Legal Policy & Research Unit - About Us

The IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit (LPRU)

The LPRU undertakes research and develops and implements innovative strategies and initiatives that are relevant to current contemporary global issues.

The LPRU is comprised of four legal advisors and a projects coordinator. The lawyers have particular areas of expertise, including legal ethics and compliance, anti-corruption, business and human rights, judicial integrity, women in business law, social media, digital identity, cybersecurity and technological innovation, such as the use of blockchain in the legal profession. This expertise continues to be developed through project based work, research, governance, publications and policy development. The LPRU engages with IBA members, legal professionals, international organisations, bar associations and governments to develop and consolidate the global network through which it can conduct its work to ensure the most efficient outcome. The LPRU utilises this network to develop an understanding of issues that are relevant to the legal profession across the globe. This allows the LPRU to have a significant impact of a range of relevant initiatives and strategies.

The Team

Anurag Bana, Senior Legal Advisor

Anurag Bana is a Senior Legal Advisor with the Legal Policy & Research Unit, with over fifteen years of experience in developing and implementing legal policies and best practices across international jurisdictions. He is an Indian qualified lawyer with a postgraduate BCL from the University of Oxford. Anurag has previously undertaken a Supreme Court of India judicial clerkship with Justice N Santosh Hegde.

In his capacity within the LPRU, Anurag currently leads several technology related projects including disruptive technological innovation, examining the impact of blockchain on the legal profession. Anurag is an expert contributor for the Blockchain Whitepaper Project of the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. Since 2017, Anurag has been a member of the IBA Presidential Task Force on Cyber Security and of the IBA Legal Practice Division’s Task Force on Government Access to IT Systems. He is involved in projects developing guidelines and principles in both regards. Anurag also represents the IBA at the UK Attorney General’s International Pro Bono Coordinating Committee meetings. In 2013, Anurag was appointed as the Chair of the IBA Social Media Working Group that developed the international social media principles for the legal profession adopted by the IBA in 2014.

Anurag regularly contributes to, presents at and participates in key fora. He has contributed as a legal researcher at the UNCITRAL Secretariat, UN Office in Vienna, towards drafting the Model Law on Public Procurement. Anurag has published and presented several specialist papers on technology law related issues covering cyber security, data protection, digital identity, digital assets and social media laws. He has also published prolifically on international attorney-client privilege and confidentiality.

Previously, Anurag has worked as a legal practitioner in New Delhi in consumer and contract law matters. He has also worked with the Patents and Trademarks Department of Skoda Auto (Volkswagen Group) in Czech Republic, providing legal advice on IPR matters for a product launch in India. He is a member of the informal expert group of the UNCITRAL Working Group IV (E-Commerce); a founding member of the Chinese European Legal Association (CELA); a member of the India Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law; and a life member of the Oxford Union Society.

Rocio Paniagua, Senior Legal Manager

Rocío Paniagua is currently acting as Senior Legal Manager with the Legal Policy & Research Unit. She has extensive experience and academic credentials in international law and project management, with a focus on anti-corruption and business and human rights. Rocío completed her law degree at the Autonomous University of Madrid and undertook additional law studies at the Roma Tre University in Italy and the Complutense University of Madrid, where she earned a Masters in International Cooperation for Development. A member of the Madrid Bar Association, she has previously worked as a Legal Officer in the International Department of the Spanish National Bar Association and in two major reinsurers in London and Dublin. Rocío is currently leading IBA legal projects in the areas of corporate and judicial integrity, including anti-corruption and business and human rights.

Kieran Pender, Legal Advisor

Kieran is a graduate of The Australian National University (ANU), where he was awarded the University Medal. Kieran was formerly a research associate with Bradley Allen Love Lawyers, and a sessional academic at the ANU. His interests include whistleblowing, anti-corruption, employment law and media law. Kieran has previously been a fellow with the World Bank Group's Integrity Vice Presidency, a Santander Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and a researcher with an Australian senator. He is also a freelance journalist, having reported from four continents for publications including The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Monocle.

Georgia Watson, Projects Coordinator

Georgia is a History Graduate from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining the LPRU, Georgia worked for the IBA Divisions department, the team who is the main contact for all the committee officers of the IBA, for two years. Before the IBA, Georgia was an International Citizen Service (ICS) Volunteer Coordinator for Challenges Worldwide, supporting 18-25 year olds to complete placements in small-medium businesses in Uganda, Ghana and Zambia. In her capacity as a Projects Coordinator, she supports the rest of the team in the planning, organisation and delivery across all the projects.