Full implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007 could ‘substantially influence’ legal markets around the world, according to the new president of the International Bar Association. Akira Kawamura (pictured), partner at Japanese firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, last week became the twenty-second IBA president and the first from Japan. Looking ahead to the coming year, he said he would be observing with great interest the developments in the European legal market following the implementation of the LSA and EU moves to liberalise professional services throughout the continent. He said: ‘It is possible that the resulting developments may substantively influence the transformation of markets in other jurisdictions that would like to achieve the status of a highly-regarded and independent legal jurisdiction.’ Kawamura told the Gazette that industrial growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China was fuelling dramatic growth in the legal professions of those countries, which he predicted would continue. ‘In each one of those BRIC countries, large and organised law firms are mushrooming and providing their clients with world class legal services, and further increases in cross-border transactions will see the demand for legal services continue to rise,’ he said. The new president said the global financial crisis had negatively impacted access to justice around the world. ‘This is a widespread problem and the bars and law societies across the globe face the challenge of ensuring that access to justice is not denied to people during these difficult financial times,’ he said.