Archive for October, 2007

European Lawyers’ Electronic IDs

Friday, October 26th, 2007

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has published guidelines for electronic ID cards to be used by European lawyers.  Each Member State would issue cards embedded with an electronic chip to its lawyers, enabling lawyers to operate easily throughout Europe. The CCBE, which represents over 700,000 lawyers from the European Union and European Economic Area through bars and law societies,  produces the existing CCBE ID cards.  However, it hopes to enhance cross-border interoperability by adding the electronic chips to the cards for better tracking.  As envisioned, any lawyer with such card would have met minimum technical standards agreed by all the Member States.

Many thanks to Aaron Schildhaus, liasion from the ABA’s Section of International Law to the CCBE, for drawing this to my attention.


To Network-or not to Network? That is the Question

Friday, October 19th, 2007

No international firm can have offices in every promising international jurisdiction-unless you’re Baker & McKenzie, of course.

And so, many international law firms join networks like the International Lawyers Network and Lex Mundi to boost their ties abroad.  Each of the nine or so established international lawyer networks vets its members before letting one join.  Each also charges a membership fee.  In return, the law fims build relationships with each other– and hopefully receive lucrative referrals as a result.

Increasingly, networks are offering educational components, like webinars, and even secundment options.A recent article titled A Crowded Marketplace in the ABA International Daily News discusses the advantages of such international lawyer networks.

While in London earlier this month, we discussed the merits of these networks during the panel discussion I led on Cross-Cultural Client Development at the recent ABA Section of International Law conference. Some lawyers-particularly those from regional law firms–felt that international lawyer networks had really benefited them by meaningfully connecting them to firms throughout the world.  However, others (such as some in house international lawyers) expressed concern about relying on such networks; these attorneys preferred to hire the best attorney in each location regardless of the network connection.

The consensus favored (i) joining networks to increase referrals and build relationships but (ii) not to feel obligated to work with a particular network member, and only to work with the ones best suited for the matter at hand.

Inter-Pacific Bar Association Scholarships

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

The Inter-Pacific Bar Association (an international bar association focused on the Asia-Pacific) is offering scholarships for young lawyers and for lawyers from developing countries. Application forms are due by October 31, 2007.

For more details, access the IPBA Website:

NEW GLOBAL YOU(TM)—Book in the Works; Please Share Your Stories

Monday, October 1st, 2007

In response to popular demand for a practical resource about building strong client relationships across cultures, I have a book in the works:  NEW GLOBAL YOUTM


NEW GLOBAL YOUTM will share strategies for anyone (not just lawyers) building business relationships across cultures.  


And so, how do you build rapport with clients, colleagues and competitors in our global economy?  Please share your stories with me.  If I use your story, I will credit you and send you a complimentary autographed copy of the book!