FIVE HUNDRED delegates are expected in Sydney for the 16th Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Conference from 30 April to 3 May next year.
The principal meeting for business lawyers in the Asia-Pacific, the Conference always achieves a strong attendance according to Piper Alderman’s George Livanes, member of the organising committee and co-chair of the social committee for the event. He expects most of the delegates to attend from Japan.
“The Japanese economy is rebounding positively at the moment and the Japanese economy itself has been opened up, particularly to foreign investment,” he said. “So we will get Japanese lawyers wanting to know what’s happening worldwide.”
Substantial numbers are also expected from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines and Australia. Lawyers are also expected to attend from the US, but “they certainly do not predominate — this is a forum of Asian lawyers”.
Livanes said hosting the event would have huge benefits for the profession in Australia. “Australia is trying to sell itself, sell its legal expertise, and it’s a credible source. A lot of the stuff done in Australia is leading edge and we have people of very high calibre so there is a lot of expertise that we have in Australia that we can provide to other lawyers.”
Also, he said, many of the lawyers who attend from Asia are “well connected politically”, so the conference is an opportunity to make contacts in various Asian political systems. The conference covers the areas of aerospace law, banking, finance and securities, cross-border investment, dispute resolution, employment and immigration law, energy and natural resources, environmental law, insolvency, insurance, intellectual property, international construction projects, international trade, legal practice, maritime law, tax law, technology and communications, and women business lawyers, with individual committees organising separate programs for each.
“We provide programs that are of universal application with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific,” Livanes said.
The premier event of the social program will be a night at Luna Park.