Advocacy on International Trade In Legal Services

November 19, 2014 - Letter from ABA President William Hubbard to CCBE President Aldo Bulgarelli regarding interests of the EU and US legal professions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.

March 27, 2013 – ABA submits a written statement to the International Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee for a hearing on “U.S.-India Trade: Opportunities and Challenges” highlighting the importance of legal services to the bilateral economic relationship and outlining the current restrictions against U.S. law firms.

February 27, 2013 – ABA President Laurel Bellows met with Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, to discuss pending and future trade negotiations and general legal services issues.

February 27, 2013 – ABA President Laurel Bellows met with Marcelo Galvao, President of the OAB Federal Council’s National Commission on Foreign Affairs.  The meeting is held in conjunction with the US-Brazil Commercial Dialogue.

October 17, 2012 – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez speaks at Section of International Law 2012 Spring Meeting.  One focus of his speech was market access and he emphasized the commitment of the Department of Commerce to ensure that international markets are fair and open for U.S. lawyers and law firms.

October 15, 2012 – ABA submits a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in response to a request for public comment for its compilation of the 2013 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.  The letter provided information on legal services market barriers in a number of critical countries and urged USTR to make legal services a priority in all ongoing trade dialogue and negotiations.

September 2012 – ABA submits comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding China’s compliance with commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization. The comments focused on market access barriers faced by U.S. lawyers and law firms operating in China.

May 7, 2012 – The ABA submits a written statement to the OAB Federal Council for its hearing on the “ethical limits of cooperation between foreign legal consultant firms and Brazilian law firms.”

April 2012 – ABA receives an invitation to appear at a May 7th hearing to be held by the OAB Federal Council to consider the issue of associations between Brazilian and foreign law firms.  ABA President William T. (Bill) Robinson and President-Elect Laurel Bellows respond with a letter indicating that they cannot appear in-person, but that the ABA will submit a written statement, and suggesting further dialogue between the OAB and the ABA on this issue.

March 2, 2012 – ABA President Bill Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson meets with Ashok Parij, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, at the Inter Pacific Bar Association Annual Meeting and Conference.

January 2012 – ABA submits a letter to the United States Trade Representative regarding the expression of interest from the governments of Japan, Mexico and Canada in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. The letter noted the ABA’s 2002 outbound market access policy, highlighted remaining barriers in place in each country, and urged that USTR address those barriers within the TPP process.

October 12, 2011 – ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson sent a letter to Ashok Parija, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, to request engaging in a dialogue on increasing cooperation between the two organizations and to discuss the ability of our respective lawyers to provide legal services in each other’s jurisdiction.

July 28, 2011 – ABA President Steve Zack sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasizing the importance of the ability of U.S. lawyers to provide legal services (on U.S. and international law) in India and urging the Secretary to include this issue on the agenda of upcoming Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiations with India.

April 4, 2011 – ABA President Steve Zack sent a letter to Gopal Subramanium, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, urging that the ABA and BCI engage in a dialogue on the broader issue of deepening the relationship between the U.S. and Indian legal communities by allowing our respective lawyers to establish offices in each other’s countries.  The letter offers several proposals to serve as the basis for such discussions.

January 25, 2011 – ABA President Steve Zack sent a letter to Gopal Subramanium, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, in advance of a meeting of the BCI convened to discuss the practice of law by foreign lawyers in India, urging that the BCI at a minimum maintain the status quo in allowing foreign lawyers to offer “fly-in/fly-out” services.

November 3, 2010 – ABA President Steve Zack sent a letter to President Obama urging that he raise the issue of U.S. lawyers and law firms’ ability to provide legal services in India during his forthcoming trip to India.

July 27, 2010 – ABA President Carolyn Lamm sent a letter to Gopal Subramanium, Chairman of the Bar Council of India, requesting a meeting and opportunity to discuss how the situation might be resolved to the benefit of both the U.S. and India.

June 4, 2010 – ABA President Carolyn Lamm sent a letter to Lalit Bhasin, president of the Society of Indian Law Firms, encouraging further discussions and proposing a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the ABA and SILF.