Brexit is not a high priority for general counsel, with most dedicating a small fraction of their time on preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU, research suggests. 

A report by Thompson Reuters on in-house attitudes to Brexit shows that 75% of 254 in-house lawyers are allocating less than 10% of their time to Brexit, with the majority dedicating no time at all. Only five respondents – including three working for financial institutions – said they were spending more than 25% of their time preparing for Brexit.

Four in 10 respondents do not expect to obtain external advice on the likely impact Brexit will have. The report states that the ‘wealth of free advice available through law firm updates, industry events and conferences, the European Securities and Markets Authority and regulators’ official opinions has been a blocker in organisations automatically turning to external counsel’.

Asked how demand for the legal team’s services may change, nearly two-thirds of respondents predict ‘business as usual’. However, over half think demand on their time and use of external counsel will increase should there be no EU-UK deal.