News the Irish Law Society is to cease issuing practising certificates to its members if they are based outside the Republic will come as a huge disappointment to the many solicitors in England and Wales who requalified in line with long-established process in order to continue advising clients on EU law with the benefit of privilege after 31 December.
Law Society of England and Wales president David Greene said: “We will have to consider the changes in depth but for some time practitioners have been seeking certainty from the Law Society of Ireland on the rights attached to their practising certificate for solicitors based outside of Ireland, and more specifically in England and Wales.
“The Law Society of Ireland has for years issued practising certificates to the many Irish solicitors based in England and Wales, whether their first qualification is the Republic of Ireland or whether they are UK lawyers who have requalified in Ireland.
“It would also appear that any other EU qualified lawyers based in England and Wales will be able to continue practising in their home state law including EU law, but the position for Irish solicitors has become less clear.
“To hear about this development through a release on the Law Society of Ireland's website is very disappointing. We would have expected to learn of any proposed changes in advance and formally.
“We will consider the changes in depth and work with our members to address this issue and seek resolution of the issues to which this gives rise.
“We also reiterate our commitment to keeping England and Wales as an open jurisdiction to all foreign lawyers, linked with a strong regulatory framework, and to enabling international practice for our members wherever they are based in the world.
“We believe the status of the jurisdiction as an international hub for legal services is vital for the economy and our reputation as a global legal centre.”