12 January 2018 at 14:08 BST

Ireland positions itself as post-Brexit legal hub

Ireland is the latest European country to position itself as a leading centre for international legal services in the aftermath of Brexit.

Robert Wilson

The Bar Council of Ireland has launched an initiative to promote Ireland as a leading centre globally for international legal services. Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are all planning to introduce set up English language courts. Post-Brexit, Ireland will be the only English speaking common law jurisdiction fully integrated into the European legal order, and, according to the Bar Council,  this presents significant opportunities for both the Irish legal sector and the wider economy.

Real opportunity

Bar chairman Paul McGarry said: 'English law is used for commercial contracts across the world and the UK is the second largest market for legal services globally. In two years’ time it is unlikely that the UK will be integrated in the EU legal system and consequently, there is a real risk that the judgements of English courts may not be enforced in member states easily. This is about clients. International consumers of UK legal services are already signalling that they will move operations. In that sense, the UK’s departure from the EU creates a real opportunity for Ireland, not only for the legal services but also for the wider economy.'

Changing landscape

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, said: 'The growth in international trade and investment across borders has increased demand for legal advice and representation. While the ultimate outcome of the Brexit negotiation process is not yet known, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will give rise to a changing landscape, including in the field of legal services. The initiative being launched today will help put Ireland on a firmer footing to benefit from any opportunities that arise from the UK’s departure from the EU, leaving Ireland the only English speaking common law jurisdiction in the Union.'


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