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Recent Law Society activities related to the EU referendum - July

20 July 2016

Since the EU referendum result on 24 June, the Law Society has provided information and advice to our members on the implications for the legal profession. We have also been working with stakeholders in England and Wales, the European Union and globally.

Influencing decision makers

  • We have written to the new lord chancellor, other relevant ministers across government and senior officials, offering the Law Society's expertise through expert committees and access to our networks across the EU and globally.
  • Our CEO Catherine Dixon gave evidence in parliament to the Justice Select Committee on 28 June. She raised the implications of Brexit for the legal sector with the MPs there, many of whom have a legal background, and a number of them will be taking her comments back to their respective parties.
  • We have formerly used our EU report and economic analysis to engage with a number of key stakeholders at No. 10, the Ministry of Justice, HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the Greater London Authority and other organisations. We are now using the opportunity to revisit these contacts and offer access to our expert legal advice, both within the Society, and our wider network.

Gathering feedback from members

  • A staff task force has been established which will be working with members through our usual governance processes.
  • We are setting up a series of roundtables around the country to engage with our members on this.
  • We met with City partners on 7 July to discuss the impact on their businesses and any contingency planning that has taken place. Catherine Dixon spoke at the City of London Law Society on 29 June on the subject of Brexit.
  • We are in touch with the Law Society of Scotland and the Law Society of Northern Ireland and will take a united approach where we can.
  • Our Brussels team has been in touch with Bars across Europe - as has Catherine Dixon with the relevant Bar CEOs.
  • We have been in touch with TheCityUK and will be working with them as appropriate.
  • The CEO met with the EU committee, Brussels-based members and the Brussels-based representatives during a visit to the Brussels Office on Monday 11 July.

Communication and support to members and the public

  • We have been in touch with the Law Society of Ireland and received confirmation that reciprocal rights arrangements will remain in place around registering to practise in Ireland if qualified in England and Wales.
  • Catherine Dixon has written to the following members to open lines of communication directly with them:
    • Registered European Lawyers established in England and Wales, and
    • England and Wales solicitors established in the EU, the European Economic Area (which includes Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), as well as Switzerland, as the EU lawyers’ directives apply to all these jurisdictions.
  • We have published a dedicated Brexit for the legal profession webpage.
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