The UK and Italian legal markets remain important to each other despite Brexit
The UK Law Society has signed a memorandum of understanding with the bar association in Rome, redoubling its ties to the Italian legal market.
Under the agreement, both parties committed to advocating for the rights of English and Welsh solicitors to practise in Italy and vice versa, according to the Law Society Gazette. The organisations also pledged to share information on practice areas like immigration with each other.
“Brexit means new rules for lawyers in both our countries, but it does not dampen the importance our markets have to each other,” UK Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said in a statement published by the Gazette. “The relationship between the Law Society and the Rome Bar is deeply rooted. Italy is a nation with a strong legal tradition, and our countries can only benefit by sharing knowledge and expertise.”
The Law Society noted that many UK firms have operations in Italy, while many Italian businesses and firms are extending their reach in London.
Rome Bar president Antonino Galletti said in a statement cited by the Gazette that the team-up of both organisations is especially important for young lawyers, who he said would have to “navigate a world where knowledge – and hence professions – are becoming ever more global.”
“The memorandum of understanding also re-affirms both organisations’ commitment to the rule of law, protection of human rights and access to justice, as well as the goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030,” Boyce added.
The partnership follows the struggle between the UK and the EU to establish ties following the tumultuous Brexit transition. In June, the European Commission denied the UK the opportunity to be part of the Lugano Convention, which lays out regulations on cross-border disputes.
The Gazette reported that the commission’s decision sparked criticism from the legal community in Europe, which pointed out that the EU’s reticence could block maintenance payments for many vulnerable families.
Last November, the UK Law Society slammed the Irish Law Society’s move to block UK-based solicitors from practising in Ireland. In March, the Irish Law Society announced the relaxation of qualification requirements.