Monday, April 21, 2008

Global Law Firm Is Wave Of The Future

Adam Smith Esq. has a review of last week's two-day symposium at Georgetown Law on The Future of the Global Law Firm. The symposium, sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, was by all accounts a notable success that will stimulate both academic and practice-oriented debate on the direction of transnational practice and the role of the law firm in shaping the future of the profession. Congrats to Mitt Regan, Jeff Bauman and Larry Center for organizing the symposium and playing a crucial role in focusing the profession on issues that will be of increasing significance over the near and long term. (Mike Frisch)

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Perhaps the next installment should consider some continental European and Asian representation in the conference. Working in continental Europe and seeing the list of presenters, I can't help but have the knee jerk reaction that perspective is missing from a "Global Law Firm" Practice conference when everyone (or nearly everyone) is from a common law jurisdiction.

The number of common law based clients that I work with who are completely devoid of any understanding of how it works for the "civilists" seems to be a significant issue. This is particularly a problem when transnational practice runs into road blocks in non-English speaking, non common law jurisdictions. Read any treatise or case book on transnational practice (they unforntunately are few and far between) and where are the significant problems? Asians and Europeans litigating in US courts and Americans litigating in Continental European and Asian courts. Not a whole lot of US v. UK.

Litigation only emphasizes where the knowledge gaps lie but this holds true for transactional as well. For examples look at the reconciliation of cross border mergers in Europe. There is significant murky and uncharted territory for Labor, Tax, Environmental and Corporate lawyers. It's getting easier, but it still isn't easy and requires competent representation.

Of course this leads back to how to operate a Global Practice, recruit the talent that is locally and internationally competent and staying within the legal and ethical lines.

Posted by: Jack S. | Apr 22, 2008 2:42:33 AM

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