Mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) could set common benchmarks to eliminate some of the practical difficulties associated with recognizing foreign legal qualifications and experience.
Mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) could set common benchmarks to eliminate some of the practical difficulties associated with recognizing foreign legal qualifications and experience.

International trade in legal services has grown considerably worldwide, whether in the form of the establishment of foreign firms domestically or through the demand for and provision of cross-border legal services.  Yet, it remains poorly liberalized, with many restrictions in place. While there have been some regional successes, few free trade agreements go beyond general commitments made by most Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the General Agreement in Trade in Services (GATS). One of the ways in which trade in legal services could be expanded is through mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) pursued under the GATS. Such agreements could set common benchmarks to eliminate some of the practical difficulties associated with recognizing foreign legal qualifications and experience. The International Bar Association has usefully established guidelines concerning MRAs which could help state and non-state regulators conclude these arrangements. This may work towards establishing global standards for the legal profession.

The presentation will start at noon, and will be preceded by a light lunch starting at 11:30am. 

Please note that on-site parking is not availble at the CIGI Campus for daytime events. Options for parking in Uptown Waterloo can be found at the following website: http://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/uptown.asp

Event Speakers

David Collins

Professor of International Economic Law at City, University of London

David Collins is Professor of International Economic Law at City, University of London where he teaches and researches the law of the WTO and international investment law. He has written more than thirty articles and books and has been a visiting fellow at a number of institutions around the world, including the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University, the World Trade Institute at the University of Berne and most recently the Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC Berkeley. David’s research has attracted funding from the British Academy, the UK Society of Legal Scholars and the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. In 2018 David was appointed to the roster of arbitrators under Chapter 19 of NAFTA by the Government of Canada.