LOFTILY as they may disdain the profit motive, Britain’s judges are, on a national level, money-spinners. English law is often specified as the one under which commercial contracts are to be interpreted and enforced. And disputes often end up being heard in British courts. But, like any business, the law is competitive, and other jurisdictions want to snatch a share of this market. London is mounting its defences.
One way for other financial centres, such as Dubai and Singapore, to compete is by becoming hubs for arbitration—by agreeing to abide by the decision of a tribunal, disputants can bypass courts entirely. But as Philip Rubens of Teacher Stern, a law firm in London, points out, such tribunals create no binding precedent. Financial firms often want their day in court.
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