Chris Helmer


Litigation Committee

The Litigation Committee focuses on the legal, practical and procedural issues involved in conducting litigation. The issues arising in international litigation receive particular attention, including issues such as jurisdiction, choice of law, and the role of international judicial assistance in dispute resolution. Find out more via the tabs below.

About the Committee

The Litigation Committee focuses on the legal, practical and procedural issues involved in conducting litigation. Differences and developments in individual jurisdictions are compared. The issues arising in international litigation receive particular attention, including issues such as jurisdiction, choice of law, and the role of international judicial assistance in dispute resolution. Practitioners involved in larger scale or international litigation can debate topical issues and share their experiences of handling and solving the problems arising from such disputes. In particular, the committee seeks to explore the differences of approach between the common law and civil law traditions, and to encourage a dialogue between practitioners from these two systems.

Close links are maintained with various organisations such as the American Bar Association Litigation Section, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.

The committee meets annually at the main IBA Conference and also has a specialist litigation conference generally held in May or June each year, together with regular seminars and events organised by the committee’s local country chairs. The Annual IBA Conference also provides an occasion for the Young Litigators Forum to offer a forum for young lawyers to present papers and exchange ideas.

Committee members receive regular copies of the committee’s newsletter which provides details of the committee’s current activities plus recent developments in the law worldwide. Members also receive the biannual journal of the IBA's Dispute Resolution Section, Dispute Resolution International. Full details of the committee’s Executive Committee and its regional and country chairs are published in the newsletter, and are available on this website. The committee welcomes applications for membership from all lawyers with an interest in litigation.

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences


Cross-border enforcement of judgements against states – jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction guide (March 2024)

Authors from almost fifty jurisdictions have taken part in this project. For each jurisdiction, our aim is to outline the key requirements for enforcing a foreign judgment against a state entity. The guide covers the basic criteria for enforcement of a foreign judgment, the application of sovereign immunity, and due process standards and exceptions (service, representation, etc). It also considers how these principles apply where states are involved in armed conflict, which is sadly relevant to a number of litigants around the world currently seeking to recover for wartime damages against aggressor states.

To our knowledge, no similar guide exists, although the need for one is clear. View guides

Projects and reports

Report: Impact of Covid-19 on court operations & litigation practice (June 2020)

In light of the magnitude of Covid-19, the IBA’s Litigation Committee has prepared a special report that addresses the impact of the pandemic on the operation of courts and litigation practice in 37 jurisdictions around the world. Download report

Report to the HCCH Special Commission on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments:

The Hague Conference on Private International Law set up a Special Commission to prepare a draft convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in civil and commercial matters. The Special Commission published a draft convention in 2016 and finalised it in 2017.

The attached report (and annex) has been compiled by members of the IBA Litigation committee named in the report and focuses on specific issues and concerns in regard to the draft convention.


From the Editors - Litigation Committee newsletter April 2024

Welcome to the Spring 2024 edition of the newsletter, focusing on the impact of armed conflicts on commercial disputes. You will also find a look back at several litigation-themed sessions and events at the IBA Annual Conference in Paris this past November, as well as inspiration for planning ‘a day in Amsterdam’ ahead of this year’s Annual Litigation Forum in the Dutch capital. We thank all contributors for their submissions and hope you will find them of interest.

Released on Apr 04, 2024

Evidencing damage caused by modern warfare: Russia’s large-scale war against Ukraine

The large-scale war waged by Russia on Ukraine has been going on for over two years and has caused enormous damage. The total amount of damage to Ukrainian citizens, businesses and the state itself is yet to be quantified. It already appears to be in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars. It is said that even the total value of all frozen Russian assets in different jurisdictions is far below the value of the damage caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Released on Apr 04, 2024

Don’t let an armed conflict get in the way of London litigation

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was a calamitous event which has given rise to extraordinary hardship and global repercussions that continue to reverberate. Away from the battlefield itself, many have been displaced and businesses disrupted globally. The last year or so has given a definitive answer in so far as the English Court is concerned: there will be no ‘deep freeze’, the sanctions complications arising in litigation unrelated to the war are to be managed.

Released on Apr 04, 2024

Seeking justice across borders: enforcing foreign judgments amid contemporary armed conflicts

Civil and commercial disputes arising from armed conflicts stem from a multitude of causes, ranging from torts and delicts committed during combat to breaches of contractual obligations, fully or partially brought about by sanctions regimes targeting individuals and entities associated with the aggressor. Typically, such disputes inherently present distinctive challenges and intricacies, including issues surrounding state immunity and the imperative of attaining recognition and enforcement of judgments in foreign jurisdictions, particularly when the aggressor’s assets within the jurisdiction of judgment origin prove inadequate to satisfy the damages awarded.

Released on Apr 04, 2024

Dispute Resolution International journal

Dispute Resolution International (DRI) is the journal of the IBA's Dispute Resolution Section, which includes the Arbitration Committee among other related committees. It provides in-depth discussion of current developments and topical issues in all areas of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, mediation and other areas of alternative dispute resolution, as well as negligence and damages.

The latest issue of DRI is now available to access online for all members of the IBA Dispute Resolution Section.

Related links

EFFORTS – Towards more EFfective enFORcemenT of claimS in civil and commercial matters within the EU

The IBA Litigation Committee has joined the Stakeholders Cross-Border Committee of the EFFORTS Project, a consortium comprising the University of Milan (coord.), the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law and the Universities of Heidelberg, Brussels VUB, Vilnius and Zagreb, with financial support from the Civil Justice Programme of the European Union.

Embracing a practice driven approach, a group of renowned experts in international procedural law analyses the legislation and case-law of seven EU Member States (namely Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, and Luxembourg), promotes the exchange of practices among operators, and collects good practices with the purpose of assessing the interaction of the EU Regulations on the recognition and enforcement of judgments with national legislations.

The targeted EU legislative instruments are the Brussels 1a Regulation and the Regulations on the European Enforcement Order, the European Small Claims Procedure, the European Payment Order, and the European Account Preservation Order. The interaction of said EU instruments with national rules signifies a major weakness of the system, making it difficult for practitioners, and even more for consumers and businesses, to be aware of the mere existence and practical functioning of the available procedures and mechanisms.

The consortium will pursue clarity by means of seven Practice Guides on the cross-border recovery of claims in the targeted Member States. It will contribute to the improvement of existing EU and national legislation by drafting policy recommendations for national and EU policymakers. Finally, it will foster clarity and access to information by setting up the EFFORTS Network and a Working Group on the digitalisation of enforcement procedures. The project involves judges, enforcement agents, EU and national policymakers, lawyers, in-house counsel, consumer associations, and academics.

Additional information concerning the EFFORTS Project is available here

Subcommittees and other groups

The Litigation Committee also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • European Community Jurisdiction & Judgments Subcommittee
  • Hague Conference on Private International Law Subcommittee
  • International Litigation Conventions and Laws Subcommittee
  • Litigation Committee Advisory Board
  • Young Litigators Forum

Join us on LinkedIn

If you are a member of the Litigation Committee, for additional networking opportunities, programs, interviews with fellow members and tips all exclusive to members, join our LinkedIn page at: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7439234/.