Tentative steps to full liberalisation

Noises on liberalisation of legal services across the world are now beginning to sound more positive. Whilst the International Bar Association grapples with the issue, the Americans, Japanese and CCBE are also on the case. Now the Chinese are sending out signals that they too may be prepared to look at the issue again.

This is all good news for international firms though doing business on a global basis necessitates new arrangements. However, it is still an issue which local Bar associations must take on board. In the past, the lack of co-operation from local Bar associations was one of the key reasons why no progress was ever made on the issue. Now, as the liberalisation bandwagon begins to really gather momentum, perhaps we will see a more progressive attitude emerge. The World Trade Organisation has certainly succeeded in concentrating the minds of the interested parties.