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International Update is a regular e-newsletter about international issues, including current practice rights campaigns, legal development projects and European Union lobbying activity.

International Update - March 2014

Welcome to the March edition of International Update.

The fact that the legal services sector makes a considerable and direct contribution to the economy is indisputable. In the UK alone, this amounts to approximately two per cent of GDP. The global legal services market is expected to be worth US$752bn by 2015.

Beyond the direct value to the economy however, a dynamic legal services sector is the foundation for wider economic growth and stability. It makes a catalytic contribution to the economy by boosting business confidence through an impartial and efficient legal system that is able to quickly settle disputes and ensure a proportionate and effective regulatory regime which is essential for investment and a healthy business environment.

This year, our annual International Marketplace conference will explore some of those themes, including the global legal profession's role in shaping legal and regulatory environments, influencing public policymaking at home and abroad and finding business opportunities in new growth areas. Join us in July for another stimulating conference and the opportunity to hear from lawyers and firms from around the world.

In keeping with the economic growth theme, the forthcoming International Festival for Business is the largest global concentration of business events during 2014. The 50-day festival runs throughout June and July and will attract businesses and trade intermediaries from around the world. Make new business contacts and develop your network with delegates starting with our Welcome to Liverpool seminar for overseas lawyers.

Last but by no means least, the nominations for the Law Society Excellence Awards 2014 are now open, including an award for Excellence in International Legal Services. Do take advantage of the opportunity to give your international activities the highest profile and accolade.

I look forward to welcoming you to our forthcoming activities.

Nankunda Katangaza
Head of International Policy

Legal life in… Paris

Louis B. Buchman, partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP Paris office, shares his views about his legal life in Paris.
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International practice update

Law Societies secure key amendment to draft anti-money laundering (AML) rules

Following successful lobbying by the Law Societies Joint Brussels Office, the European parliament now agrees that banks should continue to be able to apply simplified customer due diligence to solicitors' pooled client accounts.
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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): promoting solicitors' interests

As the fourth round of negotiations for the EU-US TTIP conclude, we look at the opportunity to deliver an improved trade in legal services between the EU and the US by tackling practice rights and market access blocks on either side of the Atlantic.
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Law Society of Upper Canada reports on alternative business structures

A Law Society of Upper Canada working group on alternative business structures has released its findings in a report to the organisation's governing body. It puts forward four models for consideration and consultation.
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Options for foreign law firms and lawyers in England and Wales

Thinking of setting up in the global legal hub that is England and Wales? Doing business in the dynamic international legal centre that is home to over 200 foreign firms? Dual qualifying as an English solicitor? Expanding in to Europe? As law practice becomes increasingly globalised this session at the International Festival for Business looks at options for foreign lawyers and law firms in the UK and Europe.
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Expert group publishes report on cross-border trade in insurance law

A Commission Expert Group established to examine barriers to cross-border trade in insurance law has published its findings.
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SRA launches a consultation on registered European lawyers

The consultation focuses on proposed changes to the regime for registered European lawyers in England and Wales.
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MEPs tighten personal data and privacy protections

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have approved two key reports setting out their demands for stronger protection of personal data and privacy.
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News and events

Enter now: Excellence in International Legal Services award

Has your firm championed the role of English law in the world of global commerce, or set high standards for responsible business in overseas markets?

This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the contribution you're making around the world and showcase innovation in the provision of legal services internationally.
Find out more

Roundtable with the Hon Rashid Pelpuo

The Law Society recently hosted a roundtable with the Ghanaian minister of state with responsibility for public private partnerships (PPPs). He joined members of the Law Society and members of British Expertise for an update on the progress of Ghana's new PPP legislation and a lively debate on the lessons to be learned from the UK.
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First in-house legal department in the Middle East is awarded Lexcel accreditation

The legal department of the UAE's integrated telecommunications service provider, du, has become the first organisation in the UAE to be awarded the prestigious Lexcel quality standard by the Law Society.
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Save the date: Colombia Law Day

