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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-lawyers-practising-in-the-eu-norway-iceland-or-liechtenstein-after-a-no-deal-brexit/uk-lawyers-practising-in-the-eu-norway-iceland-or-liechtenstein-in-a-no-deal-brexit
If you are a UK lawyer working in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein you need to take the following action to make sure you can continue to practise after a no-deal Brexit.
1. UK lawyers with UK qualifications or professional titles
We expect that UK lawyers working in the EU and in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway under UK qualifications and professional titles will need to register in the same way as a non-EU lawyer.
UK lawyers working in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway should contact the relevant regulator in the country they are working in for advice.
UK regulators (see further information) will also be able to offer advice.
2. UK lawyers in EU countries with an EU qualification and professional title
2.1 Lawyers who transferred under EU Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive
The EU Commission has issued guidance to member states, that where individuals have had their qualifications recognised under the EU Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Directive, these should continue to be recognised. Any UK lawyer who has transferred into an EU country profession before Brexit using the EU Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive should therefore not need to take any action to continue to practise after Brexit.
UK lawyers working in the EU should read the preparedness guidance from the EU Commission and should contact the relevant regulator in the country they are working in for specific advice.
2.2 Lawyers Establishment Directive
The EU Commission has not issued any specific guidance on the recognition of qualifications under the Lawyers Establishment Directive. We therefore do not know what will happen to affected lawyers in this area. We will update this page if this changes.
Lawyers working under the terms of the Lawyers Establishment Directive should contact the relevant regulator in the country they are working in for advice and read further information on individual member states.
3. UK lawyers in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein with an EU/EEA EFTA qualification and professional title
UK lawyers resident in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, who have joined the host state profession and are appropriately registered with the local regulatory body, do not need to take any action to continue to practise in the state where they live.
UK lawyers practising in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein using EU qualification and professional title should contact the relevant regulator in the country they are working in for advice.
4.1 UK lawyer with UK qualifications
UK lawyers registered and working in Switzerland on a permanent basis under their home professional title before Brexit do not need to take any action to continue to practise after Brexit as long as they remain registered in Switzerland.
UK lawyers or those in the process of qualifying will then need to start their application to register to work in Switzerland under their UK professional title on a permanent basis or transfer to the Swiss professional title within 4 years of Brexit.
4.2 UK lawyers with Swiss qualifications
UK lawyers who have transferred to the Swiss professional title before Brexit do not need to take any action to continue to practise after Brexit as long as they remain registered in Switzerland.
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
- Providing services to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland after Brexit: collected guidance
- 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