In mid-October, when Legal Business decided it would dedicate this column to analysing the Belgian legal market, there was still the outside chance that it would appear in our first post-Brexit issue. By the time the piece was written a few days later, the UK Government had conceded defeat on its pledge to take the country out of the EU by the end of the month, triggering yet another delay to the process.
Not that the Brussels legal elite was surprised. Located in offices a few metres from the rooms where the Brexit negotiations have dragged on for almost three years, local counsel have had more than enough time to prepare for possible outcomes – deal? No deal? No Brexit? ‘After the referendum people were concerned about what would happen, but things have smoothed down,’ notes Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer local head Vincent Macq. ‘I don’t think there is any firm that sees it as a concern now.’