Four major firms get Ireland lawyer registration underway as Brexit precaution
Four top UK law firms are funding lawyers who wish to register in the Republic of Ireland over fears about Brexit, a Legal Week report has revealed.
Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Simmons & Simmons and DLA Piper are registering lawyers from different practices across the UK as a precaution against difficulties practising in the EU arising if and when Britain implements Article 50 and leaves the European Union.
UK-qualified competition lawyers are those most concerned about the complications Brexit may pose. It may mean the loss of their EU professional legal privilege and the right to appear before theEuropean Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Registering Ireland is seen to be the simplest resolution to this problem. The application to join the roll of solicitors in Ireland costs a one-time fee of €300. In addition, an annual fee to remain on the roll of €2,000 is required.
Clifford Chance confirmed that all English-competition partners of its firm working in London and Brussels already had their applications for Irish registration underway before the Brexit result.
Herbert Smith Freehills also revealed that it has funded the applications for a select group of its lawyers from London. They are currently “working towards” practicing certificates for these lawyers.
Simmons & Simmons is currently in the initial stages of registering applications for lawyers from its competition, financial markets and intellectual property practices.
Other firms, including Clyde & Co and Pinset Masons, have said they are not ruling out the move. Eversheds stated it is considering which of its team would benefit from registering in another EU jurisdiction, but noted that it already has a Dublin office.
Meanwhile, Legal Week reported that Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May have not changed their opinion on the matter.