Burges Salmon opens Dublin arm as post-Brexit realities bite

Move will ensure the Bristol-based firm can continue offering trade mark services in trading bloc

By esfera; Shutterstock

Burges Salmon has opened a Dublin subsidiary office as it prepares for the end of the Brexit transition period this month.

The move follows a decision from the Law Society of Ireland to restrict lawyers in England and Wales from practising Irish, and by extension, EU law without a physical presence in the country. The Dublin office will allow the Bristol-based firm’s intellectual property practice to continue its EU trade mark offering from the start of next year.

Roger Bull, Burges Salmon’s managing partner, said: “The launch of our Ireland-based IP practice demonstrates our commitment to the needs of our clients as we continue to represent them on EU trade mark matters and wider intellectual property portfolio protection in the post-Brexit market.”

He added: “Our EU offering and ability to assist clients in the Irish market will also enable us to develop our existing client relationships as well as supporting the growth of our internationally recognised practice.”

The Dublin IP team will be led by dual-qualified lawyers Louise Carey and Alison Brennan. Carey joins the firm after almost nine years at Irish IP specialists Tomkins, bringing with her in total three decades of experience in EU and Irish trade mark law. She previously had spells at Arthur Cox and William Fry, as well as a year lecturing at the Law Society of Ireland on its IP diploma course.

Brennan joins from Irish solicitors Noble Law, and specialises in both contentious and non-contentious trade mark matters in Ireland and the EU.

Jeremy Dickerson, head of Burges Salmon’s IP team, said: “Our subsidiary office in Dublin means that we can continue to deliver our market-leading expertise and insight in the EU across a range of industry sectors after the Brexit transition period has ended.”

The decision from the Law Society of Ireland last month came after more than 4,000 England and Wales-qualified solicitors had gained admission to the Irish Roll of Solicitors since the Brexit vote in 2016 in the hope it would allow them to continue advising clients on EU law without having to set up an office in Ireland.

Following that decision, the Law Society of England and Wales said it was “a huge disappointment to the many solicitors in England and Wales who requalified in line with the long-established process in order to continue advising clients on EU law with the benefit of privilege after 31 December.”

UK law firms to have opened offices in Dublin in recent years include Kennedys, DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Fieldfisher.

Bristol-headquartered Burges Salmon currently has additional offices in London and Edinburgh.

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