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.Open all
Read our statement setting out the SRA’s high level view and position on the Technical Notice
Read our Guidance and Q&As on the Government's Technical Notice on the impact of a 'no deal' EU exit scenario on EU lawyers, particularly Registered European lawyers, practising in the UK.
Read our separate guidance and Q&As on the particular impacts of a potential 'no deal' scenario on exempt European lawyers.
We also previously published a review of some of the potential issues for legal services in Exiting the EU: An update for lawyers. We plan to update this when we are in a position to provide updates.
The Law Society guidance on Brexit and the legal sector.