About the Forum
Introduction: The IBA is the global voice of the legal profession. It offers an international perspective on the practice of law, as well as a forum for the exchange of expertise, ideas and contacts amongst the leading legal practitioners in the world’s major centres of finance, trade, investment and commerce. Through its thousands of members worldwide, it offers access to specialists of the highest calibre from over 100 countries around the world, many of whom meet on a regular basis at an annual conference and many regional conferences throughout the year. The membership and support of more than 200 bar associations from around the world, and the IBA’s important work to promote the rule of law and human rights, gives it a uniquely authoritative global voice in legal affairs and ensures that the work of its many committees has a real and lasting impact.
North American Regional Forum (NARF) composition: North American members of the IBA, including all IBA members from the US, Canada, Mexico and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, are members of the North American Regional Forum (‘NARF’). Membership in the Forum is a passport to many advantages.
NARF and North American business law: The IBA’s North American Regional Forum brings together North American lawyers who share many concerns and interests and a common perspective in many areas. These include (i) North American business law issues in core areas of corporate commercial and financial law such as banking, finance, securities, M&A, corporate, restructuring; (ii) trade issues like NAFTA, foreign investment, competition; (iii) issues in key industrial and business sectors in North America such as automotive, high-tech, medical, pharmaceutical, telecom, agri-business, mining, energy, and other natural resources; international tax issues; and (v) litigation and dispute resolution, including class action proceedings.
NARF and the rule of law: In addition the Forum deals with topical 'rule of law' issues of special concern to the North American world, such as the extra-territorial application of competing national rules (eg, in respect of trade with Cuba), border and homeland security, foreign corrupt practices, investment restrictions, human rights and the jurisdiction of North American courts over claims based abroad.
NARF and global legal issues: Further, the Forum brings a North American perspective to global issues such as combating international terrorism, multilateral trade issues, environmental challenges, energy, security and climate change. For example, climate change raises a number of specific challenges for North American practitioners and regulators, and has even opened up a dialogue over the future of the Northwest Passage and the offshore resources beneath the Arctic ice cap. The Forum provides the opportunity to explore and discuss these issues from a North American perspective.
Promotion of a North American focus within the IBA: In addition to this important perspective it offers to its members, NARF aims to facilitate opportunities for North American lawyers within the IBA context.
The Forum aims to ensure that IBA programs reflect issues of particular concern to North American lawyers, that North American members of IBA are fully represented on IBA panels and programmes and within the executive and officer structure of the IBA’s 15 legal practice sections and its over 50 committees and fora.
NARF’s role in North American regional conferences: NARF also aims to encourage regional gatherings of North American lawyers, both by holding its own plenary conferences and by assisting IBA committees in staging IBA specialist conferences in North America. The Forum also sponsors local IBA receptions in various North American cities.
A forum for communication among North American lawyers:
In addition to bringing North American lawyers together, NARF aims to provide a forum for communication among North American IBA members, through the NARF website, email alerts to Forum members about developments and opportunities, development of listservs and blogs, roundtables and project working groups.
North American and global networking:
Not only does the forum give North American practitioners access to the IBA’s extensive network of specialist members around the world, it also gives the world a unique way to network with North American lawyers. Furthermore, it provides a way for North American lawyers to network with each other. All of this contributes to the building of strong business relationships in the legal community - the lifeblood of legal business in North America and beyond.
The North American Regional Forum is full of opportunity and you are welcome to play an active role in its activities.
To find out more, please contact the appropriate Forum officer