Munger, Tolles & Olson announced on Nov. 4, 2019 that Jerry Roth has been elected President of UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats), or the International Association of Lawyers. He assumes the role on Nov. 9 at the group’s 63rd Congress in Luxembourg.
Founded in 1927 and based in Paris, UIA is the world’s oldest and most multicultural international bar organization. For the past year Mr. Roth served as the organization’s president-elect, and prior to that served as its vice president. He also previously led the group’s American section, Criminal Law Commission, and Human Rights Committee.
A San Francisco-based litigation partner, Mr. Roth is just the fifth president from the United States in the organization’s 92-year history and the first president from California. He succeeds Burkina Faso lawyer Issouf Baadhio as President.
“It is an honor to be selected to lead the UIA, and an extraordinary opportunity to serve in that role as a San Francisco-based lawyer,” said Mr. Roth. “I believe California is on the verge of reaching its potential as a global legal hub. We have an extremely sophisticated bar and judiciary and a world-class client base, are well positioned geographically between Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and recently enacted state laws that will stimulate international arbitrations. I’m excited to not only promote the UIA worldwide as President, but to also serve as unofficial California ambassador during my tenure.”
During his presidency, Mr. Roth intends to focus on three key themes:
- The role of the lawyer at a time when the very fundamentals of democracy and the rule of law are being challenged by populist and nationalist tendencies at home and abroad.
- The essential right to vote in countries where elections are threatened by voter suppression, interference from other countries, and social media distortion.
- Increasing all types of diversity within the UIA, including women, LGBTQ members and lawyers with disabilities.
“Jerry is an outstanding ambassador for Munger, Tolles & Olson’s thriving international practice,” said Munger, Tolles & Olson Co-Managing Partner Hailyn Chen. “His leadership in UIA will benefit San Francisco and all of California with unprecedented exposure in the international legal community as he steps into this prestigious new role.”
Mr. Roth is a trial lawyer who specializes in business and international litigation and arbitration, as well as white collar criminal defense and investigations. He has both U.S. and French law degrees, is a former federal prosecutor, and has represented European, Asian and Latin American clients in criminal and civil litigation matters, as well as US companies in matters abroad.