In this month’s Gazette, Law Society director general Ken Murphy (pictured) discusses the ever-increasing numbers of England and Wales solicitors who are seeking to protect their EU practice rights for the future, by becoming solicitors in Ireland.
The number of transferring England and Wales solicitors leaped from some 50 in 2015 to 806 in 2016.
The level of annual increase reduced slightly in 2017 to 547, but has surged again to date in 2018, with 601 applications this year (up to 15 November 2018), and 256 more applications currently being processed.
For the third year in a row, the December Gazette has published a table listing the largest ‘Brexit transfer’ firms.
For the first time, the magazine has also published a list of the firms that have taken the additional step of taking out Irish practising certificates for the current calendar year.
Enrolling but not arriving
It shows that, while England and Wales' solicitors are enrolling, they are not arriving. Ken Murphy explains: “Only two of the 20 largest firms on the 2018 list have established offices in this jurisdiction following the Brexit vote, namely Pinsent Mason and, to date in fledgling form, the world’s fourth biggest law firm, DLA Piper.”