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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.

  • Latest news

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    Our written evidence to the House of Commons Future Relationship with the European Union Select Committee has been published.

    28 May 2020

    EU Legal Professional Privilege post Brexit guidance

    This guidance reflects ongoing discussions on EU legal privilege for UK practitioners.

    15 April 2020

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    16 March 2020

    Brexit: Where are we now?

    Helena Raulus and Mickael Laurans discuss the latest updates on Brexit.

    4 March 2020

    Brexit transition period: citizens' rights

    The UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement came into effect on 31 January 2020. Part II of the agreement contains the provisions on citizens' rights.

    27 February 2020

    Brexit transition period

    This page explains how the transition period in the UK-EU relationship from 1 February will affect various areas of law.

    14 February 2020

    Brexit transition period: intellectual property

    The UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement provides for automatic recognition in UK law of existing EU IP rights and other IP-related protections.

    14 February 2020

    Westminster weekly update: Release under investigation debated

    Your weekly update from the Law Society's public affairs team on all the latest developments and debates in Parliament and across Whitehall.

    10 February 2020

    Westminster weekly update: Withdrawal Agreement secures Royal Assent

    Your weekly update from the Law Society's public affairs team on all the latest developments and debates in Parliament and across Whitehall.

    27 January 2020

    Legal services' £60bn economic contribution must be heeded in Brexit talks

    Legal services contributed nearly £60bn total GVA to the UK economy in 2018 while in 2017 legal services exports hit approximately £5bn

    23 January 2020
    Press release
    1 2 3 4 5 6 Next
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