November 23, 2017 / 12:06 AM / a year ago

British urged to map out post-Brexit future for lawyers

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain needs to set out plans to make sure its lawyers can keep working across Europe after Brexit, a lobby group said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Anti-Brexit protesters wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

TheCityUK said Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union should also not threaten the international dominance of English law and the prospects of an industry that generated 31.5 billion pounds ($42 billion) in revenue last year.

The group, which lobbies for financial and legal services firms, said it was urging the government “to do everything it can to make sure Brexit does not act as a barrier to future growth opportunities but as a stimulant.

“This includes the need to secure mutual market access to enable UK-based practitioners to continue to represent clients in EU jurisdictions.”

The government needed to give details on how it planned to convert EU rules governing the industry into domestic law, and the process for signing up to international conventions.

Legal services make up 1.5 percent of the UK economy and employ more than 311,000 people, TheCityUK said in a report on the industry.

More than 200 foreign law firms have set up shop in London and English law is used in 40 percent of global corporate arbitrations, it added.

“The choice of English law for global commercial contracts is in part driven by the UK’s reputation as the leading center for international dispute resolution,” the report said.

But others are waiting in the wings. The German Federal State of Hesse promoted a conference earlier this year that looked at how Brexit provided an opportunity for Frankfurt to become a new litigation hub in Europe.

($1 = 0.7560 pounds)

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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