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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

  • 1 2 Next

    Common law is common sense for business

    Simon Davies launches our report England and Wales: A World Jurisdiction of Choice and explains Britain's appeal as a place to do business.

    3 December 2019
    Press release

    Response to Supreme Court ruling

    Law Society president Simon Davis said: "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a vital expression of the checks and balances that exist in our democracy".

    24 September 2019
    Press release

    Britain's legal sector set for significant slowdown in event of no-deal Brexit

    Britain - Europe's biggest international provider of legal services and number two in the world - could take a £3.5bn hit from a no-deal Brexit.

    1 August 2019
    Press release

    Save our justice system Boris Johnson urged

    Solicitors' leaders today made an urgent plea to incoming prime minister to put the criminal justice system at the heart of the priorities of his administration.

    23 July 2019
    Press release

    No deal a good deal for criminals Law Society warns

    If the UK leaves the EU without a deal in four weeks' time cross-border criminals will have much to celebrate, the Law Society said today.

    1 March 2019
    Press release

    No-deal Brexit could leave UK's creative talents unprotected

    A no-deal Brexit could undermine protections enjoyed by British inventors, fashion designers and broadcasters, the Law Society warned today.

    12 February 2019
    Press release

    Family law, data, civil disputes - what happens in the wake of a no-deal Brexit

    Growing concern that the UK could exit the EU without a deal has led the Law Society to publish guidance for solicitors to mitigate some of the risks.

    12 November 2018
    Press release

    No-deal Brexit risks putting UK's ability to extradite criminals in jeopardy

    The Law Society of England and Wales has warned that a no-deal Brexit could leave Britain unable to extradite criminals back to EU states.

    24 October 2018
    Press release

    New hoops for UK legal sector in wake of no-deal Brexit

    Lawyers from the EEA who are in partnership with solicitors from England and Wales will have to change their status in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    15 October 2018
    Press release

    Growth in legal sector halved if Britain crashes out of EU, Law Society forecasts

    Almost £3bn could be stripped from legal sector turnover by 2025 if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal according to new Law Society forecasts.

    22 August 2018
    Press release
    1 2 Next
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