Specialist committees and working groups made up of nominees and experts from the national delegations research and report on a wide range of areas affecting the European legal profession. Topics include lawyers' ethics, competition as it affects the legal profession, the free movement of lawyers, training of lawyers, international trade in legal services, and human rights. In recent years, working groups have focused on such subjects as money laundering, legal aid, divorce, European contract law, alternate dispute resolution and corporate social responsibility.
Through its close relationships with the European Commission and European Parliament, the CCBE is able to influence legislation in a number of areas of substantive law, too, such as criminal law and company law. Through its long dealings with the European Court of Justice, and European Court of Human Rights, it is regularly consulted about procedural changes in those courts.
The Standing Committee is the executive body of the CCBE, composed of heads of national delegations, and presided over by the president. It makes policy decisions, and meets around five times a year.
Plenary sessions, or general assemblies attended by all members of the national delegations, are held twice a year, and the most important issues are referred to it by the Standing Committee for approval.
The CCBE organises or takes part in a variety of conferences addressing current legal issues, such as professional indemnity insurance, social security for lawyers, and IT law developments. These events bring together leading legal professionals and government officials from across Europe, and are another means for propagating new policies.