With the UK widely recognized as the leading international centre for legal services and the majority of Combar’s membership regularly undertaking international work, a key part of Combar’s role is to foster relationships with the international legal community. Combar’s strategy is spearheaded by an International Committee and implemented by sub-committees for North America, India, Africa and Offshore. The development of international links offers Combar members the opportunity to build new relationships and deepen existing ones, while providing a multi-jurisdictional forum for the exchange of ideas, developments in the law and regional market insight.
Central to this is our Honorary Overseas Members (HOMs) programme, whereby leading commercial law practitioners in overseas jurisdictions are invited to join Combar. Our much valued HOMs are involved in planning and implementing activity in each region, working with Combar’s committees to create an effective and influential international network. Criteria for becoming an HOM can be found here. Regional activities include:
- Promoting closer ties, cooperation and information exchange between commercial practitioners in different jurisdictions.
- Regional events to further develop relationships, in particular through the long-established annual North America Meeting (which alternates between North America and Europe) and the Combar India Roundtable Conference, which has taken place annually for the past 3 years.
- Funding scholarship and exchange programmes for foreign lawyers.
- Provision of financial support to legal organisations in the developing world.
- Fionn Pilbrow KC, Chair, International Committee
- Andrew Onslow KC, Abdul Jinadu, joint Chairs, Africa Committee
- Sudhanshu Swaroop KC, David Brynmor Thomas KC, India Committee
- James Willan KC and Anneliese Day KC, Joint Chairs, North America Committee
- George Spalton KC, Chair Gulf Committee
- Rosalind Nicholson, Georgina Peters, Alex Potts KC, Co-Chairs, Offshore Committee
COMBAR’s International Work
Combar barristers are active in courts and arbitration centres across the globe. More than a quarter of the world’s 320 jurisdictions use English Common Law, and several Combar member sets have a permanent presence in international jurisdictions.
Combar barristers also undertake a huge range and quantity of international work from London, both litigation and London-based arbitration. More arbitrations take place in London than in any other city in the world. Over 40,000 commercial and civil disputes were resolved in the UK through arbitration, mediation and adjudication in 2018. In more than half the 800 cases going through the Rolls Building each year, all parties are from outside the UK; more than 200 foreign law firms from around 40 jurisdictions operate in London. With these numbers in mind it is no surprise that international exports generated by barristers contributed an impressive £327 million to the UK economy in 2018, with almost 2,000 barristers working on international cases, an increase of 90% over a decade. Combar’s role is to ensure that the English and Welsh Commercial Bar continues to flourish both through undertaking international work in the UK and across the globe.
(All stats from UK Legal Services 2019, TheCityUK, December 2019).