UK government taps TLT-led consortium for post-Brexit trade agreements

TLT to work with partners McDermott Will & Emery and Borden Ladner Gervais along with a network of subcontractor law firms

TLT partner Caroline Ramsay Image courtesy of TLT

The UK’s Department for International Trade has contracted top 50 UK law firm TLT and consortium partners McDermott Will & Emery and Canadian law firm Borden Ladner Gervais to advise on three post-Brexit trade agreements in relation to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific (CPTPP), Canada and Mexico.  

The contract, worth up to £7m over its lifetime, follows the consortium’s appointment to the UK government’s trade law panel earlier this year. It covers legal advice and support to negotiate the UK’s accession to the CPTPP and two bilateral free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico. 

The appointments come just a few months after the six member nations of the CPTPP  — Japan, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico — agreed to allow the UK to begin the formal negotiation process for entry into the trading bloc. 

At the time, The Law Society said the provisions of the trade agreement would allow a 'strong push' for the cross-border provision of legal services and 'promote [the UK's] interest as a global leader' in the international trade landscape as part of its plans to refocus trade relationships post-Brexit. 

TLT, McDermott and Borden Ladner will work in tandem with a network of subcontractor law firms across a total of eleven jurisdictions, including Australia’s Minter Ellison, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto in Japan and Allen Gledhill across Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. 

The consortium was selected based on the international trade negotiations, international jurisdictions and government advisory work, TLT explained in a statement. As part of the selection process, the Bristol-based firm added that it also demonstrated the ability to deliver a ‘one firm’ service across the consortium and wider subcontractor network to provide the ‘best value for money’ and to promote gender equality across the contract workforce. 

The firm also plans to deploy its innovative IT platform, FutureLaw Solutions, to work with the consortium and its subcontractors. 

Caroline Ramsay, partner at TLT and chair of the firm’s international trade group, said: “It is an absolute honour to have been selected to deliver this significant and complex project for the Department for International Trade.” 

“We have a proven track record of curating specialist consortia of ‘best in class’ law firms and lawyers to support the government, and our consortium’s collective expertise, combined with TLT’s FutureLaw solutions, means we are able to provide a ‘global-boutique’ trade law service to meet the Department’s needs,” she added. 

TLT boasts 140 partners and a team of 1,200 professionals across its offices in Bristol, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, as well as a specialist ship finance team in Piraeus, Greece. 

Earlier this year, the firm revealed it was foregoing a formal return-to-office plan and instead launching a ‘fully flexible’ long-term working approach that centers on offering more choice for employees so that they can work ‘at a place and time that suits them, their clients and their role’ and enables a culture that is ‘inclusive of different working styles’.  

To support the change, TLT kicked off a multi-million pound investment programme to develop a raft of new telecommunication and IT tools across the business over the next two years, including upgraded workstations and improved hybrid meeting technologies. 


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