After a 3 year Covid-19 induced break, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (“IPBA”) kicked off its 31st Annual Meeting and Conference in Dubai today. This was the first IPBA hosted in-person event since the outbreak of the pandemic. From the event’s opening ceremony to the keynote sessions, it was quite evident that Day 1 session topics would follow and reflect the conference theme, “One World: Law & The Environment Beyond Covid.” Specifically, the keynote session focused on the various strategies and technologies deployed by the court system in the speakers’ jurisdiction to adapt to Covid-19 pandemic to enable those court systems to continue to function uninterrupted. The jurisdiction represented by the speakers were Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom.

The keynote session was followed by two sets of concurrent committee sessions. I had the opportunity to attend the “ESG – Trade & Sustainability” session in the first sets of concurrent committee sessions and “The Next Generation Lawyers: Becoming Top 40 under 40” in the second set of concurrent committee sessions. In the “ESG-Trade & Sustainability” session, the panel discussed key ESG and sustainability developments in their respective jurisdictions and what companies in those jurisdictions are doing to meet their compliance obligations. The panel was composed of lawyers from Belgium, United States, Peru, Argentina, Singapore, and Malaysia. As the panel make up was globally diverse, it was quite interesting to get a “develop nation” versus “developing nations” perspectives on how ESG issues are handled in each of the panelist’s jurisdiction.

The session on “The Next Generation Lawyers: Becoming Top 40 under 40” focused and provided a few strategies on what younger lawyers can do to develop their practice. The panel make up was also geographically diverse, with young lawyers from India, Singapore, Germany, Dubai, and Poland. That diversity in background provided valuable insights into some of the issues that young lawyers in those jurisdictions experience in their journey to develop their competencies in the profession.

Overall, I thought Day 1 was a success.

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