Brexit drives record admissions for Law Society of Ireland

Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society
Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society

The Law Society of Ireland has said it will welcome a record number of solicitors in 2016 as a result of the Brexit vote.

Beating the record set in 2008 by more than 500, the Society will admit 1,347 new solicitors to the Roll of Solicitors by the end of 2016.

The projected figure represents a staggering increase of 275 per cent compared to 2015.

The new admissions for 2016 include 810 English solicitors, whereas only 70 English solicitors were admitted in 2015.

The highest number of solicitors transferring from England and Wales to Ireland are from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where 117 solicitors have applied for admission to the Irish roll.

The firm is followed by Eversheds on 86, Slaughter & May on 40, Hogan Lovells on 34 and Bristows on 27.

A full breakdown is included in the Law Society Gazette.

Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society, said: “The tsunami of new solicitors has been caused by the Brexit-driven transfer decisions of some 810 England and Wales-qualified solicitors to take out a second jurisdictional qualification, in Ireland.

“This they have been perfectly entitled to do since the mutual-recognition regime between the two jurisdictions was first put in place since 1991.”

He added: “The single word that dominates all assessments of the potential impact of Brexit is ‘uncertainty’.

“So far, the Law Society of Ireland has no knowledge that any of the England-based firms intend to open an office in this jurisdiction.”

The process by which foreign qualified lawyers may apply to go on the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland is outlined on the Law Society’s website.

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