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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1545)

Programme details

Law firms are facing increasing and significant challenges, including intensified competition, digitalisation, globalisation and a segmentation of the market. How do you protect your partnership in this environment instead of becoming a corporate? What is ‘culture’ and how do you maintain it when growing? What is the best remuneration system in these challenging times, and how should you handle partner performance and in a way that enhances firm culture? There is, of course, not any ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution and we will discuss how law firm leaders can, and must, tackle these and many more questions in the very near term in order to ensure a bright future for their firms.

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1600)

European Regional Forum (Lead)
Legal Practice Division
Regional Fora Coordination Committee
Section on Public and Professional Interest

Programme details

After elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, the UK’s intention to leave the European Union, the euro and migration crises, as well as signs of cultural clashes within the member states of the EU, one question remains: will Europe stay united? The traditional image of Europe’s wealth, values and cultural leadership are already challenged, while the economic impact of a disintegrating union would be unimaginable to the world. Prominent politicians, EU representatives and company leaders debate the future of Europe. Join us at the IBA Annual Conference in Sydney for another exciting discussion on the future of Europe with important opinion leaders. This is the third debate of the series on the future of Europe, after the first session about a federal EU (Vienna, 2015), and the second one on the impact of the Brexit referendum (Washington, DC, 2016).

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1730)

Young Lawyers' Committee (Lead)
Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee

Programme details

This session will introduce experiences in establishing new companies and startups around the globe, and discuss winning combinations between entrepreneurs and business lawyers, covering the topic of how lawyers can use an entrepreneur mindset to practice law. This session will also show the successful experience of lawyers in launching startups, introduce challenges the lawyers have faced and overcome, and foresee future challenges. In the first part of this session, two groups, including lawyers and clients, will learn how the lawyer supported the client to establish business from the client’s perspective and what was key in providing such a service from the lawyer’s perspective. In the second part of the session, the speakers will discuss winning combinations between entrepreneurs and business lawyers.

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1730)

Private Client Tax Committee (Lead)
Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee

Programme details

Family-held businesses large and small are confronted with generational transfers on average every 25 to 30 years. These generational transfers can give rise to a variety of legal issues, conflicts, and adverse tax ramifications, which may be mitigated and/or prevented with proper planning. Our panel of tax and legal specialists active in this field of law over a variety of continents will touch on the following: • variations of family businesses on five continents with a comparison among Europe, the US, South America, Africa and Australia; • structural issues, such as the use of trusts, foundations, holdings and family charters to carry out succession goals; • tax issues and the available exemptions on transfer of the family-held business to the next generation during life or at death; • how to maintain active and/or passive control over the family business within multi-generational turmoil; and • how to foster the coexistence of active and passive second and third-generation shareholders and the available 'remuneration schemes' for income out of capital.

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1730)

Alternative and New Law Business Structures Committee (Lead)
Academic and Professional Development Committee
Law Firm Management Committee
Professional Ethics Committee
Technology Law Committee

Programme details

Each day brings another news item about robots and artificial intelligence (AI) across disciplines, in law, medicine and elsewhere. We are facing a world of driverless cars, chips embedded in our bodies and robots performing analytical tasks as well as physical activity. What was imagined 50 years ago in science fiction is now part of the fact of legal practice. From document review to interactive response with clients, artificial intelligence is now permanently part of legal practice. The IBA through its Global Employment Institute issued a report on 1 April 2017 on the impact of AI and robotics in the workplace. How far will it go? Do the current rules of professional responsibility cover the responsibilities of lawyers? Will we now find judges relying on computer analysis to resolve cases, in the manner of computer chess programs resolving complex solutions? Beyond the technology and ethics, will the continued use of AI change the way society views law and dispute resolution? Will these alternative business structures relating to delivery of legal services solve the access to justice problem? A diverse panel of experts from around the world and in a variety of legal structures will seek to address these issues. Robots are also welcome and encouraged to attend.

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1730)

Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee (Lead)
Power Law Committee
Real Estate Section
Water Law Committee

Programme details

Increasing urbanisation in developed countries presents a fundamental challenge for environmental and urban planning agencies. How can the desire to seek further economic growth through urbanisation be managed to avoid significant impact on the environment and, importantly, promote the health of those who live in areas of increasing urban sprawl. Is greater density coupled with innovative infrastructure investment the answer? How can these issues be addressed without an unreasonable impact on housing affordability? Who gets to build where? What are the less obvious issues, such as the impact on health and well being? This panel will explore the various policy and legal solutions that leading cities and nations have put into place in successfully promoting the dual goals of economic growth through urbanisation and a cleaner, healthier environment.