This joint event on 25 June with the British & Colombian Chamber of Commerce and Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia will bring leading Colombian lawyers to London for a day conference exploring opportunities in the market.
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Join the launch of the British-Azerbaijani Law Association in Baku

The Law Society is delighted to support the launch event of the British-Azerbaijan Law Association in Baku on 30 April. The legal services-focused visit to Baku will include a programme of seminars and meetings followed by a networking reception.
Find out more

Breakfast brief: British Embassy market briefing on China

Join us for a breakfast briefing with UKTI's team in China - including representatives from their Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing offices. This market briefing is an opportunity to hear about the latest developments affecting your business and clients in China and to discuss new opportunities in the region.
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Pan Africa legal market visit to London

The Law Society will be holding a multi-jurisdictional trade mission of African law firms to the UK between 7-10 July. The application process is now open for law firms from across Africa to join the delegation.
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Breakfast brief: doing business in Mongolia

Join us for an informal breakfast briefing and discussion with the British ambassador to Mongolia, Christ Stuart. The event will be held under the Chatham House rule and is open to solicitors and businesses with an interest in Mongolia.
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Competition Section event: multi-jurisdictional monitoring trustee assignments

Join the Competition Section at the Law Societies' Brussels Office for an exciting talk on multi-jurisdictional monitoring trustee assignments.
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European parliament elections 2014 - question time with the professions

Join the Law Society, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for an evening of debate with members and candidates on key policy issues facing the European Union.
Find out more

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IBA masterclass: getting the most from the annual conference

Thinking of attending the IBA annual conference for the first time? Looking to get more out of the organisation and event? Join our IBA masterclass to find out more about the opportunities on offer at the largest annual international gathering of lawyers.
Find out more

Hosting opportunity - Colombian Law Day delegation

Get involved in Colombia Law Day this June. Hosting the delegation is a great opportunity to raise your firm's profile and network with high level partners from a range of top-tier firms.
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International Lawyers' Training Programme (ILTP) - first courses announced

The Law Society's ILTP provides quality CPD-accredited courses delivered by leading international trainers to qualified lawyers from all jurisdictions. The first courses announced for 2014 are being held in Dubai: International Joint Ventures on Wednesday 21 May and International Acquisitions on Thursday 22 May.
Find out more

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Partner events

Opportunities in Thailand

Greg Watkins, executive director at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCCT) in Thailand, will talk about the current opportunities for UK companies in the region and explain the new role of the BCCT to help UK companies seeking business in Thailand. Only a few days left to register.
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Public international law in practice: course details

This course is a two-day programme focused on current developments in public international law and their application in national and international litigation, governmental and international policy-making and international legal and diplomatic practice.
More about this course run by British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Join us at the Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) Conference

The Law Society will be supporting this conference on emerging issues in international arbitration and what a new arbitral seat can anticipate. Members of the International Division are entitled to a 12 per cent discount on the registration fee.
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2nd annual International Project Finance Association: European infrastructure finance forum 2014

Building on the success of the forum last year, this year's forum takes place from 3-4 April in London.
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The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA): international arbitration conference

The conference, which will have over 400 delegates from all over the world participating, is set to have a critical look at core issues in international arbitration, including basic fundamental questions on confidentiality, party autonomy and judicial intervention.
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UK-Bahrain Islamic finance summit

UK Trade & Investment and Foreign & Commonwealth Office are holding this summit on Tuesday 8 April in London. The event will be hosted by Baroness Warsi, senior minister of state and HE Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
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Human rights

Law Society launches business and human rights report

The Law Society has launched a report from its practitioners' advisory group established to consult the legal sector on business and human rights.
Read more and download the report

Other human rights news:

Podcasts and webinars:

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Division member news

We would like to welcome all our latest International Division members, including our new corporate members:

Make the most of your membership by updating your member profile and sending any news, events, publications you want to publicise to other members to