Blog: Global Law Summit

Global Law Summit CILEx StaffBlog: Global Law Summit

26 February 2014

CILEx president Frances Edwards (centre left) attended the Global Law Summit this week along with chief executive Mandie Lavin (far right), director of international programmes John Westwood (far left), and Kathryn Jack, co-ordinator of international programmes (centre right).

Frances, Mandie and John write about the event:

This event was the beginning of a year of celebrations to mark 800 years of a remarkable document – the Magna Carta. The document was sealed on the fields by the Thames at Runnymede in 1215, as part of a truce between King John and his feuding barons; it has become a foundation stone for our legal system and for many other countries.

Nation after nation now derive their legal principles and traditions from that ancient manuscript. The cornerstones of our legal system are enshrined within it. It is globally significant and it was described as being one of the UK’s greatest exports.

Attending at the Summit

Attending the Global Law Summit has felt truly historical as the event is part of the programme devised to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Some commentators have been critical of the timing as being politically motivated and with a backdrop of legal aid cuts, have asked questions about whether such a conference will add value.

The growth in the profile and the work of CILEx and of our members meant that we could not miss this unique opportunity to showcase what we offer. The event was mainly privately funded and billed as being financially independent of Government.

This Summit was a forum for leaders and legal experts from around the world to share ideas, knowledge, make contacts and develop their legal systems, businesses and economies. The three days provided an opportunity for debate and discussion about the future shape of the law.


The statistics presented at the event were staggering; in the UK, the legal sector contributes over £20 billion to our GDP, employing over 300,000 people and the role played by UK law firms in the success of international businesses and spreading the rule of law was heavily emphasized.

Representatives from 110 countries around the world; delegations from 73 countries, over 100 ministers, attorneys general, chief justices and other leading international legal figures were present. In total, over 2,300 delegates were taking part. Other attendees included leading legal figures for whom the UK is home, from the judiciary, bar, leading city firms and also regional firms representing interests not just from London but across the UK. There has never been a legal summit on this scale before.


CILEx with Shailesh VaraCILEx hosted a stand in the exhibition area which was manned by CILEx director of international programmes John Westwood (left) and Kathryn Jack, co-ordiantor of international programmes (right).

The stand seemed to be one of the busiest in the hall and they had many visitors. In particular the Attorney General for the Falkland Islands stopped by – he has two employees following the CILEx Legal Secretaries course which they have reported as being excellent. They are also determined to progress onto the CILEx Professional programmes in due course.

Another visitor to the stand was UK Justice Minister Shailesh Vara (pictured centre) – he was CILEx’s keynote speaker at the Graduation Ceremony in 2014 and said how much he’d enjoyed attending our event.

During the course of the conference CILEx met delegates from India, Serbia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malawi, Pakistan, Ghana, Brazil, Namibia, Moldova, India, the Falkland Islands, the US and many other jurisdictions.

Look out for a further write-up in the April edition of the CILEx Journal.

See the full picture gallery on our Facebook page here.