On 7 May 2019, the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary published a speech by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, on the effect of Brexit on financial services disputes in London.

In his view, Brexit will “probably not … have quite the dramatic effect that some people have suggested”.

Key takeaways from the speech relate to both Brexit and FinTech issues, and include the following:

  • Brexit does not affect the English common law at all. It will remain a system bound by its well-established principles;
  • in choosing jurisdiction for cases, the most important things people consider are the rule of law, the integrity of the judges and the system, and the quality of the judges. In this regard, the UK remains an attractive jurisdiction post-Brexit;
  • the courts of England and Wales are aiming to integrate smart contracts, AI, and DLT as a speciality. This focus will continue regardless of the political implications of Brexit;
  • the UK is rapidly developing online courts for dispute resolution, initially in smaller cases in specific areas, such as claims under £10,000; and
  • a dedicated and expedited court-based dispute resolution process for issues arising from those who will enter into smart legal contracts is proposed by Sir Geoffrey, in light of the prospect of there being 3 trillion borderless smart legal financial services contracts every year.