Q&As

Can I still practice EU law if the UK is no longer in the EU?

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Published on LexisPSL on 29/06/2016

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can I still practice EU law if the UK is no longer in the EU?
  • What are the qualifying requirements?
  • What's the process?
  • What's the timescale?

Only lawyers qualified in an EU Member State are able to practise EU law or argue before EU tribunals such as the Court of Justice of the European Union. Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, this is a major concern for many lawyers, particularly those specialising in EU and competition law. It's also a worry for any lawyers who make use of EU professional legal privilege.

Understandably, affected lawyers are looking at ways to continue their EU practice. As things currently stand, it looks like this will require qualification in an EU jurisdiction and the Republic of Ireland seems to be the destination of choice.

Lawyers qualified in England and Wales (or Northern Ireland) can complete a simple form to apply for a Certificate of Admission and inclusion on the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland (Republic). This is far simpler than seeking qualification elsewhere in the EU as Ireland is the most equivalent jurisdiction to the UK. Language is an obvious key similarity, but importantly Ireland is a common law jurisdiction and its legal institutions are very similar.

What are the qualifying requirements?

Solicitors are eligible to apply for a Certificate of Admission if their:

  1. first place of qualification as a solicitor is England a

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