Confusion surrounding UK lawyers’ Ireland registration following Law Society letter

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By Thomas Connelly on

Brexit: ‘Establishment’ in country among practice stipulations set by Dublin bigwigs, report claims


Moves by UK lawyers to register in the Republic of Ireland in a bid to ensure they’re able to continue practising in the EU post-Brexit have reportedly been thrown into doubt by the country’s Law Society.

The latest stats show that over 2,700 solicitors from across England and Wales have paid the €300 (£260) administration fee and registered with the Law Society of Ireland in the wake of the Leave vote. This, lawyers hope, will help them circumvent possible practice restrictions they may encounter when (or if) the UK becomes a non-EU country.

But could the re-registration move be futile? According to The Irish Times, the Law Society of Ireland sent a letter to its solicitors in March, just days before the UK was scheduled to leave the EU, revealing a number of stipulations for lawyers seeking to rely on Irish practising certificates post-Brexit. This includes “establishment” in Ireland and indemnity insurance issued within the country, the report claims.

While it remains to be seen how this will impact UK lawyers seeking to secure EU practising rights post-Brexit, the report says some have already lodged High Court proceedings in Ireland against the Dublin-based Society. This, however, is understood to be “more of a precautionary measure”.

The report goes on to speculate that the letter was born out of the Society’s concerns over the extra regulatory responsibilities it will have as a result of the influx of UK lawyers now on its roll. It is understood that the Law Society of Ireland is working on issuing a guidance note to address lawyers’ concerns.

As some City firms take steps to register their lawyers in Ireland, others have gone further and opened offices in the Irish capital. Earlier this week, Clyde & Co opened an office in Dublin amid Brexit concerns, following similar moves by Simmons & Simmons, Fieldfisher, DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons and Lewis Silkin.

The Law Society of Ireland has been approached for comment.

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