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Tuesday 10 October (1430 - 1730)

Forum for Barristers and Advocates (Lead)
Arbitration Committee
Litigation Committee
Mediation Committee

Programme details

What role has good advocacy in mediations and arbitrations? The archetypical advocate appears in court, before a judge, arguing a case and cross-examining witnesses. They are eloquent, engaging and easily able to meet the demands of a dynamic trial process. However, the opportunities for practising in that way are dwindling. The classical trial is now thought to be too long, too expensive and too risky. By contrast, there are increasingly more opportunities for mediation and arbitration. What is the difference? Can the skills of the great trial advocate be used in the mediation room? What are the techniques that must be learned and refined to excel in mediations and arbitrations?

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Tuesday 10 October (1600 - 1700)

European Regional Forum (Lead)

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An open meeting of the European Regional Forum will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Tuesday 10 October (1615 - 1730)

Diversity and Equality Law Committee (Lead)

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Employers and employees are facing new disability-related challenges. At the time when many global disability laws were enacted, law-makers’ anticipated effects would be to protect and enhance the rights of people with disabilities. However, in the past few years, legal frameworks and practical experiences have shown that issues such as obesity, prescription drugs, substance abuse, temporary disabilities, personality disorders, mental illness, autism and depression have shown themselves in the workplace. Many of these issues were not even contemplated at the time the original laws were enacted. This session will explore the new horizons of rights and obligations and asks: has it gone too far?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1615 - 1730)

Programme details

As well as filling the role of chief legal officer, senior in-house lawyers have many other functions to discharge within corporations. These include not only associated functions such as compliance, but also management roles, such as talent management in managing the careers of their in-house teams, strategic management in guiding the overall direction of the in-house legal function and commercial management as a member of the company’s executive committee. Can all these hats be worn at once and still permit the in-house lawyer to be the conscience of the company?

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1615 - 1730)

Business Crime Committee (Lead)
Criminal Law Committee

Programme details

The scandals related to the tax evasions that have occurred in the course of recent years have triggered the issue of the financial institutions’ role in protecting tax evaders. The panel will address the possible criminal exposure of the financial institutions and financial advisers, and their role in tax fraud.

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Session/Workshop Chair(s)

Tuesday 10 October (1615 - 1730)

Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee (Lead)
International Trade and Customs Law Committee

Programme details

Recent political events in the UK and US have potentially redefined the trade patterns of the world, with challenges to globalised trade itself, international supply chains and existing multilateral trade arrangements. Some have said that the UK will have to ignore ethical issues in order to quickly replace its current trading partners if it leaves the EU on an acrimonious basis. Where exactly do human rights and labour standards fit into the analysis of a suitable trading partner or into the matrix of a bilateral/multilateral trade arrangement? Should trade agreements be used more as a tool to guarantee minimum standards of wage and safety levels in poorer countries, or will nations turn a blind eye to such issues in order to secure the benefits of inexpensive goods and raw materials? The unequal treatment of human beings in the workplace is one of the defining issues of our life and times. This panel of experts in international employment law and international trade will consider the following issues: • EU/US requirements for International Labour Organization (ILO) standards and decent labour standards within the membership; • EU/US requirements for such standards with third parties; • the treatment of labour standards in standard World Trade Organization (WTO) arrangements and other bilateral and multilateral trading arrangements; • the relationship between trading agreements and domestic employment law systems; • the developing extension of domestic law Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles to corporate activities in third countries; and • the dilemma of corrupt or ineffective legal systems.

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Tuesday 10 October (1730 - 1830)

Alternative and New Law Business Structures Committee (Lead)

Programme details

An open meeting of the Alternative and New Law Business Structures Open Business Committee will be held to discuss matters of interest and future activities.

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Tuesday 10 October (1730 - 1830)

International Commerce and Distribution Committee (Lead)

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

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Tuesday 10 October (1900 - 2230)

International Franchising Committee (Lead)

Tuesday 10 October (1900 - 2230)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Law Committee (Lead)

Tuesday 10 October (1930 - 2230)

Capital Markets Forum (Lead)
Banking Law Committee
Securities Law Committee

Tuesday 10 October (1930 - 2230)

Class Actions Committee (Lead)

Tuesday 10 October (1930 - 2230)

Corporate and M&A Law Committee (Lead)

Tuesday 10 October (1930 - 2230)

Insolvency Section (Lead)