‘Brexit refugee’ solicitors to be denied Irish practising certificates
Thousands of “Brexit refugee” solicitors based in England and Wales who have enrolled in Ireland since 2016 will be denied practising certificates, the Law Society of Ireland has said.
Nearly 4,000 solicitors in England and Wales have joined the Irish roll since the EU referendum, apparently in a bid to protect their right to practice before EU courts after Brexit.
However, the Law Society announced this week, following a review, that Irish-qualified solicitors who are based in England and Wales “will not be entitled to a practising certificate”.
The Society said: “This will be the case whether they attempt to maintain certain practice rights in the EU post-Brexit or otherwise. Such solicitors will not be issued with a practising certificate by the Society unless they can demonstrate in the course of their applications that they practise (or intend to practise) in Ireland from a physical establishment in Ireland.”
The review was prompted by Brexit but has also clarified Irish domestic legal considerations and the overlapping EU and international jurisdictional base.
The Society has adopted the following policies:
- Only solicitors who are practising (or intending to practise) in Ireland from an establishment in Ireland will be provided with practising certificates. They must have appropriate PII in place in accordance with the PII Regulations and an establishment for the practice. Practising certificates will no longer be issued to solicitors who are practising other than from an establishment in Ireland.
- Irish-qualified solicitors who wish to practise as a registered European lawyer (REL) in another member state will not be issued with practising certificates. They will be issued with alternative certification attesting to their registration/enrolment as a solicitor.
- Irish-qualified solicitors who wish to register with a foreign bar as a lawyer will not be issued with practising certificates. They will be issued with alternative certification attesting to their registration/enrolment as a solicitor.