Four major firms greenlight Ireland lawyer registration as Brexit precaution

by Sol Dolor15 Jul 2016
Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Simmons & Simmons and DLA Piper are funding lawyers to register in the Republic of Ireland because of Brexit.

The major firms are registering lawyers from different practices as a precaution to difficulties practising in the European Union which may arise from the UK leaving the union, information from a Legal Week report revealed.

The publication identified UK-qualified competition lawyers as the group most worried of complications arising from Brexit because it could lead them losing their EU professional legal privilege and the right to appear before the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg.

Registering in the EU country Ireland is seen to solve that problem. To apply to join the roll of solicitors in the country, a €300 one-time fee is required. There is also an annual fee of approximately €2,000.

Clifford Chance also confirmed that all English-qualified competition partners from London and Brussels have been applied for Irish registration even before the referendum.

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills was also confirmed to have funded a select group of its lawyers from London to register in Ireland. The firm said that it is “working towards” practicing certificates for these lawyers.

Simmons & Simmons is said to be in the initial stages of registering lawyers in Ireland. These lawyers are reported to be from the firm’s competition, financial markets and intellectual property practices.

DLA Piper, which initially did not consider registering lawyers in Ireland, has also been established to have funded some of its lawyers to register in Ireland.

Firms said to be considering or have not ruled out the move are Clyde & Co and Pinsent Masons. Eversheds said that it is considering who among their lawyers will benefit from registering in another EU jurisdiction, but noted that they already have a Dublin office.

Meanwhile, Legal Week said that Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May have not changed their opinion on the matter.

Other top 15 UK firms which decided not to comment are Allen & Overy, Norton Rose Fulbright and Ashurst.