Clients now seeking legal guidance on the various implications of Brexit
Top law firms in the City, including Clifford Chance, Dechert and Simmons & Simmons, have had to set up special Brexit hotlines, manned by lawyers, to help deal with the number of clients contacting them regarding legal questions after Brexit.
Teams have also been set up by other law firms, to answer clients questions regarding the wide range of implications after Britain voted to leave the EU – from company law, tax, environmental law, intellectual property, employment and financial regulation.
Up until the UK formally exits the EU, legislation that exists at the moment will stay the same but when we do finally leave the EU, parliament in the UK will be faced with a significant legislative review operation.
Lawyers have advised, that in the short term, clients might end some of their existing contracts, or property agreements that contain built-in Brexit specifications.
Head of the Brexit advisory team, for the law firm Pinsent Masons, Guy Lougher, said: “This is a huge change. Clients need to systematically look at every aspect of their commercial operations and the legal and financial risks they face after Brexit.”
Mark Curtis, who is head of the international corporate and commercial practice at the law firm Simmons & Simmons, said that the special Brexit hotline set up at their firm, had been receiving calls from concerned clients before the day of the vote.
Mr Curtis added: “We are going to see an extended period of uncertainty when our clients need to plan and assess what they need to do and cover all aspects of their operation from data to employment.”
According to Lord Goldsmith QC, London co-managing partner at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, the regulatory and legal implications caused by Brexit will be compelling.
He went on to say: “The environment in which businesses operate here and in Europe is going to fundamentally change as EU and UK law is unpicked, and new patterns are established.”
When we eventually do leave the EU, the UK parliament will have to make the decision as to whether they change the current laws which stem from the EU, or keep them.
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