Legal Business Blogs

Legal heavyweights including A&O, Travers Smith, KWM and Simmons leaders back anti-Brexit report

A 250-strong group of lawyers including leaders from Allen & Overy (A&O), King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), Simmons & Simmons and Travers Smith have joined the ‘Lawyers – In For Britain’ group lobbying for the UK to remain in the EU.

A report issued today shows among the legal leaders signed up to the cause, representing themselves not their firms or clients are A&O senior partner David Morley (pictured), KWM Europe and Middle East senior partner Stephen Kon and Simmons & Simmons senior partner Colin Passmore. Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale and the firm’s managing partner David Patient are also listed as supporting the campaign.

The group, chaired by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner John Davies, issued the 65 page report outlining what it views as the benefits, misconceptions and the unforeseen alternatives of the UK remaining in the EU.

The report maintains the group has found ‘unequivocal’ evidence that ‘the benefits of EU membership to the UK are substantial and often taken for granted and the UK’s interests are best served by remaining in the EU.’

Laid out in three parts, the report outlines the benefits of EU membership, raised and answered ten what it believed were questions and misconceptions about the EU, and critically analysed alternatives to EU membership and outlined why they weren’t in the UK’s best interest.

From the analysis, the report drew conclusions that EU membership brings to the UK ‘a safer and more secure society, easier and cheaper transport and travel, more affordable energy, a cleaner and healthier environment and guaranteed access to the single market on which so many of the UK’s jobs and business currently depend.’

The referendum on whether or not the UK should remain in the EU has divided City lawyers, with lawyers at barristers’ set 8 New Square and LB 100 firms Slaughter and May, CMS Cameron McKenna and Wedlake Bell among those in a newly-formed pro-Brexit lobby for lawyers.

Legal Business research conducted with Herbert Smith Freehills last month found that 64% of general counsel wanted the UK to remain in the EU, against 22% supporting Brexit. A 2010 House of Commons report concluded that 50% of the UK’s economically significant laws are derived from EU legislation.

Read more in the comment piece: ‘What did Brussels ever do for us? The lawyerly view on Brexit.’