactions and to the session on human rights in due diligence. Both issues are close to my heart and I hope to return home with new ideas to share with my team.”
“My favorite session topics include those relating to law firm management issues. Sessions in which clients give insights about their future and their views on how lawyers should change their activities in order to better assist are especially useful and thought-provoking.”
The Greater Good: The IBA’s Raison d’être
The IBA was inspired by a United Nation’s vision a few years after the end of World War II with the aim of supporting the establishment of law and the administration of justice worldwide. The IBA strives to influence the development of international legal reform and to shape the future of the legal profession throughout the world.
Its principal aims and objectives are:
- To promote exchange of information between legal associations worldwide;
- To support independence of the judiciary and the right of lawyers to practise their profession without interference; and
- To support the human rights of lawyers worldwide through its Human Rights Institute.
This is what the IBA is all about - supporting the rule of law all over the world. Protecting the fundamental principle that no person, nor government, is above the law, a principle which is our collective safeguard against arbitrary governance, dictatorship and anarchy.
“One evening during the Vancouver conference, I rented a bike for a couple of hours and went to Stanley Park. And whilst resting my eyes on the most beautiful sunset over a completely calm Pacific Ocean, I realised why it felt so important being part of the IBA. It’s because, at the end of the day, our work is about building global peace and we are all privileged to contribute by being part of that process.”
Many of our partners have actively participated in the IBA, and its many committees, over the years.
“I still remember like yesterday my very first annual conference in Vancouver in 2010. And how impressed I was about how truly global our profession is after all, even though most lawyers are qualified to work only in the jurisdiction where they graduated.”
“I first joined our IBA delegation in Dubai in 2011. For me this all was very familiar, after having already been active in the International Association of Young Lawyers, AIJA, for almost 20 years at that time. In many ways, AIJA is the little sister of the IBA.”
During our week in DC, we will also spend time meeting old and new friends from the leading law firms around the world with whom we regularly work. With them we have been providing our clients a seamless service for years, wherever in the world they need it.
Recently, we launched an interactive map on our website that shows the extent of our international network. Take a look if you have a moment, and please do let us know what you think about it.
Key Facts about the IBA
- The IBA is the world's leading organization of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies;
- Members: over 80,000 individual lawyers and more than 190 bar associations and law societies from over 160 countries;
- The IBA was established in New York City on 17 February 1947 at a gathering of representatives of 34 national bar associations;