Written on the morning of the Brexit result in June 2016 – a comment on what it might mean for law firms.
Brexit has triumphed. The Prime Minister has resigned. Markets are in turmoil. As a consequence, a sustained period of uncertainty, volatility and confusion is guaranteed – not least for English law firms which have benefited so much from the United Kingdom’s EU membership since January 1973 when we first became a member of what was then called the European Economic Community (EEC).
After joining the EEC, the development of legal practice by London law firms in Europe grew tentatively: small offices were opened in Paris and Brussels by the magic circle (and their predecessors), and a handful of other firms. Their numbers grew in the 1980s, in part because of financial deregulation that came with Big Bang in 1986 which fuelled the increasing dominance of the City of London. This was supplemented by access to a reunited Germany and Eastern European markets that came in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
This piece was written @ 9am on the morning of the referendum result.