International firms operating in France as UK limited liability partnerships will be able to continue practising at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December without restructuring, the French government has confirmed. The news was welcomed by the Law Society which said it was the fruit of months of behind-the-scenes talks.
An ordnance dated 16 December states that, although the LLP will no longer be an available legal structure in France for new operations from January, international firms that established operations in France during the UK’s EU membership will be able to continue operating regardless of the outcome of the UK-EU trade negotiations.
Law Society president David Greene said: 'We are delighted that the many international law firms that have been operating in France as UK LLPs – including some of the largest UK firms – will be able to continue using this legal structure after the end of the Brexit transition period. Many of these firms have been working towards this outcome for several months and the Law Society’s international team has supported them via our interactions with our French counterparts. We’re extremely grateful to the French government.'
The 'grandfathering' arrangement comes with restrictions, the Society said. For example will not be possible for a UK LLP to open a new office or branch in France post-transition.