In the two years since the UK voted in favor of leaving the European Union (EU) — now scheduled for March 29, 2019 — much uncertainty remains among UK businesses and their in-house legal teams due mostly to the lack of clarity on the type of Brexit deal the UK will strike with EU leaders and the member states.
In order to shed some light on the views of in-house lawyers in Europe, Thomson Reuters UK & Ireland has published a new report, Attitudes to Brexit: In-house Lawyers’ Perspectives from Europe. The report, produced from a survey of more than 250 responding in-house lawyers, shows that three-quarters of in-house lawyers from Europe are dedicating less than 10% of their time preparing for Brexit, and only a handful respondents are spending more than 25% of their time preparing for Brexit.
While these findings illustrate that Brexit is not yet significantly impacting the workloads of in-house legal departments, it does indicate that this attitude could change as greater clarity emerges as the Brexit deadline approaches.
The report also shows that 63% of respondents predict it will be “business as usual” as to how demand for their legal department’s services may change. Indeed, respondents based in Spain predict no impact at all on demand for their services. Those most likely to predict increased demand on their organization’s legal department were in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
“The ‘business as usual’ mentality revealed in the findings of our research stems from the uncertainty around the precise form Brexit will take,” said Jim Leason, VP of Market Development and Strategy at the Thomson Reuters Legal UK & Ireland. “This uncertainty is acting as a blocker to in-house teams preparing fully for the impact of Brexit.”
You can download a free copy of the report here.