Lawyers join forces to hold first London disputes week

Gloster: This is not a time for complacency

A host of top law firms, chambers, representative bodies and others are joining forces to launch London International Disputes Week (LIDW) next year.

The event, running from 7 to 10 May 2019, will explore the future of dispute resolution and celebrate the heritage of London as a centre for handling disputes.

It will comprises a one-day conference at the National Gallery, 18 sessions on different types of disputes and forms of dispute resolution, and a gala dinner at Mansion House.

It will also “facilitate discussions on the future of dispute resolution in London, where and how disputes will arise, how London should adapt to the changing landscape, and the future of dispute resolution globally”, publicity said.

Most of the major commercial law firms and chambers are supporting LIDW, along with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, City of London Law Society, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, GC100, International Chamber of Commerce UK, Law Society, London Court of International Arbitration, Bar Council, and the London Solicitors Litigation Association.

Dame Elizabeth Gloster, the former Lady Justice of Appeal, said: “I am delighted to support the first ever London International Disputes Week. I look forward to discussing with delegates from around the world the challenges and opportunities in dispute resolution and London’s place in our increasingly globalised world.

“London has long been a respected centre for handling disputes, but this is not a time for complacency. The event will provide our great city with the opportunity to showcase our heritage, whilst looking ahead to the future and how we will adapt, evolve and progress.”

Meanwhile, last week the chair of Parliament’s justice select committee, Bob Neill MP, wrote to justice minister Lucy Frazer to express its continued serious concerns over the government’s lack of clarity on the implications of Brexit for the justice system.

These included uncertainty about how civil judicial co-operation would be achieved from 1 January 2021 – when the transition period ends – “a lack of clarity on the key questions of whether submission to the jurisdiction of the English courts and enforceability of judgments will remain the same before and after Brexit (including the implementation period), and the impact on contractual continuity”, and a series of issues around criminal justice.

The letter also raised questions about the achievements of the Ministry of Justice’s ‘Legal Services are GREAT campaign’ which highlights the benefits of the UK legal services sector abroad.

Mr Neill said: “Evidence we heard during our inquiry and our recent session made the serious impact of this lack of clarity absolutely clear.

“While I am grateful to the minister for the assurances we received when she gave evidence last month, significant questions remain, putting the global reputation of our legal services sector, its 300,000 jobs and £26bn contribution to our economy at risk.

“I hope these issues are given a high priority, and in view of the seriousness of the potential impact, have requested a swift response by 10 December – before the meaningful vote in Parliament.”

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