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Law Society prioritises Brexit in Washington

19 September 2016

Brexit will be a hot topic in Washington DC this week at the biggest gathering of lawyers from around the world for the International Bar Association (IBA) 2016 annual conference.

The Law Society of England and Wales will be discussing the priorities for law and business post Brexit with colleagues from international jurisdictions.

'England and Wales is a world leader in the provision of legal services. Its legal profession has both a multiplying and enabling effect for business growth and stability, offering bespoke expertise to support other sectors of the economy,' said Law Society president Robert Bourns.

For business and foreign law firms the English and Welsh legal system is one of the world's most supportive - it is a very open jurisdiction that allows virtually unrestricted access.

'English law, like the English language, is commonly used in international commerce as the standard in contracts as it offers certainty, stability and predictability. England And Wales is the favoured jurisdiction in which to resolve disputes arising from contracts because of its commercial acumen and incorruptible courts.

'This remains true in the light of Brexit. Our objective during Brexit negotiations will be to safeguard the UK legal sector's economic contribution, maintaining an effective legal framework to support the continued effective operation of cross-border UK business.

'The popularity of England and Wales as an international centre for disputes resolution is such that around 80 per cent of cases in the Commercial Court have at least one party from abroad and around 50 per cent of the cases have no connection to England and Wales except that the parties have chosen to resolve their disputes in England and Wales.'

Robert Bourns added: 'More international and commercial arbitrations take place in London than in any other city in the world.

'At the IBA we will be flying the flag for UK and the profession, promoting England and Wales as a global hub for legal services with our international peers.'

The Law Society is a founding member of the IBA and plays a prominent role in many aspects of its work. At the IBA the Law Society will be speaking on a range of issues where we have expertise, from developments in artificial intelligence, robotics and the law to business and human rights, in-house counsel and Alternative Business Structures.

Ends

Notes to editors

The Law Society of England and Wales’ International Department works on behalf of its members to reduce barriers facing solicitors of England and Wales working in overseas markets, and establishes and maintains links with international counterparts.

The Law Society will be speaking at the IBA on issues in which it has expertise: developments in artificial intelligence, robotics and the law; business and human rights; in-house lawyers; new models for legal services; innovation of the legal profession.

The Law Society is delighted to support a UK legal services delegation to the IBA of over 70 UK firms led by the Lord Keen of Elie QC, Advocate General for Scotland and Lords Ministry of Justice Spokesperson.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact

Harriet Beaumont | harriet.beaumont@lawsociety.org.uk | 0207 320 5830

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