Zimbabwe’s Sternford Moyo is New IBA President

For the first time in the 74-year history of the International Bar Association, an African has emerged President of the global body of Lawyers.

Sternford Moyo, Chairman and Senior Partner of law firm, Scanlen and Holderness, is the new President of the International Bar Association (IBA). Hailing from Zimbabwe, Mr Moyo is the first IBA President of African descent in the history of the 74-year-old organisation. He succeeds Brazil’s Horacio Bernardes Neto with a two-year tenure through to 31 December, 2022.

Mr. Moyo has held numerous senior IBA roles, including: Council Member, Management Board Member, Advisory Board Member and Chair of the African Regional Forum, Deputy Secretary-General for Southern Africa, Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Trustee of IBA-established entities, such as the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and eyeWitness to Atrocities, and member of the Task Force on Illicit Financial Flows, Poverty and Human Rights.

Recognising the achievements of his predecessors and committing to building on their efforts, Mr. Moyo, whose firm is one of the founder members of the pan-African network LEXAfrica and also a member of Meritas, commented: ‘It was great and visionary leadership that conceived and implemented the idea of the International Bar Association: to create relationships and exchanges among individual Lawyers, Bar Associations and Law Societies; to pursue capacity building for Bar Associations; to promote continuing professional development in order to enhance service to the public; to protect and promote the rule of law, human rights, effective administration of justice and core values of the legal profession; to promote harmonisation and uniformity in the resolution of difficult legal problems; and to work with international juridical organisations.

‘The IBA, under the direction of my predecessors and its executive officers, has been highly successful in advancing these objectives. Consequently, as I take over as President of our Association, I am pleased to say that I stand on a platform of excellent work done by my predecessors and the employees of the Association. My role shall be to work towards deepening the fulfilment of the objectives of our Association and increasing diversity, eliminating all forms of discrimination in the practice of law and administration of justice. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my predecessors and employees of the Association, for the solid platform from which I shall be working.’

Mr. Moyo recently outlined additional objectives and areas of focus for his IBA Presidency, including: developing effective anti-corruption strategies;

strengthening IBA project output from constituents to provide ‘role model’ material, to improve the practical exercise of law; updating guidance and recommendations regarding the extractive industries, so that current strategies meet investor protection and developmental rights of the communities where the investment takes place; focusing on cyber security with the aim of working towards developing best practice guidelines for a new global framework for public institutions and private companies; and using digital resources to make the knowledge generated by the IBA more readily available to developing Bar Associations, Lawyers in low-income jurisdictions, and those at entry level in high-income jurisdictions.

Mr. Moyo’s professional career has seen him hold a variety of leadership positions, including having been a Bar leader in Zimbabwe and in Southern Africa, and Corporate leader in mining, manufacturing, corporate services and leadership development.

In 1990, Mr Moyo was selected by the United States Information Services, to participate in a programme to familiarise young African leaders with the American legal system and its background. In 2004, he participated in a media advocacy course, run by University of Oxford.

As Senior Partner in Scanlen and Holderness, a large corporate law practice established in 1894, Mr Moyo specialises in mining, corporate and commercial law.

The IBA’s new Vice President is Almudena Arpón de Mendívil. Ms Arpón de Mendívil is a Partner with the Spanish law firm, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, where she leads the Corporate Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group. A member of the IBA for more than 20 years, she joined the IBA Management Board in 2009 and has held several IBA senior leadership roles, including: IBA Secretary-General, Treasurer, Chair of the Legal Practice Division, Member of the Investments Review Committee, Member of the Special Projects Fund Committee, and Member of the Rule of Law Task Force. Her tenure is for the calendar years 2021 and 2022.

PALU Congratulates New IBA President

The leadership of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) has congratulated the new President of the International Bar Association, Mr. Sternford Moyo. In a congratulatory message to Moyo, PALU President, Mr. Emeka Obegolu said: ‘I, and my colleagues on the Executive Committee, as well as the Secretariat leadership of PALU, are very delighted at the formal announcement of your ascension to the Presidency of the IBA!

‘We heartily congratulate you, and the entire leadership and membership of the IBA, for bestowing this singular honour upon you, and, through you, to Lawyers of African descent throughout the world.

‘Having worked with and observed you over the years, this is a befitting tribute to the decades of selfless service that you have given to our profession, and that you have contributed to the rule of law, and human and peoples’ rights, in Zimbabwe, across Africa and globally, which includes – although is not limited to – almost three decades of service to and through the IBA. You are a true embodiment of the principles, values and life of a model Lawyer.

‘As you know, we were glad to actively support and promote your candidature in the course of last year; and we will be similarly glad to actively support your Presidency and your presidential plan/ vision over the next two years.

‘We will take this opportunity to be more active, and to encourage our institutional and individual members to be more active in the IBA. We will also ensure to include you and the IBA more robustly, in our initiatives and activities.’

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