Making cross-border practice a reality in African common markets
The Law Society has been invited to contribute to a World Bank project supporting the member states of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in their efforts to facilitate the free movement of professional services in the region.
The first activity was a consultation and strategic planning workshop earlier this month, held in Nairobi, Kenya with representatives of bar associations and legal practitioners from across the 19 member states of COMESA. The aim of the workshop was to identify key actors in the provision and regulation of legal services in the region and to ensure that those individuals, firms and institutions play a leading role in shaping the future of legal services provision to support economic integration.
A Law Society representative facilitated a session on regulation of cross-border services and on existing perceptions of liberalisation. The experience of the Law Society in implementing the provisions of the EU Lawyers' Establishment Directive were particularly critical in providing a perspective from a relatively recent experience of liberalisation in a common market.
Future activities over the next 12 months will build on this initial workshop with the Law Society continuing to collaborate on the regulatory elements of the project.