The Law Society is working to ensure that England and Wales remains the go-to jurisdiction post-Brexit, writes chief executive Catherine Dixon.
The England and Wales jurisdiction holds an enviable position as the leading global centre for legal services. Our law is clear, certain and stable; our courts are renowned for their fairness and impartiality; our law firms are widely respected.
This position has allowed the legal services sector to make a huge contribution to UK PLC, adding £25.7bn to the national economy each year, generating £3.6bn in international earnings, and employing an estimated 370,000 people.
One of the key challenges that a successful Brexit poses for the legal profession is how we ensure that exiting the European Union doesn’t threaten the world standing of our jurisdiction, and the huge contribution it brings to our economy.
Uncertainty is rarely good for business – a reality currently being played out daily in the British economy. Where there is uncertainty people too often hesitate, jump to conclusions, or fall victim to wild speculation and false promises. Other legal jurisdictions around the world look on our position with envy, and will not be shy about using the aftermath of the Brexit vote to promote themselves at our expense.
We know that there is no good reason Brexit should undermine England and Wales as a global legal centre. Our law will remain stable, our courts will remain fair, and our solicitors will remain skilled.
Ensuring this message is out there will be a key focus for the Law Society over the coming years, using our networks and position to promote the certainty, stability and confidence of the English and Welsh legal profession.
As the government, and the country, work through the challenging task of separating ourselves from the EU, it is vital that they join us in this work to dispel any doubt - whether predatory or innocent - that Britain remains open for business.
Catherine Dixon is Law Society chief executive