Saturday 21 September 2019

Lawyers using 'dead Irish grannies' to get passports

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Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Some British lawyers are using their Irish roots in a bid to maintain their status as practitioners of EU law post-Brexit.

Law Society director general Ken Murphy said he was aware of a number of British EU and competition law solicitors who had become nationals of Ireland or other EU states since the Brexit vote.

"One of the things they are trying to do to improve their status is to try and get EU nationality, any of them who are able to," he told the Law Reform Commission's annual conference in Dublin.

"Dead Irish grannies are being pressed into service."

In addition to this, more than 2,000 English and Welsh solicitors have joined the roll of solicitors in Ireland since 2016.

They now make up 11pc of all solicitors on the Irish roll.

Mr Murphy said this was being driven by two main concerns.

"Their concerns relate to rights of audience in the Court of Justice for the European Union and legal privilege, primarily in EU competition law matters," he said.

While large numbers have entered the roll, only 250 have obtained Irish practising certificates.

Predictions of UK firms moving to Ireland had also not materialised, Mr Murphy said.

"The reality is that the Brexit refugee solicitors, as I am calling them, are enrolling but not arriving. They are not establishing firms here, with rare exceptions," he added.

Irish Independent

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