James Palmer appointed Chair of TheCityUK’s Legal Services Group

TheCityUK has appointed James Palmer, Chair and Senior Partner of international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, as the Chairman of its Legal Services Group.

The Group comprises senior practitioners from across the UK-based legal services sector and focuses on maintaining and enhancing its long-term international competitiveness. It also provides legal perspectives on strategic issues across the range of TheCityUK’s work.

Mr Palmer will lead the group’s work on strategic regulatory and policy issues, both in the UK and internationally, that reflect and support the breadth, depth and diversity of the sector. Recent priorities of the group have included responding to consultations on courts fees and contributing to the development of the Rolls Building Financial List, which handles complex financial market cases.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Palmer said,

I am delighted to be taking up the role of Chairman of TheCityUK’s Legal Services Group. I want to ensure that we can capitalise on the opportunities and tackle the threats to the competitiveness of UK legal services. I am also keen that the group draws on its depth of insight and brings its experience to bear on the key strategic issues facing the financial and related professional services industry. 

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK said,

We are very pleased to appoint a chair of James’ calibre to lead the work of our Legal Services Group. UK Legal Services is a leading sector in its own right – employing more than 310,000 people right across the UK – and is also an enabler of growth across the wider economy. The UK is the leading international centre for legal services, but it is a highly competitive sector and with other jurisdictions vying to take our position, it is vital that the UK remains the most attractive jurisdiction for international business.

As well as being Chair and Senior Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills, the firm he joined as a trainee solicitor in 1986, Mr Palmer also led for 12 years the specialist Takeovers Working Party of the Law Society of England and Wales and CLLS, the leading specialist takeover lawyers’ group in the UK. He is also Chair of the Listing Authority Advisory Panel of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); he is also a member of the FCA’s Markets Practitioner Panel and of the Irish Stock Exchange’s disciplinary committee. He is a trustee of the public policy research think-tank, Reform.