About Us

History of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association

The Inter-Pacific Bar Association ("IPBA") is an international association of business and commercial lawyers who live in, or otherwise have a strong interest in, the Asia-Pacific Region (sometimes referred to as the "Region"). It was established in April 1991 at an organizing conference held in Tokyo attended by more than 500 lawyers from countries within the Asia-Pacific Region. Since then, it has grown to become the preeminent legal association in this Region, with membership drawn from throughout the world, and currently has over 1,500 members from over 65 jurisdictions worldwide.

The growth of the IPBA has been spurred by the tremendous growth of the Asian economies. As companies and businesses throughout this region become more deeply involved in the Asia-Pacific regional economy as well as in the global economy, they require expert legal assistance and guidance from lawyers in their home countries as well as from lawyers throughout the region and even beyond. The IPBA helps lawyers to keep abreast of business and commercial legal and related developments that affect their clients. Equally important is that the IPBA provides valuable opportunities for business and commercial lawyers throughout the region to network with lawyers of similar interests and related fields of practice.

The IPBA's principal activities include its Annual General Meeting and Conference, which provides a unique opportunity for lawyers interested in the Asia-Pacific Region to discuss legal, business and policy issues affecting this Region in a manner that fosters collegiality and the development of close personal and professional relationships that enhance legal practice opportunities through professional networking. These annual meetings and conferences are held in different jurisdictions including Tokyo, Manila, Delhi, Hong Kong, Bali, Sydney, Beijing, Singapore, Kyoto/Osaka, Seoul, as well as Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. This affords IPBA members special opportunities to become acquainted with legal systems, lawyers and key leaders in countries throughout the Region and beyond.

The IPBA also holds a mid-year meeting of the council devoted to its business affairs, after which a conference on current substantive legal issues is held.  The quarterly publication, "IPBA Journal", articles for which are written by IPBA members, provides timely information and analyses of current national and Regional legal developments of special interest to international practitioners.

The substantive work of the IPBA is undertaken by its various committees, which provide important opportunities for IPBA members to contribute to the development of the law and legal systems and processes within the Region. Educational programs at the IPBA's annual conference and regional conference in conjunction with the mid-year meeting, the publication of surveys of areas of law or analyses of laws that could lead to concrete recommendations for improvements, enhance the capabilities of lawyers and law firms in the Region to support their clients in an increasingly globalized economy. IPBA practice area committees currently encompass Anti-corruption & the Rule of Law (Ad Hoc); Aviation Law; Banking, Finance & Securities; Competition Law; Cross-border Investment; Dispute Resolution and Arbitration; Employment & Immigration Law; Energy and Natural Resources; Environmental Law; Insolvency; Insurance; Intellectual Property; International Construction Projects; International Trade; Legal Practice; Maritime Law; Tax Law; and Technology, Media & Telecommunications. Other IPBA committees include APEC; Corporate Counsel; Legal Development & Training; Scholarship; and Women Business Lawyers. New committees may be formed as legal practice areas emerge or evolve or organizational development occur.

The IPBA enjoys the support of major national bar associations, law societies and other organizations throughout the Region, which have helped it play a continuing and significant role in fostering ties and relationships among its members and others engaged in legal and business matters.