Export Strength

Pop music and tailoring aside, the UK doesn’t have many exports worth shouting about (and we still have to make amends for inflicting Piers Morgan on the world) so it’s good to see Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke bigging up British law.

Clarke was at Clifford Chance today espousing the virtues of the legal profession and promising to work hard to push the £23bn (as it was in 2009) industry on the rest of the world, whether they like it or not (see story).

“Contrary to popular myth, I do not wear hush puppies but I am nonetheless prepared to wear out much shoe leather making the case for liberalisation of those areas where protectionist regulations remain an impediment to exporting UK services,” said Clarke.

And Clarke is not the only cabinet minister showing the love to UK law firms at the moment. Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May is at Eversheds today, chairing a debate on gender equality reporting, while Prime Minister David Cameron invited Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley and Eversheds managing partner Lee Ranson on his Russia trip earlier this week (see story).

We bet lawyers have never felt so relevant. Clarke did drop a wee clanger at his talk today, though, adding: “I intend that the new Alternative Business Structures which come in on October 6th will be of benefit both to the economy and the profession.”

Did no one tell him about the delays to the Legal Services Act, or does he know something we don’t?