Professional services lobby group TheCityUK has urged the government to ensure the continuity and competitiveness of the UK’s legal sector after Brexit. A paper released today called The impact of Brexit on the UK-based legal services sector calls for ‘urgent and clear articulation’ on areas including enforceability of judgments from UK courts and the importance of English contractual law.

The paper also stresses that English courts should be kept as a hub for businesses that want to resolve international disputes.

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said: ‘It is vital that the key challenges and opportunities for the sector are addressed in the Brexit negotiations and that its competitiveness is maintained and enhanced. The best Brexit deal will be one which is mutually beneficial to the UK, the EU and globally and which allows for a clear and predictable shift from current business conditions to whatever new arrangement is agreed.’

Last week, the Bar Council echoed fears regarding contract law in its Brexit Papers – a working paper that examines the legal issues surrounding Brexit.

Bar Council chair Chantal-Aimée Doerries said it ‘rightly highlights the value to the economy of the English and Welsh courts and UK legal services’.

‘We must not take for granted the high regard in which our courts and judges are held around the world, and the role this plays in our economic success,’ she added.

TheCityUK’s paper also identifies recommendations for the government to consider to optimise the future legal framework including:

  • Providing an urgent and clear articulation of how the future position of the UK in cross-border civil justice within the EU will be addressed;
  • Continuing to allow firms to access legal talent and skills on similar terms to how they do now;
  • Continuing engagement with sector-specific industry bodies to assess and understand knock-on impacts of Brexit on the legal sector.

The Law Society has also called on the government to ensure recognition and enforcement of judgments, collaboration on policing and security, and that UK lawyers are able to practise and base themselves in EU member states.

* In a separate developent, Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon has been appointed to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Brexit Expert Advisory Group, a team of academics, investors and business leaders set up to provide advise on the challenges and opportunities of leaving the EU.