SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications

SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has condemned a Government plan to mutually recognise international legal qualifications as part of post-Brexit trade deals.

The Department for International Trade had opened consultations on its tactics for free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Continue reading “SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications”

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

As the UK careens towards the March 2019 deadline, the Government has released a contingency plan outlining rules for cross-border European disputes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Guidance was published yesterday (13 September) by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), with the main conclusion that if no arrangement is reached with the EU, the UK will have to rely on domestic common law rules currently applied to cases involving non-EU countries for cross-border European disputes. Continue reading “The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit”

The LB100 overview: Crisis? What crisis?

The LB100 overview: Crisis? What crisis?

Brexit negotiations stalling, trade wars looming, the high street hit by a raft of collapses – at first sight, there is plenty to suggest the UK has taken a trip back in time. Yet for those with a finger on the pulse in the City, it will come as no surprise to find this year’s Legal Business 100 (LB100) speaks of a standout year for Britain’s legal elite. Turmoil has mattered very little against the backdrop of booming transactional activity, interest rates near historic lows and the cheap pound.

While commercial lawyers spoke with wary optimism of healthy markets in the summer of 2017, caution progressively turned into bemused enthusiasm as the City realised it was living through its busiest winter for years during a period that seemed to resemble the Winter of Discontent. By spring, some were hailing the best financial year since the banking crisis. This year’s survey confirms that there is some substance to such claims. Continue reading “The LB100 overview: Crisis? What crisis?”

Grieve on Brexit: No great advantage

Grieve on Brexit: No great advantage

Alex Speirs: Now less than a year out from the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the EU, how would you characterise the current state of negotiations?

Dominic Grieve: They’re not going well at all. We are not talking the same language. The UK is seeking a bespoke deal recognising our past membership of the EU, our desire to maintain very close links with the EU in a wide range of fields, to have as near frictionless as possible trade in goods and services, and to participate in a vast range of EU peripheral activities. But we want freedom to operate our own immigration policy, not have freedom of movement, the ability to do third-country trade agreements and the ability to deregulate or change the regulatory framework in areas. Continue reading “Grieve on Brexit: No great advantage”

Ireland: A case to make

Ireland: A case to make

Centuries of imperiousness towards the Irish could be one of England’s greatest historical mistakes, and when Legal Business set about asking Irish independents whether Dublin is a viable alternative to London for disputes work following Brexit, it felt as though this underestimation was very much alive today. However, the Irish legal elite remains defiant in the face of any English condescension.

‘Absolutely it’s viable,’ says Dillon Eustace’s managing partner Mark Thorne when asked if the Irish Bar’s initiative to promote Dublin as a global disputes centre was realistic. ‘You’re asking if the big independent firms have the talent to achieve that, and the answer is yes, absolutely.’ Continue reading “Ireland: A case to make”

Law Society predicts no-deal Brexit could halve UK legal sector turnover growth

Law Society predicts no-deal Brexit could halve UK legal sector turnover growth

The UK legal sector could lose nearly £3bn in turnover growth and have 10,000 fewer jobs by 2025 with a no-deal Brexit, according to forecasts published by the Law Society.

The society’s research unit released a report today (22 August) which predicted the legal sector would grow at an average 2.2% annually from 2019 to 2025 with a soft Brexit. This, however, drops to just 1.5% with a harder Brexit and falls further to 1.1% in a no-deal scenario. Continue reading “Law Society predicts no-deal Brexit could halve UK legal sector turnover growth”

DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader

DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader

William Fry’s David Carthy will join the firm to head new office

The decision of DLA Piper to join a handful of other City and international firms that have opened a Dublin office in the last year was partly to do with the UK’s move to leave the EU, and partly not. Continue reading “DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader”

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: How is the market generally?

Lee Ranson, Eversheds Sutherland: Most of the managing partners around this table will say it was a better 2017 than expected. We had some of our highest numbers against a budget where we were very, very wary with Brexit and uncertainty. Very strange. We are going into a new budget now and management is more cautious than the practitioners. Continue reading “An ill wind… The LB100 leadership debate”

Brexit looms yet City law tilts further towards US leaders

Brexit looms yet City law tilts further towards US leaders

Striking numbers abound in this year’s Global London table, if you are into that kind of thing. The three pace-setting US brands in London – Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case – are all generating in the $300m region in the Square Mile, last year saw the first $10m lateral and my back-of-the-envelope scribbling indicates that the top 50 US firms are comfortably pulling in over $5bn in the UK.

The market is increasingly now defined by this trio, predictably so in the case of Latham, though City lawyers are still trying to get their heads around the idea of Kirkland and White & Case as mounting a frontal challenge. A few years ago, I’d have been equally sceptical, particularly in the latter’s case, but if there is a glaring hole in the game plan of these two outfits, they are hiding it well. With all three making ground in mainstream transactional work through 2017 and securing significant hires – the idea that certain kinds of M&A will remain the preserve of City advisers over the next three years looks fanciful.

Continue reading “Brexit looms yet City law tilts further towards US leaders”