The Law Society and solicitors can apply their specialist expertise as the country prepares to withdraw from the EU, writes chief executive Catherine Dixon.
Delivering on the task set by the outcome of the June referendum will clearly be one of the more difficult legal, constitutional and diplomatic tasks this country has faced.
From trade laws via professional regulations to criminal and security co-operation, and a never-ending list of laws, regulations, practices and networks, the UK’s relationship with the European Union is a complex one that will need to be carefully unpicked.
Whatever one’s view on the referendum result itself, we can take some comfort that the government is clearly committed to respecting the expressed will of the people in a way that is careful and considered.
As the government moves to work through each challenge that Brexit poses, there is a lot the legal profession can offer.
With more than 130,000 practising members, we are fortunate to be able to draw on experts from across all areas of law. Not only can solicitors bring a strong understanding of what the law is, they will often be able to add a knowledge of how it has developed and the principles underpinning it, as well as the practical reality of applying it.
By understanding the broader context of their various areas of expertise, solicitors can bring a wider perspective to managing the significant changes brought on by Brexit, and helping to avoid unintended consequences or costly mistakes from those changes.
Equally the Law Society itself stands ready to assist as we can. Whether acting as a convener of the expertise of our members, or applying our own experience in advocating for open, effective markets for professional services, we have a public duty to lend our own best efforts to ensuring that Brexit is a success.
Catherine Dixon is Law Society chief executive