Our international work
Now more than ever, the UK legal profession must maintain a global focus. We work on behalf of our members to reduce barriers facing UK solicitors entering and working in overseas markets, and establish and maintains links with international counterparts.
Our international department provides practical support, training, information and advice to law firms and legal professionals working abroad, or exploring international opportunities. It works to raise awareness of the UK legal industry’s contribution to the global marketplace and to promote the expertise of our members across all regions, sectors and practice areas.
The team has an office in London and Brussels.
What we do
We increase business opportunities for our members
We use our market intelligence, our contacts and our international reputation to run a variety of initiatives to help our members develop their international links and understanding of the international marketplace.
We protect and promote the wider international interests of our members
We directly lobby governments and bar associations on market access and practice rights. We also pursue market access for the profession through the formal global trade system, through the UK government and the European Union and at the World Trade Organisation.
We promote English and Welsh law and expertise internationally
We promote England and Wales as the law, forum and seat of choice. We believe that we have the best business law and the best legal advisers and we use a variety of channels and methods to promote both.
We participate in, and also run, a number of international promotional campaigns and represent and promote our members at international conferences and forums.
We also maintain links with 130 foreign bar associations. We work with external stakeholders including:
- Chambers of Commerce
- EU Institutions
- foreign embassies
- education and training providers
- UK and foreign governments
- UK parliament
- courts and the judiciary
- alternative dispute resolution bodies
- trade and industry associations
Our work in the EU
One of the first Law Societies to have a Brussels presence, the Law Society of England and Wales established its Brussels Office in 1990.
The Brussels Office:
- raises awareness of EU law and of opportunities in Europe among solicitors
- monitors developments in EU law and to ensure that they are compatible with the UK legal system
- promotes UK law and opens new markets for solicitors
- protects solicitors’ practice rights in the EU
- organises general study visits to the EU institutions and tailor-made visits to meet key EU officials
- offers trainee solicitors a unique opportunity to undertake a six-month secondment in the Brussels Office
Our work in international development and human rights
We believe that the legal profession in general, and solicitors specifically, have a clear role to play in championing the values and concepts of justice, fairness, equity and legitimacy.
We aim to promote the values and principles that underpin the legal profession by supporting the legal profession in upholding the rule of law, advocating access to justice and promoting and protecting human rights.
The International Division
In November 2007 we launched the International Division – a service provided by the Law Society to help its members develop their international business and build global relationships and profile.
This Division provides law firms, in-house legal teams and legal practitioners with the contacts, tools and information they need to do business internationally.
Globalisation has generated many exciting opportunities for legal professionals, but building relationships, sharing best practice, obtaining market intelligence and developing the ability to promote yourself abroad are necessary to convert this potential into success.
This is where the International Division can help. It is designed to supplement and complement your international strategy and provides practical help and assistance to develop your business in the international marketplace.
The International Division caters for firms and businesses of all sizes, areas of specialisation and geographical focus and location. We have members from all over the world, all of whom are interested in acquiring international knowledge and developing their business and their skills in an international context.