David O'Donnell


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 was established in 1989 to provide a focus originally on the work undertaken by the IBA in developing the practice under changing legal systems of lawyers in Eastern and Central Europe. The forum was also intended to act as a channel for IBA communication with the bar associations of these local lawyers.

Since 2004 the forum has been developing and strengthening the existence of the IBA within the whole of Europe by promoting the goals of the IBA to members, non-members and others, disseminating professional know-how, and assisting the committees and other constituencies of the IBA to increase their presence in the different neighbouring regions of Europe, including parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

The goals of the forum include addressing 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.

The forum seeks to facilitate relevant networking and information/experience sharing opportunities and encompasses the social and collegial interests of both members and potential members with other regional fora, the Corporate Counsel Forum and the Young Lawyers Committee and all LPD committees in general.

At present the forum has 7700 members and its numbers continue to increase as it becomes one of the most integrated and dynamic fora of the IBA.

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences

European Regional Forum Council

The European Regional Forum Council members are the national representatives of the Forum. Their primary tasks are to implement the Forum business plan in consultation and cooperation with the officers.

Council members are the eyes and ears of the Forum in their country.

In particular they:

1.     initiate activities in their country (such as road shows or local seminars) or cross-border together with Council members in neighbouring countries. The business plan and website show further details and examples, both of past and of future events;

2.     contribute to the Forum website and the Forum Newsletter by posting national developments that can be regarded relevant for the Forum members in a larger context;

3.     maintain contacts with their national bar association, in order to enhance the relationship between the national bar association and the IBA; in practical terms this means i.e.

*that some form of involvement or support of the national bar associations is sought when organising an event, like publications in the magazines and newsletters issued by the bar association;

*that interaction with the national bar associations takes place to promote the IBA. This may either be directly or with the assistance and presence of one of the officers and/or senior IBA officers;

4.     provide practical assistance locally, when Forum activities are organised in their country;

5.     come up with ideas and suggestions that will improve the functioning of the Forum, and thereby increase visibility of the IBA in their country;

6.     assist the officers in executing specific elements from the Business Plan.

Supporting Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Until recently, neurodivergent individuals are likely to have been treated in a different and unfair way, which causes disempowerment, discrimination and unequal life opportunities. There is still a long way to go in terms of tackling the stigma. However, companies are becoming increasingly aware that great minds think differently, and that employing people who are neurodiverse can be a huge competitive advantage.

Released on Jul 14, 2021

ERF D&I European Legal Sector Article

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) is a topic that is increasingly becoming part of core business strategy, no longer simply an issue for HR to consider. With increasing evidence that ED&I directly contributes to business outperformance, many business leaders today are looking to up their game in this space. How can we afford not to take this agenda seriously?

Released on Jul 14, 2021

IBA Wellbeing Survey: the need for a more effective response from the legal profession

In 2019, the IBA established a taskforce with a view to implementing an internationally coordinated response to all too frequent reports of substance abuse, severe depression and suicide within the profession. This article explores recent findings from the taskforce’s wellbeing survey.

Released on May 28, 2021

Covid-19 vaccines: compensation issues for Covid-19 vaccine injuries in Sweden

In Sweden, the Swedish Pharmaceutical Insurance enables individuals to obtain compensation for vaccine-related personal injuries. However, liability under the Insurance has recently been limited in relation to certain personal injuries caused by Covid-19 vaccines. In order to ensure an efficient and comprehensive compensation system for potential Covid-19 vaccine injuries, the Swedish Government has recently proposed a new law on state compensation.

Released on May 28, 2021

Get to know the IBA European Regional Forum Officers of 2021

Get to know the IBA European Regional Forum Officers of 2021.

Subcommittees and other groups

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

  • European Regional Forum Advisory Board