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42 Legal Services The Brexit breakdown


With the Article 50 Brexit deadline fast approaching — 29 March 2019 — Alice Smith takes a look at how legal services in the UK might see a boost, if Britain leaves Europe


A


ccording to the Legal Services Global Report by the Business Research Company (BRC) published earlier on


in the year, the UK is the world’s second-most valuable market for legal services (after the US) and accounts for approximately 6.5% of the global market. Te report suggests that Brexit


could provide a boost to the UK’s legal services market because of the complex legal implication of Brexit both ‘at a state and company level’. It also notes that the UK legal


market is expanding owing to the ‘growth of London as an international jurisdiction’. On a global scale, the report


predicts that online service providers are set to expand the legal market by nearly 20% over the next three years — though it notes that businesses are increasingly tempted to use services of ‘non-traditional’ law firms. Annual global spending on legal


services is poised to top $1 trillion, the report estimates, predicting growth from $849bn in 2017 to $1,011bn in 2021. Nick Tody, head of knowledge


at Osborne Clarke, sees that there might be a boost to UK legal services because of the ‘Brexit


effect’. He says: “Deal or no deal, all existing EU law will need to be converted into UK law in either March 2019 or at the end of 2020; this will result in substantial changes to the UK statute book. Tough this is a largely technical exercise, it’s likely to drive demand for legal advice, particularly in regulated sectors. Tody adds: “Given the legal and


regulatory change and complexity that any form of Brexit will entail, businesses will want commercially and politically aware, practical advice from legal advisers.” In relation to the employment


sector, Leon Deakin, partner and head of employment at Coffin Mew, says: “Whatever happens after March 2019 (including a no deal situation), it’s probably safe to expect an increased demand for immigration and employment law support as freedom of movement seems highly likely to change.”


Deal or no deal At the moment, there’s a degree of uncertainty, not only among the British people, but businesses from every sector (including the legal sector) as to whether Brexit


Continued on page 44 ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE/GETTY


FINANCIAL SERVICES DISTRIBUTED WITH


Divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt looks at matrimonial trends for 2018


Tis year looks set to be a bumper year for matrimonial lawyers, over and above the usual January surge. Te


campaign for greater rights


for cohabitees is growing stronger. As it becomes clear to the general public that


there’s no such entity


as a common-law husband or wife, panic has started to set in. Cohab- iting unmarried couples are real- ising that if one of them owns the home while the other pays the bills and other financial obligations, a break up can mean the partner who doesn’t own the property still has a claim on it. Some cohabit- ants might have thought that the longer they were living together, the more claim they’d have to maintenance, property


should


inheritance or the the relationship


break down; however, this isn’t the case, unless they’ve made a clear direct or indirect contribution to the household finances. A recent poll by YouGov showed


that more than a third of cohab- iting couples had no idea about their rights. Divorce lawyers are already seeing the effects of this. While a prenup is only one factor


among many to be taken into account in a divorce settlement, it’s quite clear that recent cases have meant that people are turning more to prenups to determine what should happen if they divorce or split up. Postnups will also


For further information please


contact T: 020 8343 2998 divorcesolicitors.com


VANESSA WITH TWO OF HER FOUR GRANDCHILDREN; SHE’S A GREAT BELIEVER IN THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDCHILDREN IN THE LIVES OF GRANDPARENTS, AND VICE VERSA (PHOTOGRAPH BY JULIET MIER)


prove to be very popular in 2018, as an alternative to going through a full- blown divorce. Te call for no-fault divorce was


once again in the media with the case of Owens v Owens having been heard in the Supreme Court. Te Supreme Court ruling has now meant that divorce lawyers are strengthening the contents of divorce petitions for unreasonable behaviour. Tis has meant further acrimony in such cases. Tere’s also a call for a change


of the Children’s Act, to simplify claims by grandparents to see their grandchildren. Lloyd Platt & Co has already introduced a new proce- dure called a ‘successful outcomes meeting’, to try and knock heads together to help grandparents to see their grandchildren, which must be promoted in 2018.


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