The IBA Young Lawyers’ Committee’s Training Series: Session One ‘Avoiding conflicts of interest and other ethical traps’

Monday 13 December 2021

Caroline Berube
HJM Asia Law & Co, Guangzhou, China

‘Avoiding conflicts of interest and other ethical traps’ is the topic of the first of the eight-part training webinar series devised by the IBA’s Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI) to assist young lawyers and junior members of the profession with their understanding of the fundamentals of international legal practice. The programme aims to provide young Chinese lawyers with practical training on a range of international business practice issues.

Peter Bartlett (IBA Legal Practice Division Chair, and Chairman of Minter Ellison, Australia) gave opening remarks where he highlighted some of our initiatives in the CWG as well as the IBA on the whole and encouraged participants to get to know the various committees within the IBA and get involved in areas of interest.

As moderator of the session, Caroline Berube (IBA CWG Co-Chair, IBA LPD Officer, and Managing Partner of HJM Asia Law & Co LLC, China and Singapore) thanked Peter for his enthusiasm and support for the CWG, before introducing a diverse panel of speakers comprising: Riccardo Cajola (Managing Partner of Cajola & Associates, Italy), Rachel McGuckian (Scholarship Officer, IBA PEC; Miles & Stockbridge, Maryland); Jose Cochingyan III (Managing Partner of Cochingyan & Partners, Philippines), Michael S Carl (Of Counsel at SSEK Legal Consultants, Jakarta), and Gábor Damjanovic (Secretary-Treasurer, IBA PEC; Managing Partner of Forgó, Damjanovic & Partners, Budapest).

Discussion on the topic of conflict of interest and ethical traps opened with a set of questions posed by the Moderator about the duty of confidentiality and privilege in the relationship with clients. These questions were then answered by panellists who shared their knowledge and experience in their respective jurisdictions. Participants were given an overview of the rules of law and ethical guidelines in Italy, the United States, the Philippines, Hungary and Indonesia.

A useful takeaway was about how to manage conflicts of interest and the panel gave tips on ensuring a consistent approach in resolving conflicts of interest issues and to manage clients' expectations. Towards the end of the session, several interesting questions were submitted from the attendees and they were answered by the panel who provided insights based on their experience in each jurisdiction.

The IBA proudly presented a Certificate of Attendance to every attendee who joined the webinar. A survey was conducted at the end of the webinar. In the pool of those who took the survey, more than 95 per cent of the attendees felt that the webinar kept them engaged from beginning to end, and 70 per cent rated the overall content as excellent.

A recording of the webinar is available at: www.ibanet.org/conference-details/conf1180#postEventContent

It is our hope that the next seven parts to the training series would draw even more interest with a higher number of attendees and boost our enrolment at the IBA!