Seeking the ‘Brexit dividend’

Law Society to promote Ireland as a centre of legal excellence internationally.

When Brexit takes effect Ireland will be the only legal jurisdiction, other than Malta, which will be both common law and a member state of the European Union.

The Law Society of Ireland, along with the Bar of Ireland and with the active engagement of some of the largest law firms, last year published a joint paper, Promoting Ireland as a leading centre globally for international legal services. The paper, adopted by Cabinet as Government policy in January 2019, aims to leverage these advantages and others for the benefit of Ireland, its economy and its legal profession by attracting international legal work to Ireland.

Law Society of Ireland Director General Ken Murphy and President Patrick Dorgan are today (Wednesday 13 March) travelling to Washington DC where the Government’s “Ireland: An international legal centre” initiative is being launched at the Irish Embassy during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Attorney General, Séamus Woulfe SC, is hosting the launch event, taking place on Friday 15 March, and the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice, will address the delegates.

In addition to the launch event, the Law Society delegation will also be participating in other St Patrick’s Day events due to be attended by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

Leveraging advantages

“Brexit, and the uncertainty surrounding it, poses unique and difficult challenges for Ireland and Irish business,” explains Mr Murphy. “However, we should seek to leverage our distinct advantages for the benefit of Ireland, Irish business and our legal profession.”

“Promoting Ireland as a leading centre globally for international dispute resolution and other legal services is a key initiative in the Government’s priority to “minimise the impact on trade and the economy.”

“As noted in our paper, this is a chance to create further employment, primarily in the Irish professional services sector, and to generate increased tax revenue from increased international legal work in a sector which already generates €2.46 billion annually in turnover and contributes at least €1.6 billion GVA (gross value added) to the Irish economy.”

Opportunity to attract international legal work

“The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Washington DC are an excellent opportunity to raise consciousness about the “Ireland: An international legal centre” project among American lawyers and corporations,” said Mr Murphy. “We believe the uncertainty surrounding the enforceability in the EU of judgements of the UK courts post-Brexit will make dispute resolution in Irish courts more attractive to international litigants.”

“Ultimately, the aim is to see increased numbers of international commercial agreements with Irish jurisdiction clauses included in them.”

“The Law Society is proud to support the Government’s effort to secure recognition for Ireland as a legal centre of excellence and to have contributed to the development of this important and, hopefully, impactful project.”

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