Lookback at Boston: IBA Transnational Crime Conference 2023

Tuesday 18 July 2023

The IBA held its 25th Transnational Crime Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, between 3–5 May 2023. The conference, jointly organised by the IBA’s Criminal Law and Business Crime Committees, is a great annual opportunity for criminal, legal and forensics practitioners from around the world to get together, exchange ideas and discuss the latest developments in the world of white-collar and general crime, fraud and investigations.

Boston was no exception and the City on a Hill welcomed over 150 delegates from four continents with open arms. The drizzling rain could not deter us from attending a baseball game in the city’s iconic Fenway Stadium (also known as the 'Green Monster') and enthusiastically cheering on the home runs.

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The work in earnest began on the next day, with a planning session attended by officers of both Committees, to cook up ideas for 2024’s conference (watch this space!).

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After a well-deserved Wednesday evening welcome drink at an iconic venue in the stunning Beacon Hill area, which you may well be familiar with as the pub from the 1980s sitcom Cheers, the conference ran from Thursday morning to Friday lunchtime, as usual. Sessions included panel discussions on the challenges to the rule of law, the latest trends in sanctions enforcement, the challenges to running a modern financial crime practice and attorney–client privilege and professional enablers.

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Keeping with the conference’s theme, Thursday’s keynote speech was delivered by Matthew Axelrod, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and on Friday morning, delegates had the privilege of hearing a second keynote speaker, Rachael Rollins, US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, share her experiences.

Of course, the conference could not be complete without the local host committee’s reception on Thursday night, which has now become a tradition of its own. On this occasion, we were lucky enough to be hosted in the Joseph Moakley Courthouse—named after the Massachusetts’s ninth district’s former congressional representative and providing stunning views of Boston harbour.