Law Society president Fiona Woolf is visiting Brussels today to lobby the European Commission on the liberalisation of legal services in Asia.
Woolf will call on EU negotiators to prioritise legal services in their imminent work on free trade agreements with India, Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries.
In a series of meetings with senior trade negotiators including the director general for of the directorate general of trade policy, Woolf will press for legal services to be included in any Doha Round trade deal patched together before the end of the year.
Woolf said: “Open legal markets are not only good for exporting countries like the UK but also help to promote economic growth and development in poorer countries.
“With the launch of negotiations for free trade agreements between the EU and some of our major Asian trading partners due next month, I want to raise the profile of legal services and to stress the benefits of legal market opening”.
As reported on www.thelawyer.com (26 April), the Department for Constitutional Affairs also began a visit to India yesterday to discuss the liberalisation of its legal market.
Constitutional affairs minister Baroness Catherine Ashton will meet the trade and justice ministers in New Delhi and will visit state bar councils in Chandigarh, Bangalore and Chenn.