Brexit vs Dicey – The constitutional lawyer’s view on these strange days

Brexit vs Dicey – The constitutional lawyer’s view on these strange days

With Brexit entrenching divisions, Britain’s patchwork constitution is being increasingly pitted against political upheaval. Do legal experts see crisis brewing?

Britain has developed an uncharacteristically laid-back attitude to constitutional change, with once-rare reforms to the UK’s ad hoc democratic settlement coming at a startling pace in recent years. The previous Labour administration ushered in varying degrees of devolution in Scotland and Wales, before in 2003 pulling the UK’s highest court out of the House of Lords and into the new Supreme Court (tacked on was reform of the Lord Chancellor’s historic role). The process of further EU integration under the Maastricht Treaty, not to mention Labour’s 1998 Human Rights Act, which gave domestic force to the European Convention on Human Rights, also had significant impact. Continue reading “Brexit vs Dicey – The constitutional lawyer’s view on these strange days”

Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth

Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth

Thomas Alan assesses the early financial results in a tougher year for the UK’s chasing pack

The latest financial results from the UK’s mid-table firms show a more challenging economic environment is producing a lag on growth in the domestic market, as firms look to Europe to continue Brexit-proofing their growth. Continue reading “Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth”

Buckland becomes Justice Secretary as Johnson administration unveils Brexit-dominated team

Buckland becomes Justice Secretary as Johnson administration unveils Brexit-dominated team

The newly-installed British Government led by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson will see a barrister take the role of Justice Secretary after Robert Buckland QC was appointed to replace David Gauke.

Johnson announced Buckland’s appointment on Wednesday (24 July) as part of the new Prime Minister’s sweeping cabinet shake-up that saw all but four of the senior ministers that served under his predecessor Theresa May resign or fired. Continue reading “Buckland becomes Justice Secretary as Johnson administration unveils Brexit-dominated team”

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”