By now you’ve likely heard of the Brexit decision, in which the UK voted to leave the European Union. Following the vote last week, news stories were filled with stories, some of shock, some of praise, and some of criticism and admonishment. After more than 40 years as a member of the historic agreement between states, which allowed free trade and travel among other things, the decision to become independent again resulted in uncertainty and skepticism, and had an unpleasant effect on global stock markets and british currency. However, regardless of your opinion on the subject and how it turns out, at least one thing is certain: lawyers in the UK will be in high demand.
What I mean is, leaving the EU isn’t as simple as taking a vote. A number of legal rights for must be looked at and reconfigured. Time Magazine gained information from Lawfare blog, which specifies, that laws from at least three categories will require untangling. They include: “[agreements] with the EU, those with other countries, and…internal British laws and regulations that were mandated by membership in the EU.” Considering that a large portion (a range between 15 and 55 percent) of Britain’s current laws are intrinsically tied to the EU law, some may have to be rewritten altogether.
Hence, everyone from banks to business will be looking for advice on navigating and possibly influencing such laws as they are created. Things at stake include intellectual property, labor and competition, and compliance alone is likely to require numerous attorneys and a lot of hours, and then there’s renegotiation for certain agreements to consider as well. Already, some law firms have established 24-hour hotlines for to help clients understand the implications of the vote and necessary steps following, and many others were inundated with calls and emails regarding the same.
Given the low demand and high competition for lawyers in recent years, this is welcome news for those in the profession. According to the Wall Street Journal, even the British government is in need of private lawyers, and hiring by firms will be on the rise. Whether this whole thing will turn out to be good for the UK remains to be seen; the transition will take a while.