The rule of law is crucial for the City’s global business reputation but the industry must also work with technological advances like AI, writes Nicholas Lyons
The legal services industry has been through a whirlwind year, with AI disruption and fraud dominating boardroom discussions across the UK.
As home to the world’s best legal minds and systems in combatting economic crime, the City has a clear competitive advantage.
Rapid advancements in AI bring both risks and opportunities, such as streamlining operations and cutting costs, but careful management is also essential, and to stay ahead of the game, we must adapt to the threats and opportunities of the digital world.
At Mansion House tomorrow, His Majesty’s Judges, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Chief Justice will gather together for the annual Judges’ Dinner to discuss how we navigate this complex landscape.
Central to our strategy is the Salisbury Square Development, which will house a flagship legal facility for the Courts and Tribunals Service and a state-of-the-art headquarters for the City of London Police.
Funded by the City of London Corporation, with 18 courtrooms, the City of London Law Courts will bring together magistrates, civil, and crown courts in a first-class facility.
These courts will use new technology and follow modern work practices to tackle economic crime cases – complementing our Central Criminal Court.
The rule of law is crucial for maintaining the City’s global business reputation. It is the foundation of a thriving legal services sector that powers the Square Mile, making London an attractive destination for investment and international talent.
The industry already plays a huge role in the UK economy, generating over £36bn a year in revenue, employing 365,000 people, and showcasing Britain’s global reach. But, for the industry to keep pace in the global race, we must focus on boosting innovation within our growing Lawtech firms.
With 200 businesses already generating two-thirds of a billion in revenue, the Lawtech sector is projected to reach over £2bn in the coming years, with British companies now dominating the Financial Times list of top innovative European law firms.
This country already hosts the largest legal services market in Europe – second only to the US globally – and is supported by world-renowned talent and dispute resolution facilities.
The ability of English law to provide predictable and fair dispute resolution is essential to business-confidence and plays a key role in supporting the UK as an international financial centre.
We will do everything in our power to ensure that we have the right infrastructure to continue to grow the City’s legal sector. The bond between the Square Mile and the judiciary is also solidified by our stewardship of the Central Criminal Court, where we support the judges and promote the importance of the English rule of law to businesspeople, diplomats, charities, leading arts figures, school children, and university students.
And as we bid farewell to Lord Burnett, who served as the Lord Chief Justice with distinction for six years, we look forward to welcoming Lady Justice Carr as the first female Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – a testament to the progress the profession continues to make. It is vital that the City’s legal sector continues to embody diversity, justice, innovation, and excellence on both local and global scales.
Together, we will uphold the rule of law, safeguard the principles that underpin our society, and propel ourselves into a brighter economic future.