Law Society publishes No-deal Brexit guidance: Civil and commercial cooperation

The Law Society has published guidance highlighting the changes in civil and commercial cooperation that will occur should the UK leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without having reached an agreement with the EU.

In this scenario, the EU and UK will have failed to sign a withdrawal agreement (governing the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU) and an agreement governing the future relationship between the two parties.

The Law Society explains that it that situation, the UK will immediately leave the EU’s institutional structures without a transition period. In many areas, cooperation between the UK and EU will cease, and the applicable legal regime in many practice areas will change.

Key points from the guidance include:

  • national law rules will apply in the UK and in EU/EEA Member States (unless otherwise stated in the guidance), as all reciprocal elements of EU law will cease to have effect. In the UK, they will be repealed by the UK government;
  • in some cases, bilateral treaties and conventions pre-dating EU membership may exist between the UK and EU Member States, depending on the national law of the state concerned;
  • where the parties have an exclusive choice of court agreement, the UK will accede to the 2005 Hague Convention. This will be applied between the UK and EU/EEA states, and other states party to that convention;
  • in relation to service of documents and taking of evidence, the Hague Conventions will continue to apply;
  • the status of ongoing cases is unclear. The rules governing the enforceability of any case decided after 29 March 2019 will cease to have effect, and there is a risk that parallel cases may be taken in multiple jurisdictions;
  • the Brussels I Regulation will no longer apply between the UK and EU27. It is likely that England and Wales will fall back on pre-existing common law rules for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments;
  • the Government has signalled its intention to adopt the 2005 Hague Convention on choice-of-court agreements in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This Convention provides only for the recognition and enforcement of judgments where the parties have concluded an exclusive choice-of-court agreement;
  • the national law of each EU/EEA state will determine whether a foreign UK judgment can be recognised and enforced in that jurisdiction.

To access the full guidance, click here.