Services and Brexit


Small Practice Business Executive Justin Purcell examines some of the Brexit challenges that will impact on the services sector.

There has been much discussion around Brexit on the importing and exporting of physical goods. We have heard less talk about services but this sector comprises a significant proportion of the Irish economy.


Contractual and legal challenges could emerge with cross-border service level agreements (SLAs), product licences, insurance policies and data transfers. Many may not be legally protected or recognised after the UK leaves the EU.


The EU has developed high data protection standards. The UK may not fall within the remit of these standards after Brexit. Irish organisations that plan to transfer personal data to the UK will need to put safeguards in place to protect the data’s transfer and processing.

Intellectual Property

The value of a business is increasingly linked to its Intellectual Property (IP). IP includes patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. EU trademarks are protected within the EU but not in third countries. Brexit is likely to impact on UK protection for those who have registered European Union Trademarks (EUTMs) or designs.


Regulations vary greatly between different service sector industries but tend to be most stringent in the areas of finance, aviation and healthcare. The financial services sector is particularly exposed to Brexit and the Central Bank has issued financial services guidance.

Brexit is a challenge but, with the right preparation, it can be successfully dealt with and exploited. Small Practice Support recently added a guideline to the Growing your business section of the Small Practice Business Hub about how legal firms can position themselves to earn Brexit-related income.


This article originally appeared in the July 2020 Member eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, visit eNewsletters.