Law firms seeing Brexit as an opportunity for more work coming
As companies worldwide digest the news of what Britain’s exit from the European Union means for their business, lawyers are positioning themselves to dole out quick advice—and fill their coffers while doing so.
Already, U.S. law firms with an international presence and U.K. firms are seeing Brexit as an opportunity for more work coming in the door, though some firms are cautious about whether a hit to Europe’s economy could also impact them negatively. Several firms, including K&L Gates LLP and Dechert LLP, have set up 24-hour hotlines staffed with lawyers across disciplines. Law firm client alerts are flooding inboxes, and webinars are being quickly pulled together by law firm marketing departments.
“There’s a wave that’s growing of work as a result of this,” law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann said, likening it to the work that followed the 2002 passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the U.S.
On both sides of the Atlantic, law firms’ clients will be looking for advice on tax, antitrust, immigration, intellectual property, trade agreements, employment and other areas of law.
Miriam Gonzalez, a partner in Dechert’s London office, said she’s been running from meeting to meeting all day Friday. “I expect that by the end of the weekend, businesses will digest the news and they will go from the–oh my god what do I need now, explain to me the process–to this is exactly the risk, these are the areas that are important to me,” Ms. Gonzalez said.
Tony Griffiths, the London head of K&L Gates, said they expect a hiatus period when clients will be hesitant to make investments or do deals. But apart from that, he said, “there will be lots of opportunity for strategic legal advice in this absolutely uncharted territory.”