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Paris moves for a slice of London’s legal service industry

France is moving to take over yet another piece of London’s service industry by the institution of an English-speaking Court; this follows in the footsteps of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Much like the Brussels-based International Business Court, the French English-speaking Appeals Tribunal in Paris seeks to complement a cluster of services emerging in Europe in the post-Brexit era. In December, Frankfurt announced that it would be setting up its own English-speaking tribunal.

As the UK leaves the EU, London will become less legally relevant as it will no longer partake in a common judicial space. That is especially the case since the British government will no longer accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. In this context, UK judgments will no longer be automatically recognised across the EU. That means London will be less relevant to European litigation.

In addition, the UK will no longer have the linguistic advantage.

English-speaking courts will allow companies to resolve commercial disputes in Europe, as the cities succeeding London seek a slice from the €30bn legal services sector that has traditionally flourished in London.

In sum, London’s role as a regulatory hub is in question. London will still have the benefit of the tradition that dictates that international commercial litigation often depends on Common Law, not least because it minimises costs.

First published with New Europe: