Welcome to our new section, led by International Trade Co-Chair, Corey Norton!
The IPBA has 23 specialist committees devoted to particular areas of commercial law. All IPBA members can choose up to three committees on which to be active. You don't have to be a Chair or Vice-Chair in order to contribute your expertise to the committee!
Our first tasks is to introduce you to some of the committees:
APEC - Shiro Kuniya, Chair
The APEC committee was established based upon the Friendship Agreement between IPBA and APEC signed at the Annual Meeting Conference in Kyoto/Osaka, 2011. The mission of the committee is to promote international trade and investments in the Asian-Pacific region through the cooperation between APEC and IPBA. Members of committee have participated in various meetings of APEC in Tokyo, Saint Petersburg and the Philippines. We plan to expand our activities with various governmental agencies of member state of APEC and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). As our committee’s mission covers broader range of issues, including trade policy, we will continue to work with other IPBA committees which handle international trade, cross-border investment, environmental issues etc.
Competition Law - Shawn Neylan, Co-Chair
The Competition Law Committee’s (“CLC”) program at KL featured an exciting new roundtable format. There were six topics of discussion: (i) Dawn Raids (led by HyunAh Kim of Shin & Kim), (ii) Leniency Applications (led by Janet Hui of Jun He), (iii) Cartel Sanctions and their Effectiveness (led by Anand Raj of Shearn & Delamore), (iv) Procedural Fairness and Due Process (led by Atsushi Yamada of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune), (v) Mandatory Supply Remedies (led by Christian Wind of Bratschi Wiederkehr & Buob) and (vi) Merger Control and Cartel Risk Assessment for Joint Ventures and other Mergers (led by Kala Anandarajah of Rajah & Tann). Each topic generated consideration thoughtful and insightful discussion by session attendees. Steve Harris of Winston & Strawn and Shawn Neylan of Stikeman Elliott acted as moderators.
The CLC covers all aspects of competition law including merger review, cartel behavior and unilateral conduct issues. It provides excellent networking opportunities for competition lawyers who are interested in Asian competition law and practice. It focuses on organizing programming and a popular competition lawyer reception at the IPBA Annual Meetings.
Corporate Counsel - Kapil Kirpalani, Chair
The Corporate Counsel committee is chaired by Kapil Kirpalani (HarbourVest Partners). Steven Howard (Sony Mobile Communications) is vice-chair and works closely with Kapil to achieve the objectives of the group. The Corporate Counsel committee aims to provide support, benefits and assistance to educational training and other career opportunities for the corporate counsel community including in-house lawyers, legal academics, compliance officers and other legal professionals in the IPBA, who we hope in turn, provide advice and support to local and multinational corporations, not-for-profit organizations and governments departments globally on legal, regulatory and corporate governance matters to promote best practices. We also aim to make available informational resources and provide opportunities for discussion, to raise awareness of common positions and to provide a platform to respond to regulatory consultations with respect to issues relevant to the corporate counsel community.
The Corporate Counsel committee is in place to support and protect the character, status and interests of corporate counsel members of the IPBA and to promote good standards of practice amongst its members. We hope to facilitate and foster communication between corporate counsels and the legal profession as a whole to promote the law and continuing legal education internationally.
Cross-Border Investment - Michael Burian, Co-Chair
The Cross-Border Investment Committee ("CBIC") is the one of the largest and most active of all IPBA Committees with more than 500 members and more than ten active chairs and vice-chairs. The CBIC provides a networking forum for lawyers engaged in cross-border investment to exchange ideas, information and experience in order to advance their knowledge of the laws, practices and procedures affecting cross-border investment activities in and beyond the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to develop closer professional links.
We focus on foreign investment and corporate laws and policies that are fundamental to the development of international commerce and which affect foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and the raising of capital across the Asia-Pacific region.
The CBIC's annual conference programs enjoy a high level of attendance by both in-house and corporate counsel and feature presentations by experienced counsel as well as experts from outside the legal profession. The CBIC regularly cooperates with other IPBA committees in organizing sessions at the annual conferences and other programs and shares with those committees coverage of topics such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and a range of issues that affect all types of businesses.
At the recent conference in Kuala Lumpur, the CBIC organized, together with other committees, a total of 12 sessions, which is the largest number of sessions organized by any committee and which was only possible thanks to the efforts of a large number of its vice-chairs and active committee members. The CBIC leadership always welcomes the active participation of its members and proposals for topics in forthcoming annual conferences or other events.
Energy & Resources - Peter Chow, Chair
The Energy & Natural Resources Committeeof the IPBAis a forum to network and exchange ideas and information among legal practitioners and academics in the field of energy and resources. We also organize or participate in conferencesandworkshops to create an awareness of this area of law and to keep abreast of legal development. Its interest group consists of practitioners from around the world, many of whom are eminent lawyers in this field of work.
The committee recently held a session at the IPBA Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the topic: “LNG – Is It Still Popular?”. This was a sequel to the subject covered a few years ago: “LNG – Why Has It Become So Popular?”, reflecting current changes in the LNG market. The keynote address was given by Ambassador Manuel Teehankee, former Philippine Ambassador to the WTO and former Undersecretary for Justice. This was followed by a discussion by a panel of eminent lawyers from various countries, with lively comments and questions from participants.
