What’s Going On Here?
For the first time in history, a member of the EU is leaving. Now, the untangling process begins.
What Does This Mean?
As you know, the public have voted to leave the EU in a referendum. What remains to be done is to untangle from the legal, political and financial systems of Europe. Although the UK is still a member of the EU (and likely will be for as long as it takes to negotiate an exit - which could be years!) there will be legal implications on the key practice areas of employment, tax, healthcare, energy and financial services.
Why Should I Care?
Although the results of Brexit are far from clear, (some believe that we’ll still follow a lot of EU law even if we leave) law firms have already started to speculate and respond to the news. Firms have launched contingency plans by registering solicitors in Ireland: There’s been a 275% rise in registrations from last year! The uncertainty regarding the terms of Britain’s exit has been passed to law firms as well as their clients and naturally, if their clients are hit by negative consequences, the amount of work for the firms will drop too.
Overall, the burning question is whether or not the UK will remain in the single market (allowing law firms to operate across the whole of Europe). There are currently two EU ‘lawyer’s directives’ (772/49/EEC and 98/5/EC) that allow firms to practice everywhere in Europe and without these, it leaves the European offices of UK firms in an uncertain position. This week, Theresa May stated that Britain really wants to stay in the single market but only if we can take control of the borders… For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
As the terms of Britain’s exit become clearer in the future, we’ll be updating you on how specific sectors are being affected and what firms are doing to best position themselves.
Article written by Idin S.
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