Monday 5 December 2016

Legal firm urges Irish companies to assess risks from Brexit 'revolution'

Dearbhail McDonald Group Business Editor

Published 29/06/2016 | 02:30

John Cronin said that the referendum result was already impacting on business and investment decisions in Ireland.
John Cronin said that the referendum result was already impacting on business and investment decisions in Ireland.

IRISH companies have been urged to take immediate steps to minimise their investment, legal and regulatory risks in the wake of the UK's seismic decision to leave the European Union.

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Yesterday, McCann Fitzgerald - one of Ireland's leading commercial law firms - held a seminar on the implications of the Brexit which John Cronin, lead partner of its 13-strong Brexit group, described as "something of a revolution".

Although the UK's withdrawal won't be effected for at least two years after Britain triggers the Article 50 withdrawal procedure, Mr Cronin said that the referendum result was already impacting on business and investment decisions in Ireland.

Mr Cronin, speaking at the firm's 'Brexit: What Happens Now?' seminar, said companies should immediately set up a review team to examine the risks and challenges including the reliance on UK or UK-based counterparts, any impact on the cost of funding and whether contracts may require revision.

Mr Cronin said that the stakes were "particularly high" for Ireland's food and drink industry and could severely impact on Ireland's financial services sector.

Major financial firms may seek to locate parts of their activities to Ireland said Darragh Murphy, partner in the firm's banking and financial services group.

Top law firms in London and Europe are also seeking admittance to Ireland's roll of solicitors.

The Law Society, the ruling body for solicitors, has admitted a record-breaking 186 solicitors from the UK in the first six months of 2016, compared to 50 in the same period last year.

Separately, John White, managing partner at Beauchamps solicitors, said that the "unplugging" of the UK system from the EU in the coming years will create gaps which will need to be filled with replacement rules and regulations.

Mr White said that there are opportunities for Ireland to attract FDI away from the UK and to promote Dublin as "an alternative stable financial hub to London".

Irish Independent

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