Legal sector in London deals with international disputes

Author: Doug Hall, James Kirk (

Categories: Business crossing borders, International
Tags: courts, international arbitration, legal, Litigation, London market, proffesionals
The legal sector in London is benefitting from globalisation. In this TV show Doug Hall discusses why London is a major centre for international disputes.

Legal sector underpinnings

It’s been a major driver, both for our practice and for legal services in the London market generally. London is one of the leading, if not the leading centre for international disputes, It’s probably a very large invisible export. I’d love to be able to add up the total fees that are generated in the London market from lawyers and accountants, for foreign nationals having their cases dealt with in London. For example, I gave evidence at an international arbitration last year, both the parties were Russian and they were arguing over an asset in Moscow, a property. They came to London for the dispute to be dealt with, they used lawyers, both sets of lawyers are based in London and I’m also based in London, so London is a great place to be for international disputes and because of increasing globalisation commercial relationships are across borders, and when they go wrong, typically, not always but it depends how the contract is framed, typically those are dealt with through international arbitration rather than through the courts in England or another country. It’s very similar issues for what I do, similar issues for the lawyers but there is a specialisation amongst some lawyers that they will concentrate more on international arbitration than for example higher court work in England. The interesting thing has been that during the recession, whilst domestic commercial litigation has been muted to some degree or front end loaded as I’ve described, international arbitration has been very strong. I haven’t come across a lawyer who specialises in international arbitration during those years who hasn’t been very bullish and been very busy, and that is very much a growing field because of that background of globalisation. And frankly some of the most exciting cases that we deal with are across borders. It’s the same principles, exactly the same issues, but there’s more complications, there’s more cotterill issues, there’s more practical issues in gathering and assessing evidence and presenting it, but that’s really where the future lies, well it’s already here, but I think there is reason for optimism for the London market for continuing to be a major centre for international disputes.

Inside Finance TV will continue to look at what is driving business in the legal sector and beyond.

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