Minister Flanagan announces Government support for Legal Services Sector Brexit Initiative


4 January 2019


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today announced that the Government has agreed to support the joint initiative of the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society and the wider legal community in promoting Ireland as a leading centre globally for international legal services. The initiative, which is also being supported by IDA Ireland, will now form a component of the Government’s Brexit strategy.


Minister Flanagan said: “I want to compliment our legal sector for taking this key initiative. While the ultimate outcome of the Brexit negotiations remains to be seen, the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union will leave Ireland as the only English-speaking common law jurisdiction in the Union. We will be well placed to provide expanded international litigation and arbitration services.


Having been supportive of this initiative in its development, the Government has today expressed its support in more formal terms. We recognise the initiative as a timely means of positively exploiting the competitive advantages of our courts and legal systems, which are of global renown, in the provision of EU and other international legal services in a post-Brexit setting. This will also enhance Ireland’s international reputation in terms of the wider economy.”


An implementation group will now be established to move forward the initiative with the participation of all key stakeholders including Government Departments and IDA Ireland.


The Minister added: “Measures being proposed to further develop our courts and legal systems in support of this initiative will be considered as an integral part of the Government’s continuing programme of courts, judicial, legislative and legal services reform that I am leading at my Department in conjunction with the Courts Service and the judiciary.”


Building on today’s formal support by the Government, it is anticipated that a joint launch event for this initiative will be announced soon.




Note for Editors


On 9 May 2018, the Bar of Ireland and the Law Society (with the support of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association and the wider legal community) brought forward their proposal entitled "Promoting Ireland as a leading centre globally for international legal services".


The proposal’s stated aim is to assist the Irish Government to "minimise the impact on trade and the economy" of Brexit.  It is made with a view to being an integral part of a broad national economic response to Brexit and also, independently, to support existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and generate increased Irish employment and tax revenue. 


The proposal has been supported in its development since 2017 by Minister Flanagan and officials of his Department and by the Departments of the Taoiseach, Business Enterprise and Innovation, Public Expenditure and Reform and of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It has been supported from the outset in its promotion by IDA Ireland. This Government announcement formalises that position.


The full text of the 21-page proposal is available on the Bar of Ireland website at