Legal profession will benefit from new trade deal with Australia

The UK government today published more details of its trade deal with Australia, revealing a number of benefits for solicitors practising in either country.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “The additional information published today reveals what many had hoped for, that there are legal services provisions which will confirm the existing right that UK and Australian lawyers can advise clients and provide arbitration, mediation and conciliation services in the other country’s territory, using their original qualifications and title.

“Legal services should be included as a standard in all UK free trade agreement (FTA) discussions, as solicitors help negotiate business deals around the world.

“The FTA establishes and drives collaboration between the relevant bodies with the aim of addressing remaining barriers to practise as a local lawyer in the other country’s territory.

“The Law Society’s key ask – eased mobility options – is also being considered. We are pleased that companies will be able to sponsor visas committed in the FTA without an economic needs test.

“Junior lawyers will be given greater mobility through unprecedented changes to the UK and Australia’s Youth Mobility Schemes – by making them available to nationals no older than 35 for a stay of up to three years, without having to undertake specified regional work.

“The agreement also commits to increasing opportunities for digital trade across all sectors of the economy, while also ensuring standards for personal data protection and for legitimate public policy objectives.

“This is particularly important for the legal sector and we will continue to emphasise the unique professional obligations of lawyers in any data discussions.

“We now look forward to taking new steps to facilitating international business with our colleagues in Australia.

“While the final agreement is yet to come, these commitments are a step in the right direction for both our legal professions and we will continue to seek the best deal for members in these discussions.”

Notes to editors

Read the summary of the UK-Australia FTA agreement in principle

Read about the Youth Mobility Scheme

About the Law Society

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Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 0208 049 3928

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