Lord Mayor calls for UK Lugano Convention membership to be maintained

Lord Mayor of London, William Russell, will give a speech at the HM Judges’ virtual event to be held at The Mansion House (28 July 2020), where he will express his support for the UK’s continued membership of the Lugano Convention after the transition period ends on December 31, which he describes as ‘vital’ – not just for our legal services – but for all businesses and individuals across the UK and the EU.

The Lugano Convention plays an important role in determining which countries’ courts have jurisdiction over cross-border civil and commercial disputes, as well as ensuring that judgments can be enforced overseas. A number of countries including Norway, Iceland and Switzerland have expressed support for the UK’s intent to accede to the Lugano Convention.

This will be the first ‘virtual address’ of its kind, replacing the annual Judges’ Dinner, given the circumstances arising from the pandemic.

Addressing an audience of senior legal professionals, the Lord Mayor will speak alongside the Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC, and the Lord Chief Justice, The Lord Burnett of Maldon.

An extract from the Lord Mayor’s speech is found below. Please check against delivery.

“Legal services are one of our most-requested exports, a service I champion when promoting the Rule of Law on my international visits. They play a major role in the attractiveness in the UK as a place to do business.

“This is why the City of London is proud to support the judiciary and the entire legal sector. Especially right now, at a time when we must be doing everything possible to support our legal services – not to mention our entire economy.

“It is why we greatly support the UK signing up to the Lugano Convention. Our membership is vital, not just for our legal services, but for all businesses and individuals across the UK and the EU.

“A point which I and our Policy Chair – Catherine McGuinness – will continue to make in our interactions with our EU partners.

“Of course, we have been supporting our legal services in many ways, especially when it comes to fostering innovation. Only last week, the City of London Corporation launched the next stage of our plans for a new court and police complex on Fleet Street.

“It will be a flagship 18 courtroom facility, with a new state-of-the-art headquarters for the City of London Police will strengthen our justice system and help us crack down on fraud and economic crime. And – by incorporating cutting edge technology and design – it will enhance our reputation as the place where business is done best.

“We are also supporting our innovative businesses, which are merging technology and law to evolve how legal services are delivered.

“Already, the UK is a leader here – we receive half of all global investment in Lawtech. And we want to ensure that the UK’s lawtech offer continues to grow, which is why we are working with the legal sector, innovators and the Ministry of Justice on our Lawtech Sounding Board. This co-operation will help us to seize opportunities, support innovation in the sector and overcome challenges.”

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.