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IBA elects Gómez-Acebo & Pombo partner as new president
The International Bar Association (IBA) has elected Almudena Arpón de Mendívil, a partner at law firm Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, for the period 2023-2024.
The appointment was made on November 3 during the IBA’s annual conference in Miami.
Almudena’s appointment is a milestone in the IBA’s history, as she is the first woman to chair the association in 20 years, and only the second Spanish woman and the second partner of Gómez-Acebo to do so, after Fernando Pombo, partner and founder of the firm, who chaired the IBA in 2006.
Almudena, whose mandate starts next January 1st, will lead the largest legal association in the world -which brings together more than 80,000 jurists and 190 bar associations from 170 countries.
A specialist in corporate/M&A matters, she also has wide experience in advising on commercial and competition law matters and is highly experienced in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. She holds a law degree from ICADE, a master’s in EU law from the College of Europe in Bruges and a PIL from Harvard Law School.
She described her nomination as "recognition of the high level and international capacity of the Spanish legal sector; a position that we must take advantage of to further project the excellence of our profession and of Spain”.
Almudena said that, during her term of office, she will prioritize five programmatic axes that address the essential challenges facing the legal profession today.
Firstly, she aims to enhance the value of the profession and its impact on society. To this end, the association is already working on a study to quantify the contribution of lawyers to GDP, their role in pro bono or in the functioning of justice, and their influence as ‘soft power’.
Secondly, the organization will prioritize the promotion of a macro-radiography of the situation of women in law firms around the world. This study will be carried out over the next nine years, but the first results will be available in 2024. The third axis is to involve the legal profession in the ESG agenda, contributing to the clarification of the confusion that exists in this area, Almudena said.
The fourth line of action is to anticipate the challenges posed by digitalization, especially with regard to its impact on the field of human rights.
And her fifth goal is to prepare the legal profession for the future, focusing with greater emphasis on young people and the needs they have to develop successfully in the world of business law.
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