'Tsunami' rise in number of solicitors from England and Wales registering in Ireland

The Law Society in Ireland has recorded a dramatic increase in the number of solicitors in England and Wales registering in the Republic.

Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society says there has been “a tsunami” of such registrations since the Brexit vote in 2016.

Prior to 2016 there had been 50 such registrations, since then there have been “hundreds and hundreds” of such registrations, totalling more than 2,000 or 11% of named solicitors.

However, he told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that most of these solicitors “are still at their desks in London or Brussels.

They are enrolling but not arriving.

In the past the flow of solicitors had been west to east, he said, especially during the recession, but the flow is now very much in the other direction. This is because of an EU directive which offers “mutual recognition” for solicitors in England, Wales and Ireland.

With Brexit looming solicitors in England and Wales want to maintain “lawyer privileges” in European and commercial law, he explained.

If even a small percentage of such work were to transfer to Ireland post-Brexit it would be a great opportunity, said Mr Murphy.

A submission has been made to Government highlighting the need to prepare “for something like this.” There will be a need for additional courts, judges and registrars along with experts in commercial law, he added.

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