A record number of more than 50 barristers visited the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Madrid from 4-9 October. The Bar Council’s International Secretariat organised the increased presence of the Bar, which comprised a number of elements. A new publication “Barristers in the international legal market” was launched, which explains the advantages for international clients in using the services of barristers and how to access them, featuring 40 chambers which supported the cost of the brochure. This also financed a successful networking reception, which was held at the Westin Palace Hotel on 6 October for over 300 international lawyers from around the world. The Bar Council also put up a stall in the exhibition area which attracted plenty of interest.

As regards the substantive programme of seminar, the Bar was also very well represented and the Bar Council itself took part in designing three sessionos. Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC chaired two sessions on “Arbitration v Litigation” and “Globalisation of cross-border practice”. Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, BSB Vice-Chairman, spoke at a session on Alternative Business Structures. Feedback from barrister participants and others will be gathered to inform the Bar’s future strategy at the IBA.