Possible Brexit prompts 186 UK solicitors to seek Irish admission

Figures from Law Society reveal scale of legal anxiety over Thursday’s EU referendum

 Law Society of Ireland figures show  186 solicitors from the UK were admitted to practise here in the first six months of 2016. At this stage last year the number was fewer than 50. Photograph: Eric Luke

Law Society of Ireland figures show 186 solicitors from the UK were admitted to practise here in the first six months of 2016. At this stage last year the number was fewer than 50. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A record number of UK solicitors have been admitted to practise in the Republic ahead a possible Brexit, Law Society figures show.

In the first six months of 2016, 186 solicitors from the UK were admitted to practise here. At this stage last year the number was fewer than 50.

“The vast majority of these solicitors have cited the possibility of the UK’s exit from the European Union as their primary reason for seeking admission in Ireland, ” the society said.

Under rules made following a 1989 EU directive, solicitors qualified in England and Wales or Northern Ireland can undergo a simple process that allows them to practise as solicitors in Ireland. The right to argue before EU tribunals is afforded only to lawyers qualified in an EU state.

“It is our understanding that the majority of the solicitors completing this process will continue to practice in London or Brussels and do not intend to set up a physical practice in Ireland,” said Law Society director general Ken Murphy