We endeavour to ensure that our members are well positioned in the international marketplace to represent their clients and to continue to build their international networks and compete for work in the future. The Law Society remains committed to maintaining the leading position of English and Welsh law firms across the globe.
The total value of legal services to the economy is £25.7 billion and in 2014-15 the sector grew by £1.9 billion. The legal sector has grown by 3.3% per year over the last 10 and UK firms currently account for 7% of the global legal services fee revenue. UK law firms are world leaders and a UK PLC success story. But this is not just an issue for large firms – globalisation represents opportunities for firms of all sizes and we work to promote members across the spectrum.
We also work to promote the best standards within the profession and represent colleagues suffering discrimination or persecution. We are deeply involved in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and access to justice for everyone.
International Objectives and activity:
Represent members to advance liberalisation of the global legal profession and work with member firms wishing to establish in key markets
- Engaging with counterparts in Law Societies and National Bars – we maintain direct relationships with all key counterparts across the globe and have an unrivalled network of people we can call on for advice and information.
- Speaking at conferences – we promote our members services and the jurisdiction at numerous international events, also helping the Law Society maintain its position as a thought leader on key legal issues.
- Attending key international conferences/events – we represent members interests at major events such as the IBA Annual Conference.
- Opening of Legal Year – leaders of Bars and Law Societies from 60 countries come to London each year to celebrate the opening of the legal year but also to participate in discussions and debates on current topics of interest to the sector
- Human Rights – position the Society as leading role in the defence of people’s human rights, especially protecting lawyers and their right to practice the law
Support business development - offer practical support, training, information and advice to member firms exploring international opportunities
- Production of Doing Legal Business Guides – these guides offer information and practical advice on the rights and limits on English and Welsh lawyers practising in various countries across the world. We currently have publications covering 12 countries with plans to extend this to cover more in the coming year.
- International Marketplace – our annual event in London at which we host delegations from across the world and provide networking opportunities for them with members as well as discussing topics of interest and mutual challenges.
- Newsletters – we provide a regular update to members and are able to promote specific events or highlight important developments affecting the legal sector.
- International Division – any law firm from across the world can join our division and enjoy access to advice and guidance from our team as well as receiving regular updates via the newsletter.
- Working with other stakeholders to promote Human Rights agenda – Lawyers for Lawyers project, Presidential letters
Promote England & Wales as the global jurisdiction of choice - promote English legal services and the rule of law.
- English Law Days – at these events we offer the opportunity for foreign firms to hear about their rights to practice in Egland and Wales as well as promoting the use of English law internationally.
- Meeting with key officials to represent members’ interests – we lobby foreign governments on behalf of our members to increase access, or protect their rights to practice.
- Organise Presidential visits to priority markets – The President of the Law Society of England and Wales travels extensively during their year in office in order to represent the Law Society but equally to represent members at key events and speak on their behalf in key forums.
Meet the people behind the International Department