Leading international London firms Simmons & Simmons and DLA Piper have announced that they are considering opening offices in Ireland.
The prospect of banks and leading financial institutions choosing to relocate away from London to the EU has generated much discussion. However, this is the first firm indication that leading law firms may also choose to split their operations between London and a new office in the EU in a bid to reduce the impact of our possible exit from the single market.
Will other legal entities follow suit? Or will they trust in London's status as an established leading financial center and stay put?
Many international finance contracts are written in English law, but enforcing them in the EU will become more difficult after Britain’s departure from the bloc. Like bankers, lawyers are now weighing up a move to Dublin to avoid such possible changes caused by the UK’s exit, a high-profile Irish foreign investment boss said. Although few moves have yet taken place, such thinking highlights the danger that London's legal services sector could splinter along with the financial industry.