European Movement Eastbourne: July Dinner

Published on July 23, 2019

Eastbourne European Movement Dinner July 2019

Clive Black was the speaker at our July dinner. He opened his talk by stating that the legal

services sector is a UK success story. It is the second largest legal services market in the

world, the largest within the EU, contributes over £26 billion to the economy and is the

jurisdiction of choice for international commercial transactions, dispute resolution and


Thanks to a series of ground-breaking directives which apply across the EU, law firms and

lawyers are granted many rights including being able to: practice as a solicitor on a

permanent basis, give advice on English, EU & international law, to appear in national and

European courts in conjunction with a local lawyer, and to requalify, without an equivalent

exam, after 3 years of practising host state law. He illustrated this liberating effect by stating

that it is easier for a lawyer qualified in Estonia to set up a legal practice in Portugal than it is

for a lawyer in New York State to set up practice at the California Bar.

He went on to explain the challenges Brexit poses to this remarkable achievement. After

Brexit, these ground-breaking directives which allow so much freedom, will be replaced by a

system whereby the professional bodies such as the Law Society and Bar Council may need

to negotiate with 31 national regimes, lawyers will face challenges over market access and

practice rights, individuals over judicial cooperation and the UK over its global status of

English and Welsh law.

He gave an analysis of the impact of Brexit on a number of scenarios including a ‘no deal’

Brexit which could cost the sector up to £3 billion by 2025. The impact could also mean that

judgements made in UK courts not being enforced in EU countries, consumers not being able

to enforce their contracts in EU states, difficulty in claiming for motor insurance accidents,

loss of cross border co-operation in family law matters and could lead to the end of

collaboration on security and policing. His talk gave a fascinating and informative insight

into the UK legal sector and how it might be impacted by Brexit.

Our next dinner is on 11 September where Prof Anwan-Scully will talk about Brexit and the

Disuniting Kingdom. If you would like to come along please call our Chair, Paula Welch on

07510 851722 or visit

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