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UK lawyers chasing Irish registration due to Brexit fears

Of all the solicitors who are currently registered in Ireland, 9% are from either England or Wales. Many of these professionals took the decision to register in Ireland after the UK’s referendum which voted in favour of leaving the EU.


From the start of 2016, a total of 1,644 English and Welsh professionals have chosen to join the Irish Roll of Solicitors which, as an organisation, comprises of over 18,000 members overall. Just 186 of these signed up before the referendum in June 2016, with more choosing to sign up once the results of the referendum were announced.


Before the start of 2016, less than 100 English and Welsh solicitors chose to register in Ireland on an annual basis. Many English and Welsh solicitors working for global firms worry that they could lose the right to be the representatives of European clients after Brexit takes place. It is thought that by pursuing an Irish registration, there will be more chance of retaining European clients.


The director general of Ireland’s Law Society states that it is understandable that lawyers are choosing to be cautious, with so much uncertainty over what Brexit will mean. There are still many larger law firms that have no plans to have any solicitors registered in Ireland at all.


It is unclear how this is going to work in the long term, however in addition to registration, solicitors will also need to gain a certificate of practice in Ireland, which only a small proportion have managed to do thus far. Amongst the top firms who have registered professionals in Ireland in recent years are Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, and Slaughter and May.


It seems that many have taken the choice to register in Ireland as a contingency plan, depending on the overall outcome of Brexit. There are concerns that any decisions made in London courts won’t be enforceable in EU countries, and for this reason many larger firms may still prefer to hold cases in EU courts. However, thanks to an overall preference towards English law, there is a chance that all concerns will be unnecessary.


Whether you are a solicitor who is registered in Ireland and are looking for a move to a company who would value this, or you are a solely registered in this country, we have plenty of career opportunities for you.

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