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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1045)

Criminal Law Committee (Lead)
Business Crime Committee
Business Human Rights Committee
Healthcare and Life Sciences Law Committee

Programme details

Commerce and criminal activity continue to intersect as global trade routes and supply chains continue to proliferate. From seafood harvested through slave labour making its way to supermarket shelves and counterfeit goods manufactured in China and sold on city street corners, to legitimate traders being used to launder money through trade-based money laundering schemes, international criminal syndicates and cartels are insinuating themselves into global commerce. Corporate actors who can control their supply chain and brand are positioned to be powerful partners in the fight against organised crime and its profiting from legitimate commercial enterprises. This panel will present a variety of experts from across the legal spectrum to discuss how companies and their counsel can guard, and actively fight, against the invasion of organised criminal enterprises into commerce.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1045)

International Commerce and Distribution Committee (Lead)
Antitrust Section
Healthcare and Life Sciences Law Committee

Programme details

As discussed in the session 'International online distribution issues - Part 1, the digital environment presents important legal issues. Changes are faster than legislators and judges, and e-commerce is having a strong impact on distribution models, consumers’ behaviour and the overall economy. In this second part, we will focus on the practical implementation of online distribution. We will explore new distribution models and discuss contractual terms for the international online distribution of (tangible) products and digital content, advising our clients on dos and don'ts.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1045)

Pro Bono Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Isolated communities come in a variety of shapes, sizes and locations. Physically isolated communities might come to mind first, but people and communities can be isolated for a range of reasons, all of which can create access to justice obstacles. This session considers the challenges faced by potential clients in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia as a result of having access to fewer legal resources than those in major urban areas, as well as strategies used by pro bono firms to fix this imbalance. This session also considers a variety of other ‘isolated’ communities inside and outside Australia, including those in major cities who, due to language barriers, physical ability and age barriers, cultural barriers and social barriers, find themselves isolated from mainstream legal services.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1045)

Power Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Smart city projects are at the crossroads of technology, infrastructure, financing, construction, environment and energy. As a regulated sector, the energy supply is certainly paramount when it comes to making smart cities a successful, viable and sustainable project. This session will address the challenges facing the energy supply of these modern and connected cities. In particular, this panel will discuss how regulators and government agencies have or should legislate in this area to create a favourable regulatory and legal environment, and how energy suppliers have or should provide secured and efficient energy supply, and hence play their role as the main sponsors of future smart city projects.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Regional Fora (Lead)
African Regional Forum
Arab Regional Forum
Asia Pacific Regional Forum
European Regional Forum
Latin American Regional Forum
North American Regional Forum

Programme details

This session examines the recent and prospective politically driven regulatory changes in the US, UK and Europe and their impact on trade and foreign investment worldwide. Each regional forum will consider the following issues from the perspective of their own jurisdiction: • How much will political uncertainty impact investment opportunities in each region? • Which jurisdictions will attract increased investment in this new climate? • How best can lawyers advise their clients when investing in uncertain times?

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

Climate change is an urgent global priority. Increasingly, attention is turning to a related imperative: ensuring that the effects of climate change on vulnerable communities are recognised and addressed. The call for corporate action has amplified. This panel will examine recent developments and trends ranging from regulatory measures, litigation and other accountability efforts, as well as the application of existing frameworks for corporate responsibility. Climate justice provides a topical demonstration of the interconnection between environmental and human rights impacts that can flow from business operations, and the importance of holistic approaches to address them.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee (Lead)
Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee
Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee

Programme details

Part 1: Effective intellectual property agreements in employment Intellectual Property (IP) agreements do not cure everything but they certainly make a difference. Proper documentation requires in-depth understanding of the dynamics and interplay between IP and labour laws to prepare and tailor-make agreements ensuring the sufficient level and relevant scope of protection of trade secrets and IP rights in businesses on the one hand, and on the other hand support and incentivise employees to stay fully motivated and innovative. In this first part of the programme, the panel will introduce the legal framework, the typical dilemmas arising and how to possibly create a permitted room for certain employees to stay creative and work on an assignment in their spare time as well. Specific attention will be devoted to the industries of life science and advertising. IP protection in the context of transactions/due diligence also will be addressed. Part 2: Beware of the potential risks when your (client's) employees walk out the door Having insufficient protection of trade secrets and IP rights can be detrimental to any business and massive value may be lost in a very short time. Carefully drafted agreements may, however, not be sufficient and enforcement may be troublesome, if not impossible in certain regions. Navigating in a global environment with employees working and living across borders is challenging as the differences in various legal systems are substantial. Grounds for establishing a breach and enforcing breaches of restrictive covenants or other abuse of trade secrets/IP rights will differ, and best practices for undertaking relevant analysis and possible investigations are discussed by the panel. Can universal protection be achieved or what are the good tips and ideas that come close?

