275% increase in UK lawyers registering in Ireland after Brexit

One firm alone has seen 117 of its solicitors register in Ireland.

A record number of solicitors from the UK registered in Ireland this year after the Brexit vote, the Law Society of Ireland said yesterday (5 December).

A “tsunami” of solicitors from England and Wales will see 810 added to the roll in Ireland by the end of 2016, out of a total 1,347 new registrations since the start of the year, it said.

The new registrations follow Britain’s June 23 decision to leave the European Union and include 117 names from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the world’s largest law firms.

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Law Society director general Ken Murphy said while visiting London in mid-July that Freshfields had stated they wanted to be able to handle European Union cases.

“They were doing it to allay any conceivable concerns in the future about  the status of their solicitors in dealing with EU institutions, including in relation to legal privilege in EU investigations,” Murphy was quoted in the Law Society Gazette as saying.

Freshfields however had no plans to open an office in Ireland, he added.

The total represents a 275% rise on the previous year. The numbers are 500 over the previous record in 2008.

The Law Society linked the spike to the Brexit referendum.

Qualified solicitors based in England and Wales have been allowed to register in Ireland since 1991 as part of a cross-jurisdictional arrangement, although the flow has largely been in the opposite direction in recent years.

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