Massimo Calderan

Anna Dabrowska

European Regional Forum

Since 2004, the European Regional Forum has been developing and strengthening the existence of the IBA within Europe by promoting its goals to both members and non-members, disseminating professional know-how, and assisting committees and other constituencies of the IBA.

About the Forum

The European Regional Forum (ERF) was established in 1989 and has over 8000 members.

The goals of the forum include addressing the current and long-term needs of professional organisations and individual members within the geographical reach of the forum, as well as increasing membership and participation in the IBA and integrating them within the organisation. The forum will also facilitate cross-border activity between lawyers and bars in different European countries. The forum has a particular focus on cross-disciplinary activities.

Statement of Purpose of the ERF:

  • Support objectives of IBA and its members in Europe
  • A forum to promote a strong/robust civil society in Europe in support of the Rule of Law, the legal professional and other public policy initiatives
  • Foster closer connection between lawyers in Europe particularly re professional development and networking opportunities

The ERF is split into 4 regions as follows:

  • Northern
  • Western
  • Central
  • Southeastern

Each region has its Chair and Vice-Chair who are ERF Officers. The Regional Groups aim to focus efforts in each region on mutual support and assistance amongst Council Members and to organise networking and professional development initiatives in their region.

Working Parties and Taskforces have been established to plan and implement specific initiatives. These include initiatives on:

  • Communications
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • ESG
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Next Gen Law

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences

European Regional Forum Council

The Council Members are the national representatives of the European Regional Forum (ERF) of the International Bar Association (IBA). Their primary task is to implement and support the objectives of the IBA in their home country in accordance with the guidelines of the ERF. This involves promoting a strong and robust civil society in support of the rule of law and the legal profession as well as to assist with the other public policy initiatives.

The role of the Council member

The role of the Council Member is to initiate networking opportunities for existing and potential members in their home country. There is a specific emphasis on professional development and networking opportunities.

They also have a role in building and maintaining contact with their local National Bar Association as well as universities and other legal institutions in their country. This helps to increase the awareness of the IBA and its mission.

A Council Member may for example identify a particular legal/professional topic or issue relating to careers in the law or professional development.

The support from the ERF and the IBA may be useful in providing relevant expertise. This may include, for example, organising a meeting to look at a specific legal development in an industry sector or issues relating to law firm management.

In promoting these initiatives, Council Members will gain access to the depth of experiences and expertise of other lawyers within the IBA. This helps to provide practical assistance locally as well as increasing the profile of the IBA home countries.

Examples of these initiatives include networking luncheons with professional or industry speakers on a specific topic or seminars or bilateral days with lawyers from another counrty. It may also include university days to discuss specific themes including careers in the law and the rule of law.


The European automotive and mobility service industry: transformation and revolution – IBA Annual Conference Paris, 2 November 2023

On the afternoon of Thursday 2 November 2023, at the IBA Annual Conference in Paris, the European Regional Forum lead the organisation of the automotive session titled ‘The European automotive and mobility service industry: transformation and revolution’. Contrary to its title the panellists came from different areas of the world, including Europe, India, Mexico and South Korea. During the session, panellists discussed issues relating to data privacy, developments concerning autonomous vehicles, the future of electric vehicles and more.

Released on Jan 12, 2024

Partners as leaders: understanding how to lead the lawyers of tomorrow

On 4 October 2023 the European Regional Forum’s Young Lawyers Working Party held a webinar titled 'Partners as leaders: understanding how to lead the lawyers of tomorrow’. During the webinar, moderator Julia Hepner discussed with speakers Mark Longworth, Vanessa Byrne and Alexandra Martins, the subject of how young or current partners can unlock their own leadership skills to generate loyalty and create and develop strong and diverse teams and to retain talents. This article summarises the main takeaways.

Released on Jan 12, 2024

Roma Tre University day

On 22 November 2023, the IBA European Regional Forum (ERF), the IBA Academic and Professional Development Committee and the IBA Future of Legal Services Commission, in cooperation with Roma Tre University, organised a university day and job fair.

Released on Jan 12, 2024

Psychological health, safety and wellbeing: reshaping the working environment of the European law firm – IBA Annual Conference Paris, 30 October 2023

The European Regional Forum (ERF), in particular its Professional Wellbeing Working Party (PWWP), organised a session on lawyers' wellbeing and ways in which we can make our law firms become better working environments. This session was additionally organised with the support of the IBA’s Presidential Task Force on Mental Health and wellbeing and the Professional Ethics Committee; it took place at the IBA 2023 Annual Conference in Paris.

Released on Jan 12, 2024

Committee Films

Subcommittees and other groups

The European Regional Forum also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • European Regional Forum Advisory Board