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Brexit and the legal sector

  • Brext flagOur priorities

    Our key priorities for legal services and the justice system as part of any Brexit agreement are:

    • continued mutual access for lawyers to practise and base themselves in the UK and EU member states, with rights of audience in EU courts
    • civil and family judicial co-operation, including mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments and respect for choice of jurisdiction clauses across the EU
    • collaboration in policing, security and criminal justice
    • legal certainty throughout the withdrawal process, including securing transitional arrangements
    • government collaboration with the legal services sector to continue to promote Eng-land and Wales as the jurisdiction of choice, English law as the prime governing law of contract and London as the preferred seat of arbitration

    We are engaging with the UK government, MPs, the European Commission and other stakeholders to highlight our concerns and support our members and the legal sector. We represent our members as part of groups including the Brexit Law Committee and the Professional Business Services Council’s (PBSC) Mutual Market Access Group.

    For more details see:

    The transition period

    The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 passed parliament and therefore the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.

    Under the negotiated withdrawal agreement, the UK–EU relationship will enter a transition period from 1 February. This period will see UK and EU citizens and businesses continue to qualify for many rights and freedoms across both polities, and the bulk of EU law continue to apply to the UK.

    However, the transition period will bring change to some areas of law – intellectual property is just one such area – and is a precursor to the future relationship, which the government has made clear will take the form of a free trade agreement. This is intended to come into force on 1 January 2021.

    The UK government has indicated it is not willing to extend further, although there is provision made for doing so in the withdrawal agreement.

    For more information see our guidance on the transition period.

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