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Our international work

  • Now more than ever, the UK legal profession must maintain a global focus. The Law Society works on behalf of its members to reduce barriers facing UK solicitors entering and working in overseas markets, and establishes and maintains links with international counterparts. The international department provides practical support, training, information and advice to law firms and legal professionals working abroad, or exploring international opportunities. Moreover, it works to raise awareness of the UK legal industry's contribution to the global marketplace and to promote the expertise of its 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 - The Law Society directly lobbies governments and bar associations on market access and practice rights. It also pursues 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 - England and Wales: 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 and work with a wide variety of external stakeholders including: Chambers of Commerce, EU Institutions, foreign embassies, education and training providers, UK and foreign governments, NGOs, UK parliament, publishers/press, charities, courts and the judiciary, ADR bodies and trade and industry associations to represent and promote our members and develop supportive and useful activities and initiatives.

    Read more about our work (PDF 415kb) and keep up to date with the latest developments by signing up for our newsletters on international, EU and human rights issues.

    Visit our International website for full information on all of our activities and initiatives.

    Our work in the EU

    One of the first Law Societies to have a Brussels presence, the Law Society of England & Wales established its Brussels Office in 1990.

    The Brussels Office:

    • raises awareness of EU law and of opportunities in Europe amongst 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

    Read more about our work in the EU

    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.

    Read more about our work in international development and 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.

    Why join?

    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. The International Division is designed to supplement and compliment your international strategy and provides practical help and assistance to progress the development of your business in the international marketplace.

    Our members

    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.

    Find out more about the International Division and join