The Law Society has called on new prime minister Theresa May to recognise the experience and expertise of the legal sector and its crucial contribution to UK plc, the economy and jobs, as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

The former home secretary (pictured) succeeded David Cameron yesterday afternoon and soon began forming her new government, with news emerging this morning that Michael Gove will not be justice secretary under her leadership.

Society president Jonathan Smithers said the solicitors’ profession will support the government with negotiations around article 50 of the Treaty of European Union which, once triggered, will begin the process of the UK exiting the EU.

Smithers said: ‘The law of England and Wales is and will continue to be used across the globe as the gold standard, and England and Wales is the premier jurisdiction of choice irrespective of whether we are in the EU.’

Smithers said solicitors will support clients as they deal with the opportunities and challenges arising from Brexit.

As part of Brexit negotiations, the Society will call on government to safeguard the ability of lawyers to practise across the EU and other issues such as extradition rights.

Smithers said: ‘Even though the country is going through a period of unprecedented change, clients can continue to rely on law of England and Wales and legal expertise across the UK, whether they are doing business here or abroad.’