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Freshfields, Eversheds and Slaughters lead the pack as Brexit vote sparks record-breaking admissions to Irish roll

The number of solicitors added to Ireland’s law society roll has increased by 275% to 1,347 solicitors over the past year in the wake of the Brexit vote, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Eversheds and Slaughter and May making the most applications.

Beating the previous record set in 2008 by more than 500, 1,347 will have been admitted to the Law Society of Ireland’s Roll of Solicitors by the end of 2016. Of that number, 810 England and Wales-qualified solicitors made the decision to become dual-qualified following the Brexit vote on June 23. In 2015 the total number of UK solicitors that transferred to Ireland was 101. In 2014, that number was 51.

Freshfields led the pack with 117 UK solicitors transferring. From Eversheds 86 solicitors will gain places on the Irish law society’s solicitor roll while 40 have transferred from Slaughter and May. Of the Magic Circle, 24 solicitors from Allen & Overy, 20 from Linklaters and 12 from Clifford Chance will be added.

Law Society director general Ken Murphy said: ‘The tsunami of new solicitors has been caused by the Brexit-driven transfer decisions of some 810 England and Wales-qualified solicitors to take out a second jurisdictional qualification, in Ireland.

He added: ‘The single word that dominates all assessments of the potential impact of Brexit is “uncertainty”. So far, the Law Society of Ireland has no knowledge that any of the England-based firms intend to open an office in this jurisdiction.’

In June figures from the Law Society of Ireland obtained by Legal Business revealed that in the first six months of 2016, a record-breaking 186 solicitors from the UK had been admitted to practice in Ireland. The figure was more than three times the total admitted at the same stage last year, when the number was less than 50.

In August it was revealed Pinsent Masons is eyeing up a Dublin base, to complement its existing offering in Belfast and provide a full UK and Ireland presence for the firm.

Since the firm’s merger with McGrigors in 2012, Pinsents’ international strategy has largely revolved around launching sector-focused greenfield sites, with partners from local firms.

Top 10 firms: Source – Law Society of Ireland Gazette

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – 117

Eversheds – 86

Slaughter and May – 40

Hogan Lovells – 34

Bristows – 27

Herbert Smith Freehills – 25

Allen & Overy – 24

Linklaters – 20

Clifford Chance – 12

Shearman & Sterling – 11

Irish ambitions: Pinsents eyes Dublin base as UK firms look to capitalise on post-Brexit market