A UK exit from the EU ‘would be felt throughout the legal profession’, the Law Society has said in a report designed to ‘form the basis of future engagement with our members’.
The EU and the Legal Sector is the second report on the subject to appear from Chancery Lane in recent weeks. It follows an independent study that concluded that legal services would be disproportionately harmed by ‘Brexit’.
According to the latest report, Brexit might have consequences for:
- England and Wales as a jurisdiction of choice in commercial disputes. While London has strong ‘pull’ factors that are independent of EU membership, ‘greater risks might lie from competition from rival international jurisdictions’.
- Wales and some English regions. Wales has benefited from EU funding and ‘firms were concerned that the loss of such funding would damage the Welsh economy’.
- Criminal justice. Although the UK already opts out from criminal justice measures, Brexit would raise ‘legal complications’ for future co-operation with EU member states.
Society president Jonathan Smithers said: ‘We want to provide our solicitor members with the opportunity both to assess what impact Brexit might have on their own area of legal practice and their firm as a whole and to contribute to the debate.’