Our Head of International, Katie Hay, explains what's behind the launch of Scottish Legal International and encourages firms with international aspirations to find out more.
With the highest standards of legal practice, a wealth of international expertise and an innovative approach, Scottish solicitors are already delivering results for businesses worldwide.
A joint initiative developed by several of Scotland’s top commercial law firms in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) along with the Law Society, aims to expand on this success and promote Scotland’s legal sector to international markets.
Working on the premise that putting competitive sensitivities aside and collaborating on this initiative will bring commercial gains for the sector as a whole, Scottish Legal International (SLI) aims to highlight the significant overseas work that is already being carried out by our members, and expand it by selling Scottish legal services as an essential component of successful international trade and investment.
It also aims to equip solicitors with the tools to learn about and engage with business opportunities through SDI’s knowledge of international markets in addition to the access it offers to business networks, including the expanding Globalscot community.
We have been working with SDI to devise a coordinated way to harness the knowledge and support it can provide to benefit our members. SLI – which the Society was instrumental in constituting – is the ideal response, as it is member-led and so best placed to address business needs.
The initiative will give us a better understanding of this element of the sector, while also helping to spread the message among our wider membership where international work is being done in a more bespoke way.
We plan to contribute by using our contacts and networks, as well as our attendance at key events in the international legal calendar, to promote SLI and our law firms. We will also provide platforms for our members to do business and make contacts as part of our international representation work.
We aim to make the most of existing events - that we know a number of Scottish solicitors attend - and provide a space for them to meet clients and network and make use of SDI networks to raise SLI’s profile. In advance of international events, we will help coordinate Scottish attendance and, to complement this work, we will arrange additional seminars at home that will prepare members for their next trip.
SLI has the potential to become a self-sustaining membership group which can reap the rewards of taking a coordinated approach to promoting the profession’s expertise as a whole.
In an increasingly competitive global business environment, now more than ever we need to take a coordinated approach to selling our strengths. In its five-year trade and investment strategy Global Scotland, the Scottish Government sets out a vision for collaboration between organisations, businesses and individuals working together to realise international opportunities and to share knowledge, experience and networks. This is an environment that we hope SLI will contribute to and benefit from.
For further information about the Scottish Legal International, including details of the next networking event in London on 28 March, contact Katie Hay.