No deal Brexit disastrous for aspiring lawyers, Law Society warns

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Disruptive departure could damage UK’s ability to attract and retain world’s top legal talent

A no deal Brexit will be disastrous for those seeking to enter the legal profession, a new report produced by the Law Society has warned.

The professional body, which represents 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales, has raised fresh concerns over the impact “Brexit disruption” will have on law graduates and junior lawyers’ moving around Europe.

According to the Law Society’s UK-EU future partnership and legal services report, published this morning, a no deal Brexit could also damage the UK’s ability to attract and retain the world’s top legal talent. It said:

“This has an impact on the attractiveness of qualifying in England and Wales. Their rights to provide services under their home title, to establish and practise in Europe and to requalify in host state law will all become more complex under an FTA [free trade agreement] or in case of a no-deal Brexit.”

The report added: “The prospective candidates from the EU may no longer be attracted to studying in the UK and getting an English and Welsh qualification since they cannot use it in their home country to the same degree as under the current regime.”

Aspiring lawyers wouldn’t be the only ones left worse off from a no deal departure. According to the Law Society’s president, Simon Davis, a crash-out Brexit could cost Britain’s legal services sector an eyewatering £3.5 billion, nearly 10% higher than under an “orderly Brexit”.

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The UK stands as the EU’s largest exporter of legal services. According to Davis, the sector contributed £27 billion to the UK economy in 2018 and produced a trade surplus of £4.4 billion in 2017 — this largely the result of the UK’s access to European markets through directives. Davis continued:

“That is why we are urging the UK government to negotiate a future agreement that enables broader access for legal services so that English and Welsh solicitors can maintain their right to practise in the EU.”

Newly-installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to negotiate a better exit agreement with the EU, but maintains the UK will leave on 31 October with or without a deal.

This isn’t the first time the Law Society has shared its bleak Brexit fears. Last year, Chancery Lane’s number crunchers predicted that a no deal scenario could cost the legal market up to £3 billion by 2025, with growth slumping to 1.1%.

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They said our economy would crash if we didn’t join the Euro.

They lied.

They said our economy would crash merely by voting for Brexit.

They lied.

Now they say that our economy will crash under a No Deal Brexit.

They’re lying again.



But the pound did crash.



The pound dipped. And rose. And dipped. And rose.

You’ll notice that this sort of thing happens quite often in modern economies.



It is down over 20% from pre-Brexit. It will remain 20% down, and more.

The Euro will soon be worth more than the pound.



Oh dear, the pound has fallen. This has totally had a noticeable and substantial effect on our lives, causing us real hardship comparable to that caused by the 2007 crash.

Said no-one ever.


To Anonymous 1:46 pm, your comment is exactly what one would expect from someone who is from the same class as Boris and Mogg. For you this is a game, and because you don’t experience the pain you belittle it. For some of us, the value of the Pound determines whether you can take that one holiday this year or not. It affects the weekly shop, as the price of imported goods are now relatively higher, resulting in price increases in the supermarket, and it also affects the ability of students to study abroad. You may be able to absorb those changes, but many cannot.

We were told that leaving the EU would make this country more wealthy. Now the goal posts are being shifted, and people are using language such as ‘not so bad’. I don’t care whether the changes are bad or not so bad, I don’t think moving backwards voluntarily is a smart idea.


“By the end of 2018, real household disposable income was £1,500 a year lower than the OBR’s pre-referendum forecast”


Pretty sure most of it was to do with the players in the market like soros through market speculation. As many economic crashes are all to do with speculation



Our economy is in the gutters – or nearly there.

The only one lying is you, to yourself.



When the economy crashes, we’ll remeber idiots like you said it wouldn’t. When the medicine supply gets interrupted, we’ll put you to the back of the queue. When the civil unrest starts, we’ll remeber you said it would never happen. When you’re clamouring for the things you lost that you didn’t even know would be impacted, we’ll tell make sure you suffer first.



if you predict a crisis perennially then you will eventually be right. A broken clock is right twice a day. You are a broken clock.



Dont forget the ERM. Probably the best example as we were told we had to enter otherwise our economy would crash… Next, the economy crashed in large part due to our membership.



No, they said
“joining the ERM will make us better off.”
They did not say
“not joining the ERM will crash the economy.”

Similarly, Brexiters say
“brexit will make us better off” (even on buses sometimes)
But they also claim:
“brexit will not crash the economy”

This is because Brexiters have time machines, but the ERM supporters at the time did not.
So the ERM supporters had to make the lesser claim based on probability and a reasoned assessment of the available evidence, whereas Brexiters simply get in their time machines and go forward to some point after Brexit, and report back on forums like these.



It fell down slightly. Look up what happened in 1929 – that was a crash. Pure Scaremongering.

BeLeave in Britian.




What would we do without you silly trolls?

That said, I really do want to see the UK leave without a deal. It’ll be fun to watch and a lesson to everyone else.



The Warran Grant – Henry Hendron debacle makes me want to have my dispute heard in E&W.



