Simon Davis, a senior litigation partner at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, has warned of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit as he prepares to take office as the 175th president of the Law Society of England and Wales. He will formally assume the role in a ceremony at Chancery Lane, London.

'As I take up this role, I am highly conscious of the challenges and opportunities we face as a legal profession and as a society,' Davis said. 'As we hover on the edge of Brexit we are facing either a no-deal -- or a deal that leaves the future for the legal sector, and professional services more widely, to be negotiated from scratch.

'Whatever happens we must ensure bridges with our European colleagues are maintained and citizens and corporates are reassured that the strengths and openness of English law and jurisdiction will remain.

'The role of the solicitors’ profession in upholding the rule of law will be an essential theme of my year, at a time when the rule of law is under serious threat after years of under-funding in the justice system and legal aid.'

Davis will continue with the high profile campaign led by Christina Blacklaws for greater diversity and gender equality in the profession. 'I also intend to focus on ensuring our profession continues to make the most of developments in legal technology and on the ethical issues involved in the use of algorithms,' Davis said. 

'I will be working to make a difference, promoting the law of England and Wales globally, lobbying for resources to fix the broken criminal justice system and helping solicitors equip themselves in this fast-changing technological era.'

Davis, admitted in 1984, joined Clifford Chance's legacy practice in 1982 and was made partner in 1994. He was the firm’s recruitment partner between 1995 and 2000 and spent a year as president of the London Solicitors’ Litigation Association. 


(Image credit: Darren Filkins)