Registered European Lawyer
A lawyer belonging to one of the Member State legal professions listed in the European Establishment Directive (98/5/EC) may practice under their home jurisdiction title in Northern Ireland provided he or she:
The Law Society of Northern Ireland is one of the two "competent authorities” in Northern Ireland. The other is the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland.
The following information has been supplied to help those wishing to apply to become a Registered European Lawyer.
WHAT IS THE ESTABLISHMENT DIRECTIVE?
WHAT IS THE SERVICES DIRECTIVE?
HOW DO I APPLY TO BECOME A REGISTERED EUROPEAN LAWYER?
ESTABLISHMENT DIRECTIVE AND BREXIT
Following the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European
Union, the REL process will no longer be open to EU lawyers wishing to
establish in Northern Ireland once the UK leaves the EU. Should the UK
leave the EU with a negotiated deal in place, under current terms in
this area the Establishment Directive would continue to apply until the
end of the transitional period (31 December 2020).
the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK Government has put in place
legislation (this includes Northern Ireland and England and Wales, with
equivalent legislation introduced in Scotland) to unilaterally offer EU
lawyers registered in the UK a grace period until December 2020 to
either transfer to UK title, or to alter their business model
accordingly. However, the process will close to new applicants.
Services of Lawyers and Lawyer’s Practice (Revocation etc.) (EU Exit)
Regulations 2019 can be found by clicking here
Under the terms of The Services of Lawyers and Lawyers
Practice (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which implement the UK-Swiss
Separation Agreement, the rights of existing Swiss Lawyers registered as RELs
in Northern Ireland, England and Wales before Exit Day will not be revoked and the Regulations
also provide for a longer transitional period for Swiss Lawyers seeking to
register and initiate the application to transfer to the host profession for a
period of four years from the date of Exit Day. The Regulations can be found by clicking here.