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UK law firms working in France can continue post 31 December transition

News that international law firms operating in France as UK limited liability partnerships (LLPs) will be able to continue practising at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December without restructuring was today welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales after months of behind the scenes talks.

The French government has confirmed that though the LLP will no longer be an available legal structure in France for new operations from January 2021, international law firms which established operations in France during our EU membership will be able to continue operating regardless of the outcome of the ongoing UK-EU trade negotiations.

Law Society of England and Wales president David Greene said: “We are delighted that the many international law firms that have been operating in France as UK LLPs – including some of the largest UK firms – will be able to continue using this legal structure after the end of the Brexit transition period."

“Many of these firms have been working towards this outcome for several months and the Law Society’s International team has supported them via our interactions with our French counterparts. We’re extremely grateful to the French government."

“I reiterate our commitment to keeping England and Wales as an open jurisdiction to French lawyers and all foreign lawyers. We believe our status as an international hub for legal services is vital for our economy and our reputation as a global legal centre.”

Notes to editors

Law firms operating in France cannot adopt a non-French and non-EU legal structure but the French government has ‘grandfathered’ established international firms using the UK LLP structure so they can continue operating as before.

However, it will not be possible for a UK LLP to open a new office/branch in France post-transition period.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Ben Davies | 0208 049 3750