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Law firm leaders line up alongside City’s biggest executives in last ditch attempt to prevent Brexit

Ten prominent law firm leaders have signed a letter urging voters against voting for Brexit in the UK referendum on its EU membership tomorrow.

In a letter to The Times, which was covered on the broadsheet newspaper’s front page, law firm leaders made a last ditch attempt alongside executives from some of Britain’s biggest companies pleading for the public to remain in the EU. The letter has over 1,200 signatures from business leaders who own and run companies employing more than 1.75m people.

The group said in the letter: ‘We know our firms are stronger in Europe. Our reasons are straightforward: businesses and their employees benefit massively from being able to trade inside the world’s largest single market without barriers. As business people we always look to the future – and a future inside the EU is where we see more opportunities for investment, growth and new jobs.

‘We know that Britain leaving the EU would mean having to re-establish terms of trade from scratch with our home market of 500 million consumers. That wouldn’t just hurt exporters but the hundreds and thousands of small and medium firms who do business with them.

‘Britain leaving the EU would mean uncertainty for our firms, less trade with Europe and fewer jobs. Britain remaining in the EU would mean the opposite: more certainty, more trade and more jobs. EU membership is good for business and good for British jobs. That’s why, on June 23, we back Britain remaining in the EU.’

The letter was signed by Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick, Simmons & Simmons senior partner Colin Passmore and managing partner Jeremy Hoyland, Watson Farley & Williams managing partner Chris Lowe and Weightmans managing partner John Schorah.

Leaders which signed in a personal capacity, include Linklaters senior partner Robert Elliott, Addleshaw Goddard managing partner John Joyce and senior partner Charles Penney, Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner John Davies.

High-profile business leaders to sign the letter include president of Airbus Group UK, Paul Kahn; chairman of Alcoa, Klaus Kleinfeld; CEO, Babcock International Group, Peter Rogers; chairman of BAE Systems, Sir Roger Carr; chief executive of Balfour Beatty, Leo Quinn; EMEA president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Alex Wilmot-Sitwell; chairman of Barclays, John McFarlane; chief executive of Barratt Homes, David Thomas; CEO of BHP Billiton, Andrew Mackenzie; BMW board member Ian Robertson; chairman of BT Group Sir Mike Rake and Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey.

Read more on the topic in our roundtable: ‘Brexit – The Big Uneasy’