News Archives - Venturis Consulting Group
Jan 07, 2021 Admin 0 comments
Brexit and the Legal Industry: Uncertainty Remains

The Brexit deal that was reached just before Christmas 2020 comes as a major relief to EU and UK businesses who feared chaos and uncertainty after a possible no-deal. Change will come however and consequences for businesses on both sides are inevitable. The legal industry is no exception. The consequences for law firms and lawyers remain, however, to a large extent unclear.

A brief section in the Trade Agreement is dedicated to legal services and presents the basis for UK lawyers providing services in the EU and vice versa. Key element is that EU Law (i.e. the law system produced by the EU Institutions and overruling the national law of each Member State in case of conflict) is a forbidden area for UK lawyers providing services in one of the EU Member States. They are allowed, subject to local registration requirements, to provide services in relation to UK law and to public international law, excluding EU law. On the other hand, lawyers qualified in one of the EU Member States are allowed to provide services in the UK, but only in relation to their home jurisdiction and in relation to public international law (again, EU law excluded).

This restricts the room to manoeuvre when offering legal services overseas. Now UK lawyers are excluded from practicing EU law, they are de facto denied access to the European market. One of the solutions is to comply with the respective regulatory frameworks of EU Member States and to qualify as a lawyer in one of the EU jurisdictions. A qualified UK lawyer who also qualifies in Belgium can count Belgium as his or her home jurisdiction (the jurisdiction in which the professional title is acquired) and would be able to offer full legal services in Belgium, including EU law. (NB: Several firms have already registered some of their lawyers in Ireland and with the Brussels Bar in Belgium).

The amount of UK lawyers qualifying in EU Member States will probably be limited. A more likely consequence is an increase in local counsel instructions coming from UK-based firms. This constitutes opportunities for EU firms and increases the relevance of a well-designed referral system for EU-based firms to be rolled out in the direction of their British counterparts.

It should be noted in this respect that nothing prevents UK firms not yet present in the EU Member States’ jurisdictions to establish a branch in the EU through which services can be provided. However, the services provided can only be in relation to UK law and public international law (excl. EU law). Establishment of a branch and the delivery of legal services remain subject to local requirements, such as Bar registration and other applicable regulations.

Another consequence is likely to be felt in the legal disputes sector. There is uncertainty to what extent judgments of the British courts will be recognised in the EU. This will have an effect on the number of cases in the UK as it is potentially no longer the preferred jurisdiction to solve legal disputes.

Although the deal is on the table, and many economic sectors are relieved that a worse-case scenario has been avoided, it may feel like a hard Brexit to the legal sector – especially in the UK. On the other hand, law firms have been anticipating for a long time and are prepared for what is to come. Ways will be found to create a stronger basis for non-EU lawyers operating in the EU. Uncertainty remains, but the future might be brighter than many had believed. After all, isn’t uncertainty the one of the most fertile grounds for the legal industry?

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Dutch column M&A: Welke fundamentele keuzes maakt de advocatuur in 2021?

Zes keer in het jaar brengt M&A een column uit van één van onze partners, gericht op de advocatuur en het notariaat. In deze column geeft Rik Servais een eerste analyse over de mogelijke gevolgen van Covid en de effecten op de advocatuur op de middellange en langere termijn. Hier vind je de column

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Law firms are focusing more on Operational Excellence

Get your projects and processes in order to meet client demands, retain talent and secure your profitability. Clients demand cost reduction, efficiency and transparency. Digitizing of legal services requires sound workflows and good workflow management. Young lawyers want a better work-life balance. Law firm partners want to prevent profit leakage that occurs at various stages […]

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Dutch column M&A: De wendbaarheid van advocatenkantoren moet omhoog

Zes keer in het jaar brengt M&A een column uit van één van onze partners, gericht op de advocatuur en het notariaat. In deze column vertelt Martijn Lesterhuis over wat de impact is van de Corona crisis op advocatenkantoren en wat dit betekent voor 2021. Daarnaast gaat Martijn in op wat advocatenkantoren kunnen leren van […]

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Juve asks if digitisation will lead to the third wave of law firm / law company mergers

In its latest edition, leading German legal magazine Juve analyses the often uneasy relationship between technology induced change and law firms. It interviews for market influencers, including Venturis Consulting’s Gerard Neiditsch. How can law firms prepare for and succeed in a world that is digitising rapidly without compromising their regulatory obligations? Juve sees the dawn […]

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Venturis Consulting Group increases its ability to help French law firms with the hiring of Sophie Boyer Chammard

Paris, 21 September 2020. After its recent opening in Brussels,Venturis Consulting Group, the pre-eminent European law firm strategy consulting firm, has further expanded its capabilities by opening an office in Paris, France, which will be headed by Sophie Boyer Chammard – former lawyer and head of strategy and development of international law firms. Sophie has […]

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New team member: Rik Servais

Brussels, 01 September 2020. Venturis Consulting Group, the leading European law firm strategy consulting firm has expanded its strategy consulting capabilities in Europe by opening an office in Brussels, Belgium, which will be headed by Rik Servais – former EU Regulatory & Government Affairs specialist at DLA Piper. Rik will join as a partner in […]

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These innovations can benefit in-house legal teams and law firms alike

Brightflag’s Sinéad Kenny and Venturis Consulting’s Gerard Neiditsch discuss their practical insights on how corporate legal teams can enhance collaboration with their law firms while rationalising external legal spend. A journey through 5 maturity stages to make AI work for lawyers and legal operations specialists alike.

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Effects of the Covid-19 crisis on the legal sector in the Netherlands

Last week, Martijn Lesterhuis and Gerard Tanja published an article in the Dutch Financial Times/The Lawyer about the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on the legal sector in the Netherlands in the short, medium and longer term and how law firms should prepare. This crisis is different from the financial and eurozone crisis and law […]

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Thinking the Future of Law Firms

“We were so successful for so long that we could never see another point of view. And when the market shifted, we almost went out of business.“ [1], Sam Palmisano, 2004, the then CEO of IBM Those who think about the future all too often fall into the trap of extrapolating the present in a […]

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