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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 has passed parliament and therefore the UK will leave 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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    Queen's Speech: what does it mean for solicitors and the law?

    The Queen's Speech on 19 December set out the government's legislative agenda for the first session of the new parliament.

    19 December 2019

    What does the Queen's Speech mean for solicitors and the law?

    This article highlights some of the key bills announced in the Queen's Speech that will be most relevant to solicitors.

    17 October 2019

    Brexit update

    We have been in bilateral discussions with a number of EU bars in order to secure the position of solicitors post-Brexit.

    31 July 2019

    Law Society gives evidence to International Trade Select Committee

    Our head of international Mickaël Laurans gave evidence to the committee as part of their ongoing inquiry on trade in services.

    2 July 2019

    UK firms to remain in South Korea after Brexit

    We welcome news of a UK-Korea free trade agreement, which will allow solicitors to continue to practise in Korea post-Brexit.

    11 June 2019

    Brexit and the legal sector - our work so far

    Although it remains unclear when and how the UK will withdraw from the EU, we continue to advise our members to prepare for all eventualities.

    29 March 2019

    Parliamentary briefing: Spring statement 2019

    We have produced a parliamentary briefing ahead of the chancellor's spring statement on 13 March 2019.

    11 March 2019

    The Law Society in the regions: March 2019

    Our relationship management team has engaged with members around the country to deliver diversity and inclusion forums and discuss key areas of concern.

    6 March 2019

    European Commission publishes further 'no-deal' notice on civil justice

    The European Commission has published a notice outlining the impact a no-deal Brexit will have on the enforcement and recognition of UK judgments.

    24 January 2019

    Brexit: European Commission implements 'no-deal' Contingency Action Plan

    The European Commission has announced the measures it is adopting in advance of the UK's departure from the EU to mitigate the effects of a 'no-deal' Brexit.

    20 December 2018
    1 2 Next
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