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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/legal-services-business-owners-after-a-no-deal-brexit/legal-services-business-owners-after-a-no-deal-brexit
If you are a legal services business owner in the UK or the EU you need to make sure you can continue to practise after a no-deal Brexit.
1. Legal services business owners with UK qualifications in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
If you are a UK lawyer with ownership interests in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (EEA-EFTA) you need to contact the local regulator for specific advice.
2. Legal services business owners with qualifications from the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
Lawyers with qualifications from EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (EEA-EFTA) and Registered European Lawyers (RELs) need to take one or more of the following actions to continue to own, or part own, a legal services business in England, Wales or Northern Ireland after Brexit:
- requalify in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
- become a Registered Foreign Lawyer
- make the necessary changes to their practice or business structure to comply with the new regulatory arrangements
This will need to be done before Brexit for lawyers who are not RELs, and the end of December 2020 for RELs.
EU lawyers and Registered European Lawyers (RELs) who own or part own regulated legal services firms in England, Wales or Northern Ireland should contact their UK regulator for specific advice.
Registered European Lawyers (RELs) may also own unregulated legal businesses.
3. Employing lawyers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland after Brexit
There will be no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens prove their right to work until 1 January 2021. This remains the case in a no-deal Brexit. Irish citizens will continue to have the right to work in the UK and prove their right to work as they do now, for example by using their passport.
You can find more information in the guidance on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.
EU and EEA-EFTA businesses in England, Wales or Northern Ireland employing EU, and/or EEA-EFTA lawyers should contact their relevant UK regulator for specific advice.
Legal services business owners in Scotland should contact the relevant Scottish regulators - see further information for specific advice.
5. Further information
- The EU Commission preparedness notice on the recognition of professional qualifications
- The EU Commission Brexit preparedness seminar on professional qualifications, intellectual property, civil justice, company law, consumer protection and personal data
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority
- The Law Society
- The Bar Standards Board
- The Bar Council
- The Law Society of Northern Ireland
- The Bar Council of Northern Ireland
- The Law Society of Scotland
- The Faculty of Advocates