Adam Marks, International Policy Executive, provides the low down on the recent Agreement in Principle reached with New Zealand on the Free Trade Agreement, highlighting the key points and what they mean for the legal profession. 

On 20 October the UK Government reached an Agreement in Principle (AiP) with New Zealand on the Free Trade Agreement that has been under negotiation for the past year or so. We have continued to rely upon the expertise of our members to ensure that the UK Government’s approach to the negotiations surrounding legal services is one that would support the legal sector.

The AiP is not the final text so final details are yet to be reported, but in the meantime we can provide an overview of the relevant sections. The services chapter is expected to:

  • secure the right for lawyers to practise under their home title/original qualifications in home, foreign and international law and to provide legal arbitration, conciliation and mediation services.
  • establish a sector led regulatory dialogue to drive collaboration on issues such as requalification and business structures.

These points are welcome and we will continue to engage with the UK Government to ensure the legal sector is represented throughout this process.
The New Zealand trade deal AiP comes after agreements already struck with Australia and Japan which show the UK Government’s increased focus on the Asia/Pacific region. It also marks another step on the road towards the UK potentially joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade area of 11 Pacific nations with a GDP of £8.4 trillion in 2020.

Through our membership of international organisations such as the International Bar Association, we enjoy positive collaboration on topics of mutual interest with our New Zealand colleagues. We hope that this agreement will strengthen those links and look forward to greater collaboration under the terms of the new free trade agreement.

For further information regarding the UK-New Zealand AiP, please contact our International Policy Executive Adam Marks at adammarks@lawscot.org.uk.

Key Points:

  • Increased support and access for UK professionals to operate in New Zealand.
  • Tariff-free access for British goods.
  • Opening of new digital markets.
  • Reduction of paperwork burden on SMEs who employ less than 245,000 people.
  • Another step on the road to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

More information can be found on the UK Government's website.

Our international work

Working on behalf of the Scottish legal profession across the globe.