Out of England’s many contributions to global business, which is the greatest?

Is it our proud trading past, the English language, the common law, the practices and law of the sale of goods, shipping, banking, insurance? Or is it perhaps honesty, humour and a sense of fair play?

I asked a friend this question, and he put me right. The greatest English contribution to global business is the suit.

When the Angolans meet the Chinese to negotiate a production sharing contract in ultra deep water off Angola, they may meet in Luanda or London, and they may speak Portuguese or English. But they all wear English two piece suits.

Unfortunately the suits are no longer made in Savile Row, but in India or Hong Kong.

Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.