The Global Law Summit is being held in London in February 2015. It’s a unique opportunity for law firms large and small to engage and network with world-leading legal and business experts and domestic and international law firms. Duncan Wood speaks to Clive Black, City Manager, and Stephen Denyer, Head of City and International, at the Law Society to find out more about the benefits attendance at the summit can bring to your firm. 

What is the Global Law Summit?

The Global Law Summit (GLS) will be the largest legal conference ever held in the UK, between 23 and 25 February 2015. We are expecting approximately 2,000 delegates. While the GLS is timed to coincide with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, it is very much a forward-looking event. The aim of the GLS is to provide a platform for people to understand and recognise how the business of law is evolving, and how legal practice is changing. It will turn the spotlight on corporate and commercial dispute activities in the modern business world.


Who are some of the speakers attending?

The GLS will be holding a number of plenary sessions which will debate the big topics, and a series of smaller, individual sessions which dig into more detail on legal practice. You will have a chance to engage with some of the leading individuals from the legal world, including Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice; Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General; and Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Development.

Speakers at the plenary sessions will include: 

• Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

• Cherie Blair QC

• Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson, National League for Democracy in Burma

• Trevor Manuel, former Finance Minister of South Africa

• Professor John G. Ruggie, former UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights.

Why should people attend?

The GLS is unusual in that it’s a conference organised in collaboration with the in-house legal community. The GC100, which represents the general counsel of the FTSE top 100 companies, is an active participant and leading a number of sessions. From an international perspective, too, major businesses and governments from around the world will be heavily represented. This is a real opportunity to engage with leading lawyers from over 30 other jurisdictions and generate more international business and connections.

If you are a smaller or regional firm considering doing business with bigger clients, the summit is a great chance to explore the possibilities open to you and gain insight into the concerns of the larger players.

The GLS is also about discovering new practice areas. Sports law, for example, is a new field, but well-established firms with first class legal skills will need to understand the context in which a lot of the work is done, to be truly successful – this is the major driver behind a lot of the practical sessions we are holding.

How is the GLS relevant to smaller, regional practices?

The GLS is the biggest networking opportunity in a long time! If you are a smaller or regional firm considering doing business with bigger clients, the GLS is a great chance to explore the possibilities open to you and gain insight into the concerns of and driving factors behind the bigger players in the market. An understanding of where the players are coming from can help you pitch yourselves appropriately and make ‘reaching out’ smoother and easier.

The Global Law Summit is the biggest networking opportunity in a long time. If you are considering expanding your international reach, the summit will help you identify the most fertile markets.

There are some amazing smaller practices on the high street doing business across the world. If your clients are becoming active internationally or you are considering expanding your international reach, the GLS will help you identify the most fertile markets for your firm without having to make any expensive fact-finding missions abroad. The people who can tell you about these jurisdictions and who you will be doing business with, will all be coming to the GLS - it’s a unique opportunity.

There will also be practical discussions and debate on the day-to-day practical issues such as anti-money laundering and bribery, which affect every solicitors’ business in the country.

What sessions will be of particular interest to Civil Justice Section members?

International Business Disputes: International Business Disputes: Resolution in the Rolls Building

This panel session held on 23 February will explore London’s status as the pre-eminent centre for international dispute resolution.

Sanctions and the Rule of Law

What kind of sanctions have proved effective across the globe? This panel session on 24 February will consider the costs to third parties involved in international sanctions regimes and whether they are proportionate and effective.

Judicial review: getting the balance right

This panel session on 25 February will address the approach taken in a number of jurisdictions to the review of legislative and executive decisions by the courts and discuss whether these contrasting approaches differ in their practical effectiveness.