I’m not sure how weighty an issue this is because the situation for lawyers qualified in EW is that they have to sit through a host of exams before qualifying in other jurisdictions. The EU directives for providing legal services provision does not allow for easy transition where one is qualified in a jurisdiction but intends to offer services elsewhere.



I try to stay balanced in the Brexit debate as there are positives and negatives in everything. However, reports like this help me to see the rabid Brexiteer frustration with the ‘establishment’ assembling flimsy arguments in favour of the status quo.

The report added: “The prospective candidates from the EU may no longer be attracted to studying in the UK and getting an English and Welsh qualification since they cannot use it in their home country to the same degree as under the current regime.”

– Does this happen now? Students qualify in England and are allowed to practice in their home countries without any further study/registration requirements? Wow.
– Lower attractiveness for EU students – is an issue for the university sector? Or are their Law courses vastly over-subscribed anyway, with most full fee paying overseas students coming from China, India, USA and other non-EU countries?

-Is there any hard data in the report about how many EU-qualified lawyers are practising in the UK in the report? Or how many English qualified lawyers practice in the EU? Or only assertions about what might happen?

– Any mention of the opportunity for UK law firms to expand abroad to advise new clients on doing business in the UK? Where does the £3.5bn come from? Sounds like a figure plucked out by those other idiots to put on the side of a bus ….

The sooner British people get some sort of resolution and can move on with their lives one way or the other, the better. How many policy issues are being ignored because of Brexit? Education, healthcare, tax reform … ???



EU students not coming to the UK is the best thing ever for British graduates. More places available at top universities, and more TC places for Brits. We should prioritise in giving TCs and RG offers to British born students only. Not EU nationals ruining this country. Take back control now.



the sound of xenophobia, I hope they take your future jobs prick. And steal your wife and your kids. Because people are smarter than you and have a higher chance on getting the job because they are better, doesnt mean you need to hop online and talk crap. Next time, never use the UCL name with your comment.



I prefer hiring the best. This sort of nonsense appeals to the mediocre. No-one looked at a Tommy Robinson crowd and thought “life’s winners”.



I can confirm I stole this man’s girlfriend, kids, and mum.

Sorry for being better than you. Most Brits are actually very competent, you however are a pillock.



The sort of chip on shoulder attitude of the sort of student who failed to make it into the top tier. Though many of them have most past the mid-90s trash talk cliché this one is spewing out.



Our Universities are the finest in the world, and a big contributor to our economy. Your view is typical of Brexiteers, you don’t see the big picture at all. There will be indirect consequences to our economy without the thousands of EU students who study here. These are middle class kids (for the most part) with parents prepared to invest in their education, housing, clothing, recreation, and feeding. If you can’t see how the absence of that market would affect our economy, then you are a moron and unworthy to study at UCL.



The link you give goes to a report published in August 2018. Surely that is not what you are only now reporting on?



Over three years on, Project Fear is still spewing out of the establishment’s rear end. Time and time again they have been proved wrong.

This is just becoming tedious now.




Time and time again, Brexiteers have been proved wrong – yet they keep lying to themselves and crying to anyone who will listen.

Project Tear is becoming tedious.




Coming from the camp that keeps asking for a second referendum?

Give me a break. I’m not the biggest fan of Boris Johnson, but I’m not going to throw my toys out of the pram and ask for another round of voting.




If you believe the headline you’re mental



Personally, it will fuck my practice area. Overnight, with no deal, it will die.



Learn to code



It was already tough with the massive number of law grads anyway, and the like of Legal Cheek glamourising the profession.

And the Stephen James Partnership requiring law grads to have a LPC for a paralegal role!

Now we have to contend with Brexit



Genuine question follows…

How does E&W compare with the rest of the EU for ease of movement or establishment in legal practice? Is the route to qualification and practice here easier than the other larger legal markets in the EU?

I come across numbers of lawyers from EU states practising E&W law here. Would one find comparable numbers of French, Dutch, Spanish, German and Italian citizens working as lawyers in other EU countries, outside their own?

Obviously I’m not talking about lawyers qualified in one jurisdiction merely practising that law but from outside the jurisdiction.



Yes, this will cause problems for the top firms. No doubt there will be less M&A work and big ticket litigation etc. But for the rest of us… uncertainty and hardship creates space for litigation that can’t be avoided.



‘A no deal Brexit could also damage the UK’s ability to attract and retain the world’s top legal talent’

The EU’s ‘top legal talent’ perhaps, but it will be easier to attract and retain the top talent from the other 168 countries on the planet.


Tired and Confused

Why? Your comment is so stupid it is unbelievable. Which countries are we currently restricted from attracting talent from, and which countries would you like us to bring in more talent from? Lawyers from every developed and sophisticated market already come to the UK (Aus, NZ, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, SA, India). Note these are all Common law countries. So I really would like to know the magical country with magical lawyers where we currently are restricted to bring in lawyers from, and why it would be in our interests to bring more of them in.


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