Bar Council sends delegation to 18th commonwealth law conference to strengthen relations with foreign jurisdictions

11 April 2013

A delegation from the Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, will attend the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference inCape Town, South Africa from 14 - 18 April 2013.The conference is hosted by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association in association with the Law Society of South Africa.

The mission is part of the Bar Council's long-term programme of international engagement, which seeks to create business development opportunities for the legal profession and to promote the value of the Bar of England and Wales as well as the Rule of Law internationally.

The Conference will give barristers the opportunity to build relationships with delegates from all Commonwealth countries. Around 1,000 leading international practitioners from other common law jurisdictions are expected to attend.

Speakers will include:

  • Maura McGowan QC,Chairman of the Bar,who will speak in a session on,'Terrorism and Civil Liberties: an Impossible Balance?'

  • Michael Todd QC,immediate past-Chairman of the Bar, who will speak in a session on'Privatising the Courts: Alternative Dispute Resolution'

  • Baroness Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, who will be speak on,'Who Guards the Guardians? Regulation of the Legal Profession', and

  • Hannah Kinch,Chairman of the Young Barristers' Committee,who will speak in a session on,'Junior Lawyers: Business as Usual - An Inconvenient Truth'.

In addition, the Bar Council and the Law Society will host a reception to provide an opportunity for members of the Bar to meet delegates from all over the world to discuss effective ways of working together.

The Bar Council will also use this event to:

  • Launch its latest edition of'Barristers in International Arbitration 2013/14'. This brochure focuses on how international clients and businesses can instruct barristers in England and Wales as legal representatives in international arbitrations
  • Educate delegates about the advantages of using BARCO in the international legal market. BARCO is the third-party company, owned and operated by the Bar Council, which manages the funds required to facilitate on-going legal services provided by lawyers in England and Wales, and
  • Develop stronger links with a number of Commonwealth jurisdictions, notably on the African continent to develop both trade and rule of law work.

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"The Bar Council is proud to be joining the largest gathering of Common Law practitioners in the Commonwealth. We welcome the opportunity to be involved in debates on significant issues affecting the whole legal profession and to renew acquaintance with our colleagues from other jurisdictions.

"The Conference is an opportunity to promote the Rule of Law and the values of the Bar of England and Wales. The Bar Council will also be able to share best practice and raise awareness of new initiatives such as BARCO, our third-party escrow account facility with other international jurisdictions."


Notes to editor 

1. For any enquiries, please contact the Bar Council Press Office on: 020 7222 2525 /

2. For further information about the conference, please click here.

3. For the 'Barristers in International Arbitration 2013/14' brochure, please click here.

4. For more information about BARCO, please click here.

5. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board