What are we trying to do

Help those we regulate understand how the Government’s plans for EU exit may impact on the regulation of EU lawyers practising in England and Wales

Who needs to know

Registered European lawyers (RELs), exempt European lawyers (EELs), EEA lawyers practising in the UK on a temporary basis or wishing to qualify as a solicitor, solicitors and law firms in England and Wales

What's going on

The UK is planning for exiting the EU, and the Government is preparing for a number of scenarios. One option is that a deal will be done with the EU. Although negotiations are ongoing, the government's draft withdrawal agreement proposes a transition period (to 31 December 2020). This includes the mutual recognition of professional qualifications as well as plans for a mobility framework for UK and EU professionals.

However, the Government is also preparing for a 'no deal' scenario. This has included publishing a Technical Notice on the impact of 'no deal' on EEA lawyers practising in the UK. The Government has prepared three statutory instruments to implement changes in a no deal scenario. So we have prepared information to help those we regulate understand the impact of this Technical Notice and the statutory instruments, and their options should a 'no deal' scenario happen.

The earliest possible date for a no deal exit is 31 October 2019.

Working as an REL after 31 October 2019

You will still be able to practise as a REL of the UK does leave the EU, providing you have renewed your registration by 31 October 2019.

If you fail to renew, and are revoked, you cannot work as a REL. This will seriously limit how you can practise in England and Wales. If you wanted to remain a manager of an authorised firm, you will have to apply to become a registered foreign lawyer.

Want to know more

You can contact our Professional Ethics Helpline for further advice.

We will also use this page to provide further news and updates as we get them.

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