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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1545)

Maritime and Transport Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Many family-owned shipping businesses historically operated ownership structures based on bearer shares. However, the compliance environment has changed significantly in the past ten years. Bearer shares were abolished in the UK in May 2015. In the US, ownership through bearer shares will require disclosure of the ultimate beneficial ownership, except where the shares are publicly traded. Even in jurisdictions where the model is still available legally, and beneficial ownership is not a matter of public record, current due diligence requirements around anti-money laundering and compliance will require companies to identify their beneficial ownership to their financing banks and contractual counterparties. We will explore ownership structures in the modern compliance regime, and the extent to which these structures are driven by the financing that is available to shipping businesses in 2017. We will look at equity and debt financing and the nature of the modern relationship between the capital provider and the company, including the growing number of partnerships between ship managers and private equity providers and the allocation of risk and liability between them.

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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1545)

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Research shows that there are significant gaps in diversity in more senior roles in the legal profession. Although women are graduating with law degrees and entering legal careers at higher rates than men, significantly fewer women continue into senior positions within the legal profession. The IBA’s Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) has undertaken an international research study to address diversity within the legal profession.

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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1730)

Taxes Committee (Lead)

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Many tax regimes apply markedly different rates of tax to dividend income and capital gains. Also, many regimes apply withholding taxes to dividend payments and the like. Finally, the repatriation of funds to a top holding company from its overseas subsidiaries may be difficult without material tax costs. These tax factors play a material part in the structuring of returns of funds to shareholders. The panel will examine structuring options for returns of funds from and to a variety of jurisdictions.

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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1730)

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What sort of conduct by firms that may possess market power might make them vulnerable to charges of abuse of dominance? Can they require that customers have exclusive relationships? Can they bundle products? Can they pay rebates? What other conduct might be risky? Our expert panel, including enforcers, will explore what the boundaries are and what might pose risks.

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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1730)

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Natural gas is likely to play a pivotal role in a post Paris Agreement future. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) investments will be a key factor to the future of the oil and gas industry, and it is already influencing the strategy of many oil majors. This session will discuss the trends of the LNG industry for the future and how the Paris Agreement will affect the oil industry.

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Thursday 12 October (1430 - 1730)

International Commerce and Distribution Committee (Lead)
Asia Pacific Regional Forum
International Trade and Customs Law Committee
North American Regional Forum

Programme details

This comprehensive session on free trade agreements in the era of Trump and Brexit will be guided by an opening presentation Professor Jennifer Hillman of the Georgetown Law Center to set the stage for audience roundtable discussions on the future of multilateralism in a bilateral free trade agreement era, followed by roundtable remarks and a closing summation on those remarks by professor Hillman. President Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the former 12-nation trade agreement encompassing 36% of the GDP of the world. That withdrawal followed on the heels of an inaugural pledge to protect US borders from “the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs”, and came less than six months after British citizens voted to withdraw from the European Union. This session will explore the implications of these actions and the rise of economic nationalism for the rule of law and our multilateral trading system, including in particular the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TPP, and bilateral investment treaties. The session will focus on whether and how multilateralism can or should be saved and what needs to be done to protect the legitimacy and the relevance of our international economic institutions, particularly the WTO. It will examine the causes and possible solutions to the backlash against globalisation. The rise of bilateral and regional agreements and the role they play in our trade and investment policies will be examined. The opening presentation will set the stage for six audience roundtable discussions of the challenges to, and developments in: 1) the TPP, 2) Brexit, 3) NAFTA, 4) Mercosur and Latin America, 5) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and 6) the WTO.

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Thursday 12 October (1615 - 1730)

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Civil law, common law, religious laws and customary laws: the world has a diversity of legal systems. Concepts such as company law, fiduciary duties and due interest may differ accordingly or even may not exist. The panel, which shall be composed of representatives of different legal systems, will analyse the influence of diverging concepts on deal-making and its practical consequences and cases.

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Thursday 12 October (1615 - 1730)

International Franchising Committee (Lead)
Anti-Corruption Committee

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The session will focus on how international franchising may be affected by both domestic civil and criminal, and long jurisdictional reach anti-corruption laws and how to benefit from robust and proactive compliance language and culture, investigation and programmes. This session will also discuss the degree of control franchisor exercises over franchisees and related consequences.

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Thursday 12 October (1615 - 1730)

Maritime and Transport Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

Freight forwarders face legal and operational issues when dealing with the collapse of a supply or logistics chain. The consequences of, in particular, bankruptcy can be disruptive and severe. The logistics chain may come to a complete stop. Freight forwarders’ legal or contractual rights of retention, liens and the like in various jurisdictions are of particular interest for the industry. Also, the freight forwarders’ contractual position as a third-party logistics (3PL) or fourth-party logistics (4PL) ‘in the middle’ between the cargo owner and carrier causes lots of discussion. This session will dive into the various legal and operational challenges, and will also offer solutions going forward.

