About the Association

The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) has been serving a distinguished membership of corporate and insurance defense attorneys and insurance executives since 1920.

Its activities benefit the approximately 2,500 invitation-only, peer reviewed members and their clients, as well as the civil justice system and the legal profession. Moreover, the IADC takes a leadership role in many areas of legal reform and professional development.

A Distinguished Membership


The IADC membership is comprised of the world’s leading corporate and insurance lawyers and insurance executives. They are partners in large and small law firms, senior counsel in corporate law departments, and corporate and insurance executives. Members represent the largest corporations around the world, including the majority of companies listed in the FORTUNE 500.

IADC members handle cases in all jurisdictions and have been involved in many precedent setting decisions and appeals. They have been appointed to federal and state judgeships and elected to numerous local, state, and federal government positions. Members are leaders of hundreds of important legal, corporate, industry, and non-profit organizations.

Their responsibilities include chairmanships of national and state committees of the  American Bar Association; presidents of Inns of Court and state and local bar associations; presidents of trade and law associations and chambers of commerce; and board members of corporations, academic institutions, charities, and special legal organizations.

Scholarship and academic leadership are prevalent activities for IADC members. They publish widely in bar and trade journals, law reviews, and professional publications. Members appear on television and are sought out for comment in business and general circulation print media. They are trustees, or hold governing appointments, at many academic institutions from Harvard and Tulane to St. John’s and the University of Denver.

What It Means to Be Part of the IADC


The core purpose of the IADC is to enhance the development of skills, professionalism, and camaraderie to serve and benefit the members, their clients, as well as the civil justice system, the legal profession, and society in general. Members of the IADC are part of a powerful and select group with advanced skills in defense law who look to each other to further promote their skills, their business, and the profession in general. Members often look to each other to assist with cases or offer counsel.

Being part of the IADC means you have experienced success in your career and are committed to supporting your profession. But beyond that, the IADC is unique in the truly lifelong friendships and business relationships it facilitates. Its small size, high quality events, and activities create an environment for lawyers of similar caliber to get to know each other and become not only business colleagues but friends.

Commitment to Diversity

Just as a sound civil justice system should be inclusive of everyone, the IADC strives to create an Association and collegial environment that reflects the diverse backgrounds of those in the profession.

As a complement to the IADC’s mission and strategic plan, the IADC Board of Directors created its Diversity Committee in 2008. This Committee of the IADC is charged with actively increasing the involvement and participation of diverse lawyers in the Association through membership strategies and professional programming that recognizes the strength and benefits of inclusion and diversity in the practice of law.

Attracting and retaining a diverse membership is essential to the success of the Association and the profession it represents. It is the mission of the Diversity Committee to reach beyond a strategy of simply increasing the percentage of diverse members and arrive at a goal of inclusion where varied backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences are shared and valued in the development of our profession. To achieve this goal of inclusion, the Diversity Committee, as well as each Substantive Law Committee within the organization, will be proactive in identifying diverse lawyers for membership, enacting initiatives and programs to involve diverse lawyers in the business of the organization, and developing programming that will give inclusion and diversity in the law a prominent platform within the organization.


Strategic Plan

The major components of the IADC Strategic Plan are:

Mission Statement

The IADC dedicates itself to serving and benefiting our members, the legal profession, and the civil justice system by enhancing the development of skills, professionalism, diversity, and camaraderie in the practice of law. The organization's mission includes a commitment to ensuring equal opportunity in the legal profession and creating a pipeline of future leaders in the field that reflect the diversity of the communities and clients we serve.

Core Values

The IADC is committed to:

  • Developing and expanding personal and professional relationships among our members
  • Respecting the rule of law and improving civil justice
  • Enhancing diversity and inclusion initiatives for the legal profession
  • Maintaining integrity and civility
  • Professional and business development

Vision Statement

To be recognized as the preeminent organization of lawyers providing litigation services and counsel to corporations and insurers throughout the world.

Strategic Goals

  • Enhance the prestige and diversity of membership; provide enhanced member benefits
  • Improve business development opportunities for members
  • Provide exceptional quality professional development opportunities  
  • Increase IADC’s impact on positive reform of the civil justice system
  • Strengthen community (personal and professional relationships) among membership

Tenets of Professionalism

The IADC is aware that applicable rules or codes of professional responsibility generally provide only minimum standards of acceptable conduct. Since we aspire to the highest ideals of professionalism, we hereby adopt these tenets and agree to abide by them in the performance of our professional services for clients.

  1. We will conduct ourselves before the court in a manner which demonstrates respect for the law and preserves the decorum and integrity of the judicial process.
  2. We recognize that professional courtesy is consistent with zealous advocacy. We will be civil and courteous to all with whom we come in contact and will endeavor to maintain a collegial relationship with our adversaries.
  3. We will cooperate with opposing counsel when scheduling conflicts arise and calendar changes become necessary. We will also agree to opposing counsel’s request for reasonable extensions of time when the legitimate interests of our clients will not be adversely affected.
  4. We will keep our clients well informed and involved in making the decisions that affect their interests, while, at the same time, avoiding emotional attachment to our clients and their activities which might impair our ability to render objective and independent advice.
  5. We will counsel our clients, in appropriate cases, that initiating or engaging in settlement discussions is consistent with zealous and effective representation.
  6. We will attempt to resolve matters as expeditiously and economically as possible.
  7. We will honor all promises or commitments, whether oral or in writing, and strive to build a reputation for dignity, honesty, and integrity.
  8. We will not make groundless accusations of impropriety or attribute bad motives to other attorneys without good cause.
  9. We will not engage in discovery practices or any other course of conduct designed to harass the opposing party or cause needless delay.
  10. We will seek sanctions against another attorney only when fully justified by the circumstances and necessary to protect a client’s lawful interests, and never for mere tactical advantage.
  11. We will not permit business concerns to undermine or corrupt our professional obligations.
  12. We will strive to expand our knowledge of the law, achieve and maintain proficiency in our areas of practice, and support lawful and positive change to ensure equal opportunity in the legal profession.
  13. We are aware of the need to preserve the image of the legal profession in the eyes of the public and will support programs and activities, including those of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, which educate the public about the law and the legal system.