LexisNexis
lslaw

Co-Chair
Christine
Blaise-Engel

Co-Chair
Christopher
Owen

European Regional Forum

Since 2004, the European Regional Forum has been developing and strengthening the existence of the IBA within Europe by promoting its goals to both members and non-members, disseminating professional know-how, and assisting committees and other constituencies of the IBA.

About the Forum

The European Regional Forum (ERF) was established in 1989 and has over 8000 members.

The goals of the forum include addressing the current and long-term needs of professional organisations and individual members within the geographical reach of the forum, as well as increasing membership and participation in the IBA and integrating them within the organisation. The forum will also facilitate cross-border activity between lawyers and bars in different European countries. The forum has a particular focus on cross-disciplinary activities.

Statement of Purpose of the ERF:

  • Support objectives of IBA and its members in Europe
  • A forum to promote a strong/robust civil society in Europe in support of the Rule of Law, the legal professional and other public policy initiatives
  • Foster closer connection between lawyers in Europe particularly re professional development and networking opportunities

The ERF is split into 4 regions as follows:

  • Northern
  • Western
  • Central
  • Southeastern

Each region has its Chair and Vice-Chair who are ERF Officers. The Regional Groups aim to focus efforts in each region on mutual support and assistance amongst Council Members and to organise networking and professional development initiatives in their region.

Working Parties and Taskforces have been established to plan and implement specific initiatives. These include initiatives on:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Young Lawyers
  • Public Policy (which is currently focusing on certain aspects of the ESG agenda)
  • The Rule of Law
  • Communications

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences

European Regional Forum Council

The Council Members are the national representatives of the European Regional Forum (ERF) of the International Bar Association (IBA). Their primary task is to implement and support the objectives of the IBA in their home country in accordance with the guidelines of the ERF. This involves promoting a strong and robust civil society in support of the rule of law and the legal profession as well as to assist with the other public policy initiatives.

The role of the Council member

The role of the Council Member is to initiate networking opportunities for existing and potential members in their home country. There is a specific emphasis on professional development and networking opportunities.

They also have a role in building and maintaining contact with their local National Bar Association as well as universities and other legal institutions in their country. This helps to increase the awareness of the IBA and its mission.

A Council Member may for example identify a particular legal/professional topic or issue relating to careers in the law or professional development.

The support from the ERF and the IBA may be useful in providing relevant expertise. This may include, for example, organising a meeting to look at a specific legal development in an industry sector or issues relating to law firm management.

In promoting these initiatives, Council Members will gain access to the depth of experiences and expertise of other lawyers within the IBA. This helps to provide practical assistance locally as well as increasing the profile of the IBA home countries.

Examples of these initiatives include networking luncheons with professional or industry speakers on a specific topic or seminars or bilateral days with lawyers from another counrty. It may also include university days to discuss specific themes including careers in the law and the rule of law.

An update on the ERF Mental Wellbeing Working Party

If we did a poll asking about the quality of the working environment within the practice group in which you work, what would be your response and the response of the other individual members of your group? More specifically what would be the response if you were asked to rate this working environment in creating a high performing team that cultivates a strong sense of connection/engagement with co-workers and a shared vision whilst supporting the mental wellbeing of its members?

Released on Sep 08, 2022

A Q&A with European Regional Forum Co-Chair, David O'Donnell

Subcommittees and other groups

The European Regional Forum also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • European Regional Forum Advisory Board