Prominent lawyers sign opposition to Brexit

A group of more than 250 lawyers and academics, including former EU judges, QCs and partners from some heavyweight firms, have signed a report that opposes Britain leaving the EU.

The report, issued by lobbying group ‘Lawyers – In for Britain’ has been promoted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer antitrust partner John Davies, the group’s chair, and outlines what it views as the benefits, misconceptions and the unforeseen alternatives of the UK remaining in the EU.

Among the signatories are Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley, King & Wood Mallesons Europe and Middle East senior partner Stephen Kon and Simmons & Simmons senior partner Colin Passmore. Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale and managing partner David Patient are also listed as supporting the campaign, as is Clyde & Co chairman Michael Payton. The signatories are representing themselves and not their firm or clients.

The report maintains the group has found 'unequivocal' evidence that there are ‘substantial’ benefits of EU membership to the UK’s economy and people. ‘They range from easier and cheaper travel, to a more secure society, a cleaner environment, confidence that the goods and services available in the UK are of the same high standard and quality, and guaranteed access to the single market on which so much of the UK’s jobs and prosperity depends. British citizens take many of the benefits of EU membership for granted. They have become part of the fabric of UK life over the 43 years since the UK became a member of the EU in 1973.’

At an event launching the report, Martin Coleman of Herbert Smith Freehills suggested there could be benefits for some lawyers in the short-term if Brexit occurs, as re-drafting current EU laws into UK law would create a ‘regulation fest’. But he warned that potential damage to the UK economy as a result of Brexit could harm the clients to whom lawyers offer servies, which in turn could harm the lawyers themselves. Sources: Legal Business; The Lawyer; The Law Society Gazette

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]