Submission to the Treasury on Return, Restart and Recovery

Solicitors are ready, willing and able to play their part in helping to drive our collective recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on our economy and our communities.

Our Return, Restart and Recovery campaign seeks to place solicitors within the wider context and identify the role our profession will play in the national recovery effort.

Our submission to HM Treasury outlines specific measures the government can take which would help the legal services sector to achieve this mission.

This submission provides a comprehensive and holistic programme for recovery across all sectors of the UK economy and all segments of society.

Summary of asks

To support solicitor firms that are returning to the office, we ask that the UK government:

  • create a 50% business rate relief scheme for small firms in England
  • allow self-employed solicitors to benefit from existing Treasury support schemes for the self-employed
  • pursue a Nightingale-style intervention to boost capacity in our courts system
  • restore legal aid for early advice from a solicitor to help clear the backlog in the courts

To help solicitor firms restart local, national and international economies, we ask that the UK government:

  • provide support for the legal aid sector to ensure firms have a sustainable long-term future
  • ensure employment tribunals are properly and sustainably funded in a way that protects the rights of workers and employers to access the tribunal
  • prioritise the rollout of broadband and 5G to ensure firms and consumers in all parts of the country can take advantage of the technology that will help businesses to restart
  • empower law firms to create new jobs by giving them the flexibility to spend apprenticeship levy money on training opportunities and training contracts
  • target tax incentives to support employment and stimulate activity in key domestic markets

To help drive the UK’s economic and social recovery from coronavirus, we propose that the UK government:

  • promote England and Wales as a global legal centre wherever possible to emphasise the reliability of our courts and ensure that English law remains the preferred choice for contracts
  • invest now in driving the adoption of technologies that will build the resilience of local economies and provide the bedrock of our future prosperity
  • build resilience in our communities by ensuring access to justice for all

In the chancellor’s July statement, and the anticipated Autumn Budget, we call on the Treasury to adopt the recommendations in our submission, which will enable the legal services sector to drive economic growth and prosperity at a crucial time.