- My LS
Brexit and the legal profession
The UK left the EU single market and customs union on 31 December 2020. Its relations with the bloc are now regulated by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
There are substantial changes affecting English and Welsh solicitors servicing clients in the EU from 1 January 2021:
- EU laws including the EU lawyers' directives no longer apply to English and Welsh solicitors. The rules governing their practising rights vary in each EU member state, country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- freedom of movement to the continent has come to an end. There are new rules governing the ability of solicitors to cross the border to each EU member state, countries in the EEA and Switzerland
- Brexit also impacts matters including enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, EU legal professional privilege, tax, anti-money laundering regulation, intellectual property and data flows
What you can do now
- Read our analysis of legal services in the TCA
- Review our guidance on:
- travelling to the EU on business after Brexit
- legal services in the free trade agreement
- EU legal professional privilege
- European lawyers and how England and Wales remain open after the end of the transition period
- EU data flows
- intellectual property (IP)
- anti-money laundering
- law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
- civil judicial cooperation (taking of evidence, service of documents, rules on jurisdiction, alternative dispute resolution, enforcement of foreign judgments and choice of court agreements)
- family law (private family law and public children law)
- the new UK immigration system, which may affect your ability to bring in talent from the EU
- Review the UK government's country-specific guides on providing services and travelling for business to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which contain and/or signpost information on matters including travel and entry requirements that apply to UK service providers travelling to each EU/EEA country and Switzerland
- Read the country-specific practical guidance for service providers on the European Commission's EU Immigration Portal
- Attend upcoming Law Society events
Webinars and events
We're holding a series of webinars to help solicitors and firms adapt to post-Brexit rules and regulations.
Recordings of the following webinars are available for free online:
- foreign subsidies: proposed EU Regulations and the impact on the UK (24 June 2021)
- Lugano Convention and arbitration (17 June 2021)
- cross-border commercial mediation (10 June 2021)
- impact of Brexit on in-house teams (7 June 2021)
- travelling to the EU on business after Brexit (16 March 2021)
- competition law in a changing landscape (27 January 2021)
- choice of court agreements and commercial cross-border cases (26 January 2021)
- immigration rules for bringing in talent (20 January 2021)
- divorce rules in cross-border cases (19 January 2021)
- data protection and flows (14 January 2021)
- children law in cross-border cases (13 January 2021)
For pre-2021 events, visit our events archive.
Resources from government and other bodies
Read the Information Commissioner's guidance on data protection from the transition period, including a specific guide for small businesses.
Read the government guidance on changes to IP law after the end of transition.
Send your feedback or specific queries to email@example.com.