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Immigration and Nationality Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Review of the programme, employment options, spousal work permits and the path to permanent residency.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

This session will examine general principles of law of contract in each panellist’s jurisdiction, and statutory or general legal provisions, if any, dealing with ‘exemption clauses’ restricting liability and quantum of damages. Panellists will consider the legality of such restrictions and the types of contract in which it is not permissible to restrict liability and quantum.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

On 7 June 2017, 68 countries signed the multilateral treaty to implement, among others, the treaty abuse rules (principal purpose test or limitation on benefit provision) and binding arbitration provisions in the framework of the \organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Base Erosion Profit Sharing Action Plan. The agreement required certain minimum standards be implemented but provided different approaches. Countries could opt out of parts of the agreement with reservations. Hence, most, but not necessarily all, signatories may also have included provisions for transparent entities, restrictions on dividend transfers, expanded ability to tax share sales of real estate companies or new permanent establishment rules. The multilateral treaty allows participating countries to effectively amend their treaties without years of negotiation. The US, Brazil and Saudi Arabia didn't sign the agreement. This landmark agreement will have a significant impact on existing structures and the future of international tax planning. This panel will review the impact of the agreement on holding companies, financing structures, IP structures commissionaire arrangements and supply chain structures. The likely interpretation of the principal purpose test will be considered. The impact of the US not signing will be discussed.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

Companies going through dark times are often left with no other option but to sell parts of their business in order to secure their survival and avoid undergoing restructuring processes or filing for insolvency/ bankruptcy. Or they may be required to engage in a distressed sale of the company either in or out of a court-monitored process. The purchase of a distressed target company is subject to a number of insolvency considerations, thus making the transaction a rather complicated and formal undertaking. A number of stakeholders are involved, for example, an insolvency administrator, insolvency court, shareholders, customers, employees and banks. The panel will explore the role of the target director in distressed M&A, including: • differences depending on whether the company is listed or not; • duty to, or other relevance of the interests of, creditors as directors of distressed companies seeking to restructure; • insolvent/wrongful trading and defences; • the risk of the transaction being challenged; and • different status/processes to effect such transactions. The panel will discuss leading recent cases from various jurisdictions, such as the US state of Delaware, the UK and others.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

International Construction Projects Committee (Lead)

Programme details

This will be an interactive session concerning a project that is in distress due to the development of severely adverse conditions unanticipated by the parties (eg, unexpected price falls or rises and labour shortage epidemic). It will begin with a look at relief that may be available in such circumstances, viewed from both a civil and common law standpoint: suspension, termination, force majeure arguments, and concepts of fairness and equity, including the teoría de la imprevisión, good faith, unjust enrichment and economic equilibrium.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

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The key ingredients conducive to international trade are under attack as political populism sweeps through the US and Europe. This session will explore the following: • Will geopolitical instability and the reversal of decades of liberalisation of trade and investment damage international legal services? • To what extent will business lawyers be able to rely on existing legal protections and institutions to protect and promote their clients’ global trade interests? • Can our existing legal institutions defend against the development of arbitrary and ad hoc government, for example, by introducing trade tariffs or restrictive practices? • As it becomes harder for companies to plan for the future, will the approach to business risk and business strategic decision-making change to become more risk averse? • How can law firms respond and what strategies are available to protect against the uncertainties in the market? Is it better to focus on core markets and business? Will the global law firms see a rise in activities from the availability of cheap financing and mega-mergers?

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Women Lawyers' Interest Group (Lead)
Professional Ethics Committee

