By Geoff Percival
Dublin-based law firm Matheson says it has seen an increase since the start of the year in the number of UK-based companies inquiring about legal requirements surrounding the establishment of Irish operations as they bid to maintain EU access after Brexit.
“Matheson has seen a significant increase in Brexit matters that we are working on and the sectors involved have broadened, particularly in the last six months,” said managing partner Michael Jackson, while addressing a Brexit-related conference in London, organised by the Financial Times.
“In the first year, or so, after the Brexit vote, financial services companies were to the fore in planning for a post-Brexit landscape and started looking at Ireland as a base for new operations.
“However, in the last six months, we have seen an increase in new matters related to the pharmaceutical, food and technology sectors. Businesses can no longer wait any longer, they are making the decisions now to Brexit-proof their operations,” he said.
Inquiries have been coming from British companies and multinational businesses based in the UK looking at setting up additional bases in Ireland.
“While all parties still hope for a deal that accommodates all sides… the reality today, nine months out from the target date for a final deal, is that businesses have to make Brexit planning choices and are making them now. They can’t wait for the political process to catch up with their business planning challenges,” said Mr Jackson.
Of the attendee companies at the event, only 4% said they thought the UK would be better off after Brexit, with 96% disagreeing.