Read more about the programme and what the UIA can do for you.


From 28-31 October, the Union International des Avocats (UIA ) held its Annual Congress in Budapest. Find the programme for the whole congress including a list of all speakers attached.

Brief history of the UIA

The UIA was created in 1927 by a group of European lawyers convinced of the need for lawyers to establish international contacts. UIA membership consists of 2,000 individual members and 200 bar, federation and association members, from more than 110 countries.

It is made up of lawyers from around the globe, both general practitioners and specialists. Its membership also includes legal professionals, judges, law students and teachers.

Opportuninies for UK lawyers and law firms

The UIA provides new opportunities to develop international networks and business for English and Welsh lawyers and law firms. While the UIA initially focused on civil law jurisdictions, it has now become a truly international organisation.

The annual UIA Congresses represents an excellent stage for the perspectives of common law experts that potentially add substantive value to the discussions. In particular for smaller and regional law firms and young lawyers, the UIA represents a valuable platform to raise their profile and develop their reach with international colleagues.

The International Bar leaders’ senate

Law Society President Robert Bourns spoke at the International Bar Leaders’ Senate of the UIA, the forum for discussion and exchange of views between Bar Leaders, Bar Presidents and representatives of local, national and international lawyers’ organisations. This year, the session focussed on Attorney-Client Privilege and Anti-Money Laundering.

The engaging and diverse panel presented different perspectives as per their jurisdictions, and valuable remarks and interesting questions from the audience enriched the discussion. In particular, the topic professional privilege and surveillance prompted comments for the CNB President on France’s approach and regarding the UK’s Investigatory Powers’ Bill.  You can take a look at Robert Bourns’ main points attached.

Further engagement with the UIA

We also participated in the UK National Committee to the UIA’s meeting during the conference to disscuss our engagement with UK members to the UIA.

Future activities of UIA and Law Society collaboration:

  • From 27-28 March 2017, The UIA will run a training course on contemporary family law issues in the international field as part of their 2017 Training Course programme . The Law Society will host participants during a reception in London on the evening of 27 March. Find more information here .
  • Law Society President Robert Bourns is writing an article on Legal Professional Priviledge for the UIA Juriste International, the UIA’s trilingual magazine published four times a year. It is read by UIA members and distributed in numerous law firms and at bar associations around the world. The article will be published in their December edition.


For the UIA’s events in 2017, take a look at their calender here.