The government will struggle to achieve its mission to upgrade without a properly funded justice system, the Law Society of England and Wales warned today.
The legal services sector plays a central role in supporting the private sector in all parts of the UK by providing the vital legal advice that small and large businesses need on a daily basis.
“Legal services are the hidden wiring that makes local economies work and the key to unlocking business potential in every region of the country,” said Law Society President I. Stephanie Boyce.
“As a sector that employs 1% of the UK workforce, contributes £60 billion to the economy and provides services that businesses across all sectors rely on, legal services have a essential role to play in the success of the upgrade.*
“Legal services provide good quality professional jobs in local areas, enabling people to build rewarding careers where they grew up.
“A successful upgrading strategy should seek to leverage the power of the legal services industry to drive growth, by investing in the infrastructure that our industry relies on, including the courts.
“The courts not only provide space for legal resolution, but they also act as hubs of legal activity, attracting law firms to the region, bringing with them jobs and investment.
“We are delighted that the government is supporting improved broadband, as this is essential for services such as online court proceedings and remote hearings, supporting modern dispute resolution for local communities.
“The government can also unlock the potential of small and medium-sized businesses that form the bedrock of local economies by funding a productivity-boosting LawTech adoption grant program.
“Legal services provide lifesaving assistance to ordinary people facing difficult issues across the country, but large swaths of the country do not have a single housing legal aid provider.
“Critical funding for the sector can help legal services play an even bigger role in upgrading.”
Notes to Editors
*Contribution of the UK legal services sector to the UK economy report
See our legal aid desert maps
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body working globally to support and represent lawyers, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.
Press office contact: Ruth Murphy | 020 8049 3879