The US may be closed for business but the IBA is well and truly open. Reuben Guttman reports from the 2013 IBA Convention in Boston on day one of the event.
BOSTON, MASS -- The United States government is shut down, but the International Bar Association is open for business here with its 2013 Annual Convention. With a few exceptions, the shutdown has had no impact on the convention. The dinner meeting of the IBA Arbitration Committee - originally scheduled for the John F Kennedy Library and Museum -- had to be rescheduled. The faculty is run by the federal government. Other events scheduled for state, city and private venues remained unaffected.
Other industries in the spotlight
At the meeting of the anti-corruption committee, China's bribery investigation of the pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline took center stage. Wenjie Qian of Chance Bridge Partners in Beijing said that the GSK investigation is just the beginning of China's efforts at taking a lead in battling corruption. She indicated that pharma giants, Roche, Novartis and Merck are under the watchfully eye of investigators in China. And she said that others industries including auto, telecommunications and hi-tech will soon be under the scrutiny of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). Ms Qian also said that whistleblowers are playing a critical role in compliance enforcement in China.
Whether investigations in China will lead to prosecutions elsewhere - particularly under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - remains an open question.