Programme details

In this interactive session, we will discuss how bar associations can get involved to promote gender balance through education and create self-awareness in the legal industry about bias. Although lawyers’ career development requires strenuous efforts regardless of gender, looking back on your career, consider that some highly skilled female colleagues might not have left your firm had they received just a little help, advice and support. There is more to be done, including involving bars in the furtherance of their mission of strengthening the legal profession. In the first half (0930 - 1045) of this session, we will have an interactive discussion with a panel of bar leaders who have been actively engaging in gender equality for each bar association and the international field. Women lawyers tend to face many more career challenges than men, including lack of role models or mentors, unconscious bias, lack of flexible work opportunities and career paths, sociocultural discrimination and the extra burden of family responsibilities. The panel will suggest practical solutions to these common but pressing issues. The second half (1115 - 1230) has been set aside for roundtable discussions on the unique challenges experienced by women lawyers in each jurisdiction, potential solutions to the problems raised and the kind of support that their respective bar associations could offer. The audience will be divided into small groups, and is expected to actively participate in the discussion. In a wrap-up meeting at the end of this session, comments will be given from the bar leaders and active advocates for women lawyers’ status. Should you want to contribute any of your experiences, or data about your own bar association, please contact Isabel Bueno and Masako Banno via email (isabel@mattosfilho.com.br, masako.banno@okunolaw.com). We want to collect as much data as we can to discuss it with the audience in this interactive session. If we could have all this information submitted by Monday 25 September, that would be most appreciated. Men are encouraged to attend! We are looking forward to seeing both active male and female lawyers to discuss these important issues.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Programme details

Technology projects continue to fail in great numbers. Some surveys show that it may be up to 50 per cent of all technology projects that do not produce the expected outcome. This session will examine the reasons for such failures and what can be learned from such projects. Topics include: • What is the status of success with technology contracts in different parts of the world and within different industries? • Why are they failing and what is the key to ensuring success? • How to craft a deal that locks in value and business objectives? • What is the trinity of quality, pricing and requirement specifications, and how do they play together? • How can the use of output related key performance indicators (KPIs) and flexible and dynamic application of penalties and bonuses be used? • What are effective, best practice governance regimes? • What is the role of lawyers in bringing down the failure rate? The panel will feature representatives from a global information technology (IT) provider (such as IBM, Accenture TCS or the like), the Australian Government and an international company as a buyer of material IT, as well as representatives from across different parts of the world. This session will provide unique business and IT project insights. The panel promises to provide a variety of competing, international views on one of the hottest topics in the technology sector. Attorneys focused on technology should not miss this session.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

Judges' Forum (Lead)
Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee
Family Law Committee
Litigation Committee

Programme details

The burden of self-representation extends well beyond the stress to the litigant going it alone. This type of litigation tests the capacity of the courts to cope and creates expensive, unnecessarily lengthy hearings for the represented opponent. How this phenomenon can be addressed and curbed will be explored.

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Thursday 12 October (0930 - 1230)

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US President John F Kennedy said that 'change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future'. Change has certainly become the law of life for the global legal profession, and the pace shows no sign of slowing. International regulatory experts will engage attendees in a conversation about these changes, and what they mean for the future of the regulation of the profession and the delivery of legal services. First, the discussion will focus on newer lawyer regulatory mechanisms being adopted globally, including forms of proactive management-based regulation and entity regulation. These forms of regulation are being shown to help lawyers and firms better serve clients and avoid disciplinary problems. The second half of this session will address the proliferation of additional providers of legal services (whether individuals or e-commerce platforms), whether they should be regulated in the public interest, and if so, how? Each of these developments poses opportunities and challenges for the global legal profession and the public.

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Thursday 12 October (1115 - 1230)

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This panel will discuss the different sources and structures used by airlines and leasing companies to finance aircraft. Capital markets, bank financing, non-recourse and recourse stuctures, and back leverage will be among the topics discussed.

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Thursday 12 October (1115 - 1230)

Cybercrime Subcommittee (Lead)
Banking Law Committee

Programme details

Business email compromise fraud, also known as chief executive officer fraud, has emerged as a growing threat to large and small businesses worldwide. In April 2016, the FBI issued an alert following a dramatic increase in these kinds of crimes, estimating that victim organisations lose on average between $25,000 and $75,000 to an attack. In 2015, toymaker Mattel lost $3m, commodities trader The Scoular Co lost $17.2m and technology firm Ubiquiti lost a massive $46.7m. This panel will discuss a scenario in which one company’s accounts are compromised and another company, with which it does much high-value business, is convinced to transfer funds to a cybercriminal’s account. The following issues will be discussed in this context: • How and when do companies become aware of the fraud? • How do cybercriminals move money and what can be done to trace and freeze accounts? • Would an arbitration clause in a framework agreement between the parties apply in such circumstances?

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Thursday 12 October (1115 - 1230)

Programme details

Developing and building power projects naturally involve complex contractual and financing structures. The purpose of this joint panel is to discuss how much more complexity and difficulty you can get while venturing with your local client outside your home country, especially where real estate title and collateral do not mix well with foreign investment.

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