January 30, 2017
The Lord Chancellor, Elizabeth Truss, issued a clarion call to make sure the legal profession is standing ready to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by Brexit at an event in the City attended by leading figures from law firms, the Bar, and key sector representatives.
Ms Truss told attendees that she is aware of the importance of cooperation in civil justice and is already working with the Secretary of State for exiting the EU, David Davis, as part of wider negotiations so international business continues to choose UK courts and laws to resolve cross-border commercial contract disputes.
Alongside the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, Ms Truss also highlighted a range of measures being taken to ensure English law continues to evolve, innovate and lead the world by making use of talent from every section of society.
Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss said: “English law is rightly renowned across the globe, making this country a great place to invest, do business, litigate and seek justice.
It is in the interests of all European countries who want to do business here that we maintain civil justice cooperation when we leave the EU, so we are already working to make sure we get the best possible deal for the profession.
As we enter this exciting new era, I am pleased to be working with judges and the industry to ensure we tap into all talents and continue to lead the world in the increasingly competitive legal services sector”.
UK law firms continue to thrive overseas, while four of the world’s top ten global law firms have their headquarters in London as the centre of legal influence. The industry, which boosts the economy by some £25 billion year, is underpinned by the quality of the UK’s law and its lawyers, an incorruptible judiciary and the most modern courts in the world.
In recent months, the Lord Chancellor said she has been working on a plan to help maintain and grow the legal sector with key figures including the Lord Chief Justice, major law firms and representative bodies.
A number of initiatives were discussed at the meeting, including identifying opportunities to improve social empowerment and mobility for those wishing to enter the legal profession, and growing opportunities for solicitors to enter the judiciary. A series of working parties will now be established to progress the initiatives and agree delivery targets and timetables.
A Global Britain summit will be convened in the spring that will involve influential figures from the legal and business worlds to reflect the vital role played by the legal services sector in underpinning our economy.
The Law Society has welcomed the news that the Government is “focused on the vital issue of pan-European co-operation in civil justice in the wake of Brexit”. Law Society president, Robert Bourns, said: “Justice secretary Liz Truss is right to recognise the global reputation of the law of England and Wales – it is vital that the UK Government lays the foundations for the legal sector to flourish in the post-Brexit era especially given its vital role in supporting business”. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here. To read the Law Society’s press release, click here.