Monday 20 November 2017

Stock exchange targets UK firms in fresh bid for Brexit business

UK law firms also look to Dublin as 800 solicitors register in Ireland, write Gavin McLoughlin and Mark O'Regan

Theresa May outlined plans Picture: PA
Theresa May outlined plans Picture: PA

Gavin McLoughlin and Mark O'Regan

The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) has launched a marketing offensive in the UK to encourage British companies to establish listings in Dublin on foot of Brexit.

The ISE sees Brexit as a chance to promote Dublin as a way for companies to retain access to European capital.

The Sunday Independent understands a number of enquiries have already been made to the exchange, with the ISE programme aimed at securing firmer approaches in the wake of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's landmark speech outlining Britain's plan to exit the single market.

The ISE is also believed to be in discussions with corporate advisers in the United States about potential areas of cooperation around promoting its Atlantic Securities Market - set up by the ISE to facilitate dual US/European listings for companies - which could benefit from any diminution of London's status as a capital markets hub.

In its promotional material, the ISE dubs Ireland as 'European gateway for global issuers'. It highlights that the ISE is uniquely positioned as the only English-speaking member of the EU, is part of the eurozone and can provide issuers with an ability to market their securities, such as funds, bonds, shares, to EU investors.

May's speech has also sparked expectations that some of the UK's most prestigious law firms could set up operations here.

Law Society director general Ken Murphy said the move towards a harder style of Brexit may encourage London firms to have a base in Ireland, allowing them direct access to the EU legal framework.

New figures show 806 solicitors from England and Wales were added to the Irish roll of solicitors last year, as lawyers scramble to ensure professional 'right of audience' in European courts.

Only those based in a EU member country can appear at the European Courts of Justice.

A further 27 solicitors from Northern Ireland were also added to the roll in 2016. Prior to Brexit, the Law Society typically would admit 50 to 100 solicitors from the UK in an average year.

Many are signing up with the Law Society here as a "precautionary measure" and as protection from any future difficulties resulting from Brexit.

Murphy said the chances of British-based firms establishing here will increase if there is a large transfer of new clients from the London financial services centre into Dublin.

Sunday Indo Business

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