The Bar Council has praised growth in the British legal sector and spoken out about the sector’s importance to Britain’s economy in the wake of Brexit, following the publication of a recent report.
According to UK Legal Services 2016: Legal Excellence, Internationally Renowned, the legal sector’s contribution to Britain’s economy rose to a record £25.7 billion in 2015 – representative of 1.6 per cent of GDP.
The report, published by TheCityUK, also found an upward trend in Barristers’ earnings – and an 11 per cent increase in net exports of UK legal services.
Commenting on the report, Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, said: “Barristers’ earnings from international work have been rising steadily for over a decade. Building on the strength of the Bar’s reputation and its attraction to international clients, a number of chambers have opened overseas annexes in recent years.
“The growth in international work is a testament to the fact England and Wales remains a world class centre for international dispute resolution.
“Some 70 per cent of claims in the Admiralty and Commercial Courts in the first half of 2016 were international in nature and in 2015 more than 22,000 commercial and civil disputes were resolved through arbitration, mediation and adjudication in the UK.
“We also know from other data that in 2013-2014, a foreign party was involved in about 80 per cent of the commercial claims issued, and in about 45 per cent of cases all parties were from outside the UK.
“The popularity of the courts of England and Wales for international litigants is a reflection of the high regard in which our judiciary are held and the expertise of our barristers and solicitors.
She added: “Given the crucial role the legal sector plays in the success of our economy it is important that Government increases its support for the UK legal services sector and ensures that the sector remains internationally competitive as we enter a period of uncertainty in our future relationship with the EU as well as other jurisdictions”.