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Common law is common sense for business

3 December 2019

Britain’s broad appeal as a place to do business is underpinned by a system of law that has fairness and business sense at its heart, said Law Society of England and Wales president Simon Davis.

“People come from around the world to do deals in Britain – because English law is flexible, it is business friendly, and it moves with the times,” Simon Davis said as he launched a new report entitled England and Wales: A World Jurisdiction of Choice.

“That is true today, it was true before the referendum and it will be true regardless of the outcome of Brexit.”

At the heart of this business-friendly environment is an unrivalled infrastructure of professional support, specialist courts, a world-renowned system of arbitration and a high-calibre judiciary with an international reputation for rigour and independence.

“Ours is an open jurisdiction – this allows lawyers from around the globe to build their careers here – making London, in particular, a place where global legal expertise is convened. For international businesses that is invaluable.”

International business chooses England and Wales as a jurisdiction because:

  • English law is flexible
  • English law is business friendly
  • it is a system of common law and can adapt quickly
  • it is stable with roots going back hundreds of years
  • our judges are known and respected for understanding of complex business issues

“Common law is common sense for business,” said Simon Davis. “Under our system, interpretations of contracts seek to find an outcome which respects the intentions of the parties.

“This predictability means commercial parties can ensure with considerable certainty whether a particular course of action will stand up.”

He added: “The principle of clients being able to opt for their law of choice in commercial contracts is respected in the EU and will be upheld in EU courts just as it is in the UK.

“Parties can agree to choose England and Wales to resolve their disputes regardless of the law governing the issue – our courts are experienced at hearing evidence of foreign law and reaching decisions that accord with it.

“The conduct of justice in England and Wales is transparent but clients’ discussions with their lawyers are privileged – a right that is the bedrock of our system.

“The bottom line is that English law and the highly professional infrastructure that sits around it underpins global business and upholds the rule of law.”

Notes to editors

Read the report: England and Wales: A World Jurisdiction of Choice

About the Law Society

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

Press office contact:Ben Davies | 0208 0493750

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