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Law Society publishes guidance on what happens if there is a no-deal Brexit

Papers cover family law, legal services, civil and commercial co-operation and data protection

Growing concern that the UK could exit the EU without a deal has led the Law Society of England and Wales to publish the first in a series of papers giving solicitors guidance so they can take steps to mitigate some of the risks.

The first tranche of papers gives advice on some of the potential rule changes where a deal goes wrong between a business here and in the EU, what happens in family law if a couple splits up and how data sharing should be approached if the UK quits the EU without any agreement. There is also a paper on legal services.

The Law Society notes that, for example, the Brussels II Regulation is a single legal instrument which helps families resolve disputes about divorce and the custody of children where they involve parties in more than one EU state. Under the regulation, EU courts automatically recognise judgments delivered in other EU states on matrimonial and parental responsibility. This will no longer apply to the UK once we leave the EU.

The Maintenance Regulation meanwhile helps ensure the payment of maintenance in cross border situations – again that will no longer apply.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said:

"Whatever you think of Brexit, it has opened up a Pandora's Box of complicated personal and business issues which were previously dealt with under EU rules. Some areas – such as family law – are partly catered for by other agreements that will still apply such as the Hague Conventions. But there's little doubt that resolving disputes will become much more complex and much more costly."

For the guidance, including that on family law, click here.