Growth in “Irish” Solicitors
The Law Society’s Gazette has reported that solicitors in England and Wales are joining the Irish roll in significant numbers, with application numbers for practising rights at its highest level since the immediate aftermath of the UK vote to leave the EU.
The Gazette states that according to the Law Society of Ireland, 2,772 England and Wales solicitors have now been admitted. A further 700 applications are being processed, meaning the number looks set to surpass 3,000.
The number of lawyers applying to register in a calendar year is also on course to surpass the 806 who applied during 2016. So far this year, 729 solicitors have applied. In 2017, 547 applied and 690 applied in 2018.
The society said that of the 19,688 solicitors registered on the Irish Roll of Solicitors, 14.08% are England and Wales practitioners who have enrolled since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016.
City firms have made the largest number of applications to secure ease of cross-border business post-Brexit. As of December last year transatlantic firm Eversheds Sutherland topped a ‘league table’ of registrations, with 132 England and Wales solicitors admitted to the Irish roll. Eversheds was followed by magic circle firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (130), Allen & Overy (110) and Slaughter and May (109). US firm Latham & Watkins was next on 92.
Last week international firm Fieldfisher joined the growing list of firms to open offices in Ireland, citing it as a ‘business friendly’ EU jurisdiction. The firm will merge with top-20 Irish firm McDowell Purcell from Wednesday.