26 July 2017
Top judge urges ‘certainty’ on corporate law after Brexit
The Lord Chief Justice is calling on the Government to reassure businesses that English rules on commercial law will still be applicable after Britain has withdrawn from the EU.
In his address to open the Business and Property Courts for Wales, Lord Thomas, head of the judiciary in England and Wales, outlined points that he believes will characterise the likely position after Brexit.
He said: "It is the wish of the entire legal community to continue to assure businesses here and elsewhere in the world that using English law. will continue to be the same after March 2019 as it is today."
Lord Chief Justice Thomas says cost-effectiveness and an independent judiciary will secure London's position as a legal hub of Europe.
However, he made the caveat that "there can be no further delay whatsoever in providing certainty as to that through Her Majesty's Government making the position clear".
Lord Thomas made his speech at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre, one of his last addresses before retiring later this year.
He has called on ministers to clarify legal processes - such as the mutual recognition of ruling enforcement - which presently occur automatically under EU legislation.
He says it is in the "respective interests" of both Europe and Britain to recognise and enforce judgements regardless of which judiciary grants them.
It is essential that businesses in England and Wales can litigate in Europe on exactly the same basis as they can in London, Lord Thomas added.
He concluded: "I therefore look forward to Her Majesty's Government in the immediate future confirming the position."