Transnational Legal Practice 2015

Laurel Terry


This 2015 Year-in-Review article continues the tradition of collecting and publicizing the developments that occurred during the year related to transnational legal practice (TLP). This year’s article builds on the work set forth in the 2014 Year-in-Review. The 2014 TLP Year-in-Review provided a departure from the Year-in-Review’s typical method of presentation by identifying two categories of what that article called “TLP-Nets.” One group of TLP-Nets is nationally based and the other is inherently transnational. The 2014 article identified examples of TLP-Nets and highlighted the meeting points and relationships that facilitate border-crossing for the variety of actors involved in TLP policy-making and practice. This article uses the TLP-Nets structure set forth in the 2014 TLP Year-in-Review in order to describe 2015 TLP activities. Some, but not all, of the developments cited in this article had previously been publicized. But even when the events have been publicized, this article provides an opportunity to describe in one place the activities of those who are part of the TLP-Nets. The 2015 TLP developments documented in this article included activities related to international trade negotiations, including interactions among the Conference of Chief Justices, the ABA, and the CCBE concerning the TTIP negotiations and developments regarding implementation of the U.S.-Korea KORUS trade agreement. This article documents additional ABA involvement in TLP-related matters, including the activities of the ABA Transnational Legal Practice Committee and the ABA Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services (ITILS), the ABA’s adoption of a revised policy about inbound foreign in-house counsel, and the work of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which in 2015 circulated a proposal that the ABA adopt model regulatory objectives. In addition to describing ABA activities, this article describes the 2015 TLP-related activities of the Conference of Chief Justices. These activities included the regular conference calls of the CCJ’s Task Force on Foreign Lawyers (which now includes individuals involved in other TLP-Nets) and the CCJ’s adoption of Resolution 2, which urges states to adopt explicit policies that would permit qualified activities by foreign lawyers as a means to increase available legal services, and to facilitate the movement of goods and services between the United States and foreign nations. This article also describes the TLP-related activities of the National Organization of Bar Counsel and the National Conference of Bar Examiners and examines some of the 2015 connections between these organizations and international organizations that include the International Conference of Legal Regulators and the International Bar Association. This article concludes with a section that highlights TLP developments in selected parts of the world including Canada, where there were a number of 2015 developments, and in the UK, the EU, Korea, and Singapore. This section also discusses very briefly some significant developments in the legal services market.