Nearly a quarter of workers in the EU's legal and accounting sectors are based in Britain and generate more than £15 billion a year in taxes, according to a report that calls on Britain’s leading position as a legal hub to be retained.

The report, by professional services lobby group TheCityUK, says that the two sectors generated £15.5bn in tax in 2015/16 - £6.4bn directly levied on the businesses and £9.1bn through payrolls and VAT. 

According to the report, ‘Total Tax Contribution Study for UK legal and accounting activities’, produced by PwC, the sectors collectively employ 693,000 people across the UK (23% of all EU employees).

The report does not give separate figures for the legal profession however a previous report by the group in February this year counted 311,000 people employed in legal services across the country.

The report says Britain has a ‘premier position as a legal and accounting services employer’ and is ahead of Germany (21% of all EU workers), France (10%), Spain (8%) and Italy (7%).

Miles Celic, chief executive at TheCityUK, said the two sectors are an ‘essential part of the world-leading financial and professional services ecosystem’.

‘The UK is the leading global hub for legal and accounting expertise and it is vital that we not only preserve that, but we continue to grow it,’ he added.

Earlier this month TheCityUK suggested appointing ‘industry champions’ to promote the rule of law to Whitehall so that a ‘strong, clear and consistent’ system of law will be kept after Britain leaves the EU.