This year also saw a change of committee leadership. Peter Chow (Squire Patton Boggs) takes over the chair from Jeffrey Holt (GC, Sofregaz), with new vice-chairs Sean Muggah (Borden Ladner Gervais) and Wang Jihong (Zhonglun) joining current vice chairs Gonzalo Grez(Cariola Diez Perez-Cotapos) and Gmeleen Tombac (Sidley Austin). The committee wishes to express its gratitude to outgoing vice-chairs Raoul Angangco (Villaraza & Angangco) and Ho Chien Mien (Allen & Gledhill).
Intellectual Property - Riccardo Cajola, Chair
Encompassing patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and industrial designs, Intellectual Property is a rapidly expanding area of law in the context of a technologically advancing world economy. With the large number of innovative companies doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, a thorough understanding of intellectual property law is indispensable to many lawyers in the region.
The objectives of the Intellectual Property Committee are to share and exchange ideas or information amongst the practitioners of Intellectual Property Law, to apply and enforce such laws, to participate in meetings and conferences held by the Association to achieve the above objectives, and to acquaint members of the same profession with each other.
Intellectual Property rights are often among the most important and valuable assets of a business. A distinctive trademark, a copyright or a patent registration allow a business to build public goodwill and brand reputation in the goods or services it sells.
As an example, trademarks, often known and used as brand names, are a part of everyday life. The main purpose of a trademark is to enable the public to recognize the goods or services as originating in a particular company or being a particular product or service. By acting as source indicators, trademarks indicate a level of quality, helping the consumer to decide whether to purchase a product or service.
Trademarks are protected by law in order to serve this source-indicating function and prevent the public from being confused about the source of the goods or services. Patents are a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process. Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution for a limited time. Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or works – e.g. software – and protects the original expression of ideas. Other Intellectual property legal rights include industrial design rights, plant variety rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.
International Trade - Corey Norton, Co-Chair
The IPBA International Trade Committee provides attorneys from around the world an opportunity to share legal developments, insights on matters and referrals on a wide variety of international trade topics. Our members’ practices cover any laws that affect a company’s ability to provide goods, services or technologies to another country. The substantive issues our members handle arise under diverse domestic and international laws pertaining, for example, to import duties, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, non-tariff measures, regulation of services, technology transfers, export controls, embargoes, WTO matters and free trade agreements, government procurement, state owned enterprises, currency controls, labor and environment, among many others.
We represent companies and other organizations of all types and sizes, individuals and government bodies. There is virtually no limit to the client industries affected, such as banking, biotech, agriculture, automotive, aviation, commodities, consumer products, construction, defense, electronics, natural resources, oil and gas, renewable energy and telecommunications. Our services include counseling, defense, litigation, business planning, licensing, policy advice, designing compliance programs, acquisition due diligence and higher education.
Perhaps most important, however, our committee is actively supported by longtime members and newcomers alike, as well as members who are also active in other committees. We welcome anyone’s interest in talking about our committee and hope you will join us!
Legal Practice - Mark Stinson, Co-Chair
The Legal Practice Committee of the IPBA offers a forum for its members to interact with each other on matters relating to the practice of law, professional development and law firm management, primarily in the Asia Pacific region. In recent years the Committee has organized sessions relating to the liberalization of the legal market in various Asian countries, legal process outsourcing of legal work to lower-cost countries, and a discussion of computer-related tools that can be used for the non-technical lawyer. Most recently at IPBA 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, the Committee conducted a stand-alone session relating to compensation structures for partners and associates and attracting and training legal talent, and a joint session with the Ad Hoc Committee on Anti-Corruption and the Rule of Law relating to ant-corruption programs in law firms.
Maritime Law - Sitpah Selvaratnam, Chair
The Maritime Law Committee galvanizes discussion on current and prevailing maritime and shipping issues, ranging from piracy and security concerns to economic and legal challenges faced in recent years within the shipping industry. Often, joint sessions with other Committees of the IPBA provide for vibrant cross discipline debates, with mock arbitrations, simulated crisis handling, and case studies drawing interactive participation from the floor. Port visits and boat trips at appropriate conference venues have always been embraced with enthusiasm. Members of the Committee are encouraged to contribute ideas, provide feedback and suggestions, to nurture dynamic exchanges of maritime views and experiences.
Technology, Media and Telecommunications - Barunesh Chandra, Chair
The IPBA TMT Committee is amongst the busiest and fastest growing committees within the IPBA fold. At the recently concluded 26th IPBA Annual Conference at Kuala Lumpur, TMT Committee co-hosted as many as four sessions on topics such as Cloud Computing, E-payments, Over the Top (OTT) Services & Open Source Computing.
Women Business Lawyers - Melva Valdez, Chair
The Women Business Lawyers Committee (WBLC) provides an excellent opportunity for female lawyers around the world to interact and engage in a professional and positive forum to discuss issues in support of their respective legal practices, to share their personal experiences, exchange ideas and ideals in both their professional and personal capacities.
Throughout the years, the committee has presented sessions at each annual IPBA meeting centered around a theme of various practical interests to all lawyers. It also hosts a Reception which is always graced by excellent female speakers who have made a mark in their respective fields of interests and passions in the annual IPBA conference.
The committee has generated quite a following in the yearly annual IPBA Conference and the sessions have consistently been informative, interactive and fun and dynamic. Disregarding of the name of the committee, the Receptions and sessions are well attended by both female and male lawyers.