The future of the UK’s legal services in an era of artificial intelligence (AI) were at the heart of discussions at the world’s largest gathering of legal professionals in Paris this week.

Justice Minister Mike Freer has spoken about the benefits of AI which is set to transform the work of lawyers and is being spear-headed by the UK’s thriving lawtech industry.  

He took part in sessions during the International Bar Association annual conference to discuss collaboration between UK lawyers and their counterparts around the world. 

The UK legal sector generated over £41 billion in revenue in 2021 and is a key UK export industry. 

This event comes as the UK Government hosts the first global AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park putting the country at the forefront of promoting action on the safe and responsible development of AI. The UK’s twin role leading on lawtech and AI regulation will help futureproof the country’s world-leading legal services sector without compromising on ethics, accuracy, and quality.  

Minister Freer also met Julie Couturier, President of the Paris Bar, and hold talks to help boost trade in legal services between the UK and France which totalled close to £400 million in 2021.  

Justice Minister Mike Freer said:    

Our thriving legal services market allows us to take our expertise to countries all over the world and brings in billions of pounds to our economy every year.  

It is a hugely important area alongside our trailblazing lawtech sector and the conference offers a fantastic opportunity show the world how the UK is harnessing AI technology in law.

Minister Freer spoke at the conference, highlighting the continued importance of using English and Welsh law in contracts around the world, the benefits of international legal collaboration, and how to improve global partnerships between legal firms, governments, and regulatory bodies.   

He was accompanied by a delegation of UK legal experts organised by the Ministry of Justice’s GREAT Legal Services campaign, marking the latest in a series of events to promote the UK’s thriving legal services sector internationally.    

This engagement follows a meeting between Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and French Justice Minister, Eric Dupond Moretti, this summer and wider work to promote UK legal services through GREAT activity.    

The GREAT Legal Services campaign was launched in 2017 to promote and support the strength of English and Welsh Law, the UK’s world-renowned independent judiciary, and our legal expertise to the global market.  

The International Bar Association conference is the legal sector’s largest international event, with more than 5,000 attendees expected from law firms, governments, and regulators globally.

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