Post Brexit, UK law societies’ Brussels office to shut down
Due to post Brexit move UK has third country status with EU on falling workload presently
After effects of Brexit, the combined Brussels office of the UK’s three law societies is to shut down in November 2022 in a move being put down to falling workload
EU policy and legislative developments were the arena of the office to observe, which was launched in 1991, help indicate the profession to the EU.
The running costs of it are backed and operated by the Law Society of England and Wales, the Law Society of Scotland and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
David Greene, the past President expressed his disappointment on his LinkedIn posts after knowing the Law Society closing the Brussels office in a post Brexit move.” The decision was revealed by Law Society of England and Wales to shut down the office.
Based on their practice rights and the post-Brexit EU law development, the present four-staff unit was involved in notifying City of London solicitors and the wider professions on the influence of Brexit.
Effect in January 2021, it also promoted for the professions with EU institutions as the UK transitioned out of the bloc and guided on the following 2020 Trade and Cooperation Agreement and connected Northern Ireland Protocol agreed by the UK government with the EU.
The importance of the office’s role during the Brexit process was recognized by Law Society of England and Wales’ spokesperson. Even though it was no longer feasible presently as the UK has departed the EU.
The UK has third country status during post-Brexit and post-transition period and is treated by the EU as any other non-member state. It explains that while the workload has fallen for Brussels team, the workload of the international team at Chancery Lane has increased as the UK pursues trade deals with countries outside the bloc.
Our London team always run our mutual relations with European jurisdictions where the international engagement always termed as utter priority.
“The need for a presence in Brussels to be near to the EU institutions is lessened due to the nature of the UK-EU trade agreement. The comparatively high fixed office costs mean a reduced Brussels team would not be economically practical.”
Headed by Helena Raulus, the office includes three policy advisers. Much adored pool of alumni by UK firms were created practising in Brussels along with two trainee solicitors on secondment from the firms across the UK every September and March for six months. Due to difficulties in obtaining work and residency permits post-Brexit the scheme concluded earlier in 2022
“A jewel in the crown of [the Law Society’s] offering” and the team “will be sorely missed” is the description Greene gave in his LinkedIn post regarding the office
Termed the closure as a “sad and disappointing development” by Becket McGrath, London and Brussels competition law boutique Euclid Law’s partner.
“Over the time, this also seems unwise, the political climate will change and European service markets will open again,” added he. “An important voice in that process will have lost.”