Tuesday 13 November 2018

Ireland 'can be EU's new legal safe haven'

Stock photo
Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Brexit affords "significant opportunities" for Ireland in the legal sphere, the country's most senior judge believes.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke said Ireland can provide "a safe haven" by acting as a venue for the resolution of international disputes at a time of great uncertainty.

Mr Justice Clarke made his remarks at a seminar at Fordham University in New York last night.

His comments come amid continuing uncertainty over the enforcement of British court decisions in the EU following Brexit.

At present, London is considered the major centre for the settlement of international disputes.

The UK is believed to account for 20pc of the EU's legal services fee revenue.

After Brexit, Ireland will become the largest common law jurisdiction in the EU, with common law being the preferred governing law for a high proportion of cross-border commercial contracts and arbitrations.

Mr Justice Clarke said this very fact provided opportunities for the Irish legal system to significantly expand and for Ireland to be a location for dispute resolution in international litigation, including insolvency, where both the common law and recognition throughout Europe are of importance.

The Chief Justice said a great deal of what led to the success of the UK in establishing itself as a major centre for insolvency stemmed from the fact its court orders were recognised throughout the EU.

"The playing pitch will change with Brexit in that it may well be that the orders of UK courts will not have cross- European recognition while the orders of the Irish courts will," said Mr Justice Clarke.

Irish Independent

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