Maintaining mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments will help keep the wheels of business turning during and after Brexit, said Law Society of England and Wales president, Robert Bourns, ahead of his appearance before the House of Commons justice select committee.

“Economic data shows not only the £25.7bn value of the legal sector but also its value to the wider economy - a 1% growth in the legal sector creates 8,000 jobs, while an additional £1 of turnover stimulates £1.39 in the rest of the economy,” said Robert Bourns.

“People conducting business the world over choose our contract law which is seen as the gold standard and has a global reputation for excellence based on its common sense approach. Our widely respected judiciary makes England and Wales the jurisdiction of choice.

“But equally it is vital to remember that 36 out of the top 50 UK law firms have at least one office an EU member state. There also around 3000 European lawyers in partnership with English solicitors in the UK and across Europe.

“There is a long-established network of co-operation which underpins substantial economic activity. These are things we wish to preserve.

“As Brexit looms we are asking the UK Government to prioritise the law in a number of ways - after all, it underpins so much of the wider economy across England and Wales.”

The Law Society is asking the UK government to work for:

  • Maintain mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments and respect for choice of jurisdiction clauses across the EU in civil cases.
  • Maintain collaboration in policing, security and criminal justice.
  • We also are urging the government to work with the legal services sector to promote England and Wales as the jurisdiction of choice - ensuring legal certainty is maintained throughout the process of withdrawal.
  • Continued access for UK lawyers to practise law and base themselves in EU member states.

UK firms have established offices in 25 out of the 27 member states. 36 of the top 50 UK law firms have at least one office in one of the EU member states.