The Brexit effect: UK lawyers ‘unlikely to be of interest’ says international law firm in new job ad

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By Thomas Connelly on

Though perfect English still essential at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Brussels office


An international law firm embarking on a European recruitment drive has told UK qualified lawyers that they are “unlikely to be of interest”.

In an online job advertisement, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has stated that it is looking to hire “entrepreneurial and ambitious” associates as part of an expansion of its Brussels-based operations.

With “perfect English essential”, the advert may seem an attractive opportunity for UK lawyers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of City life.

But think again. Continuing, the ad reveals that “UK only qualifieds [are] unlikely to be of interest” unless they have a “clear path” to European qualification. Ouch.

The advert in question was posted on LinkedIn several days ago by Trevor Soames. Formerly a competition partner at Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels office, Soames — who only joined Quinn Emanuel earlier this month — has wasted no time in getting down to business.


Nailing his colours to the mast, Soames — who is a barrister and solicitor-advocate — tells viewers of his flashy looking personal website that he has “applied for Belgian citizenship and has no plans to return to the UK post-Brexit.”

Earlier this month it emerged Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has had more lawyers than any other City firm register in the Republic of Ireland in the wake of the Leave vote. Describing it as a “tsunami of new solicitors”, the Irish Law Society revealed that the Anglo-German outfit had transferred 117 of its top lawyers to the Irish roll. It confirmed that 1,347 new solicitors will be added to the roll by the end of 2016.

The course of action appears to be based on the possibility of practice restrictions being imposed on UK qualified lawyers post-Brexit. With uncertainty still surrounding the EU deal negotiations, it seems that Soames — and a host of City outfits — are taking no chances.