Patrick Sherrington comments on growth plan for UK legal services sector

Patrick Sherrington, global co-head of litigation, arbitration and employment at Hogan Lovells, has commented on the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) Plan for Growth, which outlines the achievements of ministry’s efforts to date in promoting the importance of the UK’s legal services sector abroad and sets out a blueprint for its next steps over the coming year.

He said: ‘As a global law firm we are very supportive of efforts by the MoJ to strengthen ties abroad, particularly in Brazil, Russia and India. London is a global centre for complex dispute resolution and a number of high-profile cases in 2012 shone a spotlight on our capabilities here. The rule of law is not as strong as it should be in a number of key jurisdictions and the English courts continue to be seen to offer guarantees of impartiality and fairness not always available in other jurisdictions.

‘There is no room for complacency however, as there remain challenges in liberalising the market for legal services for instance but any efforts to promote UK legal services should undoubtedly be applauded.’

The Plan for Growth was launched by Chris Grayling and states that the UK legal services sector contributed £20.9bn to the UK economy in 2011 and sets out 11 action points for how government has taken on a more proactive role in promoting legal services.

The key messages from the report are:

  • Promotion of the UK’s legal services sector — a unified approach to strengthen the UK’s offer and reputation as a world leader in legal services
  • Attracting talent — attracting the brightest talents from around the globe to study law and undertake professional qualifications in the UK
  • Liberalisation of the market overseas — working across the network of UK embassies, high commissions and consulates to liberalise legal services and promote the UK legal services sector

TheCityUK has also launched its Legal Services report, providing analysis of the strength of London as an international centre for legal services, including data relating to the contribution of legal services to the UK economy.