Massive increase in UK solicitors seeking transfer to Irish roll

Nearly 600 British solicitiors have applied for right to practise in Irish courts since Brexit

Ken Murphy (above) director general and Simon Murphy president of the Law Society held talks with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a London and Manchester-based legal firm on transfer. Photograph Joe St Leger

Ken Murphy (above) director general and Simon Murphy president of the Law Society held talks with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a London and Manchester-based legal firm on transfer. Photograph Joe St Leger

 
solicitorsEngland and Wales

Brexit vote.

So far, 568 solicitors have applied to the Law Society. Four hundred have been accepted and 168 applications are pending since the June 23rd referendum. Usually, between 50 and 100 English and Welsh solicitors apply.

A total of 104 applications came from a single firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a London and Manchester-based partnership with offices worldwide.

Unless the society otherwise determines, solicitors whose first place of qualification is England and Wales, or Northern Ireland, are not obliged to pass exams, but they do require a certificate of admission.

Once Irish permission is given, however, it means UK lawyers can continue to appear before the European Court of Justice, and represent clients in other EU institutions. Only lawyers qualified in an EU member state can appear before the Luxembourg-based European Court court, which adjudicates on matters of EU law.

Guarantee

Ken Murphy

The president of the Law Society, Simon Murphy, and Ken Murphy, held talks with Freshfields in July.

He said: “They explained that the solicitors transferring to the roll in Ireland were members of the firm’s anti-trust, competition and trade law team, based in their London and Brussels offices.

“They have decided to take out qualification in an additional jurisdiction as a precautionary measure in advance of Britain’s exit from the EU, in case this might be necessary in the future to protect their status in dealing with EU institutions and their clients’ right to legal privilege in the course of EU investigations.”

None of the UK-based solicitors, or their firms, is planning to move to Ireland.