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Surge in UK lawyers registering on Irish roll as Brexit looms

23 September 2019

The current volume of applications from English and Welsh solicitors applying for registration on the Irish roll of Solicitors has reached a new peak of 3,700.

That’s 1,000 more than just four months ago, as the United Kingdom gears up for Brexit in a few weeks.

As a consequence, legal recruitment specialist Taylor Root will be opening a Dublin Office.

“The Irish legal market has seen a period of sustained growth as a result of the strong economy and the effects of Brexit, which has led to banks, companies and law firms looking to grow their capabilities in Dublin as well as other regions,” says Hamish Richmond, the head of the Dublin office.

The Law Society of Ireland says there are 20,529 registered lawyers in Ireland, with 18.1% of those from the United Kingdom.

The table below show the current statistics (as of 17 September 2019) for the number of UK solicitors seeking and gaining admission to the Irish Roll of Solicitors

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

English & Welsh solicitors

806

547

690

1,521

3,564

Northern Irish solicitors

27

29

43

35

134

Scottish solicitors

0

0

4

4

8

Total

833

576

737

1,560

3,706


This compares with an average of 50 England and Wales solicitors joining the roll annually prior to the Brexit referendum in 2016.

An Irish practising certificate entitles a solicitor practising in Ireland to provide legal services as defined by, and subject to the provisions of, the Solicitors Acts 1954-2015 and the rules and regulations made under those Acts.

As the status of solicitors on the Irish Roll who are practising outside the jurisdiction is a legally complex matter and, in light of queries from solicitors, the Law Society of Ireland developed detailed clarifying guidance.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit as he commits the UK to Brexit by 31 October “come what May”.

Last updated on the 23rd September 2019