In 'Where's the IBA voice' (Letters, The Lawyer, 17 October) your correspondent questions the stand being taken by the International Bar Association on the problem of foreign lawyers establishing offices overseas.
The IBA, through its 164-member Bar Associations and Law Societies, is most actively addressing the difficult question of foreign legal consultants, and has drafted guidelines for use worldwide. These were debated most recently by the IBA Council – made up of representatives of the member organisations – in Paris at the Council Meeting held at the time of the Section on Business Law Biennial Conference.
At the end of a wide-ranging debate, the Council came very close to accepting the guidelines, but further work is still required to reach consensus on the remaining points of contention.
The IBA fully recognises the difficult conflicts of interest between those importing and those exporting lawyers, and these guidelines represent the most far-reaching attempt yet to achieve international agreement in this highly contentious area, which is of paramount importance to the international legal profession in the current climate of globalisation.
Professor J Ross Harper