Session details

IBA Annual Conference Sydney 2017

8 Oct - 13 Oct 2017

Room C3.3, Convention Centre, Level 3

Session information

SPPI Showcase: Given the rise of populist political movements across the world, what is the impact for global legal services and business lawyers?
Room C3.3, Convention Centre, Level 3


Section on Public and Professional Interest (Lead)


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?

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Sarah Hutchinson BARBRI, London, England; Co-Vice ChairRule of Law Forum


Hon Bruce Billson MP Australian Government, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Deborah Enix-Ross Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York, USA; BIC Vice Chair
Lise Lotte Hjerrild Horten, Copenhagen, Denmark; Treasurer, Women Lawyers' Interest Group
Lord Richard Keen QC Ministry of Justice, London, England
Lode Van Den Hende Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Brussels, Belgium
Irene Welser Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati Rechtsanwälte Gmbh, Vienna, Austria