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Some commentators have questioned whether London can remain the preferred destination for those looking to bring international litigation in the wake of Brexit

Author: Syedur Rahman  18 February 2021

But Syedur Rahman of litigation specialists Rahman Ravelli believes its reputation will remain intact.

Doubts have been raised about whether a post-Brexit London will remain the main centre for international litigation and arbitration.

The UK’s legal industry makes an estimated £60 billion annual contribution to the national economy. But Brexit has meant that the UK is not now part of the European regime for determining jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in both civil and commercial cases. 

As a response to this, the UK has applied to join the Lugano Convention, which is an agreement between the European Free Trade Association states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and the European Union. Yet this application is still to be approved, meaning English judgments may not necessarily be enforced as quickly or as easily as was the case before Brexit.

This has led to doubts about whether London will remain the most popular destination for those looking to litigate. Yet the international respect commanded by the UK judiciary, the reputation of English common law and the high regard in which British UK legal professionals are held will be factors in its favour.

While it is inevitable that Brexit will have at least some effect on how London is viewed abroad as a legal centre, its track record looks set to stand it in good stead.

Historically, the English courts have always been one of the preferred locations of those looking to resolve international disputes. The quality of English judgements in complex global disputes are renowned. In addition to this, one of the main attractive features is that English judgments are often enforceable in foreign jurisdictions.

With arrangements still being made in response to Brexit, there should be no reason why the English courts should not continue to be the venue of choice for large-scale commercial litigation.

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Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, international arbitration, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.

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