Courtroom Mail has obtained a special release by the International Bar Association (IBA) stating that the 2020 annual conference may be held virtually.
The release signed by the IBA President, Horacio Bernades Neto and IBA Executive Director, Mark Ellis goes thus:
Dear Friends –

It was not long ago that we were sharing the IBA’s plans for 2020, in full expectation of a busy year of collaboration and connection. To have those plans dashed by the current pandemic has been the biggest challenge the Association has ever faced. Ultimately, our collective response to these times of challenge will in part define us. Rest assured, we will weather this storm.

The IBA’s strong financial reserves, dedicated and professional staff, and remarkable team of volunteers in leadership positions across the Association, give us the foundation to continue our work.

We believe that the IBA’s role is more vital now than at any time in our 70-year history. We are the global voice of the legal profession, working to enhance commercial transactions, protecting the legal profession, and advocating for the rule of law and human rights throughout the world. As ever, we depend on your continued support for this essential work.

During the past six weeks, we have created a robust virtual Association. We have produced more than 17 online webinars, and anticipate up to 25 new ones over the next two months. The IBA’s Covid-19 webpage and monthly E-news, Content, and Global Insight ( feature numerous items on the IBA’s response to the pandemic and bring together some of the Association’s best work across all constituencies and departments. The insightful work of the Association’s divisions, sections, committees and fora also continues to be available online (

Notably yesterday, the Management Board set aside £100,000 for frontline legal aid clinics who are helping the most vulnerable in our society during the pandemic. We will be working with our 232 law firm members to identify worthy recipients.

One of the key events on the IBA calendar is the Annual Conference, this year scheduled to be in Miami. With so much uncertainty in the world, we have made the decision to move the Miami Conference to 30 October – 4 November 2022. Therefore, we will hold the IBA Annual Conference in Paris, 17-22 October 2021, and return to Miami in 2022.

For this current year, we are now turning our attention to creating a unique and dynamic virtual Annual Conference to take place during the month of November. We will send full details of this event as we finalise.

We have always viewed the IBA as a family. In these extraordinary times, you remain close in our thoughts. We look forward to seeing each of you again in person.

Horacio Bernardes Neto
IBA President

Mark Ellis
IBA Executive Director

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