Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer competition partner John Davies has taken a leadership role in a new legal network, which aims to keep Britain in the EU.
The partner is informally heading the group, which will work alongside British Influence (BI) – a cross-party campaign group set up to back the cause.
The legal initiative has been informally labelled Lawyers against Brexit. Currently in its preliminary stages, the idea of a legal network of supporters was first sounded at a BI debate earlier this week held at Freshfields’ offices.
The event was attended by about 110 legal services professionals – those in corporate law, at the bar, or high-level legal academics – and featured presentations from speakers including the organisation’s co-president, former Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke QC.
About 28 attendees signed up to join the new group, while another 25 per cent indicated they would like greater involvement in BI’s campaign.
It is thought that Davies will continue to play a key role in the Lawyers against Brexit initiative in a personal capacity. The group plans to hold meetings and events both in London and regionally, so is seeking to grow its supporter base outside of the City.
Davies said in a statement: “A legal network can play a significant role in the current debate. Lawyers like seeing the facts before reaching their conclusion and we can help in getting those facts right.”
A spokesperson for BI added: “From our point of view, there’s a lot of misinformation about the legal and constitutional aspects of a potential British exit from the EU. Having incredibly qualified people who are used to poring over the law involved is incredibly helpful to us.”
They continued: “Legal services is booming as an industry right now, and it’s very much in the hard-hitting economic interest of the legal sector to be pushing for better rules and a deepening of the market in relation to the EU.”