England and Wales recognised as the leading legal jurisdiction internationally

London is the most attractive centre for commercial litigation and international arbitration, outperforming other global dispute resolution hubs, the Law Society of England and Wales revealed in a new report published today.

The London Commercial Court is the leading centre for international commercial litigation and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) is the leading centre for international arbitration.*

The value of the UK’s legal services continues to rise on an annual basis, with exports increasing by almost half a billion to £6.648bn in 2021. UK-headquartered firm DLA Piper brought in the most revenue between 2021-2022, followed by Clifford Chance.**

The report is an objective, neutral, evidence-based assessment of the global position of English law. It is intended to be used as a practical tool for firms and members who wish to attract business or inform their clients about the widespread use of English law.

Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson said: “The UK is currently the second largest market for legal services globally. It is recognised and respected the world over because of the stability and quality of our courts, our laws and legal professionals.

“Our report shows that in an increasingly competitive global market, London’s commercial courts continue to thrive. English law is the governing law of choice in international transactions and a vital asset to the UK’s economy.”

The report also found:

  • the UK continues to maintain strong ties with the US legal market: 59 firms with headquarters in America have offices in London as of 2023 and the majority of UK trade – legal services imports and exports – is with the US
  • the European Union is the UK’s most valuable trading bloc for legal services, accounting for £2.15bn in exports from the UK in 2021
  • almost half (37 out of 77) of contested trials across all divisions of the London Commercial Court were completed within four working days between October 2021 and September 2022
  • English law governs trillions of pounds in over-the counter derivatives transactions and metals trading annually, in addition to billions of pounds in M&A transactions and insurance contracts

Notes to editors

Read the full report

*See page 5 point 5 of the report – there were 172 written judgements delivered by the London Commercial Courts (LCC) between 2021-2022, compared to 101 in the New York Commercial Division and 26 in the Singapore International Commercial Court.

In the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), there were 423 appointments of arbitrators in 2022, compared to 340 in Singapore and 159 in Hong Kong.

**See page 8, point 6 of the report – among the top UK law firms by post-tax global revenue (2021-2022), DLA Piper had a turnover of £2.64bn. Clifford Chance had a turnover of £1.96bn.

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: Louise Navarro-Cann | 020 8049 3715

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