News & Views

World Bank thanks Sherrards Solicitors for its input on the Doing Business Report 2016


The World Bank’s Doing Business report 2016 had been released.  The report is acknowledged as the world’s leading resource for identifying which countries are most user-friendly for facilitating business and entrepreneurship – or, at least, which countries are less hostile towards enterprise.

Once again, Sherrards has been accredited as a contributor to the report, focusing on the efficiency of the Courts and ease of bringing proceedings in the UK, where over half of the parties using the Commercial Division of the High Court are from overseas.

Where a country and its economy sits in the rankings is defined by reference to measures such as how long it takes to acquire licences and permits to operate, the ease of setting up a business, the level of regulatory red-tape and the tax climate, as well as the effectiveness of the rule of law and, in particular, the ability to resolve disputes and obtain relief and remedies in Court.

In summary, for 2016:-

  • The UK is up two places to number 6 in the world, and is recognised as having Europe’s biggest financial centre.  The promotion in the rankings reflects the government’s move to reduce bureaucracy and bring down corporate taxation.
  • Ireland now stands at number 17, having slipped from 13th place last year and, indeed, from 9th in 2011.
  • Germany stands at number 15 – surprising, given the strength of its economy and its infrastructure, and its place at the heart of the Euro Zone.
  • Taiwan now stands at number 11, having risen 8 places since last year and from 33rd place in 2011, showing a real upward trend.
  • The USA is ranked at number 7, holding its ranking from last year.  This means that the UK is seen by the World Bank as a more user-friendly economy for doing business, which point has not been lost on the Chancellor, George Osborne MP.
  • New Zealand is ranked at number 2 in the world.  Although it is a very small economy, it is seen as one of the most reliable and stable environments, embracing commerce and business, which has led, over recent years, to a number of international businesses treating New Zealand as a test-bed for new products, franchises and other business models, before rolling-out internationally, where Sherrards has been involved in a number of interesting and innovative projects.
  • The number 1 spot remains Singapore’s, which it has held for 10 years.  Singapore’s rival, Hong Kong, has dropped from 3rd to 5th place.

In relation to the UK, the Guardian newspaper reported that Sajid Javid MP, Britain’s Business Secretary, said: “The UK has once again climbed up the rankings and is one of the top places in the world to do business, getting closer to the government’s target of reaching the top five.  This is international recognition of the UK’s strong and stable business environment, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit.”

On Russia, the Financial Times notes that: “In the midst of a crippling recession, and facing international isolation and sanctions thanks to its intervention in Ukraine, [Russia] has moved from 62nd to 51st placed in this year’s list, putting it ahead of EU economies such as Greece and Luxembourg, and within spitting distance of others, such as Belgium and Italy.”

China has moved from 90th place to 84th.  India now stands at 130, having moved up a dozen places from last year, and Brazil sits at number 116.

Speaking of Sherrards’ involvement, Paul Marmor, Head of Litigation and International Services, stated that: “It is an honour to be acknowledged by the World Bank with an accreditation, and it is a fascinating project to be involved in, knowing that our input will help to inform and influence the production of the report, certainly in relation to the ease of enforcement of contracts in the UK, and knowing that this landmark report is used at so many levels by governments, NGOs, businesses and journalists across the globe.”

Hannah Jones, a specialist in enforcement of foreign Judgments, commented that: “It is also very positive to be involved in a project where we are actually ‘giving something back’ to the wider community as part of our corporate social responsibility.”

For more information about the World Bank Doing Business report 2016, and/or about the remedies available for enforcing Judgments in the UK, please contact Paul Marmor or Hannah Jones on +44 (0) 1727 832 830.