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Thursday 12 October (1615 - 1730)

Law Firm Management Committee (Lead)

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Knowledge has always been at the heart of the legal profession. An essential component of practising law involves applying knowledge and expertise to solve clients’ legal problems. In the rapidly changing contemporary legal world, where cases, transactions and legal issues become increasingly more complex and globalised, managing the firm’s knowledge and expertise becomes crucial for finding innovative solutions to legal problems, serving clients effectively, reducing risks and delivering profitability to the firm. This session focuses on leading-edge topics that will shape the future of legal service delivery and the legal profession. These topics include the changing role of knowledge management professionals in law firms as a result of developments in big data, cognitive computing and the increasing application of artificial intelligence in legal processes.

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Thursday 12 October (1615 - 1730)

Programme details

This session will examine classic and extreme examples of awards that reach the enforcement stage and how states respond under the New York Convention. Are awards not being enforced because of pervading national economic interests or does the New York Convention still function well and properly marginalise domestic national interests?

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Thursday 12 October (1730 - 1830)

Professional Ethics Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Professional Ethics Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Thursday 12 October (1900 - 2230)

Bar Issues Commission Policy Committee (Lead)
Bar Issues Commission Regulation Committee (Lead)

Thursday 12 October (1930 - 2230)

International Commerce, Trade, Franchising and Product Law Section (Lead)

Thursday 12 October (2000 - 2230)

Immigration and Nationality Law Committee (Lead)

Thursday 12 October (2200 - 0300)

Young Lawyers' Committee (Lead)

Friday 13 October (0930 - 1045)

Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee (Lead)

Programme details

The impact of technology on employment creates vast opportunities and equally raises concerns. What are the limits for employee monitoring? Can (legal) workforce in multinational enterprises (MNE) or law firms be substituted by modern technologies? How does technology impact the structure of employment, the workplace and work requirements in the future? Workplaces will be changed. Technology will connect the working processes without any delay (including home offices and mobile work). Thus, a globalised team can benefit from such opportunities - but how does this affect working hours? Artificial intelligence will sample and evaluate the knowledge of an indefinite number of people all over the world. It will substitute experts. What are the opportunities and risks that come with it and how can companies safeguard their assets? The panel of experts will discuss the following points in this session: • employee monitoring limits (video / call-center / GPS); • technology as substitute for a (legal) workforce; • working hours in a globalised team; • benefits of new technology on the workplace; • home office as part of a globalised workforce; • new strategies for qualification and HR development; • opportunities and risks by artificial intelligence; and • safeguarding company's assets

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Friday 13 October (0930 - 1045)

Law Firm Management Committee (Lead)

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Project management is ‘the process and application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements’ (Project Management Institute, 2013). Many organisations implement different projects. Projects are done in different environments, such as healthcare, insurance, information technology, legal and other industries. Globally, lawyers are now working with terabytes of data and hundreds of thousands of documents, performing e-discovery and legal research. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing means the future of how lawyers and law firms process structured and unstructured data is changing. The use of AI and cognitive computing will influence how law firm project management is executed. This includes the expertise needed to be a part of the team to address clients’ needs and the efficiency regarding which data, information and knowledge is used.

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Friday 13 October (0930 - 1045)

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Recent months have seen remarkable developments across Latin America in the fight against official corruption, including the sprawling Lava Jato ("Car Wash") case in Brazil, which by many measures has already become the largest anti-corruption case in history. Elsewhere in Latin America, anti-corruption initiatives led by prosecutors, civil society activists, and multi-national corporations have begun to transform the anti-corruption environment throughout the region, with high-level investigations leading to resignations of heads of state, prosecutions of numerous public officials and corporations, and new levels of attention by corporations to anti-corruption compliance. Hear the perspectives and insights on these historic developments directly from prosecutors, civil society activists, and corporate compliance professionals who have experienced this "revolution" first-hand. If you wish to attend the Rule of Law Symposium only, please register at https://www.int-bar.org/Conferences/Registration/Delegate/index.cfm?uid=0BF42BC4-5233-44DB-BC41-8516FFE34C3B.

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Friday 13 October (0930 - 1230)

Corporate and M&A Law Committee (Lead)
Professional Ethics Committee

Programme details

After the frenzied years of M&A in the mid-2000s, where due diligence was at best a cost and at worst a nuisance, a new economic and regulatory environment has led to a complete change of attitude by buyers towards due diligence. Moreover, given the constant evolution of this environment, the risk of something occurring during the interim phase between signing and closing has dramatically increased. Part 1 of this session will focus on the new legal issues that have to be covered in due diligence when preparing for an acquisition as well as on the new tools that have become gradually available on the market to assist lawyers in their task. We will also investigate how legal advisers can play a key role in preventing or preparing the new owner-to-be and the target to better face future legal constraints or risks that are coming their way. Part 2 of this session will review what process can be set up to maintain a close watch on possible issues occurring between signing and closing, and the solutions to address these risks.

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