In what has been dubbed by Law Society’s director general Ken Murphy as a “tsunami of new solicitors,” the Law Society of Ireland has admitted 810 English-qualified solicitors to the roll in this year alone. Many leading UK firms have not wasted time in guaranteeing that they have lawyers who can practice in Ireland, an EU member state, following the Brexit result in June. This record surpassed the previous record set in 2008 when 500 solicitors were admitted. It is also a 275 per cent increase on 2015.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has registered the most lawyers at 117, with Eversheds and Slaughter and May following with 86 and 40 registered lawyers respectively. Freshfields told the Law Society that it has predominately been antitrust, competition and trade law practitioners based in the firm’s London and Brussels offices, stating, “They were doing it to allay any conceivable concerns in the future about the status of their solicitors in dealing with EU institutions including in relation to legal privilege in EU investigations.” Other firms who have made applications include Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells.