Co-Chair
Kelli Sager

Co-Chair
Lynda
Zadra-Symes

North American Regional Forum

The North American Regional Forum covers Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United States, and English-speaking areas of the Caribbean.

About the Forum

The IBA is the global voice of the legal profession. It offers an international perspective on the practice of law, as well as a forum for the exchange of expertise, ideas and contacts amongst the leading legal practitioners in the world’s major centres of finance, trade, investment and commerce. Through its thousands of members worldwide, it offers access to specialists of the highest calibre from over 100 countries around the world, many of whom meet on a regular basis at an annual conference and many regional conferences throughout the year. The membership and support of more than 200 bar associations from around the world, and the IBA’s important work to promote the rule of law and human rights, gives it a uniquely authoritative global voice in legal affairs and ensures that the work of its many committees has a real and lasting impact.

North American Regional Forum (NARF) composition: North American members of the IBA, including all IBA members from the US, Canada, Mexico and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, are members of the North American Regional Forum (‘NARF’). Membership in the Forum is a passport to many advantages.

NARF and North American business law: The IBA’s North American Regional Forum brings together North American lawyers who share many concerns and interests and a common perspective in many areas. These include (i) North American business law issues in core areas of corporate commercial and financial law such as banking, finance, securities, M&A, corporate, restructuring; (ii) trade issues like NAFTA, foreign investment, competition; (iii) issues in key industrial and business sectors in North America such as automotive, high-tech, medical, pharmaceutical, telecom, agri-business, mining, energy, and other natural resources; international tax issues; and (v) litigation and dispute resolution, including class action proceedings.

NARF and the rule of law: In addition the Forum deals with topical 'rule of law' issues of special concern to the North American world, such as the extra-territorial application of competing national rules (eg, in respect of trade with Cuba), border and homeland security, foreign corrupt practices, investment restrictions, human rights and the jurisdiction of North American courts over claims based abroad.

NARF and global legal issues: Further, the Forum brings a North American perspective to global issues such as combating international terrorism, multilateral trade issues, environmental challenges, energy, security and climate change. For example, climate change raises a number of specific challenges for North American practitioners and regulators, and has even opened up a dialogue over the future of the Northwest Passage and the offshore resources beneath the Arctic ice cap. The Forum provides the opportunity to explore and discuss these issues from a North American perspective.

Promotion of a North American focus within the IBA: In addition to this important perspective it offers to its members, NARF aims to facilitate opportunities for North American lawyers within the IBA context.

The Forum aims to ensure that IBA programmes reflect issues of particular concern to North American lawyers, that North American members of IBA are fully represented on IBA panels and programmes and within the executive and officer structure of the IBA’s 15 legal practice sections and its over 50 committees and fora.

NARF’s role in North American regional conferences: NARF also aims to encourage regional gatherings of North American lawyers, both by holding its own plenary conferences and by assisting IBA committees in staging IBA specialist conferences in North America. The Forum also sponsors local IBA receptions in various North American cities.

A forum for communication among North American lawyers: In addition to bringing North American lawyers together, NARF aims to provide a forum for communication among North American IBA members, through the NARF website, email alerts to Forum members about developments and opportunities, development of listservs and blogs, roundtables and project working groups.

North American and global networking: Not only does the forum give North American practitioners access to the IBA’s extensive network of specialist members around the world, it also gives the world a unique way to network with North American lawyers. Furthermore, it provides a way for North American lawyers to network with each other. All of this contributes to the building of strong business relationships in the legal community - the lifeblood of legal business in North America and beyond.

The North American Regional Forum is full of opportunity and you are welcome to play an active role in its activities.

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences

Publications

Interview with NARF Officer Juan Pablo Hughes

 

In this inspiring interview, Juan Pablo shares some insights of his successful career in public international law (PIL).

From the Co-Chairs, October 2021

Greetings to all our North American Forum members. We hope that you are all safe and well during these challenging times. We are also hopeful that the worst of Covid-19 is behind us and we will soon be able to meet again in person.

Released on Oct 21, 2021

What you don't know about NFTs could hurt you: non-fungible tokens and the truth about digital asset ownership

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are currently in the midst of the type of hype-cycle last seen in the blockchain/crypto world when initial coin offerings (ICO) were all the rage. On 11 March 2021, an NFT associated with a piece of digital art sold at auction at Christie’s for $69m. Other NFTs, such as one based on Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet, are selling for millions as well and there is an active secondary market for some NFTs which can drive prices up quickly after the initial sale. One of the key questions, especially for anyone focused on the legal issues raised by NFTs, can be posed in simple terms: What does a purchaser really own when he or she buys an NFT?

Released on Oct 08, 2021

More ‘Americanization’ of discovery? The fate of Section 1782 remains unsettled

In recent years international lawyers have grown increasingly concerned about the burdensome ‘Americanization’ of discovery in global disputes. The United States Supreme Court recently lost an opportunity to decide the fate of one of the most direct forms of such ‘Americanisation’ – whether parties in private commercial arbitration can seek discovery in US courts under Section 1782. Divisive litigation over Section 1782 will now continue until the Supreme Court resolves the issue and the circuit split.

Released on Oct 08, 2021

Is there a first amendment right to tweet?

Companies have already imported relatively restrictive European Union privacy rules into the United States. Now, the upcoming Digital Services Act in the EU may force social media companies to import relatively restrictive speech rules too.

Released on Oct 07, 2021

Covid-19: A new challenge for corporate governance

According to Vázquez-Palma, corporate governance should be understood as the way in which companies are directed and controlled; it is the rules, principles and procedures that regulate the structure and functioning of the Governance bodies of business companies. But what benefits does corporate governance provide? What must our corporate governance rules establish? This article answers these questions whilst highlighting opportunity areas and recommendations.

Released on Oct 07, 2021

Subcommittees and other groups

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

  • North American Regional Forum Advisory Board