How to practise in the Netherlands after the Brexit transition period

This information assumes that after the end of the Brexit transition period, the EU Lawyers Directives will no longer apply to UK solicitors and law firms, and that they will be treated as non-EU third country lawyers and law firms.

The position may change depending on the outcome of the ongoing UK–EU negotiations.

Conditions for UK solicitors to practise under home title

Non-EU/EEA lawyers can practise in the Netherlands under their home country title in home country and international law. They may not advise on Dutch law.

They’ll have to be assisted by a Dutch-qualified lawyer if they appear in court, except for administrative law or claims under €25,000, for which anyone can appear in court.

There is no requirement for foreign lawyers to register with the Dutch Bar.

Non-EU third country lawyers can:

  • practise under their home country title
  • practise the law of their home country
  • practise public international law
  • represent clients in arbitration, conciliation and mediation
  • appear in court on matters of administrative law
  • appear in court for claims under €25,000

Non-EU third country lawyers cannot:

  • practise Dutch law
  • appear in court without being assisted by a Dutch lawyer (except as noted above)
  • rely on legal professional privilege (LPP), as this only applies to Dutch advocats

Requalifying as a Dutch lawyer after the transition period

There are no nationality, residency or reciprocity requirements for non-EEA foreigners requalifying as Dutch advocates.

Non-EEA lawyers would need to complete all of the academic requirements of qualification (a Dutch LLB and Master’s in Law). However they may be able to get some course exemptions.

Setting up a law firm after Brexit

Dutch lawyers can partner (share profits and fees) with third-country lawyers if these are members of a professional organisation that is recognised by the Dutch Bar. The Law Society of England and Wales is a recognised organisation.

The Dutch Bar has not raised any issues in relation to UK LLP structures continuing to operate in the Netherlands after the transition period.

All foreign businesses must register with the Commercial Register, which can be done through a local chamber of commerce.

Resources

Netherlands Bar (Nederlandse orde van advocaten, NOvA)

If you have any questions, email our international team at international@lawsociety.org.uk.

The information above does not constitute legal advice. It was drafted by the Law Society of England and Wales on the basis of desk research, bilateral relations with European Bars and engagement with members.

The Law Society cannot be held liable for actions taken on the basis of this note or lack thereof. In case of specific queries, we strongly advise you to consider instructing external counsel to obtain advice specific to your business objectives.


Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS