IBA and IFAC announce Memorandum of Understanding between global bodies for the legal and accounting professions

Wednesday 31 May 2023

The International Bar Association (IBA) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalises and demonstrates a commitment to closer cooperation between the two organisations and the legal and accountancy professions as a whole.

This MoU provides a framework for expanding the cooperation between the IBA and IFAC, with a particular focus on anti-corruption and how the professions can work more closely together in the fight against money-laundering and economic crime, with key stakeholders such as the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force. Other areas of cooperation include maintaining the reputations and integrity of the accountancy and legal professions; ensuring that initiatives to regulate both professions are proportionate and fit-for-purpose; and enhancing the strength of the IBA and IFAC’s collective voice on global policy issues so that the legal and accountancy professions are in the best position to serve the public interest.

Dr Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director, commented: ‘As the global voices for our respective professions, the IBA and IFAC are uniquely placed to contribute to global policymaking in the public interest. This MoU marks a natural progression of the collaborative work the IBA and IFAC have been undertaking for several years. There is strength in our collective voice as we aim to bring about positive, meaningful change in the anti-corruption sector. We look forward to implementing the framework set out in this Memorandum and furthering our collaborative efforts with IFAC.’

Kevin Dancey, IFAC Chief Executive Officer, remarked: ‘I hope that our relationship, at the global level, inspires and encourages professional accountancy organisations and bar associations to develop stronger bilateral relationships in their jurisdictions to increase their impact in the public interest and achieve shared goals.’

Cooperation between the IBA and IFAC has increased in recent years in the context of The IBA and IFAC Anti-Corruption Mandate (July 2018) and close engagement on the roles of the two professions in combatting corruption and financial crime.

In June 2021, the IBA and IFAC co-hosted a side event at the UN General Assembly Special Session Against Corruption in New York on the essential role both the accountancy and legal professions play in fighting corruption on a global scale, with a particular focus on issues of professional ethics and independence. Following on from this event, at the ninth session of the UN Convention Against Corruption Conference of States Parties in December 2021, the IBA and IFAC co-hosted a side event examining the ways in which the accountancy and legal professions act as ‘gatekeepers’ of the global financial system in terms of the prevention, identification and mitigation of corruption.


Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies, with members based in more than 170 jurisdictions. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, with the aim of protecting and advancing the rule of law globally, the IBA was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

  2. The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

  3. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is the global organisation for the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 180 members and associates in 135 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

  4. The IBA Anti-Corruption Committee provides an international forum for private and public-sector practitioners to meet and discuss anti-corruption laws, compliance practices, enforcement trends and asset recovery issues. It facilitates the sharing of best practice and the regular communication of legal and other developments, including new legislation, case-law, prosecution guidance and government policy, as well as developments in civil society, the private sector and international organisations.

  5. Find the IBA on social media here:
  6. Find IFAC on social media here:

Please direct enquiries/interview requests to:

Romana St. Matthew-Daniel
Press Office

International Bar Association
5 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1LG
United Kingdom

Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091

Email: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Email: IBApressoffice@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Website page link for this news release:
Short link: tinyurl.com/yk9c52jn
Full link: www.ibanet.org/IBA-and-IFAC-announce-Memorandum-of-Understanding-between-global-bodies-for-the-legal-and-accounting-professions