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Businesses and trading are getting increasingly international or involved in cross-border trade. Lawyers' clients are increasingly demanding international knowledge. Law firms have responded to this by building alliances with firms in other markets, or by mergers. This has created strategic choices for law firms; is it better to be global, regional with alliances, or just local? The existence of larger, cross-border firms has put new commercial pressure on smaller local firms who have to compete in new ways. Firms have also tried to grow the international knowledge of lawyers. Cross-border firms have new management challenges in providing such training.
Legislators have been responding to and facilitating the growth of international trade by creating new international standards (eg WTO, or European single market legislation). Cases are more frequently being referred to international bodies to be decided. This creates new challenges for lawyers as the old comparative certainties of domestic legal arenas are eroded.
But many areas of law are just plain different from country to country, and there is no overall framing body or power that is working for convergence. The fact that law is still overwhelmingly domestic in an increasingly international world is increasingly frustrating. It means for example that a company doing business in seven countries wanting to merge with another company has to deal with the law in each of the countries, and their lawyers have to try to guide them through it, even when there may be conflicts and contradictions.
LexisNexis has partnered with the International Bar Association (IBA) to survey IBA members worldwide on critical topics influencing their profession.
In the largest global alliance of its kind in the history of the legal profession, LexisNexis and the International Bar Association have created the 2003 LexisNexis-IBA Global Survey, a poll of IBA members worldwide on critical topics influencing their profession.
The survey seeks to:
The survey polled 700 IBA members and other attorneys from eight countries:
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